Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Aria Pro II SB-800

Here is a nice rarity sent in by fellow Aria fan Tyler - it's an SB-800. This is a unique bass because it is like an SB-1000 in every way except for one: it is a bolt-on, not neck-through. It has all the other features of an SB-1000 (active circuit, 6 position tone selector, brass bridge and nut, etc). I believe the Aria SB-600 was the bolt-on version of the SB-700, but neither the 600 or 800 models lasted very long for some reason. There is even an SB-800 ad that I had not seen before! You can check out a few more pics here. In addition, there are some more excellent pictures taken by Dave at Click here to see more details of this bass such as the 6 bolt (including two hidden under the neck plate!) system. The Aria advertisement for this model can be seen at

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Aria SB-1000 5 String

For those who weren't aware, Aria recently released a 5 string version of their famous SB-1000. Check out the specs and more photos here.
The big difference I see (aside from an extra string!) is that the pickup is not at all shaped like the 4 string versions. As always, if anyone has actually played one of these, let me know what you think of it.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Billy Gould's Aria Integra Bass For Sale?

Being a big Billy Gould fan, I was very interested when fellow Aria bass fan Nuno sent me an email that said the exact bass Billy Gould used at the Rock in Rio II festival in 1991 was for sale here.
I have no way of telling if the bass was really played by Billy or not, but it certainly is the right model (IGB-600 or IGB-DLX in the US). The knobs have been replaced and the truss rod cover is missing. The Brazilian seller doesn't appear to give any proof of authenticity. He is asking about $700 USD (not $1300 like I originally thought!). I'm a huge fan, but unless I had proof and lots of extra cash, I don't think I'd bite on this one! For comparison, here is a pic of Billy with one of his Integra IGB-600s (I assume he had more than one while on tour). Unfortunately there isn't much to go on comparison wise since the bass is black and therefore has no wood grain or other distinguishing characteristics. Black paint, black hardware. Billy's was missing one knob at the time of the photograph. Do you think it's the real deal?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Aria IGB-NEO Bass

Aria has a new Integra model called the IGB-NEO. As far as I know, it's only available in Japan and lists for just under 70,000 Yen. It's different than other Integra models in that it has just a single EMG-HZ pickup and has a few more 'high end' features. Here are the specs from the Aria Japan site:
Body: Ash
Neck: Maple
Nut: Graphite
Fingerboard: Rosewood
Machine head: Gotoh GB-707
Frets: 24F
Scale: 860mm
Pickups: EMG MM-HZ
Controls: Volume(CTS) x1,
      Tone(CTS) x1,
      series/parallel/tap mini switch
Tailpiece: Gotoh J510SJ
Hardware: Black
Finishes: See through green, black and purple.
They look pretty good, if anyone has a chance to try one, let me know how it sounds!


Aria's 50th Anniversary Bass

I found some photos of Aria's 50th Anniversary bass at, which is a great place to check out Aria basses for sale. The 50th Anniversary model (1956-2006) is basically an Integra series bass finished in gold. I believe there was a 40th Anniversary model but I still need to find pics of it.

Aria SB Pickup Dissection

I don't know how many times I've heard from other Aria SB owners who had a dead or half-dead pickup. Unfortunately it is a common problem with those great basses and there is no way to fix the pickup. The pickup is encased in epoxy, so you really can't open the pickup without destroying it. I happened to have a dead pickup and so with the help of my friend and guitar wiz Lance, we conducted a crude autopsy on the pickup! It appears as if the pickup is almost like a big "P" style pickup, with 8 poles that are staggered, four poles for the E and A strings and four for D and G. It took a lot of hacking to crack open the pickup! More pictures can be found here.

Aria Battery Checker

Hello Aria fans! For those of you with basses with active electronics, you know that batteries can sometimes die at the worst of times. Instead of changing batteries when there may be a good deal of life left, the Aria Pro II BC-1500 battery checker lets you test the battery life of your instrument (it also works with most pedals, like Boss) to let you gauge how much life is left in the battery. There are more sophisticated battery testers out there for sure, but this one is really simple. The needle indicates the battery life - red means it's about out of life, black means no worries. Like I said, very simple! The checker works fine on my Aria basses with stock electronics, however it does not register at all on my Aria SB with Alembic electronics installed. I have no idea why that may be, it also doesn't seem to register on my Morley bass wah and MXR DI unit. If you have any theories as to why it doesn't work on those, email me! Luckily I have LED battery indicators on the SBs with Alembic electronics. I haven't found much about the BC-1500 on the web, but I do know it was made in Japan (the sticker says so!). It evens come with a handy little case. I haven't found any info on this from the Aria websites, but there is a Japanese site with what appears to be a short review of it here.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Aria Bass Links

Here are some good Aria bass related links:

Aria USA
Aria's Japan and International Site
Graeme's Aria SB Site
Guitars of Matsumoku
My Aria Catalog Scans
Talk Bass Forum - Aria Pro Club Page 1
Talk Bass Forum - Aria Pro Club Page 2
Bass Invader - Korean Blogger with his SB-1000CB
My Photobucket Albums of Aria Basses 1
My Photobucket Albums of Aria Basses 2

First Post

Welcome to my Aria bass blog! I will post pictures, links and info related to Aria basses of all eras. I hope the information here can help people ID their bass, or if you are just looking for info on a specific model, maybe you will find it here. I like to find and fix up damaged or neglected basses so I will document that here as well.

My main focus is on basses from the '80s, but I will post about any Aria bass I find interesting, including new models. I really like what the current incarnation of Aria USA is doing. After a long period of inactivity, Aria instruments are now distributed by Dana B. Goods. They seem to have given Aria new life in the US, which is great to see. You can see the current line of Aria basses and guitars at Aria USA.

I became an Aria fan when I discovered that Cliff Burton (Metallica) and Billy Gould (Faith No More) both used Aria Pro II basses. Cliff used the SB Black 'n' Gold I model and an SB-1000 for a short time. Cliff gave Billy an SB-Integra bass which he used for several years followed by a few other Integra models. I loved the look and the sound of the basses they used, so decided to try and find those models. In the days before the Internet took off, that was no easy task. Now it is much easier to find them...Maybe too easy! Collecting basses isn't cheap (at least they aren't Alembics or vintage Fenders)! I have scaled back my collection recently but still have photos of basses I've owned in the past.

Please feel free to send pics of your basses or relevant links. Thanks and enjoy!