Does not look like Matsumoku to me, electronics look wrong and I don't think they made any plywood guitars but I could very well be wrong on the latter part.
The fact that it is a plywood body indicates Korea to me.
Serial says it's from August '78 and as Roxy points out, definitely Matsumoku made.
The models I stated in the previous post are still valid. Would need to check pickups and body construction (pickup cavity shot should do) to have a chance to say which it is.
I never comment on price based on...
@GammyBird & @Roxy13: Headstock shape is fine. It's one of the alternate designs that were used in certain international markets in the late 70s / early 80s.
The shape of the truss rod cover is slightly weird, but apart from that it looks like a legit Matsumoku-made Aria from these two...
Wrong. They are (because they still exist) a Japanese company.
Their current production is in Korea among other places (I think). They did have production in Japan as well until the Matsumoku factory closed(1987). Some high-end models were still produced in Japan (and some might still be, I only...
I'd really rather not. There's too many unknown variables:
- I don't know the market in Australia
- I haven't played this specific guitar
- Pictures don't tell the whole story (e.g. are the frets worn and need replacing soon, etc)
Do not make the mistake of thinking an old MIJ Aria Pro has the same quality as a modern instrument by the same brand.
The Matsumoku era guitars (1976-1987) are really good instruments and nothing like the modern MIK counterparts.
As for the guitar in question it could be from 1977-1979. Based...
Always double digits.
60 = Cherry sunburst
64 = Tobacco burst
For LPs it always seems to be written in the bridge pickup route.
Occasionally there is also additional writing in the neck pickup route which is currently unknown (it changes between guitar with the same color. Could...
Not sure if the writing in the control cavity has any bearing on year.
For LPs, the writing in the pickup routes are color codes for which color that particular guitar was to be painted.
I haven't done any extensive research on the strats, but am fairly confident to say that it's the same there...
Looks like late 80s or early 90s and made in Korea by Samick as you mention.
I'm not an expert on the Arias made after '87 but if I remember correctly, the early ones made by Samick did not have a serial number as Samick started using those sometime in the early/mid 90s.
I've owned one and perhaps played one or two more.
The one I owned were of good build quality and overall a good guitar. Pickups might've left a little to be desired, but they were not bad at all.
As with many brands produced in Japan there was a range of models from cheap bolt-ons to high-end...
Good question. Not sure I have as good of an answer.
In general the LS-500 has a solid maple top but I can almost swear that I have seen one or two examples with ply top (but only early guitars, i.e. '76-77)