Price paid: € 120
Purchased from: Lydaly Musical
Sound — 7
The pickups are kinda noisy and the distortion isn't the greatest one at all, but the clean vibes make my ears melt, they are awesome! I'm using it with a Fender Mustang I, and I play in Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora style, a little Michael Angelo Batio and Scorpions and have to say it does the job really well.
Overall Impression — 9
I'd wish the frets were a little bit more saddled, as you can observe microscopic gaps between the actual metal fret wire and the fretboard's wood near the sides (the extremities of the E and e strings), nothing to worry about, it's just that it could've been even better in my opinion. I definitely recommend it next to a Squier, Harley Benton, or other cheapos out there, Aria surpasses them ALL. For the Squier, I think it surpasses even higher priced models, from Affinity to the Classic Vibe's series.
Reliability & Durability — 9
It would indeed stand live playing if after your usual bends, you hit the tremolo bar once in a while so that it retunes itself. The finish is marvelous, it has 3 extremely well interpolated layers of sunburst, which can always match a Fender regarding this aspect.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
The action is really cool, very low especially on the high side (first strings, the thinner ones), even though it came with annoying buzzing on the thick E and A. I've adjusted it a little so that it will only buzz if I hit the string mid-hard cause I wanted a compromise between action height and playability. Anyway, buzz-free would still be way below a Squier. If someone would have given me a picture with just the griff, strings and frets, I would've said it's CGI made for a 3D animation, that's how great the fretboard is! The wood is mid-glossy, in between your normal Ibanez and a high-gloss Fender with nail-polish-like fretboard (that in which you can actually see your own reflection). Great touch, great finish, more flat than curved (the fretboard I mean) and is superbly made in terms of consistency and non-torque.
Features — 10
I dunno when it was made cause quite frankly, you cannot find out, there's nothing to be based on. It has 22 frets, alder body, maple neck, rosewood fretboard. Mine is a sunburst finish with 3 single-coil pickups, in the style of the old strats, standard tremolo which holds in tune EXTREMELY well if you know how to set it up. The tuners are amazing, the feel of them is comparable to branded ones and they hold really good.