The Aria Pro-II TS-500. It’s a super-strat, it’s a hippie sandwich, it’s a mock BC Rich… Aria II was better known for their basses but plenty of guitars were sold as well. All of the guitars in this post were once common sights at pawn shops and ‘somewhere in the back’ of yr neighborhood music store. Many were made by the Japanese Matsumoku corporation and then sold in a variety of brand-names around the world. I don’t see them too often any longer, except for the occasional flea-market appearance. Since they had neither the baby-boomer appeal of Gibson/Fender/Gretsch nor the flash of 80′s shred-axes, these things traded in the $100 range for decades. Now, like the mustache, some cachet seems to be building around them and prices have risen to the $500 – $1000 area.
Any Matsumoku collectors out there? Any know of any relevant players using these things nowadays?