NFR WFF Guitar Aficionados - Aria Guitar

So, my son was given this guitar by an old guy he did a hardwood floor for. Inside is a small stamp for Aria and made in Japan and what looks like a Japanese character followed by 552562. No label inside. On the inside of the heel is 12055 and there's a line number 4. It has a beautiful sound to it.

It looks about 40 years old. Any info on it would be appreciated.

IMG_20210731_131330197.jpg
 

CreekScrambler

Active Member
I don’t know anything in particular about the company, but many Japanese guitar manufacturers had excellent build quality in that era (often better made than the big American manufacturers).

Have him take a look at the edge of the sound hole on the top. He should be able to tell if the top is solid wood or a laminated top. If it’s solid, he should be able to see the grain all the way through to the inside face of the sound hole. I wouldn’t be surprised if the top ended up being solid, based on the sound being described as very musical. If it sounds good and plays nice, that’s all you need. I wouldn’t recommend stringing it up with anything heavier than a 0.012” (12s) high-E string set due to the higher string tension on the neck, top, and bridge. A 0.011” (11s) set would likely already be installed.

Old/aged solid wood-topped guitars tend to sound awesome. They generally resonate in a really lively, musical way compared to newer wood. I inherited a well-seasoned acoustic about ten years ago and it sounds even better today than it did when I got it. Totally comes alive when it gets played.
 

g_smolt

Recreational User
Looks like an Aria AD-28, probably mid 70's?

Aria (along with Takamine and a couple other small manufacturers) was the target of Martin Guitars "cease and desist" spree in the 70's. Martin guitars of the post-brazilian era sucked, and many Japanese mfg's were producing close copies (look at the headstock and logo script on the Aria) that sounded better and were a fraction of the price.

I wouldn't be so bold as to value it, but I will say it is probably worth less than $1000...but if it sounds good, who cares?
 

Squamishpoacher

Active Member
I don’t know anything in particular about the company, but many Japanese guitar manufacturers had excellent build quality in that era (often better made than the big American manufacturers).

Have him take a look at the edge of the sound hole on the top. He should be able to tell if the top is solid wood or a laminated top. If it’s solid, he should be able to see the grain all the way through to the inside face of the sound hole. I wouldn’t be surprised if the top ended up being solid, based on the sound being described as very musical. If it sounds good and plays nice, that’s all you need. I wouldn’t recommend stringing it up with anything heavier than a 0.012” (12s) high-E string set due to the higher string tension on the neck, top, and bridge. A 0.011” (11s) set would likely already be installed.

Old/aged solid wood-topped guitars tend to sound awesome. They generally resonate in a really lively, musical way compared to newer wood. I inherited a well-seasoned acoustic about ten years ago and it sounds even better today than it did when I got it. Totally comes alive when it gets played.
Thanks for this, very much, I'll pass it on to him.
 

Squamishpoacher

Active Member
Looks like an Aria AD-28, probably mid 70's?

Aria (along with Takamine and a couple other small manufacturers) was the target of Martin Guitars "cease and desist" spree in the 70's. Martin guitars of the post-brazilian era sucked, and many Japanese mfg's were producing close copies (look at the headstock and logo script on the Aria) that sounded better and were a fraction of the price.

I wouldn't be so bold as to value it, but I will say it is probably worth less than $1000...but if it sounds good, who cares?
Thanks very much. He played one of his other guitars after he played for me on this one and the richness of the sound from the Aria just blows the other one away.
 

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