AudioRumble rating 84/100
What We like
Narrow and slim satin finished neck is very comfortable.
It is an affordable acoustic/electric.
Includes a deluxe gig bag.
What We don't like
Electronics are unnecessary on an entry-level guitar.
An entry level guitar has to be playable, and Alvarez’s RD26CESB does that very well. After that every other positive is just gravy. This guitar has some gravy to go with the playability.
The RD26CESB is part of Alvarez’s Regent series, which is the company’s entry-level guitars for new players. It has a laminate spruce top with standard scalloped X bracing. Laminate mahogany is used to make up the back and sides. The body is a dreadnought with cutaway for easier access to the upper frets. Ivory ABS is used to bind the top and back with a matching heel cap.
The neck is mahogany with a smooth satin finish. The rosewood fingerboard is bound and has 20 frets. The PPS synthetic bone nut is 43mm (1-11/16”) wide. The neck joins the body at the 14th fret with a dovetail neck joint.
The bridge is Alvarez’s bi-level design and is made of rosewood. It is topped with a PPS synthetic bone compensated saddle. The scale length is 648mm (25.5”). A black pickguard protects the top from the attack of picks. A simple abalone circle makes up the rosette.
The onboard electronics are B-Band’s SYS250 preamp. It features a 3-band EQ, presence, and volume controls. There is also a built-in tuner that can be used whether the guitar is plugged in or not. It bypasses the output while in tuning mode so the audience doesn’t have to listen to you tune.
It comes with a traditional sunburst top. The whole body is done with a gloss finish to show off the mahogany wood grain. There are two strap buttons already installed. The die-cast enclosed tuners are chrome plated.
Be careful if you need to shave down the saddle. If you go too far the strings will hit the wood of the bi-level bridge before they reach the saddle. The bi-level design does put more down force on the saddle, but that is the flaw of the design.
It comes strung with D’Addario EXP strings. It also comes with a 15mm duo-foam deluxe gig bag, which features a handle, two shoulder straps, and larger pocket for carrying music or accessories.
The Regent series also includes classical and folk body styles. There is a left handed model dreadnought in the series (the RD26), but it does not include the cutaway or electronics.
The neck is narrow and slim, which new players should find very comfortable. The fact that it has a satin finish is nice as well since it gives it a fast feel. Be warned though that this is a full-sized dreadnought acoustic so it is not for the very young new player. They will find the size to be overwhelming.
The sound is bright and twangy. It lacks the depth of a solid wood instrument, but it is very good for an entry level instrument. The dreadnought size gives it plenty of dynamic power. The electronics are nothing special, but work well especially given the price range of the guitar.
Alvarez has made an entry-level instrument that can do more than be serviceable. The RD26CESB is a guitar that will draw the new player in, and give them a reason to keep picking it up every day.
AudioRumble rating 84/100