Opinions on this old Aria Diamond electric

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Guitar12, Feb 4, 2015.

  1. Guitar12

    Guitar12 Member

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    Loooong time lurker and reader, never posted. I noticed a Craigslist ad for a Martin acoustic at a relatively new store near my work today so I wandered by and long story short kind of was smitten by this Aria Diamond electric. I'm strictly acoustic right now but want to dip my toe in the electric world. This thing played like butter but after researching here and other places on the web this guitar is still a mystery to me. In fact, I think it is to the owner as well as I asked him what kind of pickups they were and he wasn't sure. I know that these were a product of the Matusmoku factory but as for how old it is I'm not sure that there is any way to tell. It has a real thin neck and I assume it is modeled after a Gibson ES-335. Anyway, enough talk, here are the links to the CL and Reverb ads. He was asking $300 for it in the store. Thanks for any opinions. BTW, I didn't have time to plug it in, was just jamming on it acoustically, had to get back to work. Thanks. Rob

    http://orangecounty.craigslist.org/msd/4874779770.html

    https://reverb.com/item/357527-aria-diamond-1967-cherry
     
  2. jondanger

    jondanger Member

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    Funny thing, I just got home from a show that my buddys played and one of them played this exact same model without the tremolo through a Music Man HD130 212, and I thought it sounded great. Nice and woody, little honky.

    I don't know about the price, but if $300 isn't breaking the bank I wouldn't hesitate. There are definitely some gems in the Matsumoku line. A lot of them have been rode hard and put up wet, in my experience, but a good one is a cool find.
     
  3. Guitar12

    Guitar12 Member

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    Thanks for the reply. That woody, honky type of sound is kind of what I'm going for as I'm really into the Beatles and have been playing their early stuff where George was on his Gretsch really feeling his Carl Perkins influence, stuff like 'Honey Don't. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdhE7HDkj5k

    $300 won't break the bank but I was just perusing on Ebay and there is a similar super clean one there for just a bit more. I can feel my toe in the water and I'm losing balance and about to fall in!

    Rob
     
  4. Hack Prophet

    Hack Prophet vile mighty wretched Silver Supporting Member

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    Old Arias are pretty good guitars for the money, I'd jump on that personally
     
  5. karma1

    karma1 Member

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    I have that exact guitar in a different color - late 60's Aria Diamond Series. I bought it a couple years ago for $200. It needed a major setup and a little TLC, so I spent another $100 for it to be worked on by Larry Cragg, who is Neil Young's guitar tech. On the plus side, it sounds great. I didn't know what to expect from those pickups (known as "staple" pickups) and I thought I might end up replacing them, but they are quite nice. On the down side is the narrowness of the neck. It is really skinny and makes playing chords or notes up near the headstock end difficult, at least for me. For that reason I wouldn't gig with it. I'm keeping it to use for use in the studio and at home and because I really like the emerald burst finish. Its a cool guitar, but I just wish the neck was a bit wider. I wouldn't want it for my only guitar, but since I have quite a few others, its ok to have this for limited use. From research I've done, the market value is in the $400 range, give or take, depending on condition.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Whiskeyrebel

    Whiskeyrebel Member

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    I've got that same model relabeled as an Epiphone 5102TE. I like the pickups a lot once the height to the strings is adjusted. The bridge pickup likes to ride close to the strings. They can take a lot of distortion without squealing, especially for a fully hollow guitar. The price does seem high considering the missing handle for the vibrato. The ad also doesn't mention a case being included.
     
  7. Guitar12

    Guitar12 Member

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    @karma1 Very cool looking axe. I have pretty small hands so I actually like the thin neck but have to admit that I didn’t try many chords up by the nut, I was mostly doing bass runs and lead riffs when I was demo’ing it.

    @Whiskeyrebel Yep, I found out thru some Googling that the Epi 5102TE is the same animal. No case with the guitar that I was playing and he had it marked as $300 in the store yesterday but via email today he told me that he had checked the new edition of his vintage guitar book and that these have risen in value so as result he has raised the price to $375. Still in the ballpark I suppose.

    I found this one on Ebay that looks super clean and I’m thinking about pulling the trigger on it if I go the Aria route. Also, was at Sam Ash today and played some Epi’s (Sheraton II and Casino) that were nice as well. And a Telecaster . . . So many choices

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/201239078721?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT

    Rob
     
  8. DustyRhodesJr

    DustyRhodesJr Supporting Member

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    $300 is too high, you can do better on ebay with a little patience.
    There was just one for $150 under a different brand.

    That whole raising-the-price thing would make me pass, the value
    has not gone up of late. He is dreaming.
     
  9. misterturtlehead

    misterturtlehead Member

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    I think you ought to go back to the store and plug it in.
     
  10. jondanger

    jondanger Member

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    If you're still thinking about buying from eBay just let me offer a word of caution. These old Japanese electrics vary quite a bit from guitar to guitar. Some are great and some are total dogs. The peace of mind that you get from playing the actual guitar before you buy it is worth a lot. Worth it to buy one you can actually play before you take it home, especially with this type of guitar.
     

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