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Raphc 01/09/2005

Aria TA-40 : Raphc's user review

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Value For Money : Excellent
- Asian guitar manufactured by ARIA
- Two pickups sold as humbuckers, when they aren't. They are actually two big single-coils, the neck pickup has a round and warm sound, suitable for blues and solos. The bridge pickup is pretty noisy, I replaced it with a Gibson PAF, which sounds much better.
- The stop-bar tailpiece and tune-O-matic bridge are OK, but you need to file the saddles a bit.
- Very thin neck, which you either like or not.
- Volume and tone controls for each pickup, 3-way selector
- The guitar is not a copy of a 335 but rather a real hollowbody, it doesn't have a center bracing where the pickups rest.

UTILIZATION

Neck: Pleasant, but very thin, not the best for people who like bends nor for lumberjacks
- Access to the upper frets is good enough for what this guitar is for
- Good design, but you'll have to put a strap lock on the neck heel.
- There's no need to fiddle much with the knobs, just plug it and play.

SOUNDS

- It's fine for blues/rock. With chorus, the sound of the neck pickup and the sustain are very nice.
- Playing rhythm guitar, the new bridge pickup is very biting and pleasant.
- The distortion is a bit special, given the sustain of the instrument
- I plug it into a Fender blues deville 4x10 and it sounds great for rock, which means it's not an instrument to play rhythm guitar. But I get a Stones sound pretty easily.
- I use 11/52 strings with a standard tuning for more punch.

OVERALL OPINION

It's a good value for money. Having tested more expensive guitars (ES335 Gibson and a copy by Tokai), it's pretty impressive.
The risk is the unevenness of the brand. I have seen some guitars whose neck was twisted. The electronics of mine (the pots) came off and the tuners are starting to die on me (after 10years).