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Aria Guitar

24 Oct 04 - 02:38 PM (#1305760)
Subject: BS: Aria Guitar
From: vindelis

I have inherited my father's Aria/Matsummoku guitar Model WJ-300. I have been searching various Aria sites trying to find out the age of the instrument. The serial no is 956002, the guitar was made in Japan and bought in the USA some time in the late 1970's/early 80's and certainly no later than 1981. From infomation on the Aria archive site it would appear that the guitar could not have been made later than 1979. I can find no mention of this particular model on any site. I have tried contacting Ariagtrs and NFHMMC, however both emails have been returned 'address unknown'. I have tried the guitar forum site without success. Does this model sound familiar to anyone?

Many hanks


24 Oct 04 - 05:45 PM (#1305941)
Subject: RE: BS: Aria Guitar
From: Mooh

What sort of guitar is it? Classical, steel, electric...? Woods? Condition?

I used to know a guy who loved Aria guitars and his classical actually had a nice timbre until about the 9th fret where it died off a bit.

Any more information would be helpful.

Peace, Mooh.

24 Oct 04 - 05:48 PM (#1305945)
Subject: RE: BS: Aria Guitar
From: Mooh

I don't see that model number in my slightly outdated Blue Book. Mooh.

24 Oct 04 - 05:55 PM (#1305953)
Subject: RE: BS: Aria Guitar
From: Once Famous

Many, many Japanese imports came into this country during the late 60s-early '70s under various brand names, most made by a couple of manufacturers. Most, like your Aria were lower end student models that copied asthetics best known by the large American companies.

I am sure that this instrument has great sentimental value to you, and hopefully is playable enough for you to enjoy it.

24 Oct 04 - 07:20 PM (#1306057)
Subject: RE: BS: Aria Guitar
From: vindelis

My dad's guitar is an acoustic folk guitar, steel six-string. It has, what I would describe as 'mock mother of pearl' inlays on the fret boards, around the soundhole and the edge of the top of the body. The fingerboard is probably mock tortoiseshell. The top of the body could be spruce, the sides and back are a mahogany colour but I expect that this is probably a stain. It does have a few dents and scratches visible when the light is in the right place. The sort you would expect after twenty years of constant use. The label inside the guitar also reads 'Aria quality guitars' 'Made in Japan'. The word 'Matsumoku', on the back of theheadstock has what appears to be an Indian Chief's head, in profile, above it. As far as I am concerned it was my dad's guitar, it needs to be played more often and won't be leaving me in a hurry.

24 Oct 04 - 11:02 PM (#1306259)
Subject: RE: BS: Aria Guitar
From: Once Famous

Enjoy it and treasure it!

25 Oct 04 - 08:12 PM (#1307064)
Subject: RE: BS: Aria Guitar
From: Steve Latimer

I have a seventies Aria Pro Banjo. It was their top of the line "Masterclone" at the time and I think it is a wonderful instrument. I am more familiar with Banjos. Aria made several models from really cheap starter models to their Pro and Pro II line, which along with some other Japanese banjos of the time rivalled or exceeded Gibson in quality.

25 Oct 04 - 08:38 PM (#1307093)
Subject: RE: BS: Aria Guitar
From: Bobert

Good luck.

I bought an Aria in the late 80's in a pway shop for like $50 and it played great, sounded great and all that. So I gave it to my son who left it in a closet in house without much heat and now it's not worth fixing. I've tried to find another on ebay and have searched the innernet for annother but no luck...


07 Apr 05 - 06:24 PM (#1454841)
Subject: RE: Aria Guitar
From: GUEST,jim 2

Its a Western Jumbo made in japan ca 1979 or a bit later.Apparently very good guitars, some of the best Aria made.

07 Oct 06 - 01:02 PM (#1852814)
Subject: RE: Aria Guitar
From: vindelis

Thanks,the serial no would fit 1979 perfectly, as I know he had the guitar by 1983 at the latest, and I discovered recently that production stopped in 1984.

06 Apr 07 - 12:55 AM (#2018042)
Subject: RE: Aria Guitar

I have an Aria archtop, & just love it, I couldn`t find your model but did see, that the Western Jumbo,[WJ] MODEL 250 & 251, no listing of 300, were built in 1977, hope that helps a little

06 Apr 07 - 01:53 AM (#2018053)
Subject: RE: Aria Guitar
From: Peace

This it?

06 Apr 07 - 12:25 PM (#2018318)
Subject: RE: Aria Guitar
From: Ebbie

Years ago, when I was looking for a guitar I'd be happy with long term, I liked this one Aria, but mostly just for its upper voice. I wasn't impressed with its light bass.

The choice came down to the Aria and a D35 Martin. I loved the sound of the Martin, but the Aria was much less expensive so I dithered.

The owner of the shop finally said, If you like the Martin that well, buy it. You will never regret it. If you buy the Aria because it is cheaper, you will regret it.

I bought the Martin.

06 Apr 07 - 01:46 PM (#2018411)
Subject: RE: Aria Guitar
From: Bee-dubya-ell

Aria managed to talk, bribe, or blackmail some pretty big names in bluegrass circles into using their Pro II instruments in the late '70s and early '80s. I believe Mac Wiseman played one for a while.

I remember trying out a Pro II dreadnought during a spell of being disgusted with the D-35 I had at the time. It was impressive enough that I almost sold the Martin and bought it, but better sense ultimately prevailed.

12 Apr 07 - 06:49 AM (#2022987)
Subject: RE: Aria Guitar
From: GUEST,gni

hey check or try there's all the info and pictues :)
The happy owner of a YS 500 & a TS800 :)
ps. just copy & paste :)

13 Apr 07 - 06:42 AM (#2023977)
Subject: RE: Aria Guitar
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)

I have an old Aria JJ-12 string model that was designed by the English blues player Johnny Joyce and made by Aria in Japan. It sounds and plays beautiful, although it's not especially loud. I think it's got more laquer on than it needs but the wood and the build quality is beautiful. They used to do a 6-string model as well, which I also had, but I traded it in for a 1963 Martin 000-18 - which tells you something about the quality of the Aria.

Mind you, I've also played some Arias which were shit.

13 Apr 07 - 09:12 AM (#2024125)
Subject: RE: Aria Guitar
From: Susan of DT

I got my Aria guitar in 1964, at the recommendation of my guitar teacher. Model A551B, serial number 04936. Nylon strung classic. If anyone is desperate for an Aria, I could part with it. I don't play and Dick has several guitars he likes better.

16 Jul 07 - 07:13 PM (#2104644)
Subject: RE: Aria Guitar
From: the one

yer ihave jj models 12 string &6string in open d great sound,

27 Mar 09 - 11:39 AM (#2598611)
Subject: RE: Aria Guitar for sale
From: GUEST,The Might Sig

I have an ARIA AW-800.

According to the Blue Book of Guitars 11th Edition, the last MSRP on this guitar was $559, and these were manufactured between 1992-1996.


Dreadnought body
Solid Spruce top
Tortoise shell pickguard
Herringbone bound body
Mother of Pear bound top, rosette, insignia and logo
Rosewood back and sides
Mahogany neck
14/20 fret
Rosewood fingerboard
Pearl diamond inlay
Rosewood bridge with white/black dot pins
3-per side gold-cast tuners
natural finish

Anyone want to buy it? It's a really sharp looking guitar, especially with the mother of pearl. It's also incredibly easy to play--action is very low, yet there is no fret buzz--really nice set up job on this one. E-mail me for pics and more!

I'd like to note: It's not my idea of a good time to use this forum, which is a wealth of guitar info. that can't be found in other places, for selling gear but I really need to sell some things to make room for some new stuff!

27 Mar 09 - 12:57 PM (#2598668)
Subject: RE: Aria Guitar
From: olddude

Oh those old ones were dandies I liked them and they were nicely made. No not a Martin or Gibson but I sure liked the ones my friends had and played. It is a guitar that you will have lots of fun with and since it was your dad's you can treasure it. Not a great deal of money value in them at all but who cares it was your dad's


12 Oct 09 - 04:53 PM (#2744419)
Subject: RE: Aria Guitar

I have an Aria WJ-300 Serial Number 7600566. I bought this guitar in '76 or '77. I still enjoy playing and writing on this guitar. Has all the mother of pearl inlays. Looks nice. The saddle is raising up slightly, otherwise no problems with this guitar. Made in Japan.

12 Oct 09 - 07:03 PM (#2744505)
Subject: RE: Aria Guitar
From: GUEST,freespiritceol

Hi We have 2 aria guitars we think from the 70s, we baught them as a job lot at a festival, both unmarked and in original cases. They look and sound fantastic.
one is a jumbo acoustic, Paul Brett model PB 30. which we were told was a limited edition.
The other is a deep red electro acoustic jumbo with 'electrocord' pick up model FE 70.

we bought them because we loved the look and sound of them, and still do. We don't know anything more about them, and would be greatfull for any info etc.


15 Nov 09 - 11:19 PM (#2766761)
Subject: RE: Aria Guitar
From: GUEST,Tmat 13

i have an aria wj-251 and the website says that it was made starting in dad bought it in 79 and it plays just as well, if not better than my martin d-15 spruce top. i love it.

12 Jul 11 - 09:06 PM (#3186374)
Subject: RE: Aria Guitar

I have an Aria wj 250 acoustic that is just wonderfull to pick but, I cant find any info on this jewl anywhere

22 Sep 11 - 02:54 PM (#3227288)
Subject: RE: Aria Guitar

best guess is your guitar was made may 6 1979

26 Sep 11 - 02:00 PM (#3229445)
Subject: RE: Aria Guitar
From: GUEST,n oddy

what about a aria aw200 LW serial No 8804000024 a nice left handed from the 80s!Want to sell it but no idea of what to ask.

16 Oct 11 - 04:08 PM (#3239922)
Subject: RE: Aria Guitar
From: GUEST,noddy


16 Oct 11 - 04:31 PM (#3239930)
Subject: RE: Aria Guitar
From: Bobert

Just an update on my Aria... Even though it was badly warped and had a few cracks I gave it to my lutheir buddy, Joe Latham, who got it looking and playing great... Been playing it for the last 2 years without any problems...


17 Oct 11 - 05:45 AM (#3240118)
Subject: RE: Aria Guitar
From: scouse

Are these the same guitars as the Ariana Guitar??
as aye,


30 Oct 11 - 10:11 AM (#3247013)
Subject: RE: Aria Guitar WJ-300
From: GUEST,trout

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.

30 Mar 13 - 11:47 AM (#3496745)
Subject: RE: Aria Guitar
From: GUEST,erelevent

I have an aria twelve string. The model number is 9604C I can't find it anywhere somebody help me find info on this plz

10 Jan 14 - 11:23 AM (#3590653)
Subject: RE: Aria Guitar
From: GUEST,huggie

Hello--have an Aria WJ-300 serial #8021502--spruce top rosewood back and sides, mother of peral inlay--etc. Where can I find approx date of guitarand value??? Thanks

15 Mar 14 - 07:59 PM (#3609941)
Subject: RE: Aria Guitar
From: vindelis

Hi Folks thanks for all the info, it really is strange that there is no sign of WJ-300 listed on the Aria list of void serial numbers. Unless it has been superseded by another perhaps?

29 Jun 15 - 06:55 PM (#3719903)
Subject: RE: Aria Guitar
From: GUEST,Marylandfarmer

I had never heard of an Aria before. I was in a local guitar shop and the owner asked me to play a guitar they had had in the basement for years, they were not sure why it was down there and wanted me to see if I could find anything wrong with it. I saw it hanging up when I came in the shop but did not play it, im not usually attracted to fancy guitars. It was Rosewood side and back and spruce top. Lots of fansification on the neck and sound hole. It sounded great! lots of sweet sound. I like to finger pick and dropped the low E to D and played some MJH tunes. I thought "this sounds great". I looked at the tag and he was asking $75 and that came with the original hard shell case. I bought it and I have not played my Taylor since I brought it home. It is a wj-300 model #7608869.
I would say it is worth at least $500 but I would not sell it. My goal is to earn $75 with it and have it pay for itself. So far I am up to $30.

10 Oct 15 - 04:35 PM (#3742883)
Subject: RE: Aria Guitar
From: GUEST,Fyldeplayer

I have an Aria Lw20 m. Nice maple bindings, I believe the LW donates laminated? Not sure if top solid. Sounds good but standard neck width not my favourite ( have just acquired RK ROS 16 which is wide like Spanish guitar ). Looking to sell with hard case and hope to get 150 -200.

11 Oct 15 - 02:36 PM (#3743113)
Subject: RE: Aria Guitar
From: GUEST,bbc

I am, truly, losing it! On first glance, I read the thread title as "Arlo Guthrie" & was concerned. I was using my iPhone & the font size was small. Even so....