#1
Hey all
Someone in my area is selling their 70s Aria hummingbird copy. Never played one of these before but it seems pretty decent. Always been a hummingbird fan but the real deal is a bit price at this stage!
If he does a good deal I may take it. Can anyone shed some light on these guitars and how they are, anything I should look for condition wise, or any reasons why I should not take it?

Thanks!
#2
Don't know anything about the Aria, but Epiphone also makes an inexpensive Hummingbird.
#3
I might be wrong, but I'm guessing if it's a 70's Aria it will potentially be from the so-called 'lawsuit' era, when a couple of Japanese factories were making Gibson copies and selling them under various names for pretty much the same thing that was then sold under the Gibson moniker (my history of this period isn't great, so if there are some glaring inaccuracies, someone correct me)

Basically, if it's a decent price you could be getting a pretty high quality guitar comparable to a gibson of the same era...if I am right (Maybe google Aria Hummingbird + lawsuit see what comes up?)
#5
Trust your ears and check the neck angle.

A lot of those 70s Japanese guitars were very well made - I've had my fair share - but it could be a clunker. The other thing, very important, it to check the neck angle. Acoustic guitars deform with age - they go banana-shaped and the action gets higher - so just make sure that the action is OK. If it is high, check that the neck relief, if this is OK, check that there is enough saddle left to lower the action. - 1mm off the action needs 2mm off the saddle. More can be won by shaving the bridge, or by resetting the neck, but the latter wouldn't be worth the cost (about $500) on that guitar.
#6
The only Aria I've played was a Aria Pro II strat copy, excellent guitar. Many of the Japanese copy guitars were pretty good, as long as you check it out close and make sure it doesn't have any glaring problems it may be a keeper.

Check the neck closely, make sure it's not twisted or way out of adjustment.

Look down the neck and make sure you don't see a hump where the neck joins the body. I've seen plenty of those, the only fix is a new neck.

Make sure it doesn't have a hump at the bridge, or a bridge that has slid forward. Both usually from heat deformation. The hump is probably a combination of heat and humidity.

High action at the bridge or nut can usually be fixed without a lot of trouble, the other things I already mentioned are more serious.

Also look for cracks or crazing, human intervention...like nut slots widened out to a wide vee I've seen several times...that indicates a problem.

Oh and look for grooves in the frets. That means they need to be leveled and crowned. Not a huge problem, but you need to know about it.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
#7
Thanks guys!
Paleo Pete, I've checked her out pretty well. She's literally brand new. I'm arranging to buy the guitar from him now. Seems like a good deal.
#8
Quote by Paleo Pete
The only Aria I've played was a Aria Pro II strat copy, excellent guitar. Many of the Japanese copy guitars were pretty good, as long as you check it out close and make sure it doesn't have any glaring problems it may be a keeper.

Check the neck closely, make sure it's not twisted or way out of adjustment.

Look down the neck and make sure you don't see a hump where the neck joins the body. I've seen plenty of those, the only fix is a new neck.

Make sure it doesn't have a hump at the bridge, or a bridge that has slid forward. Both usually from heat deformation. The hump is probably a combination of heat and humidity.

High action at the bridge or nut can usually be fixed without a lot of trouble, the other things I already mentioned are more serious.

Also look for cracks or crazing, human intervention...like nut slots widened out to a wide vee I've seen several times...that indicates a problem.

Oh and look for grooves in the frets. That means they need to be leveled and crowned. Not a huge problem, but you need to know about it.


Hmmm. High action can only be fixed if there is enough bridge and saddle left to do it. A lot of old Asian guitars have a neck angle that is very low, to the point where you can't lower the action without losing most of the bridge and saddle. I wouldn't have a bar of them, the cost of fixing is too great, as I mentioned above.
Last edited by Tony Done at Jan 18, 2015,