Firstly thank you so much for having me on your site - I will try & behave myself!
A good friend - Bobby Blue Shankaran - owns this very rare Aria. I would like to share his knowledge of it & hear from anyone who can add to it.
The instr. was purchased new in mid 1970's. Evidently only 3 were ever made - as demonstration models to travel around music retailers. Bobby thinks 1 went to Herb Ellis & the other to Eric Gale. They have both sadly passed on. But what of their instruments? The neck pikup was replaced when purchased by what was then just called the Jazz pikup - designed to help reduce feedback in hollow bodies. The tone is quite incredible for a Japanese version of a Gibson. Sadly a recent fall is why it is currently in my workshop/lounge! The top has partially separated from the side.
I have 30 yrs as a cabmkr with experience on every thing from superyachts to antique restoration but am only now turning my skills to instrument repair & hopefully soon to construction.
Novices/ newbies take note - Since I began my career I have been spending a few dollars whenever I can on the rarest & finest wood available - alas I wish I had bought more black ebony. I do have Brazilian rosewood & mahog., Honduras walnut, Cuban mahog., & the only 2 cub mtrs in existance of old growth Tasmanian celery top pine - 120 growth rings across a 105mm board! & 4 lge slabs of Tas. Myrtle. I knew very early on that when I got old & had fine skills there would be no fine wood avail. to work with.
I would be glad to share the skills I have & will be seeking knowledge on guitar repair & construction.
To hear this beauty search Bobby's name on myspace. The tune "Mood Swings" is one of my favourites. He is actually making this up while recording it! The producer had a backing track & wanted guitar on it.
Question to moderators - am I allowed to post link to my youtube site? this would allow members to see my skills & ask relevant questions (inlay, finishing etc.)
Fine jazz music = Aural sex!