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Aria Pro II TS-500: a question


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  • Aria Pro II TS-500: a question

    I just got an Aria Pro II TS-500 last weekend.

    I've been GASsing for one for a few years...never found one at a price I was willing to pay. Based on a somewhat-foggy recollection of the last 3-4 years, I usually see the TS-300 go for around $325, the TS-400 go for around $450, and the TS-500 go for close to $600...but they are rare enough that it is difficult to consider that a "market" price. And the TS-600 is even more rare, so that I don't even have an impression of what it goes for.

    They are pretty collectible, because Matsumoku has some good respect. The TS-400 and -500 are set neck w/ coil tap and phase reversal. The -500 adds a Varitone 6-position rotary switch and an active boost.

    The -600 adds brass bridge and nut, ebony fretboard, and neck-through.

    The whole series has 24-frets and fixed bridge, which is what I like.

    This one is a '79. Some dings, but still in great shape overall (pictures soon).

    It has good action, good ergonomics (feels good playing). In short, everything I like in a guitar.

    But it sounds like ****************.

    I guess after playing on Hamers and Jon Kammerers over the last 2 years, I've been spoiled.

    So my question is: do you think I should hold on to it for its collection value, should I try to swap out the pickups to see if that improves the tone, or should I go ahead and sell it and make a little money (probably between $50 and $150)?
    Axes:Jon Kammerer: Hollow Body; Scorpius: Maple 3SC, Walnut, Cored, Desert Tan; Leo: CherrywoodHamer: 2x USA Centaura, USA Chap 12-string, USA Cali (Nugent signed), XT SATF, Stellar 1, import Daytona (x2)Westone:Corsair GT, Pantera X390 (x2) Pantera X300 (x2), Challenger (x3), Villain Std, Spectrum II, DimensionPeavey Vandy, Parker Nitefly, Cort Garage2, Vantage X-77, Enrique Imperator, Steinberger ZT3Alvarez Dana Scoop Graphite, Dana II, Dana Custom, AES 100 GraphiteYamaha SSC 500; RGX 1212, RGX 420Sd6; PAC1221, PAC812S; RGZ 211M

  • #2

    I'd say if it feels good to you, it's worth trying some different pickups, especially if you have any lying around. Those Arias remind me of the Ibanez Studio and Musician series guitars of the same period, which I love. I really dig all the extra gizmo switches. It's kind of rare these days to find them all working. If you're digging the sound of the Hamers, maybe try some similar pickups, SD '59s, JB's or the like.


    • #3
      I really like my TS 600. Pickups are basically copies of Dimarzio's. I like it's distortion a lot. Clean is just OK...but ****************? well...not in my opinion.

      I got my 600 out of japan for around 500 bucks maybe.

      I'm sure you could find a buyer pretty easy.


      • #4
        got my TS-800 for about $400.00...they had it at $800. for a long time, put it at 50% off so I bought it. Don`t play it much.
        it wasn`t me