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Aria Pro I and Pro II Black n Gold bass


luckynumber16
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[quote name='luckynumber16' post='867831' date='Jun 15 2010, 10:41 AM']Hey, I don't know much about basses as I'm a bit of a newbie, but can anyone tell me the difference between the Aria Pro I Black n Gold and the Aria Pro II Black n Gold? I can't seem to find anything out. It was the Pro I that Cliff Burton played wasn't it?[/quote]
It was only Aria Pro II, but the model followed by I or II, indicated the number of pickups. The Black n Gold was the US version of the UK's SB Elite model & yes our Cliff used one [Black n Gold I / SB Elite I], as well as an SB-1000. Fantastic basses.

[url="http://www.matsumoku.org/models/ariaproii/bass/bg/bg_bass.html"]http://www.matsumoku.org/models/ariaproii/...bg/bg_bass.html[/url]
[url="http://www.matsumoku.org/models/ariaproii/bass/sb/sb.html"]http://www.matsumoku.org/models/ariaproii/bass/sb/sb.html[/url]

Edited by johnnylager
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[quote name='johnnylager' post='867836' date='Jun 15 2010, 10:49 AM']It was only Aria Pro II, but the model followed by I or II, indicated the number of pickups. The Black n Gold was the US version of the UK's Elite model & yes our Cliff used one, as well as an SB-1000. Fantastic basses.

[url="http://www.matsumoku.org/models/ariaproii/bass/bg/bg_bass.html"]http://www.matsumoku.org/models/ariaproii/...bg/bg_bass.html[/url]
[url="http://www.matsumoku.org/models/ariaproii/bass/sb/sb.html"]http://www.matsumoku.org/models/ariaproii/bass/sb/sb.html[/url][/quote]
So Cliff used both 1 pick up and 2 pick up versions? It's so hard to find this info out, because I'm trying to buy a Black n Gold for my other half and they're damn near impossible to find. I've found a Black n Gold 1, and I think that was his exact favourite one wasn't it??
I have this info about the bass:
"This is a 1983 model. I'm only selling it as I have a couple of others and don't really use it. I recently sold an SB1000 and SB700, so my little collection keeps changing. Seems only fair this one should go to go to a good home. A Bit more info for you...The bass has been refretted by a luthier in Surrey, so it's like new to play. The frets are slightly shallower than standard (compared to my SB1000) but it is really easy to play and has no buzzes or rattles. Chap who did the refret work has a website [url="http://www.alanarnoldguitars.co.uk/"]http://www.alanarnoldguitars.co.uk/[/url] The pickup has been replaced with a Kent Armstrong item as the original gave up the ghost.This is quite common on 80's Aria's as they are all about coming to the end of their life. Don't be put off by this as it means you won't have any future electric problems with it and the tone matches the original. Otherwise, the bass is as original with all the original switch and knobs. There are a few marks on the back of the body but these are superficial and can't be seen until you get up really close."
The guy wants £650 for it, do you reckon that's a good price? I only know about guitars (mostly acoustic) rather than bass guitars!

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I think Cliff only used the single pup versions, certainly in the pics I've seen [& that's a fair few]. I don't know about the price, but I sold my all original SB Elite I for a bit less about 4 years ago. Our resident JapCrap guru Jon [Bassassin], will know more, maybe try a PM?

If I wanted to buy another? For that money, I'd probably get the reissue - it's the best of both worlds; B&G styling / fret markers with the SB-1000 circuit. Very nice players, nearly bought one last year. Lighter than the originals, too.

[url="http://www.ariaguitars.com/int/03_products/pro_eb_sb_cb.html"]http://www.ariaguitars.com/int/03_products/pro_eb_sb_cb.html[/url]

Edited by johnnylager
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[quote name='johnnylager' post='867870' date='Jun 15 2010, 11:30 AM']I think Cliff only used the single pup versions, certainly in the pics I've seen [& that's a fair few]. I don't know about the price, but I sold my all original SB Elite I for a bit less about 4 years ago. Our resident JapCrap guru Jon [Bassassin], will know more, maybe try a PM?

If I wanted to buy another? For that money, I'd probably get the reissue - it's the best of both worlds; B&G styling / fret markers with the SB-1000 circuit. Very nice players, nearly bought one last year. Lighter than the originals, too.

[url="http://www.ariaguitars.com/int/03_products/pro_eb_sb_cb.html"]http://www.ariaguitars.com/int/03_products/pro_eb_sb_cb.html[/url][/quote]
Ah yeah I saw only one of those CB-SB basses for sale, and that was for around £1000 - I honestly can't afford that! I may well PM bassassin though, thank you :)

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  • 3 years later...

I would think that £650 was in the right ball-park for a black and gold. However, it's not true that all original pickups are coming to the end of their life. Original pickups become available from time to time, but they are not cheap. I don't know whether or not the Kent Armstrong would perfectly replicate the original, as suggested by the seller.

I'd be more inclined to buy an original, rather than the re-issue ... more collectable, and the value just keeps on increasing as folk become more aware of the incredible quality of Aria SB's ... Such great great basses.

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If you're after the sound, the SB-R60 is pretty much identical in spec (passive with series/parallel switch, wide through neck, cats-eye inlays) to the B&G and can be had pretty cheaply.

As Fionn has mentioned, the pickups on these are known to die and the D/G coil on mine was significantly weaker than the E/A. I had Aaron Armstrong (Kent's son) make me a replacement two months ago (with the option of adding a bit of beef to the sound) for £100 all-in and was built from scratch and delivered within two weeks. Aaron says he makes on average, two a week for them.

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From my albeit limited knowledge, the single pickup version was cliffs preferred bass, but isn't the sb1000 an active bass? Pretty sure he trialled them and sent them back because he didn't like the sound.
As for the pickups failing, it does appear to happen more than you would expect with this particular model, so be carefull. I would also be wary of any claims of a replacement pickup being an exact replacement.
Good luck with the search! And if have seen one for in the region of £450 not that long ago, I got pipped on it, so I keep harassing the person who got it to sell it on!

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Definitely ask a seller if the output is even across the strings - I remember a thread on Talkbass in which a fellow bought an SB-900 and the D&G coils were dead on both pickups (now that is unlucky!). That said, a dying pickup can be used to drive a bargain...

Not even the new £4k Cliff Burton sig has the same pickup as the original (an MB-V as opposed to the MB-II) so if it did come to replacing a dying pickup, I'd happily recommend Aaron's work - did a great job on mine. As I mentioned, although there's the option to have the pickup beefed up, the pickup can be wound to the original specs.

Soundwise, although I can only comment on the E&A strings as the D&G coil was significantly weaker on my original pickup, the replacement I ordered (albeit 'beefed-up' a little, at my request) matches the tone of the original but with a stronger output (as if raising the pickup closer to the strings) - the biggest tell is rolling the tone fully down in parallel mode which has an almost honky, but very early-80s sound. A perfect fit using the original machine screws, also.

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