Aria (guitar company)
Aria Guitars Co. is a Japanese manufacturer of musical instruments. The company, sited in the city of Nagoya, produces electric, acoustic and classical guitars, electric basses and ukuleles through its brands Laule'A, Mojo Gig Bags, Fiesta, José Antonio, Pignose and Kelii.
They began retailing acoustic guitars in 1960, although the company did not start manufacturing their own until 1964. Aria arranged for Matsumoku, the musical instrument maker, to build the guitars for them under contract. Arai and Matsumoku started building acoustic guitars in 1964, and then electric guitars in 1966, using Arai, Aria, Aria Diamond, Diamond, and much less frequently, Arita brand names. The Aria brandname was changed to Aria Pro II in late 1975, though this has been used mostly (but not exclusively) for electric guitars and basses. All guitars were made in Japan until 1988, when production of less expensive models (Magna MAB/MAC and Integra IGB series) was switched to Korea. In the mid-1990s a few models (including the Fender Stratocaster-inspired Fullerton series guitars and the Steve Bailey 6-string fretless signature bass) were made in the United States.
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Aria Pro II made some copies of established designs such as the Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul, in addition to original designs In the '70s and early '80s they produced a series of high end professional instruments. The company had endorsements from Michael Schenker, Yngwie Malmsteen, Neal Schon, John Taylor, Henrik Flyman, Loose Wayne and SS of Dark Frost and others. Cliff Burton of Metallica used an Aria SB Black N Gold I as well as an SB-1000 bass but was never an official endorser. He has a posthumous "Signature Model" called the SB-CB produced in Korea. Another user of the Aria Pro II SB-1000 was Cronos of the band Venom. Some of the professional models were known as Firebrands because of the Firebranded Aria logo on the reverse of the headstock. The Firebrand guitars were produced in small runs. They were then given to either named artists who promoted Aria Guitars or to top dealers as gifts. Firebranded Guitars were produced to a higher standard than production models.
Aria has also built amps, such as the 10W Birdy.
Aria Pro II
- History of ARIA Pro II harvnb error: no target: CITEREFHistory_of_ARIA_Pro_II (help), "The company [Aria Co., Inc] was established in 1956 by Mr.Shiro Arai.
- The History of Aria harvnb error: no target: CITEREFThe_History_of_Aria (help), "On August 2nd, 1956, ARAI & CO., INC was founded."
- Other brands on Aria website, 9 Oct 2019
- Fjestad, Zachary. "RJP Technologies". Blue Book of Guitar Values. Blue Book Publications, Inc. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-07-28.
Luthier/designer Ronnie Parker was the CEO of RJP Technologies. ... RJP Technologies has designed instruments for several large manufacturers including Washburn and Daisy Rock. ...
- "History of ARIA Pro II (Arai Co., Ltd)". Music-Trade.co.jp. Yokohama: Dai-Showa Corporation.
- "The History of Aria". Aria Guitars [Arai & Co., Inc].
- "About Aria" (in Japanese). Nagoya: Arai & Co., Inc.
- "About Aria UK". Guildford: Aria UK Limited. Archived from the original on 2015-07-25. Retrieved 2015-07-24.
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- アリアの響 [Aria's sounds]. Japan Vintage. Vol.5. Tokyo: Shinko Music Entertainment. 2004. ISBN 978-4-401-61885-9.
- アリアプロIIの壱 [Aria Pro II part 1]. Japan Vintage Collection. Vol.6. Tokyo: Shinko Music Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 978-4-401-63044-8.
- Official website
- The Guitars of Matsumoku - Includes scans of many original Aria catalogs
- Shiro Arai Interview NAMM Oral History Library (2006)