Aria Pro II ES-700ST Semi Hollow Walnut Stain 1978
Aria Pro II ES700 335-style, walnut finish, made in Japan 1978. Vintage Matsumoku Aria guitars enjoy a cult following; those who love them burn with a devoted fire of enthusiasm for their exceptional build quality and golden-era MIJ swagger. This little darling takes it's queues from the Gibson ES335; it's a stunning instrument with a whole lot of heart. The neck is fairly slim and a pleasure in the hands; it's a tasty old piece of mahogany that's instantly familiar. The body is fairly light and very sprightly; notes jump out with great enthusiasm. The Alnico-7 translate the tone to a warm, thick, defined growl with an articulate snap an open, airy midrange. The walnut finish looks luxurious... it's aged gracefully over four decades and has a saucy depth that shows off the details in the grain proudly. The binding is great around the fretboard, but it's fared badly around the body; see the notes and extra pics. This will set you back something like a quarter of what a similar era of Gibson would fetch, but it'll easily keep up in the tone and feel departments. I can tell you like it; I read you like an open book (har).
Model: Aria Pro II ES-700ST
Made: Japan, Matsumoku plant, 1978 (best estimate, serial 04785070)
Finish: walnut stain, gloss
Body: laminate maple, 335-style semi-hollow with centre block, thinline
Neck: mahogany, rosewood board, 9.5" radius, 24.75" scale
Pickup: Aria Alnico-7 humbuckers
Case: basic original hard case, reasonable quality and good condition
Cosmetic condition notes: mild finish wear. Headstock has some minor marks on the end and both edges as well as a dimple behind the nut. The neck is clean and smooth in the hands, just a couple of minor dimples; binding around the fretboard is in good shape. The back has a couple of chips around the outside on the bottom and top edges as well as some light scuffs and scratches around the body. The sides have some minor scratches and dimples on both horns, the shoulder, near the rear strap pin and around from the knobs. The binding around the body is in poor condition; it's had a fairly questionable repair done in the shoulder area and on the top side of the waist; the rest of it is suffering from mild crumbling/cracking/chipping. Have a look at the extra photos, they tell the story. The front is pretty clean, just some very light scuffs around the outside edge and some normal play wear on the guard and top horn .Overall: good condition (6.5/10)
Playing condition notes: Neck is straight, intonation is good, action is low, truss rod works. All electronics tested and working properly. Frets are looking pretty good with minor wear only, 8/10 for life left. Setup with fresh 11/49s.