Price paid: $ 400
Purchased from: Local Music Store
Features: I've owned my Aria electric for over a year now its one of my favorite guitars that I've ever played. It's an Les Paul Copy for the most part but with its own style. It has 22 frets which are lower than most speed bump height frets. It has a solid maple top and neck with a mohogany body. The fretboard is bound rosewood with beautiful pearl and abolone inlays. There is abolone binding on the front of the body, which is equally stunning. It has the Standard tune-o-matic bridge which is gold along with the rest of the hardware. The usual two volume, two tone, and 3-way Switch are featured on the guitar. Two Duncan Designed humbuckers in the neck and bridge position are included. There is a pearl inlay on the headstock, though I prefer Gibson's designs over this.
It was made in Korea, though I don't know the exact year it was made. My guess it was made sometime during the 2000's. My favorite overall feature is the heel-less set neck, which makes soloing a lot easier. // 10
Sound: The guitar fits my styles very well since its a well-balanced instrument. I play progessive metal a lot so it handles high distortion and pristine cleans. I've been playing jazz a lot as of late, so by switching to the neck pickup with the tone rolled back it gets that signature sound. Twang can be difficult to get with the middle and lower strings but thats what a Tele is for. Good blues tone too, I just like listening to blues more than playing it. There is very little noise from the guitar, even at high volumes. It has the obvious full sound you'd expect and highs can be achieved with the right EQ settings. I play through an ok Line 6 Spider IV (let the flaming begin). Regardless of the amp I sound great playing it and get a lot of compliments. My dream amp is a Roland JC-120 which would sound heavenly with this. I love that I can play just about any genre on it with out it lacking something important. // 9
Action, Fit & Finish: I don't know how well the guitar was set up and such from the factory since I bought it from my local music store. The set-up was great when I purchased it since my guitar teacher does a thorough set-up for all of his gear he sells. I've had to make a lot of adjustments to it since I've switched to heavier 11-53 guage strings. When I had 10's on it I got compliments about it being perfect for shred since the frets were real low. I could play pretty quick on it, though I now prefer the heavy strings. After the adjustments it has stayed right where I set everything. The finish has no flaws at all and the orange/red top really stands out. It does smudge easily which is a pain to clean and polish often.
The worst thing I can think of is the tuners come out of tune from bending sooner than they should in my opinion. I'm more of a rhythm player anyway so this doesn't affect me too much, though its still annoying. Lowered tunings are handled superbly, even to drop B. I don't play drop B but I wanted to try it once for no reason. Another thing is one of my volume pots went bad soon after I bought it, so I had to get that replaced. // 8
Reliability & Durability: I've owned it over a year and it has been very reliable so far. I have knocked it into things periodically and no dents have appeared. Everything is very solid on the guitar and nothing seems as though it would fall off. The hardware is rusting on the outside but most of that is from my acidic sweat, which also destroys my strings quickly. Even when using thicker strings they get gross after a week or so.
I would use this guitar without a backup. Everything is very sturdy and I would not worry whether it could make it through the gig or not. // 9
Overall Impression: I absolutely love this guitar and I play it endlessly. Even when I got a bass and recently an Ashdown bass amp I'm still playing it. I've been playing guitar for over 2 years and I've owned this past a year now. If it were lost I would search the world for it. If it was stolen I'd be very worried because I don't know if they still make it or not. If I had the rare opportunity to to buy another one if mine were lost or stolen, I'd jump on it. About the only thing I wish it had was a cutway that allows easier access to the fretboard. My comparsion is it sounds and is priced between an Epiphone and Gibson, but with its own signature style. // 9