N(vintage)GD - unusual color finish - w/ pic...

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by karma1, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. karma1

    karma1 Member

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    I didn't get this today, but recently and just got around to taking a pic and posting. This is an Aria "Diamond Series" model 1242. Obviously an ES335 copy from the late 1960's as far as I can tell from my research. Its from the Matsumoku factory in Japan whose guitars from that era are highly regarded. When I got the guitar it needed a serious setup really bad. So I decided to go for the best and I took it to Larry Cragg who is Neil Young's guitar tech (and has been since 1973) and has worked on guitars for Carlos Santana, Steve Miller, and many others. He did a really nice job on it and it plays great now, although its got a relatively narrow neck that is taking some getting used to. The pickups are kind of unusual size humbuckers that sound surprisingly good. The trem arm is removed and the mechanism locked down. I may eventually replace it with a Bigsby. But all and all it's a cool guitar - I especially like the emerald-burst finish, although the pic was taken in bright sunlight and the color is actually more subtle than it looks here.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. koa

    koa Member

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    That's cool!
     
  3. Whiskeyrebel

    Whiskeyrebel Member

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    I have a circa-1971 Epiphone 5102TE in transparent redburst that otherwise was identical to your 1242 when it was stock. Those rectangular polepieces are actually the slotted tips of one long blade. They look like they want to fall apart any moment but they still work and sound good. What's a real surprise is how much gain and volume this model can handle controllably.
     
  4. karma1

    karma1 Member

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    Thanks for the info about the pickups and pole pieces. They are unusual and there's not a lot of info about them or about these guitars in general. At first I thought I might swap the pickups but they actually sound really good and because they are such an odd size, I don't know what else I could find to fit in there without modification.
     
  5. erksin

    erksin Member

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    My buddy has the identical model in a redburst and has been playing it for over 30 years now since we were in HS together - it's still one of the coolest guitars I've ever heard. His was missing the vibrato bar too, so he used a brake lever handle off his bicycle - works great!
     
  6. karma1

    karma1 Member

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    Interesting idea about the vibrato bar. Maybe I'll try to improvise something rather than trying to find one from the original model.
     
  7. erksin

    erksin Member

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    Those pickups are KILLER - don't change 'em!
     

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