Alvarez MGA70 Setup

Did a setup on my buddy’s No.1 last week.


The MGA70 is an all-solid guitar from the Masterworks series. It features a spruce top and rosewood body plus features like bling bling abalone purfling and maple bindings.

With the CITES situation, this one has been discontinued. In fact, I don’t recall Alvarez ever had this one listed on their website. It seem like most GA-shaped guitars in the Masterworks series usually came with preamps.


Here’s a look at the lovely rosewood back. I apologise for the reflections. 🙂

My buddy Baz was asking if I could do some improvements to the action. My first thought was the usual “saddle sanding” project. Turns out saddle and relief were actually very good, but nut slots needed some attention.


Needle files to the rescue. I lowered the nut slots of the three bass strings so that Baz can barre with less fatigue.  You really need to be careful not to sand too much here. A buzzing guitar on open strings can be a nightmare.

Bearclaw Special

Gave the fingerboard a good spa session. Bowie was asssistant.


Frets shiny, fingerboard smooth and clean. Who likes some good ol’ rosewood fretboard?

The guitar was cleaned and polished using Dr Duck and restrung with Elixir 11-52 as requested.


Pose down of the No.1s. Mine vs Baz’s.

The dread is deeper than the GA – 124 vs 116mm, thereby making the GA a smidge more comfortable to play. Overall length is around the same although the above photo makes the GA look smaller.

Closing notes:

Any guitar from the Masterwork Series will make one feel that good guitars don’t have to cost a lot of money. The MGA70 retailed around $1000 and I challenge anyone to find another guitar with this much quality.


The woods used, workmanship, playability and tone easily matches up to guitars five times more expensive. If you don’t need mastergrade tonewoods with perfect grains or “Made in America” tags, this is probably the best for the money.

Scotty was happy to pose with it.



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