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Author Topic: NGD Japanese Aria Diamond 1202T 1967/68 Hollow-body Electric  (Read 2147 times)
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Kush
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« on: July 02, 2013, 08:49:13 am »

So as stated in a thread by Mc, I picked up this Aria Diamond 1202T Hollow-body guitar together with a 30W solid state amp, a mic stand, a leatherette carry-bag and two old school coily guitar cables for dirt cheap on Sunday.

It belonged to an elderly gentlemen. Him and his wife have just sold their house to move to a retirement village. It was painful for him to let her go but he was keeping a black jumbo acoustic only as he was no longer playing this one that much. He was glad to know it was going to a good home but it was an emotional moment for him all the same. Having tried her out I felt she was not an extraordinary guitar, but a well built and "competent" one. There is a really sweet, jazzy tone at the neck pickup through a clean channel. Through the overdrive channel she screams beautifully and has nice "ambient" sound when you can balance and play with the feedback you get.

She rattles when you play as the pick guard hits the body right next to the bridge pickup. Once I am done tinkering with her I am going to stick a bit of double-sided tape underneath the pick-guard and that should take care of that problem. She was very dirty when I got her and smelt like really old wood (you know that smell right?), I had to get rid of the old strap, blow out the body through the F-holes with a compressor (cautiously so as not to snaps any wires), take her apart and clean her, especially the fretboard: That had layers of who-knows-what caked onto there. And the result is what you see below.

The nut is falling apart so I have used some foil as a temporary plan to get her to stay in tune and to set the strings at the right height. But I will be replacing that, the tuners and later the pickups as well. The electronics are still in good working order, all the knobs work perfectly and the wiring inside still looks like it is intact. Any ideas of what you would do if she were yours? I do not know if I want to get started with changing the pots and wiring, it seems like a bit pain in the back-side on a hollow-body. So are there any luthiers in Joburg that you can recommend who specialize in hollow-bodies?

























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Chocklit_Thunda
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« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2013, 09:19:49 am »

Wow! Love it! If you ever get tired of it, you know where to find me! Tongue

Edit: actually! It's terrible! Why would you buy such a thing! Wink send it to me and I'll dispose of it correctly and safely! Tongue Tongue Tongue


Can I ask why there's tin foil in the nut?
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Kush
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« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2013, 09:39:23 am »




Can I ask why there's tin foil in the nut?

Its a little trick I learnt. Bits of the nut crumble off every time I tune it because its so old, so the string ends up sitting lower than it should and you get fret buzz. This also means it goes out of tune easily. So to solve this problem, I am using the foil to raise the string to right level as a temporary solution (it works very well, I have done it for years whenever I could not afford to get it properly fixed), until I can install a new nut.
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Chocklit_Thunda
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« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2013, 11:06:02 am »




Can I ask why there's tin foil in the nut?

Its a little trick I learnt. Bits of the nut crumble off every time I tune it because its so old, so the string ends up sitting lower than it should and you get fret buzz. This also means it goes out of tune easily. So to solve this problem, I am using the foil to raise the string to right level as a temporary solution (it works very well, I have done it for years whenever I could not afford to get it properly fixed), until I can install a new nut.

Ah! Quite clever actually! Never thought of that. I should try it out on my jazz box... Putting 13's on it dig into the nut.

But still... Beautiful guitar! Smiley
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« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2013, 11:22:19 am »




Can I ask why there's tin foil in the nut?

Its a little trick I learnt. Bits of the nut crumble off every time I tune it because its so old, so the string ends up sitting lower than it should and you get fret buzz. This also means it goes out of tune easily. So to solve this problem, I am using the foil to raise the string to right level as a temporary solution (it works very well, I have done it for years whenever I could not afford to get it properly fixed), until I can install a new nut.

Ah! Quite clever actually! Never thought of that. I should try it out on my jazz box... Putting 13's on it dig into the nut.

But still... Beautiful guitar! Smiley

Thanks! Smiley I just need to decide how I am going to mod her, still waiting for some ideas from the other forumites........ anytime now, I'm sure
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Chocklit_Thunda
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« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2013, 11:53:11 am »

As for pickups, I'd get those same ones rewound if they don't sound that good.  Smiley it would keep the vintage look with better sound! Smiley

If no one else offers I'll help you with the wiring. I've fiddled around with my Yorktown a few times.
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« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2013, 11:55:40 am »

Thanks, I might just take you up on that offer.
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Alan Ratcliffe
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« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2013, 12:17:42 pm »

Pots, switch, socket and wiring - get them all done at the same time. Those pups I always quite liked, although they can be microphonic as all hell, they capture a lot of the natural acoustic tone of the guitar.

Nut is obvious (superglue also makes a good temp fix, BTW), But I'd also drop in another Gibson-style bridge with metal saddles or the fixed wooden ones (and keep the original). The nylon rollers are likely to be problematic by now (and were never great - tonally or tuning-wise - to begin with). While you might just be able to replace the top part with a TOM, I seem to remember that the post spacing is not quite the same, so it meant removing the posts, filling and redrilling.

Oh - and just unscrew the trem arm and put it in the case - no good will come of it. Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2013, 12:36:39 pm »

Thanks Alan!
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« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2013, 08:00:57 am »

Very nice, enjoy her!
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« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2013, 08:32:17 pm »

hi there Kush!  how much did you pay for her?

Ive actually been searching for more info on this guitar as Ive had one myself for a few years.

Cheers, J
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« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2013, 11:16:26 pm »

Congrats on a very nice guitar. I bought the exact same guitar on Sunday for an absolute steal. There are only three differences between mine and yours. Mine has the white pearl looking plastic on the headstock and the scratchplate, mine is a 12 string, and mine doesn't say Aria, but DIA on the headstock. Not a common branding on a guitar at all. Anyone know if there are any other differences? And also, is it pure coincidence that its a DIA, same as the DIAmond series Aria? Ill post pics tomorrow..
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« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2013, 06:55:28 am »

That looks very very nice. If you need some work done speak to JD at JD Kustoms he is upstairs at Marshall Music in Woodmead Johannesburg.
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Kush
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« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2013, 07:59:54 am »

hi there Kush!  how much did you pay for her?

Ive actually been searching for more info on this guitar as Ive had one myself for a few years.

Cheers, J

Hi, I paid R900 for the guitar, an old 30W solid state amp, mic stand, leatherette carry bag and 2 coily guitar cables. So I would say I paid about R400 to R500 for the guitar itself.
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Kush
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« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2013, 08:12:16 am »

Congrats on a very nice guitar. I bought the exact same guitar on Sunday for an absolute steal. There are only three differences between mine and yours. Mine has the white pearl looking plastic on the headstock and the scratchplate, mine is a 12 string, and mine doesn't say Aria, but DIA on the headstock. Not a common branding on a guitar at all. Anyone know if there are any other differences? And also, is it pure coincidence that its a DIA, same as the DIAmond series Aria? Ill post pics tomorrow..

If it says "Steel Adjustable Neck" on the neck plate it may very well be a Matsumoku or Aria guitar imported under a different name. As far as I know though, Aria made guitars with these names only: Arai, Aria, Aria Diamond, Diamond, and Arita.
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