anyone know anything about this guitar? I won it off ebay and it's supposedly a pre 70's one, serial #04118. I believe it is made in Japan. I've heard nothing but positive comments about them. I was always looking for a vintage alvarez classical but came across this one. I won it for $125, if I was 3 seconds late from bidding I would of lost Well I can't find any info on them online but someone sent me this message right after I won it "wow

congrats on ur new guitar. i have the same a551b. GREAT GREAT guitar. put LaBella classical strings on it. this a551b guitar sounds as good as my instructors $2500 professional guitar. "
LOL Sound as good as his instructor's $2.5k? I'm pretty sure that guy isn't a classical guitarist.

To non-classical guitarist ears, a handcrafted $3k guitar simply sounds louder than a $300 beginner classical guitar.

I'd have to try it to find out how much it'll be worth but Aria isn't known to be a manufacturer of serious classical guitars. BUT! It could be suitable for learning classical guitar on.

However as I mentioned before, if you put in solid classical guitar practice over a few years, you will start to feel the immense limitations of a cheap guitar. There's a reason why people buy $30k classical guitars instead of a $500 one. The difference is present, it's whether you can tell or not.
yeah that's definetly true - i've been playing on my yamaha classical for years and still enjoy it's tone, even though it's a begginer guitar. aria are pretty good for entry level guitars - you got a good deal.

played some Aria classics, nice guitars. I have an Aria electric from 1971... nice!
about the sound issue - I like my Admira's sound, but when I play my teacher's Ezra Levi Custom I always feel like I have a ****t guitar.
strat player forever.
I was mainly looking for a cheap classical. I really cant afford anything any higher than that aria right now. I just now started playing classical so I hope it will be a good guitar to start with.
very interesting,

just happened to find this site. there was my email to sunshineshanker.

dude the aria a551b is a great guitar.

to imLoUsY

yep, im a student.. always will be.. love learning. yea, i have cds by john williams, steve vai, chet atkins, joe paz, amigo vencenti and others - cant play like them, but, id like to. i have to tell u, i have a good time playing and thats whats important now.

maybe, i was a little off base compairing a $125 guitar to a $2,500 one. but, at the same time im not the one badmouthing a guitar that i havent played or, i suspect, ever heard. let me suggest u invest $125 in an aria a551b and c if u like it. maybe u will... and if u dont - thats ok too. thats why they make ford, chevy and BMWs.

welp, i got a class
keep on pickin'
Great that you know it's off base. Unless your instructor chose a really bad $2.5k guitar, which I highly doubt so if he's a classical guitarist.

Yet it may be interesting to know that the improvement in sound is exponential to price increase. A $1,000 guitar should sound TONS better than a $300 guitar. But how much difference will there be between a $10,000 guitar and a $10,700 one? Practically nothing noticeable.

However, spend tons of time listening to classical guitar recordings and players, and you will start to appreciate the subtle differences that are worth paying for.

Certainly there must be a reason why people buy $10,000 guitars instead of $5,000 guitars. It's not even 30% better, let alone twice as good. But the money is 101% worth it.
Well, if you're a beginner, all well and good, but I've been playing for seven years (not trying to sound arrogant) and am currently playing a hand crafted Sakurai (model 8 from 1980). The simple fact is that student/entry level guitars are exactly that: student/entry level guitars. It's not all volume, it's to do with tone, clarity, sustain... everything. At a later stage, I would consider upgrading to a solid-top guitar (the Yamaha solid-top classical guitars sound great for their price), becuase they have better projection, clarity and action. Of course, nothing compares to a $40 grand Fleta, but it's nice to get close. Good luck with your playing. If you don't see practice as a chore, and instead as fun, you will definitely go places with your guitar playing.
Quote by sunshineshankar
anyone know anything about this guitar? I won it off ebay and it's supposedly a pre 70's one, serial #04118. I believe it is made in Japan. I've heard nothing but positive comments about them.

Dang, I don't know how often I've tried to answer this today, but my PC keeps crashing on that §"$%//§"§ flash banner...

OK, a quick one while it's still running... here's the catalog you need:


The Guitar Gallery site about the Japanese manufacturer Matsumoku also has a forum:

hey everyone, thanks for the replies. I finally received the guitar today. Everything seems ok, I had to clean the damn thing all day. The case has this weird red fuzzy cushion that sheds like crazy. The guitar was coated with all these tiny red hairs from it.

I replaced the E,A,D strings and they go out of tune like every 10 minutes. Is it because I just put on new strings? This is my first time stringing a classical. The new E,A,D strings were real wavy and not straight when I took them out of the package, is this normal for classical strings?

I'm not really good right now. My nails are short and its hard to pluck but I posted a short clip of me playing bach cello suite 1 1007 on the aria classical, I havent learned the whole song yet, what are your guy's opinions on the tone of the guitar and etc? thanks I havent played any other classicals so I cant really compare its sound.

Last edited by sunshineshankar at Aug 27, 2006,
Yes it's perfectly normal. Get good strings to try to reduce that effect.

The tone is good, playing good as well! But as I mentioned, there are many guitars with good tone, but the playability, tonal range, sustain, projection and dynamic range are the characteristics you pay for in a high-end guitar. I'd have to try it before I can judge accurately, recordings don't show much!

That being said, it's sounds like a suitable instrument to play on. As for playability, only you can tell for yourself. Good luck in learning the classical guitar and get a qualified teacher if possible.