Seizing on the success affordable Japanese import guitars had in the '60s, companies like Alvarez, Ibanez, Takamine, Yamaha, and others produced as many guitars as they could for the '70s American guitar market. In this period, some builders were so brazen and unabashed that many of their designs were shameless copies of more expensive American guitars. While companies like Gibson hired teams of lawyers to fight the competition, some of these "Lawsuit Era" guitars sincerely rival their American-made counterparts. In today's vintage market, these intriguing—albeit slightly whacky—axes are great-sounding guitars that provide a slightly different, somewhat off-beat inspiration.
This 1977 Alvarez model 5024 is a shameless copy of a Gibson Dove. From the outside, it matches the late-'70s Dove specs really nicely: square shoulders, the 3-point pickguard with its signature pearl Dove inlay, double parallelogram fingerboard inlays, elaborate bridge with tune-o-matic style saddle, 25-1/2" scale, natural top finish and cherry back/sides, etc. But on the inside, its bracing matches the traditional single X-bracing pattern with tone bars, instead of the double x-bracing Gibson used in the '70s. There's a reason double x-bracing isn't a thing these days: it severely restrains the tone. Because of that, many players familiar with the Alvarez 5024 find their tone can be more open and superior to their Kalamazoo-made counterparts.
This 1977 Alvarez 5024 is in excellent condition for its age, and it is free of severe cosmetic damages, repairs, or issues. It shows some minor playwear, and the pickguard has separated somewhat but remains securely attached (see photos). Also, the bridge is lifting slightly on the back end, but because of the tune-o-matic/pin design, it's not going anywhere!
This Alvarez Dove wannabe is set up with inviting, low action, and its tone is big, full, and dry. It's a great strummer, and it seems like a great value at this price point, especially considering the quality/integrity of the build. We love the slight V to the neck profile. It includes its original molded plastic hardshell case.