Mudcat Café message #3247013 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #74730   Message #3247013
Posted By: GUEST,trout
30-Oct-11 - 10:11 AM
Thread Name: Aria Guitar
Subject: RE: Aria Guitar WJ-300
Hey videlus and others if you're still out there. I have an Aria WJ-300. It is a nearly identical copy of a J-200 Gibson, during the period when J-200's didn't have the overly busy bridge (the big curving cutouts and extra MOP. For its size it is very light. It is all solid wood, wonderful spruce top, nicely figured solid maple back and sides. All blonde. I discovered a late 70's catalog from Aria as well as two subsequent years. The WJ-300 (Western jumbo) was the top of the line acoustic and got its name from it's selling price of 300,000 yen. The subsequent catalog showed the same guitar, same woods, same build, but the price went up (400,000 yen) so it was renamed WJ-400. I haven't seen it in print but the man I got the catalogues from said they did hit the WJ-500 before it was discontinued and some used laminated woods, but I never saw the picture. Mine is the first year of production, serial number 54. The Aria man said the WJ-300 is by far the most rare, shortest production and highest build quality--almost like prototypes which he was sure the first serial numbers under 100 are supposed to be and built by one of the Yairi's for Aria.
Hope this helps anyone looking. If I can get a link to the catalogs I'll post it.