Alvarez WY-1

Alvarez WY-1

Postby claytushaywood » Sun Sep 01, 2013 11:45 am

So I really love alvarez acoustics and just happened to find out bob weir had a wy-1 artist model. There's one here locally (not bob weir model- but with the rosewood fretboard) for a decent price I suppose (what do yall think about $800 for these guitars?) And how about these guitars in general? What are the differences between the bob weir and regular wy-1 models? I really cant seem to dig up much info on them...

The main thing I wanted to ask about is the bridge- on the one thats pictured here it shows a bridge with individual saddle pieces. like 6 individual bone saddles rather than one bone saddle. I cant find anything on the internet about this bridge setup and all the bob weir models I see have a standard looking saddle. Im wondering how difficult it would be to repair in the future. seems like itd be tough, but im no luthier

thanks!
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Re: Alvarez WY-1

Postby mkaufman » Sun Sep 01, 2013 7:20 pm

I'm not sure where you live, however, I'm selling my WY-1 which is in very nice condition and has the original case.

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Re: Alvarez WY-1

Postby strumminsix » Sun Sep 01, 2013 10:52 pm

Love my WY1 but despise their onboard electronics.
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Re: Alvarez WY-1

Postby brbadg » Mon Sep 02, 2013 5:05 am

Well.the WY 1 IS the Bob Weir model.That's a good price. Is the saddle broken? Do you have a good repair person in your area?
Saddles are pretty easy to work with.Can't imagine it would be that big of a deal.
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Re: Alvarez WY-1

Postby playingdead » Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:56 pm

There are various iterations of the WY-1 guitars, which Weir had a hand in designing. There is also a signature model with coral rosewood back and sides and a cedar top. I have owned a koa version which was a beautiful guitar. I have had another one of those come through my shop.

The correct saddle on the original WY-1 is six individual saddles. That is the guitar Weir plays. The WY-1 Stage model now comes with a B-Band pickup, which has a traditional saddle. They also make a weird looking variant that has no soundhole.

These guitar are well made and work well amplified on stage, however, they have very little volume or projection when played acoustically, probably due to the all laminate construction, which Weir liked because it reduces feedback. The guitar has a balanced tone to it, but it is not loud and in an acoustic setting will be overpowered by other guitars pretty easily.

I would not say that the original stock guitar has a particularly authentic acoustic sound when it is amplified, it's got that sort of buzzy piezo sound -- think Garcia's Takamine from Radio City Music Hall. You can get it very loud without feedback problems. However, that buzzy tone can be mitigated with something like a Fishman Aura preamp if you can choose the right profile for it. Or you can do as Weir did, and mount an internal microphone which can be balanced through the onboard electronics on the original models. Not sure how the B-Band sounds.
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Re: Alvarez WY-1

Postby Poor Peter » Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:12 pm

playingdead wrote:There are various iterations of the WY-1 guitars, which Weir had a hand in designing. There is also a signature model with coral rosewood back and sides and a cedar top. I have owned a koa version which was a beautiful guitar. I have had another one of those come through my shop.

The correct saddle on the original WY-1 is six individual saddles. That is the guitar Weir plays. The WY-1 Stage model now comes with a B-Band pickup, which has a traditional saddle. They also make a weird looking variant that has no soundhole.

These guitar are well made and work well amplified on stage, however, they have very little volume or projection when played acoustically, probably due to the all laminate construction, which Weir liked because it reduces feedback. The guitar has a balanced tone to it, but it is not loud and in an acoustic setting will be overpowered by other guitars pretty easily.

I would not say that the original stock guitar has a particularly authentic acoustic sound when it is amplified, it's got that sort of buzzy piezo sound -- think Garcia's Takamine from Radio City Music Hall. You can get it very loud without feedback problems. However, that buzzy tone can be mitigated with something like a Fishman Aura preamp if you can choose the right profile for it. Or you can do as Weir did, and mount an internal microphone which can be balanced through the onboard electronics on the original models. Not sure how the B-Band sounds.


The cedar top also plays a role in the lack of volume. Cedar just doesn't project the way spruce does.
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Re: Alvarez WY-1

Postby playingdead » Mon Sep 02, 2013 9:17 pm

The guitars I had here were both WY1-K models -- all koa -- tops, backs and sides.

I'm not sure I would agree; cedar can project very well. I have a Lowden F25 here that is a midsized guitar with a cedar top and rosewood back and sides and that guitar is an absolute cannon. It is very lightly built and very resonant. I have the same guitar (Lowden F32) with a sitka spruce top and rosewood back and sides, both guitars are very loud played back to back. They are actually hard to tell apart, the sitka top is just a little bit brighter, a little less lush sounding.

Cedar will not have the headroom that Adirondack spruce will have, for sure. Both the koa Alvarez guitars I had here were on the heavy side. It's also a fairly shallow body, which is not helping either. It's more the laminates and heavy build in this case, I think. YMMV
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Re: Alvarez WY-1

Postby cantops » Sat Dec 28, 2013 1:07 pm

I see it was briefly mentioned but has anyone played the WY1BW- the signature model with the bolt inlay? I was considering getting one of these down the road but haven't had a chance to play one.
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