Sunday, April 26, 2020

Aria Pro II SB-Black 'n' Gold Modification with PJ Marx pickup (ala Cliff Burton)

Alon, from Talkbass, sent me some info about his PJ Marx modded Black 'n' Gold. The mod was inspired by Cliff Burton's PJ Marx loaded Black 'n' Gold. This might be the least well known mod done by Burton and I believe it was done not too long before he died. There is only one photo I've found of Cliff actually with his Aria w/ PJ Marx. He is seen in what looks to be a sound check with Metallica during the "Puppets" tour. John Marshall, filling in for James, can be seen with an acoustic guitar, leading me to believe he was using it on "Fade to Black".

See more from my original post on the PJ Marx mod here:

Alon was kind enough to send some pics and sound samples of his PJ Marx mod. Notice, the pickup is also wired to the two way switch to allow for humbucker or single coil mode.

He did need to create a pickup ring to allow the smaller pickup to fit the stock MB pickup cavity.

Finally, here is a sound demo of the SB loaded with the PJ Marx. Thanks Alon!

Sunday, March 15, 2020

DIY Aria SB pickup repair by Rob Mods.

For those of you that love the Aria SB series, you know that they have an unfortunate tendency to suffer from the dreaded "half dead" or even completely dead, pickups. Since the pickups are encased in epoxy, it was previously believed dead MB pickups would be best served as paper weights or door stops.

However, it turns out there IS hope in repairing your dead MB series pickups! Well, at least if you have some DIY aptitude and equipment. Here is Rob from Rob Mods. doing an amazing job of resurrecting a couple of MB-II pickups! Fantastic work, Rob!!

Aria Pro II SB-Elite I with Rautia MB-II replacement pickup!

Greetings - it's been a while (like 4 and a half years!) but here is something definitely worth blogging about. It's YouTuber TJH3113 giving the Aria Pro II SB-Elite I a spin on the easy listening classic "Feels So Good".

I sold this particular Elite to TJH3113 with a Rautia MB-II pickup installed due to the original pickup being completely dead. I have had a few of these Rautias installed and I can confirm they sound like the originals and are, in my opinion, the best available Aria SB MB replacement pickups available. He makes them in a few different variations. Check his website for details.