Sunday, 10 March 2013

Matsumoku-made Aria Pro II Titan Artist series TA-30 semi

guitarz.blogspot.com:

...speaking of Japanese guitars, here is one that is much more affordable than the guitar in the previous post, in fact I would recommend this as my eBay Buy of the Month because I have been using one of these very same guitars as my main instrument for a while now and think that it is a superb guitar. It's one of my favourite guitars ever and I don't make that claim lightly - I was trying to work out the other day how many guitars I have owned and it must be at least 60.

Anyway, this is a 1980s-era Aria Pro II TA-30, but please do not confuse these with the later Korean-made TA-40 guitars which also had a bolt-on neck. The TA-30 is a quality Japanese guitar made in the now legendary Matsumoku factory and is far superior in construction, materials, and in playability. (It absolutely nails that Creedence Clearwater Revival sound, if that frame of reference is any use to you!) The Korean-made TA-40 is not a bad guitar but the cheaper laminates that it is made from mean that it has a tendency to sound rather boxy.

The Japanese and Korean TAs do look very similar but there are various little details that help you tell them apart. For example, the Japanese TAs have a much slimmer body if viewed sideways-on - it's about a centimetre difference. Also, the f-holes are much more slender and ornate, whereas the Korean examples have more of a "cookie cutter" outline. The Japanese examples are often fitted with those tulip-shaped machine heads too.

Contrary to popular belief and numerous eBay listings for these guitars, both Japanese and Korean, the TA-30 and TA-40 are not "335-style". For starters the shape is slimmer and nowhere near as rounded as the Gibson guitar, but more tellingly they have fully hollow bodies and not a solid centre section as on the 335 (that's what makes it a 335).

Currently listed on eBay UK with a starting price of £150. That is an absolute bargain for a Matsumoku-made guitar of this quality. If I was in need of a back-up for my main guitar I'd certainly bid but right now I have other priorities.

G L Wilson

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11 comments:

  1. Clearly if you were to draw any gibson comaprisons it wuld be to the Es-330. But... Dammit. No P-90's!

    As you have some experience.... And as i'm always on the lookout for good guitars, what is your overall opinion of korean hollws and semi-hollows? You often see a korean made jazzbox pop up on ebay but I'm always hesistent to bid highish. Electronics can be easily switched, but still if the rest is rubbish it's best left alone.

    SDadly, all the eccentric japanese hollows and semi's go for far far too much out here in aus. So we have to make some sacrifices.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some of the Korean made semis are not bad at all.....there's a little known and very affordable brand called Shine that I really liked...I had a really nice model called a T420F with really nice P90 PUPs....they're made by Saein in Korea...if you can find one...and they're hard to find, grab it Saein makes Epiphone, Peavey and Ibanez guitars ...Shine is their private label brand and is was smoking! Well made, Grover tuners that stayed in tune, and drop dead gorgeous looks...fast, set neck, well bound and very, very playable....I sold mine needing to thin out an ever growing collection, chose instead to keep a Korean made PRS SE Custom 22 (also a great Korean semi hollow body guitar), but I missed my Shine much more than the PRS.....now they're really hard to find...if you can't find one, check out a Korean Paul Reed Smith (PRS) - very high quality and a real simple but beautiful guitar...Cheers

      Delete
  2. Sad to note, Alvin Lee, one of the all time greats has passed away. All the love many of us have retained these many years for guitar, finds its origins w/ Alvin. May he rest in peace. We already miss you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Always wanted to have one in my collection.The Day might come soon.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm shocked that a fully hollow guitar can withstand a tune-o-matic type bridge and stop bar. Is the top really thick? What do the posts screw into?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I believe that there is a solid block beneath the bridge and stop bar, but it is not a great long solid centre section under the pickups, etc, as on 335-type guitars.

      No, the top is not thick, not on these Matsumoko-made examples anyway. The Korean made TAs have very thick tops which is something that noticeably affects the sound.

      Delete
  5. hai.. im from malaysia..
    i have one telecaster aria pro my friend say this guitar made in korea...
    may i know is true from korea or japan..??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's hard to tell without actually seeing it. It is more likely to be Korean-made than Japanese - only the very earliest Aria Pro II's were made in Japan.
      Any idea of the age?

      Delete
  6. I own a Aria acoustic dreadnaught cutaway 6 string model# AW 320CE -- Lot# 9205000061. I can't find any info on this model, not on the Aria website, Google, ebay etc. Does anyone have any info/history on this particular model??? Been looking for years; so far, no luck. HELP!!!!

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  7. Hi, Good Day,
    I"m eddie from Malaysia, recently i purchase Aria Pro II Pe Deluxe KV, just want to know whether made in Japan or Korea, here the serial no : S080110199 and if possible the year made, Hope you guys can help me on this....TQ

    ReplyDelete
  8. I own a Aria acoustic dreadnaught cutaway 6 string model# AW 320CE -- Lot# 9205000061. I can't find any info on this model, not on the Aria website, Google, ebay etc. Does anyone have any info/history on this particular model??? Been looking for years; so far, no luck. HELP!!!!

    ReplyDelete

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