Acoustic Guitars/Alvarez DY45


QUESTION: Iím considering buying an Alvarez 80ís guitar, DY45. He wants $625. If I check it out and itís all in good condition, what is a good, fair price for it?


ANSWER: Hi. Well, that is high current market TRUE value-I would hope that the guitar is in 9.0 condition and it has to be a K. Yairi and have an original hardshell case at the least. What people are asking and what people are paying for these 80's DY-45's sometime differ greatly. In the last few weeks, several have sold on e bay for prices ranging from $350.00 to a near mint at $600.00 with the OHC. Look at the completed listings and you will see. I don't hold much stock in blue book values or any value book-the proof of the pudding is in the tasting, my friend, and one has to check the pulse of the current market TODAY in order to accurately gauge what things are actually, really, honestly selling for. Also check out and other guitar sites. Acoustic Guitar Forum has an excellent thread on this particular model. There is a virtual plethera of information on the web about K. Yairi and Alvarez but I think it is important to note that one must be careful.  There were a lot of these made for many years and they differ considerably as well-and remember that you are buying, in large part and in the greatest sense, a guy's name on an interior label. I am not saying that K. Yairi wasn't a master luthier, he was and his instruments do have and hold value, but the current climate dicatates a lowwer price. Other considerations are how long the seller has had this instrument for sale, what are the circumstances of the sale and is the seller motivated & willing to listen to reason in terms of current market condtions. Another is hoe imprtant is this acquisition?  I think it commendable that you are educating yourself before purchasing. Please examine the links below for the cheapest I have seen and the most expensive I have seen in the last few weeks sell on ebay as well other sites and information on Yairi and the DY-45. Hope this helps...don't forget to rate my answer. I hope you come to the right decision and I thank you for asking me. Cheers, Kevin

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: No question, just wanted to let you know that I purchased the guitar for $500... The case didn't look like an original hard case... (Don't know if it would have and "Alvarez" motif on it - the case doesn't) and it is well worn; the inside of the case fits the guitar nicely but the fuzzy felt has pulled away from the large end where the top meets the guitar.  I will try to glue it back, but it seems to have shrunk, so I don't know... The sound hole has wear that looks like it happened by something other than playing (maybe when the pickup was installed?) and there are noticeable small dings on the face and back of the guitar and the head.  Someone has put a pickup in it, but I can't see it and don't know what kind.  Looks like it has a little battery that sits inside up where the neck connects with a red and black wire that goes up to the inside up by the bridge. The frets look good and the back of the neck has a little ding...  All in all, I was thinking $450 felt like my gut "it's worth that"; however, the seller wouldn't come down any further. I settled on $500 and am happy with my purchase (so far, haven't had the chance to play it much, but I did plug it in and it sounds good to me). I will have a luthier look at it... It has Elixir strings on it and it has a nice blend of bass and treble naturally... maybe it's because of it's age... I must say that I REALLY like this guitar and don't mind paying the extra $50... The case will do for now and I absolutely LOVE how it feels and sounds... And that's really what's the most important to me... Again, thanks for your help...

Hi Peggy. Well, all in all I don't think you got hurt or beat up too bad. A 80's DAY-45 in the condition described is about fair market value, give or take. I wold say that you purchased a players guitar in good used condition rather than a high end, nearly perfect, all original collectible one but if you are happy and the instrument is serviceable and sweet, this is what really counts ......It sounds like in the guitar's younger days someone used a older style pop-in soundhole pickup and they tended to beat up the soundhole and surrounding rosette pretty good...I would garner a guess that your present amplification system is an active under saddle piezo type pickup...and hopefully it has an end pin jack input and not a drilled hole in the body....the battery get up is a quite common aftermarket long as the guitar is structurally sound you're for the case, it probably was purchased at the same time...When I reline them I generally go to a sewing notions store, those bigger chain types and buy new lining and fabric glue...its inexpensive...or just get hardcase made in China for about $50.00 for MF OR GC...Happy Playing! Kevin

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Kevin Dunham


Sigma by Martin guitars, Vintage Asian Import Guitars, acoustic guitars, american guitars, vintage music gear and vinyl record albums


I am a scholar and researcher of vintage Asain Import guitars and my area of expertise is Sigma by Martin fretted instruments imported by C.F. Martin & Co. from 1970-2007. I have been compiling materials and studying Sigma since 2008.

I have my own website,, a blog, Sigma Martin Memo's, I am a consultant on the Vintage Sigma Guitars Facebook page and am an editor of the Sigma Guitars Wikipedia page. I am also writing a book on the sigma line and have just returned from MArtin in NAzareth where I was granted access to and permisiion to reproduce Sigma by MArtin materials by Dick Boak, Archivist at Martin. Martin customer service representatives now refer Sigma by Martin inquiries that they cannot answer to me.

My book propsal is currently under review by Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publshing group and an article I wrote for Vintage Guitar Mazine is under advisement.

Studied at Linn Benton Community Collage in Albany Oregon and Marylhurst University in Portannd, Oregon. I have been a lifelong musician and student of guitars and am a guitar tech.

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