Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
bassatnight

Aria SB Basses 1979-1984

Recommended Posts

Hi,

I have always had a soft spot for the early eighties range of Aria Basses particularly the flagship SB1000. I was lucky enough to purchase an SB1000 after e-mailing every guitar shop I could find on line and eventually paid £495 for a 1980 version which plays like a dream the neck is in almost mint condition and barely has a surface scratch on it!

I am just starting out as a player having been an armchair Bass fan since seeing the likes of Pino Palladino and Mick Karn play in the early eighties.

Anyone out there own an SB1000 or other models of the Aria - what do you think of their qualities?

Cheers,

Steve.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='bassatnight' post='302508' date='Oct 8 2008, 08:21 PM']Hi,

I have always had a soft spot for the early eighties range of Aria Basses particularly the flagship SB1000. I was lucky enough to purchase an SB1000 after e-mailing every guitar shop I could find on line and eventually paid £495 for a 1980 version which plays like a dream the neck is in almost mint condition and barely has a surface scratch on it!

I am just starting out as a player having been an armchair Bass fan since seeing the likes of Pino Palladino and Mick Karn play in the early eighties.

Anyone out there own an SB1000 or other models of the Aria - what do you think of their qualities?

Cheers,

Steve.[/quote]
You will find a lot of support here mate! I bought my Aria pro2 back in '83 and although battered and now with a new pick up it is still the one I'd save from the fire. Beautiful instruments.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='stewblack' post='302516' date='Oct 8 2008, 08:34 PM']You will find a lot of support here mate! I bought my Aria pro2 back in '83 and although battered and now with a new pick up it is still the one I'd save from the fire. Beautiful instruments.[/quote]

Motion Seconded!

My current pet SB-900 is an absolute dream. Always wanted one & now that I have, I wonder how I evre got along without it.

Pete.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought a mint red-stain SB-Elite II from a BC'er when BC was called...something else...about two years ago. I love it to bits. It's quite Alembic like in that the neck doesn't have a lot of taper and the electronics are pretty unusual. It's passive, but for a good three months I didn't realise because it's so versatile. It has (I think) two volumes, two switches which are possibly coil taps or something to do with series/parallel and a weird passive tone control that sounds unlike any other passive tone control I've ever used.

It's going to need some work soon though, as the output sounds very low compared to my Fenders (let alone Sadowskys) and there's quite a lot of RF noise. But the sheer through-neck build quality, sustain, versatility and (dammit) good looks of the thing mean that it's one of the only basses I'm just not interested in selling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MB1. B)
I now have my original passive Aria pro 2 SB Special 2 (31years old ish) originally sold to A1 music found in 2008 and repurchased from Macclesfield. ;)

Edited by MB1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='MB1' post='361918' date='Dec 23 2008, 01:00 PM']MB1. :)
I now have 2 my original passive Aria pro 2 SB Special 2 (28 years old ish) and my Aria PB101 (bought off Bassbunny)which is a single pickup/ Active/ 3 band eq /bolt on/strings through bridge or body/Bargain of the year!. :huh:[/quote]

I owned an Aria SB Special II, which I bought new in about 1984 for £279 - an amount I have never topped in respect of 'multiple of weekly income for an instrument'. In a fit of madness, and financial need, I px'ed it for a Marshall Valvestate - having crossed to the dark side temporarily, and picked up the six stringed instrument - and I've regretted it ever since. I don't know if yours was the same, but it had 2 humbuckers - a three way switch, and concentric volume and tones on the same controls. Mine was black and very sexy. Really fast player with a nice tone and low action - you could really dig in.

The foolishness of youth!

A

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='The Admiral' post='362127' date='Dec 23 2008, 04:34 PM']I owned an Aria SB Special II, which I bought new in about 1984 for £279 - an amount I have never topped in respect of 'multiple of weekly income for an instrument'. In a fit of madness, and financial need, I px'ed it for a Marshall Valvestate - having crossed to the dark side temporarily, and picked up the six stringed instrument - and I've regretted it ever since. I don't know if yours was the same, but it had 2 humbuckers - a three way switch, and concentric volume and tones on the same controls. Mine was black and very sexy. Really fast player with a nice tone and low action - you could really dig in.

The foolishness of youth!

A[/quote]

MB1. :)
Hello Admiral if you go to the bass porn section and put in "Aria Basses" theres 2 pics of my old SB on there! :huh:
Not really porn but older than some Basschatters!

Edited by MB1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Foolishly sold my SB900 in 1992 cause I was working away from home for a year and couldn't play any more and besides, I needed some cash.

It was my first quality bass after playing a pretty rotten Precision for a few years before that. The old story - wish I still had it blah, blah.............

Frank

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='Brother Jones' post='361645' date='Dec 23 2008, 03:18 AM']I bought a mint red-stain SB-Elite II from a BC'er when BC was called...something else...about two years ago. I love it to bits. It's quite Alembic like in that the neck doesn't have a lot of taper and the electronics are pretty unusual. It's passive, but for a good three months I didn't realise because it's so versatile. It has (I think) two volumes, two switches which are possibly coil taps or something to do with series/parallel and a weird passive tone control that sounds unlike any other passive tone control I've ever used.

It's going to need some work soon though, as the output sounds very low compared to my Fenders (let alone Sadowskys) and there's quite a lot of RF noise. But the sheer through-neck build quality, sustain, versatility and (dammit) good looks of the thing mean that it's one of the only basses I'm just not interested in selling.[/quote]

That would be the one you bought off me :)

That was a really nice bass as it goes and I thought it was active for a long time until I opened up the control cavity. Just in case anyone was wondering what it looked like:

[url="http://www.putfile.com/pic/3030169"][/url]

[url="http://www.putfile.com/pic/3030166"][/url]

If I'm not mistaken its got an ash body with maple/walnut/maple neck with rosewood fingerboard and mother of pearl inlays.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='WHUFC BASS' post='374877' date='Jan 9 2009, 10:43 AM']That would be the one you bought off me ;)

That was a really nice bass as it goes and I thought it was active for a long time until I opened up the control cavity. Just in case anyone was wondering what it looked like:

[url="http://www.putfile.com/pic/3030169"][/url]

[url="http://www.putfile.com/pic/3030166"][/url]

If I'm not mistaken its got an ash body with maple/walnut/maple neck with rosewood fingerboard and mother of pearl inlays.[/quote]

Indeed it was. I'm gonna pop in to a local tech and have it worked on soon.

I'd love to know exactly what those controls are actually doing, as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had one around '79.



It was my first 'proper' bass. Took me 6 months to save up for it.

Edited by Spoombung

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='bassatnight' date='Oct 8 2008, 07:21 PM' post='302508']
Hi,

I have always had a soft spot for the early eighties range of Aria Basses particularly the flagship SB1000. I was lucky enough to purchase an SB1000 after e-mailing every guitar shop I could find on line and eventually paid £495 for a 1980 version which plays like a dream the neck is in almost mint condition and barely has a surface scratch on it!

I am just starting out as a player having been an armchair Bass fan since seeing the likes of Pino Palladino and Mick Karn play in the early eighties.

Anyone out there own an SB1000 or other models of the Aria - what do you think of their qualities?

Cheers,

Steve.


Did you buy it from Guitar Junction? If so it was my old one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm another former SB Special II owner. I mistakenly part-exed my original one in about 1991 for a seriously rubbish Encore Strat, a trade that I immediately regretted, and regretted for a long time afterwards. I managed to find another one on eBay a few years back, but again, ended up part-exing that for an SB1000 that was in a local music shop (which was subsequently chopped in for a StingRay - another mistake!).

The Special II had passive twin 'buckers, concentric vol/tone pots, a 3 way selector switch and two coil split toggle switches. The neck felt fantastic, very much like a Jazz, and the body was very much like an update of the Jazz too.

The SB1000 was nice, but didn't have the versatility I was after.

Saying all that, the only other bass to compare to my old SB Special was my old Westone Thunder 1a. Though they're both eclipsed by a Ric.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had an SB years ago, it was a SB600 I think. It always sounded great. A friend of mine had a SB900 that he used to lend me. He played in the N.W.O.B.H.M. band Witchfynde, still does I think. I'd love to get hold of a SB900, great bass.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am now the proud owner of an SB-R150. Only just purchased and yet to be received, but I can't wait.

£600 off eBay. Condition is great but the volume of one of the pickups is lower than the other. Anyone think it will need replacing? I was thinking maybe I need to contact Kent Armstrong.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had an SB Elite I for 20-odd years until the weight and lack of forearm contour finally did for me. Bought for £375 in 1986, sold for £600 in 2004. Miss it for the sentimental value, but much prefer what I have now. Very tempted by one o' these though, very tempted indeed. Purely for sentimental reasons, y'understand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had an RSB Special fretless , bought second-hand in 1986 for what was a lot of money in those days and sold to silverfoxnik on this forum - I gather it's since moved on in a south-westerly direction. Not sure if it was a defret or not, but it was a nice job if so. Really nice bass, only moved it on because I acquired a better Bass Collection fretless from Beedster which I still love.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had Aria envy ever since schooldays. Although I had my Westone Thunder, two of my mates had nice 80s Arias. Would love a nice old school SB but can't really justify it right now.

Edit: Unless anyone's selling one cheap? :)

Edited by stingrayfan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest 6feet7

I've had 2 SB100's fretted and 1 fretless all from 1980 - all looked and sounded wonderful but the weight was too much for me in the end.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's my battered SB-Elite I. See if you can guess who my major influence was in the late 80s... :blush:
[attachment=27213:DSC_0496.JPG]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Had an sb1000 on loan years ago,was offered a cheap beaten up batwing sb700 last year,fitted a emg 40 an active circuit and bridge pick up,the action is amazing and now a crisp modern sound,my number one throw around giggin bass,a real warhorse.Its like a petrol head with an alfa,everyone should own or play one at one time or another.Its the jap jazz but with better action and build quality.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have bad GAS for one still....

I sold mine years ago and pretty much regretted it instantly. I borrowed one a few months ago from a friend and it all came flooding back. If anyone has one for sale please message me!

Steve :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought an SB1000 as soon as they came out, serial number was #000283 I think. Liked the quality and everything about it except the sound so I part-exed for an Aria 6-string (LS-450 which I still have) and a Fender Champ.

I now regret letting the SB1000 go as I suspect that my frustration with the sound was due to the valve amps that I was using at that time and not the bass. You live and learn.

Regards,


Graham.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ive had one for about a month now. SB900 elite. Have not heard a better bark and growl come out of my cab. Bought it after seeing Duran Duran on BBC2.

I have only just been switched onto Matsumoku, in my view if his other guitars are as good as this one he is in the same mass production genius as Fender.
The comments i have had for the sound i now get is unreal, and when i play live and it breaks down to just bass, instead of everyone switching off and wanting the guitar back in you can see people really listening to the grinding sound. I have even sold my sansamp now as i dont need it with this thing.

I love my Aria, and any suggestions of other Matsumoku guitars to try would be much apprieciated.

[attachment=53165:ariasb.JPG]



Also due to the hole in the middle of my bass, could anyone could suggest a type of pickup for me to drop in there as a cover up?

Edited by bassmeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...