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1977 Aria Strat with later Fender style headstock

Discussion in 'Non-Fender S-Type Guitar Forum' started by stratman323, Feb 4, 2019.

  1. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I just noticed this on eBay.

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vintage-...m=312454866278&_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851

    I don't know much about Arias (never owned one), but the headstock shape of this Strat copy caught my eye.

    Aria Pro II headstock.jpg

    Doesn't it look remarkably similar in shape to the Dan Smith era US Fender Strats from around 1982? Yet it was five years earlier. Surely Fender wouldn't have copied this shape when they were still groping their way unsteadily back towards a small headstock shape in the early 80s?
     
  2. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I remember one of those hanging on the wall in Crane's music shop, between the Hondos.
     
  3. balston11

    balston11 Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Looks quite nice and must be reasonable quality they are Matsumoku
     
  4. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Have you seen this headstock shape before?
     
  5. balston11

    balston11 Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Not that I can recall but it might be interesting to check other Uncle Mats guitars. It is possible that making variations t the standard shape both Aria and Fender came up with similar shapes. For comparison

    dan hds.jpg
     
  6. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Yes that is exactly the Fender headstock I was thinking of. But about 5 years earlier... o_O
     
  7. John C

    John C Senior Stratmaster

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    They are pretty close. I haven't seen an Aria Pro II with that headstock before; they probably didn't make it into the USA.
     
  8. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I was hoping you would chip in John. The similarity is uncanny, isn't it?
     
  9. Fretmeltkid

    Fretmeltkid Strat-Talker

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    Aria did exact copies of Strats and Les Pauls in the 70s and early 80s
    I sold a Les Paul a while back
    I seem to recall a red Aria Strat with that headstock that had been signed by Nirvana
     
  10. Fretmeltkid

    Fretmeltkid Strat-Talker

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  11. Robins

    Robins Dr. von Loudster Strat-Talk Supporter

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  12. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    When you say "exact copies", what do you mean? You mean with the headstock shape in the original post? Or with a more conventional Fender headstock.
     
  13. Fretmeltkid

    Fretmeltkid Strat-Talker

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    during the 70s Aria produced almost every permutation of the Strat headstock
    70s large 60s small and some whacky ones too
    the one with the Smith style head is the ST500 series
    the large 70s head is the ST600
     
  14. danlad

    danlad Strat-Talk Member

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    I do love how cheeky they were with the logos and decals back then let alone headstock shapes.
     
  15. Fretmeltkid

    Fretmeltkid Strat-Talker

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    As for cheeky lets not forget where Leo got it from in the first place
    Bigsby were making these way before the Strat was sketched Bigsby-Solid-Body-Electric-Guitar.jpg
    bigsby.jpg
     
    jtees4 likes this.
  16. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Some examples would be nice.
     
  17. Fretmeltkid

    Fretmeltkid Strat-Talker

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  18. Fretmeltkid

    Fretmeltkid Strat-Talker

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  19. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    OK!! :D Point made....

    They certainly used a weird & wonderful selection of headstock shapes didn't they? I can see one that looks like the guitar in post #1, one that looks like a current production Fender, & some that look like nothing at all. I wonder why? Is it that they were made by different manufacturers?

    It's still surprising though. Tokai had a headstock shape that was pure Fender, & they used this consistently until they were forced to modify it in the early 80s.
     
  20. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    And both Bigsby & Fender got the headstock idea from some Eastern European instruments (Serbian?) they had seen in a museum.
     
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