Aria Pro II Acoustic Guitar Review

Vintage 1976 Aria acoustic guitar review. I wanted to write this review as info on these guitars are sparse and collectors are hot for them. Are they worth the hype? Mine is a great guitar but not quite at the level of a good Martin/Gibson. I feel this probably comes down to the fact that it’s laminate.


Rick Nagy says:

You are right about this guitar being laminate, and virtually everything else you say. I think the weak point on these guitars is not so much the laminate back and sides, but the relatively heavy acrylic finish. Nonetheless, great guitars for the money, and they do have a kind of “mojo” about them.

Walking Guitar says:

..i like aria guitar but this pro II.. i´ve not played.. but.. is good sound

Steve McGill says:

I bought a used Aria around 1985.  I thought it was a Pro-II but I do not see anything on the body that says “Pro-II”.  I think I paid $50 for it.  I have played it literally all over the world and I love this guitar.  As for the serial number, I cannot find it anywhere.  The only thing I can find is a stamp that says “Made in Japan” on the wood block.  Where would i find the serial number?

Mojo Jr. says:

I bought a Aria Pro II brand new in 1976 for $275. It was a solid spruce top and rosewood body guitar and was also from the Matsumoku plant in Japan. I played the hell out of that guitar for several years and then gave it to my ex-wife when I bought a Martin D-35. Of all the acoustic guitars I have played in my life, that Aria was among the very best. 

Mike Roberts says:

Thank for this. Very useful.

justliketolook says:

I have a 1970 classical nylon string  Aria guitar and its a solid

Joe Duke says:

I had a very nice Aria, although likely laminate, I kept it for about a month and then gave it away. Frankly, it sucked… but the guy I gave it to was endlessly thankful, so… whatever. Now I have a custom D-35, a very fine Takamini 400S and a Suzuki classical… all gorgeous. My advice is, go play a lot of guitars, the one that costs you hours in that you just have to play everything you know on it… get.

Stephen Otto says:

I have a Aria AF250 Mach 1 acoustic guitar. Does anyone know anything about it and what its worth?

funkybluesthang says:

Back and sides have very little to do with the sound. Search for cardboard guitar on youtube and see what a master builder has to say. These Aria Pro II are phenomenal if you find one in good shape – I have two and they sound better than many Martins – I went to GuitarCenter and tried many $2000+ Martins and was disappointed – I did find one $900 one I liked.

Beach Realtor says:

Thank! Good info, but… mine starts with 26?? So, do you know what year that would be? It’s Aria Diamond 6810 acoustic- serial # 2646. Would love anything you know!

William Miller says:

Belive it or not Jonny Cash sponsored Aria guitars , I bought one in the 70s , saw him on the Aria poster.

haywoodify says:

thatsplunkintalk, you are right about it being laminate, and lacking in bass response, but still a good guitar.

cuppateadee says:

I like the lowden guitars. martin are great but at a price. lowden are a fantastic sounding guitar but start at over $3000 . hand built in ireland and a unique sound like a d28 martin but a more celtic sound. nick harper son of roy harper plays one. now I know why he sounds so good when he plays the guitar. he is in my opinion the best sounding accoustic guitar player I have ever heard and live he goes down so well.

Phoil2003 says:

Hi, have you ever heard of a Aria AF-350CE N ,

Black heart says:

そのギター買おうと思ってるんですけど、使い心地どうです? (Japanese)

Matthew Hoffman says:

You are a total moron and obviously know nothing about these guitars.

First…The year of your guitar is wrong. It is a 1978 guitar. Look up the catalogues online. Your years are just wrong here, and the information you are spreading is just bullshit.

Second, There is tons of information all over the information highway that discusses these amazing japanese guitars.

Third, This guitar is a solid body guitar. NOT LAMINATE! This is a lie perpetuated by American Guitar owners.Matsumoku top of the line acoustic guitars like the PW series are all solid wood guitars. TOPS, BACKS, AND SIDES! THIS IS BRAZILIAN ROSEWOOD!

Fourth, The issue you are having with BASS Resonance is due to having PLASTIC NUT, BRIDGE, and BRIDGE PINS.

FIFTH, This guitar is not worth $800-$1000 either. I just bought a perfect one for $650. Again, bad information shame on you.

Sixth, Just becuase you FEEL this guitar is a laminate and sounds different that your martin or Guild…Does not mean it is LAMINATE. In fact, most of these PW series guitars are as follows:

Pw-10 through PW-30 Mohagoney (Spelling sucks here)
PW-40 through PW-60 Brazilian Rosewood
PW-70 through PW-75 Macassar Ebony

Seventh, Japanese guitar makers did not have the time or the technology to “Match up” the guitar grains on laminate guitars during the 1970’s. It was far cheaper to just use the real wood, or Mohagony! This is total bullshit, and obviously your uninformed opinion. Matching laminate did not start happening until the late 80’s and early 90’s.

I own T. Haruo guitars, ARIA PRO II guitars, TAMA, GIBSON, MARTIN, GUILD, Santa Cruz, Taylor, and Yamaha. Every guitar I own is a solid body guitar, verified by guitar Luthiers from Major American guitar companies.

Now. GO GET A BONE BRIDGE, NUT, and BRIDGE PINS, and pay a good lutheir to set up this PW-40…or else sell it to me becuase you obviously do not appreicate what you have. I will love it and get it set up correctly.

Arnd Suess says:

Right! I bought one of this guitars in summer 1976 in Germany for above 1600,-DM.
I love this instrument. See you. Bye.

bertrand whitty says:

I have almost  the same guitar aria 9220 . very nice guitar .It a 1978 very special 3 pieces back it s looke like indian rosewood but Im not sure it is 2 differente grain of woods .but  thanks to show yours.

Leng Wo says:

this guy talks and talks and talks ……….play it man !!!!!!!!!

S Thompson says:

Want to mention I have a 1981 Aria SW-8 :cedar top, mahogany body.  I think this was from the matsumoku plant.  This one is absolutely 100% solid back and sides.  I’ve done several vintage restorations and this is my second SW-8.  I read that SW was Aria’s “Solid Western” models.  I inspected the cross-section of the body through the tail pin hole using my inspection stereomicroscope and it was absolutely solid wood.  That’s very strange because I subsequently bought an SW-700, thinking it too would be solid,, but the SW-700 is a laminated EIR body.

Also, I think the firebrand models all were always all solid wood.

And, if interested, Aria released their all solid 500-series in 2013.

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