alvarez model 5003

Posted by phyllis kelly on Wed, 06/14/06 - 12:33:15.
In Reply to Vintage Guitars

Just wanted to know it's value?

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Alvarez 5003 classical guitar

: Alvarez 5003 classical guitar
What a surprise to find such as pleasant and robust thread here.
Here's my story -

I came here also seeking the value of my guitar as I have one of these guitars.
I am glad to see other's posting about this guitar.

In 2003, in Seattle, we were in a house where there was an estate sale that was almost completed for the day. The place was almost empty of things to sell. I think it was a Sunday, the last day they were publicly selling items.
We were considering buying a a dresser. I noticed the guitar, in a corner of the main floor. It had no strings and it was missing the bone nut saddle. The overall condition was very good in my opinion. When we asked about how much for the dresser, we were told $40. I asked it they would consider throwing the guitar in for that price too. The answer was, yes. And, that was quite the surprise as I was expecting some sort of astronomical price that I wasn't willing to shell out.

Happy with my find, I went to one of the local music stores, bought a set of strings and a raw saddle. I had to work the saddle a bit with a file to get it right. Worked out well for sure. I installed the new strings, tuned it up and voila! It's now what I call the "Magic Guitar". It has a great sound, plays well, and the bottom line is that I enjoy it.

The tuning pegs, where the strings wrap around on the inside of the head, several of them are worn, have cracked and need replacing. The strings no longer sit correctly and on a couple of pegs the plastic sheath has completely cracked off. It's either repair or replace the entire 3-On-A-Plate tuning machines. An easy task, I think, with four wood screws to remove and screw back in. When my budget allows I'll be shopping for a set of those.

The label is a black on white square, approximately 4" x 4".
An illustration of a lute player is in the center of the label.
Around the white center are artistic white swirls on black and what appears to be eight small'ish tree leaf silhouettes doted in between the swirls with their locations comperable to compass heading (N, S, E, W, NE, SE, NW and SW).

Inside the white circle: "ALVAREZ" lettering is curved across the top and "Made in Japan" is curved across the bottom.
5003/Model is to the left of the lute player illustration and SERIAL No. is to the right.

On my label there is no serial number provided in the space where it should be.
Instead, almost vertical on the label are stamps which appears to be of two different times and font type and size.
They are: "4 - 7" and "71". I am unsure of what they denote. I could guess that, "71" is 1971, but am quite unsure of what meaning "4 - 7" has.

This is my first and one-and-only nylon string classical guitar.
I do say that I enjoy playing it.
And when I do, it almost plays itself. Hence the "Magic Guitar" alias.

So, there you have it, that's all I know about it.
That's my Alvarez classical guitar story.

Here's a photo of the label:

the 5003

To add a bit of mystery, I have a 5003 model, or more to the point, it's my wife's. It, curiously has "made in Taiwan" decal' ed on the back of the headstock. They are a solid instrument. I tripped in my old house and while holding it, went down, cracking the headstock at the high E tuner.

I glued it, clamped it, and left it for a week to dry. It was all over the place tuning wise, until I removed the tuner plate screws and placed toothpicks in the holes and rescrewed them down, it has held tune ever since, even if it is a bit creaky in the process. It's solid and if it could withstand that damage and live, its a good guitar by me.

I play mostly Bossa Nova tunes on it and even with intricate Brazilian style chords, it's competent. Is it a fabulous guitar?? Of course not, it's a damaged guitar, but it lives on and plays well.

1974 Alvarez 5011 classical guitar value

A local person selling this guitar for $160. The label looks beige with black lettering. Is this a quality guitar?

Alvarez model 5003 serial 3269

I just purchased this guitar. Brown label. It has had a repair on the neck. It's feels and plays very nice. Any info on the year it was made or other historical data would be appreciated.

Re: alvarez model 5003

: Just wanted to know it's value?

I also have a Alvarez model 5003.... beautiful excellent condition. an old man in his late 70s gave it to me with case, for helping him with yard work and household chores,and gave it to me. its serial no. says 4 . so im thinking, its gotta be the first 4 of the model. very rare ithink made in Japan it says on the inside. contact me if u know more about this.

Re: alvarez model 5003

I was wanating to find its value too. been to ebay and all over.. Looks like it ranges from $35 to $100. Also found exactly same model with a different label....It was "Conrad"

BUT I am an amateur.

Re: alvarez model 5003

: Just wanted to know it's value?

I also have a Alvarez 5003 classical guitar and am interested in the value, and is the top soild or laminated, spruce or cedar?

Thanks Bob

Alvarez 5001 serial # 08731

has the brown label hand made in japan. where could I go to determine value. Also the label says made 0873 so would this make it the first model for that series?? just curious as to what was gifted to me.

my alverez serial #5001


Alvarez black and white label model 5001 serial# 3383

What isit worth and what year was it made?

Alvarez 5003, Alvarez 5005 and Alvarez 5001

A lot of people who own vintage Alvarez guitars are pretty confused about these models: Alvarez 5001 , Alvarez 5003 and Alvarez 5005 mainly because there are exactly the same models that are made in Korea or made in Japan. In fact, in the case of Alvarez 5001 and 5003, there are even those with labels that are also marked Made in Japan, but are poorly made and with completely different designs and wood. If you want good Alvarez 5001 or 5003, avoid those with black and white labels at all costs. If you can find the Alvarez 5001 or 5003 with the original label that's made in Japan, then you shouldn't think twice. The Alvarez 5001 -- the one with the original brownish label that says "Alvarez Classic Handmade" comes with solid cedar top, unlike the Alvarez 5001 with white label, which has a laminated spruce top and mahogany back and sides. The Alvarez 5001 with the original Classic Handmade label comes with SOLID spruce top and most models I've seen come with laminated rosewood back and sides, but I have also seen some of them with SOLID Indian rosewood back and sides. Those laminated models also used Indian rosewood to thicken the sides and backs that are genuine Indian rosewoods. In any case, even those with laminated rosewood back and sides surpass the sound projection, sweetness and playability of my Yairi CY-140 and my CY-120. I've had several Kazuo Yairis, but the Alvarez 5001 is much more impressive. Alvarez 5005 is a fantastic guitar, as well. Some models come with Brazilian rosewood backs and Indian rosewood sides.

Alvarez Classical Guitar M#5003

Re: The Alvarez classical guitar Model 5003

about 3 years ago I was in a guitar shop in Minneapolis, can't for the life of me remember which one but anyway, as an Acoustic guitar specialist I am always interested in folk, dreadnought, and classical guitars that I might run across from time to time. I found this wonderful toned used instrument in a small music store and after playing it a short while I determined that I should buy it. it was a Alvarez Classical Guitar model #5003 with Mahogany back and sides and a Spruce top that was stained in a way that I think made it appear as Cedar but I was very surprised at the tone of this particular model. It was a Alvarez Classical guitar made in Japan, it says it was "HandMade in Japan" It appeared to be about 15-20 years old or so when I purchased it. I paid 100.00 for the instrument and I felt it was well worth that.
I've maintained it since, and I bought it in 2008.
I plan on keeping it in my collection for years to come. a surprising little gem and still with such balanced tone..
I have several very expensive acoustic steel string instruments and I feel I do have a good ear for tonal quality. Also, I also have always been leery of the ""cheaply Mfg. produced" Nylon string "Cordoba" type classical instruments. I just would never purchase a bad or "poor" sounding instrument.
I understand the Alvarez/St.Louis Music Company discontinued making this Model 5003 in 1998 and according to specs published on a 3rd party web site the top is Laminated, and yet I could swear when I look at the sound hole I can see the Grains wrapping around the opening looking for all its worth like a Solid Top guitar ! But, that's what the guitar reviewer web site claims based on The Company's data and specs on the instrument. I probably wouldn't have changed my mind about getting it but it was surprising how good it sounded for a laminated instrument.
I wouldn't sell it for less then 200.00 and I don't think I'll probably ever sell it.
I am going to conclude once and for all with my Luthier associate the status of the Top and get back with you.

Alvarez Classical Guitar M#5003

To whom it may concern,
Here is the specs as published by for the instrument. hope that helps !
Alvarez Classical Guitar Artist Mahogany Model #5003

Body back material› Mahogany body back
Body fret› Neck joins body at 12th fret
Body sides material› Mahogany body sides
Body style ›classical style
Body top material› laminated spruce body top
Bridge› rosewood bridge
Fingerboard material rosewood fingerboard
Finish› antique natural gloss finish
Neck joint› set neck
Number of frets› 19 fret
Number of strings› 6 strings
Peghead (headstock)› slotted headstock
Soundhole rosette› wood mosaic rosette
Soundhole› round soundhole
Tuner layout› three-each-side

Re: alvarez model 5003

: : Just wanted to know it's value?

: I also have a Alvarez 5003 classical guitar and am interested in the value, and is the top soild or laminated, spruce or cedar?

: Thanks Bob

My 5003 is Ser# 117; black and white label inside is printed "Made in Japan". This was a gift from a friend and has been improperly handled (he didn't know better). So, I can see that the top is laminated (where the bridge pulled up), but has a cedar look. The rest looks like nice mahogany, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's also lam'd because the bridge actually looks like a good fake (plastic) rosewood. If I'm right, then either Alvarez "exaggerated" the materials or this is a boot leg. Still, it was a gift, so I know a reputable luthier who can give me the facts and fix it, if at all possible. Otherwise, I might just get brave and "fix" it myself.
All the best,

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