7/08/2017

1990s Aria AW-20 GRS Dreadnought Guitar





While one could clearly say, "what's the point of posting this?" -- I think... that's just it! This import (China? Korea? Indonesia?) Aria is entirely unremarkable except for its green sunburst finish. It's a typical, long-scale, clunkily-made, all-ply, dreadnought-shaped, student 6-string. Most of these are played for a few months and then forgotten -- or used until something gives construction-wise. Still, the vast majority of student guitars of this ilk can be made to play more-or-less like a "nice quality" guitar, given a proper setup and minor modifications.

This one needed the usual "old Yamaha" treatment -- a mild bridge shave, saddle adjustment and compensation, and setup. It could've used a fret level/dress to bring the frets more in-line, but the setup doesn't suffer as it's playing on-the-dot at the 12th fret and the neck is essentially straight with a set of 50w-11 strings on it. The truss was nearly maxed-out so I figured stringing it with 12s would've been unkind.



I replaced one of the tuners (long broken) with one of a similar type from my parts-bin.




Now freshly-shaved and buffed-up, the bridge looks a million times better than it ever did from the factory. The bridge pins and plastic saddle, however, leave a bit to be desired.

Still, I wouldn't hesitate to give this to someone to learn on as it plays just fine. It happens to be owned by a local fellow who's a "cheap guitar hunter" extraordinaire.





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