#1
Looking for a little advise here. I just got an offer to trade an old amp for a pre '76, post '68 Aria Les Paul, should I take it? I'm not very familiar with Aria but they seem to be a Japanese manufacturer that isn't particularly renowned for their build quality, especially in the '70s. I'm a blues guy, I'd be playing it through a '66 Fender Deluxe reissue. And info would be greatly appreciated! I don't even know what kind of pickups it has...

Thanks!
#2
A Japanese guitar from that era might be excellent or it might be firewood. Play the guitar and decide.
#3
+1, Bought an Aria "lawsuit" era. I was disappoint.

However, I did bank $200 profit when I resold it.
#4
You have to know what brands to look for when shopping Japanese.

Aria, '70s "lawsuit," Teisco, Lotus, etc could be good, but probably not. Those MIJ bolt-on LPs, I would avoid those.

Do look at: Squier MIJ, Tokai MIJ, Bacchus MIJ, Edwards MIJ, Greco MIJ, Burny MIJ, and maybe Charvel and Jackson as well. Ibanez can be good, but I wouldn't count on every Roadstar being a winner.
#5
All the bolt-on neck LPs from that era are schite. The real good ones, the "can't tell it from the real thing" good ones are excellent players but with little collector value. I have a Lawsuit 335 from 1978 and she is a player, still worth about what I paid initially. $400
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#7
Quote by Cajundaddy
All the bolt-on neck LPs from that era are schite. The real good ones, the "can't tell it from the real thing" good ones are excellent players but with little collector value. I have a Lawsuit 335 from 1978 and she is a player, still worth about what I paid initially. $400

tell that to the guys paying over $3000 for them.
#8
seems to be some "lawsuit" misinformation going on here. technically it's only certain Ibanez made guitars that qualify. these were exact copies down to the headstock shape and the desirable ones are set neck not bolt on. not all 70s and certainly no 80s copies are lawsuit guitars. the term is a buzz word used to market 70s Japanese made guitars. the lawsuit era guitars are from around 73-76. Gibson sued in 77 but by then most of the headstocks had been changed. the action never went to court and Ibanez complied without a court order.

as mentioned some 70s copies are great guitars and others are not. don't get suckered and do some research.
Last edited by monwobobbo at May 21, 2014,
#9
A quick check with google shows that the lawsuit was filed on June 28, 1977. Technically you are correct that the Ibanez is the only lawsuit guitar, though the term "lawsuit era guitars" include other brands that are good replicas as well.

Yes, not all old MIJ guitars are good replicas.
Last edited by royc at May 21, 2014,
#10
Yep, "Lawsuit era" is a more accurate description of MIJ guitars that were exact replicas and as-good-or-better players than MIA guitars of that time. There were about a dozen different brands that were top quality MIJ players.
http://proguitarshop.com/andyscorner/the-lawsuit-era

Worth $3000?? Not to any knowledgeable collector I know. If that eventually happens due to the historical significance of these guitars it would be great but don't hold your breath. Lots of people pay too much for EVH signature guitars which also have little or no long term collector value.

Apparently Slash said that his first guitar was a "not very good" downmarket MIJ Les Paul.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Last edited by Cajundaddy at May 21, 2014,
#11
Quote by Cajundaddy
Yep, "Lawsuit era" is a more accurate description of MIJ guitars that were exact replicas and as-good-or-better players than MIA guitars of that time. There were about a dozen different brands that were top quality MIJ players.
http://proguitarshop.com/andyscorner/the-lawsuit-era

Worth $3000?? Not to any knowledgeable collector I know. If that eventually happens due to the historical significance of these guitars it would be great but don't hold your breath. Lots of people pay too much for EVH signature guitars which also have little or no long term collector value.

Apparently Slash said that his first guitar was a "not very good" downmarket MIJ Les Paul.


here is one that went for over $6k.

but that was a rarer than hens teeth mij.

Most Navigator LP's will bring between 2 and 3K on the used market, and those are the ones built recently compared to the 80s guitars of the lawsuit era bullshit.
Last edited by gregs1020 at May 21, 2014,
#12
I see "lawsuit" more as a general term now, used to describe copies of Fender and Gibson guitars on Ebay. I would rather buy '80s-'90s Japanese guitars than '60s or '70s, because I have definitely heard about the questionable nature of earlier guitars. Something to do with how originally, guitars made in Japan were very cheap, like Chinese guitars often are now. But of course, the Japanese economy boomed and they started making high-quality replicas to the point that brilliant guitarists like SRV would play and advertise Japanese guitars.

I find there's also less demand for those copy guitars that don't have the exact Fender or Gibson style of headstock. I have a Tokai and Fernandes MIJ (strat and tele) from the later era (post headstock changes) and they're top class. You can buy these guitars at the cost of an Epiphone LP Standard or Squier Classic Vibe, and for that price, you get vintage tuners (I tune once a month or so), uncommon neck profiles (soft v) and a naturally-aged serious player.

I'm really keen to try Fender's MIJ stuff, but I haven't had a chance yet. The older Pawn Shops were made in Japan, and the Bullets from the '80s were made there as well.
Last edited by samuraigoomba at May 22, 2014,