The Guitar Gallery Forums - The Guitar Legacy of Matsumoku

Q&A, discussion, and information for the labels covered by The Guitar Gallery (Specifically and exclusively guitars made by Matsumoku up to 1987)
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PostPosted: Mon 02 Dec 2019 12:31 AM 
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Hi: Is an "FS Series By Aria Pro II" with "JAPAN" -- not "Made in Japan" -- on its neck plate an MIJ guitar?
(I'm thinking the "JAPAN" might refer to the location of the, on the preceding line, "Arai & Co., Inc.", rather than the guitar's place of manufacture.)
Thanks for any guidance you can provide.
P.S. I tried to attach a photo of the neck plate but it was blocked, with a notice, "Sorry, the board attachment quota has been reached."


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PostPosted: Mon 02 Dec 2019 10:53 AM 
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Hi adwmil, and welcome to the group with the most (only?) knowledge of the Matsumoko built ARIAs!

Photos can only be embedded thru a link from an online photo hosting service such as Imgur, Flickr or others (I can no longer recommend Photobucket). As for the guitar, I'm only aware of two FS models (but there MAY have been others...).

The FS-750 and 1000, both of which have neck-thru (or "transmit neck") construction (semi-hollow bodies) and have no neck plates. The headstock has info as to the manufacturer and designer (Matsumoko/Noble). I'm guessing that yours is a post Matsumoko that was still built in Japan - possibly by Fujigen-Gaki. Is there a serial number anywhere? A pic would definitely help, and others here are much more knowledgeable than I am.

Pete

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Pete


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PostPosted: Mon 02 Dec 2019 03:00 PM 
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Here's what I hope will be the embedded link for the photos of the guitar, one of the neck plate, the other of the headstock.
No serial no. to be found, though.
And thanks for the welcome and guidance, Pete!
Adam

https://m.imgur.com/a/8XL7ADC


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PostPosted: Tue 03 Dec 2019 11:41 AM 
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Looks post Mat to me. You got pics of the whole guitar?

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PostPosted: Tue 03 Dec 2019 03:37 PM 
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Definitely post Matsumoku; here's the Mat-era FS series...

http://www.matsumoku.org/models/ariaproii/fs/fs.html

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PostPosted: Wed 04 Dec 2019 03:34 AM 
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Any reasons to believe that it's post-Matsumoko, but, as Pete suggested, "still built in Japan -- possibly by Fujigen-Gaki."
If so, any ideas about how I might go about chasing down its Japanese provenance, despite the lack of a serial no.?
Finally, what do you make of my thinking that maybe "JAPAN" refers to the location of the business offices of "Arai & Co., Inc.," not where the guitar was manufactured? With Arai having by then, to lower its costs, moved much of its guitar manufacture to Korea, maybe this was an intentional effort both to:
1) avoid explicitly acknowledging to casual buyers of its guitars this transfer, given Korea's then-association with lesser quality than Japan; and,
2) confuse the issue of the MIK guitars's provenance, introducing the suggestive ambiguity of what it is to which "JAPAN" refers, without crossing into the zone of overt deception by using "Made in Japan"?
Thank you all for your info and taking the time to share it.


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PostPosted: Wed 04 Dec 2019 07:09 AM 
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Yeah... could well be Fujigen... or Chushin-Gakki! And your suppositions definitely have merit, and though I do suspect your FS is a Korean build; I'd love to be proven wrong!

The Westone brand moved production to Korea in early 88 and I have 2 MIK guitars that lose absolutely nothing in terms of build quality to my Matsumoku instruments; in fact, the Korean necks are simply sublime! They lose a little lustre with the pickups, however, which are sterile and a bit brittle, tonally, which is, when I think about it, what the hair metal crowd was looking for....

Play the paint off the thing and enjoy the ride!!

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PostPosted: Wed 04 Dec 2019 09:53 AM 
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Agreed, you'll not lose much if anything with a Korean build. Its just not Matsumoku so you won't find a lot of info about them on the website.
We do have a few members that might know about it so it never hurts to ask.

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PostPosted: Thu 05 Dec 2019 04:59 PM 
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Thanks all!


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