Aria 554 black label with Matsukoa ink stamp...

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Aria 554 black label with Matsukoa ink stamp...

Post by MessyTendon » Tue Oct 24, 2017 4:14 pm

So it's clear this is a Nagoya model. The back is gorgeous bookmatched rosewood veneer. Interestingly the sides are laminated with a lighter outer and a darker inner wood. Inside lower brace has a signature of Matsukoa looks to be some sort of ink stamp.

Purfling and binding is really nice, the rosette is pretty. I got the guitar for 100$. It's fairly beat up but no cracks...plenty of dings and the finish has some white patches. It was a well played guitar as I can tell the frets have been crowned and leveled many times, what is there is good enough for now.

Neck has a dovetail joint. It's a thick chunky neck with a really pretty rosewood fingerboard. What saddens me is that it appears the inner veneer, has a tiny crack, and you can see that the rosewood veneer is indeed some sort of three ply. I have no idea how thick the rosewood back veneer is, I was hoping for a rosewood on rosewood veneer but it is not so. It looks seemingly solid if you really look. So I'm thinking the back is rosewood,spruce rosewood lamination...odd but neat.

The tuners are a bit clunky, shafts are bent, but turn fine and the gears work surprisingly okay, a bit creaky. What is really good about this model, it's a student model, but the sound is really big in the bass department. Trebles to my ears have a sweet sound, but it is a bit recessed and shut in compared to the bass. I will have to try different strings. Currently set with Aquila Zaffiro.

It has seven fan braces and they are nicely shaped. What fascinates me about this model is that has all the ornaments of a higher end guitar, binding, purflings, and a bone strip on the bridge. Really nice. Mine is quite beat, but it's clear somebody really did study and put hours into this guitar.

The guitar is very warm and sweet sounding and I'm not ashamed to say I can and will live with this one for a long time. A great value and real sleeper.

Keep your eyes peeled for these old Arias they are sweet.

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Location: Sweden

Re: Aria 554 black label with Matsukoa ink stamp...

Post by rinneby » Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:02 am

Great info and a good find. I always liked the old Arias. This should really go in the Japanese thread, so it doesn't get lost :)

All the best from Sweden
1977 - Kuniharu Nobe No.15
2006 - Kolya Panhuyzen
2007 - Curt Claus Voigt

Feel free to ask me anything about Japanese classical guitars.

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