History of Aria Guitars

Written by steven harkins
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History of Aria Guitars
The first Aria branded electric guitars went on sale in 1963. (electrical guitar - detail image by angelo.gi from Fotolia.com)

The Aria guitar company has been selling guitars since 1954. The company was set up by Japanese classical guitarist Shiro Arai who is the president of the company. Aria produces electric, acoustic and bass guitars.

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Origins

<p>AriaGuitars.com describes how Shiro Arai was inspired by a friend playing a piece by Bach on a classical guitar, and “from this moment, he had been inspired by the sound of this instrument forever.” Arai established himself as a classical guitar player and teacher. Arai imported the first post-war classical guitars to Japan in 1954 and included instruments made by Jose Ramirez and Hermann Hauser. In August 1956 he founded the company Arai & Co.

The Aria Brand Name

The name Aria means expressive melody and was first used in 1958 when Shiro Arai exported Japanese built classical guitars fitted with steel strings to Southeast Asia.

Electric Guitars

Arai released its first electric guitars in 1963. The company exported the 1532T and 1802T models to the U.S.

Professional Models

Aria launched the Pro II production line from their custom shop in 1975. The first original model from the Pro II line was the PE-1500. The Pro II line also produced the distinctive SB-1000 bass guitar model.

Heavy Metal

Aria Pro II produced hard rock and heavy metal style guitars in the 1980’s including the XX, ZZ and U-1 models.

Innovative Designs

In the 1990’s Aria released the MA series of guitars. They are identifiable by their crystal shaped carved top and back. In 1992 they released the Solid Wood Bass concept which involved designing compact upright bass guitars.

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