1970s Alvarez-Yairi 5067 000-Size Flattop Guitar

Not content to rest on his laurels as far as Alvarez boxes go, a consignor of mine pulled this fish out of the water as well as several others this year. This one is quite clearly an interpretation of a Martin 000-18, though it differs a bit in the details and build. It's x-braced, has a solid spruce top, and sounds robust in the lower-mids -- just as you'd like from a guitar of this style.

The "differing details" are the 25" scale (with zero fret!) as opposed to 24.9" on a Martin, ply mahogany back and sides (rather than solid), and top bracing that's a little less nuanced. The top has a little extra trim and the back has a "zipper" backstrip, too. The mahogany neck (with its mild-medium C-shaped profile and 1 11/16" nut width) is pretty bog-standard for a decent acoustic from the time and has a shallow, 14" or so radius to its fretboard. Both the board and bridge are rosewood.

My work on it included a fret level/dress, very light (1/16") bridge shave, saddle compensation and adjustments, string ramps at the bridge, and a setup with 54w-12 strings. It plays on-the-dot at 3/32" EA and 1/16" DGBE at the 12th fret, the truss works fine (if a bit stiffly), and there's still about 1/16" on the saddle for action adjustments down.

The body is 15 1/8" on the lower bout and has a 4 1/4" depth at the endblock.

The tuners are old Grovers and work well. Note the zero fret -- something I like to see on instruments when they're done right. This one is "done right" after the level/dress job -- it's in the same plane as the rest of the frets.

Despite being ply mahogany, the back and sides look good. The finish has plenty of use/handling wear and there's some "ghosting" -- or finish sheen changes here and there on the back.

The sides have finish muck-up and I'm unsure of the reason.

Here you can see it in detail -- odd, right? I'm sure it has something to do with weather-check changing it over time.

A small puncture in the ply on the treble-side lower-bout side is patched and good to go.