Did a drop-in bone saddle project on this Alvarez MD70 last week.
This is a previous model from 2013 but this guitar is just stunning in terms of value, quality and tone. While the latest MDA70 gets a wider nut width and abalone bindings, the MD70 still carries attractive appointments like flame maple bindings.
Guitarbear still prefers the older 43mm nut widths over the latest guitars.
Here you can see that the saddle doesn’t have the suitable curve. The thicker strings sit too “straight” and a new saddle with the correct radius is required. While it is easy to simply drop in a saddle, it takes more time and effort to get the best curve for playing comfort.
There are also too many shims being used. Not sure how much tone is lost here, but it is always good to make a new saddle with the correct measurements.
A comparison photo where you can see that the original saddle was way too straight at the thicker strings.
No problems. We got sandpaper from 100 to 2000 grit, as well as the good ol’ jeweler’s file to craft the new saddle.
The wire anchor of the LR Baggs Anthem (previously installed by owner) came off so we need to tape it back. Easy job here.
Remove the anchor, remove the old tape, and clean up the contact. Then, cut some new double-sided tape to reinstall the anchor. Just use a pair scissors to snip off the excess bits.
Okay, all neat and tidy now. Nothing loose or rattling anymore.
Let’s do some TLC for this lovely guitar.
Fretboard wasn’t too dirty in the first place, but all guitars deserve a good massage and moisturising session. Steel wool and Ax Wax are good friends here. Bowie was assistant today.
Bridge was also nourished with Ax Wax, while nut slots were lubricated with pencil lead.
We got a good fit on the new saddle. Restrung with Elixirs in owner’s preferred super light gauge 10-47.
Gave the guitar an overall clean and polish and we’re good to go. Miffy was ready to pose.
It’s a lovely guitar. I asked the owner if he would sell it to me, and I got a flat “NO”.
Nevertheless, my trusted AD30, my No.1, came out to pose with his cousin from the same year (2013).
Giveaway sign would be the fret markers. High end models have only the 12th marker and not the dots.
MD70 has solid rosewood body while the humble AD30 has laminate mahogany. Both just beautiful to me. I love Alvarez.
One more shot of the MD70 that mesmerized me. Sexy back.
Owner was really happy to get back his guitar with the improved playing comfort.