aria pro II (model PW50)

Posted by Jim on Wed, 09/10/03 - 16:35:38.

I am trying to find information on an Aria Pro II (model PW50) used guitar I just bought. It seems to be a nice guitar and looks brand new, but the only info I have found so far indicated that it was made in the late 70's. Any additional info would be greatly appreciated (year, price new, type of wood, etc.)

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Re: aria pro II (model PW50)

I think Cliff Burton used that bass diring Kill 'Em All gigs dude.

Re: aria pro II (model PW50)

Made in Japan in 1977-78, top: Spruce, back & sides: bookmatched rosewood. I'm not sure if the back & sides are solid or 3 ply. Very well crafted guitar, appears to be a copy of a Gallagher (made in Wartrace, Tn.)played by Doc Watson (go here < > for Gallagher info.
I like my guitar quite a bit, they were made in extremely limited numbers (mine is a PW-50-L) and are a great guitar at a ridiculously low price. I am also looking for more info, so if you know anything else....

Aria Pro PW series

I have a PW18 looks to be a copy of a Martin D18. This is the only mention of a PW model guitar on the entire internet, anybody have any information?


Hey Brother...Your guitar date depends on three things:

1.) The headstock design:
If the guitar has ARIA PRO II on the headstock written clear as day. This is a 1976-1979 ARIA PRO II PW Series Guitar.
If it is written vertically "up and down" the headstock it is from 1977
If it is written Horizontally " Reads left to right" on the headstock it is from 1978
If there is a floral design on the headstock, with the head of the flower being an "A", this is from 1976

2.) The back of the headstock
1976 will read nothing at all on it.
1977-1979 will say "P Matsumoku"

3.) The tuning pegs
1976-1977 the tuning peg where it is on the headstock will be rounded
1978-1979 the tuning peg where it is on the headstock will have an "A" in old english script.

The PW Series:
The PW and W Series of these Aria guitars are the top of the line guitar made by ARIA and the Matsumoku factory. The D series was not for export, and the PW series was for exportation to the United States and other foreign countires, although not in high numbers at all

These guitars in this series are all hand-crafted, in the Royoji Matsumoku factory. These guitar makers for this line were the best of the best of this factory. They used the best, and highest quality, aged tone-woods available at the time. These makes rival any American made manufactuers at the time. I honestly believe that these guitars are much better than anything Martin made at this same time in history.

Original Retail Price:
The original PW series consisted of the following model numbers: PW-10, PW-15, PW-20, PW-30, PW-40, PW-50, PW-60, PW-80. and PW-100. The higher the model number, the higher the quality of the guitar, and how much it sold for in Japanese Yen. The PW-10 sold for 10,000 Japanese Yen, and the PW-100 sold for 100,000 Japanese yen in 1976. This was a lot of money in 1976 for the PW-100, and with inflation this would cost you well over $4,000 in todays dollars for what these guitars were priced at. They did release different model numbers in 1979-1981 that included weird model numbers like PW-51, etc. These were still the same series, the pw-51 was simply the same as the PW-50 model that was discontinued that year. Aria did strange model numbers like this.

Woods and construction materials:
Solid Spruce Tops was used consistently on most of these guitar...except a couple notable ones. For example, the PW-15 was made of a solid Mohogany top, back, and sides. All models from the PW-40 up had solid Brazilian Rosewood Backs, and sides. They also have amazing inlays that used South American Abalone, and mother of pearl.

So here is the question I see everywhere. How much are these Aria Acoustic guitars worth? Sadly, not much. They are rare, not many were made. Even fewer survived. Those that did survive were put in cheap cardboard cases, and stuffed in peoples closets. People piled things on top of these guitars and busted the necks, the bodies, and the headstocks. The most common injury I see on these is a lifted bridge. ANY DAMAGE TO THESE KILLS THEIR VALUE. At that point, they are simply sellable for their parts. A luthier, or collector, may just want to the parts to finish their guitar off that might be missing some original parts that were replaced out/damaged. Simply put, these guitars just arent worth hardly anything compared to their American Built counterparts, and are horribly under-valued.

I am personally looking at a PW-40 and a PW-100 as we speak, and I can tell you with certainty...these are solid top, back, and sides...all amazingly beautiful guitars! If you want to sell me...I would love to make an offer on it. But, please understand that the top end of the following prices I am quoting are retail prices for guitars in pristine condition, in their original case, and with all the original hardware that came with the guitar. The low end price means the guitar still plays, and is not extensively damaged. The range in price is due to the fact that these are 40 year old guitars, and condition is everything. You can email me at

To give you an example. I bought my PW-40 from guitar center. and I bought it for $300 cash. It had not been played since 1981, I was even able to contact the original owner and talk to his family. I learned that this guitar literally sat in the owners cabin for 40 years after he returned from vietnam. He had bought it to learn to play guitar after he started his own law practice. He learned to play some camp fire songs, and he only brought it out when he had visitors at his cabin in West Virginia. This guitar was maticulously owned and cared for by an adult, and the strings were loosened when put into its original hardshell case. This guitar is is amazing...and the only work that needed to be done was to have the action lowered, and a quick setup job with my guitar tech from when I toured. I value this guitar at $1400, becuase it comes with the owners original paperwork, warranty card, and all it looks unplayed. You will never find an ARIA PW-40 like this ever.

To give you an example of what I am talking about. I look constantly for these guitars all over the normal places online. I found an ARIA PW-40 on Ebay today...It has cracks in the finish on the top. On the backside of the guitar, on the bottom the finish is cracked, and looks smashed...the guitar has obviously been dropped multiple times. It looks nice, it probably plays super nice too. It did not have the original hardshell case, no hardware, and no paperwork. Without seeing it in my hands, and playing it, I would value it at $150. They are asking $400. I even wrote them a nice little email telling them why their extremely damaged guitar is not worth as much as they are asking, and that they should consider repricing it as a parts guitar.

PW-10 $50-200
PW-15 $50-225y
PW-20 $50-250
PW-30 $50-275
PW-40 $200-1200
PW-50 $250-1400
PW-60 $250-1400
PW-80 $250-1600
PW-100 $300-2000

Aria Pro PW-40

Look at the Post above He Actually Emails Someone Selling Their Guitar, and Tells them What they Should Ask For it So He can Buy it!!!! Beware of Any Price Guides Written By Someone Who Wants To Buy!!!! $300.00 For Pw-100??? What Are You An Online Pawnshop. Oh Your 40 year old Guitar has some Cracks and Non Original Case, Why i Could Take it off your hands For Say $100 Bucks!! Its only Good For Parts Now!!! Get tha F%^% outta Here!!! He's like a Walking Tour Guide of these Guitars, Covets Them, Dreams About them, Gets a Hard on When he Finds Them. Then Says how Cheap they are, and You should not ask Too Much for one!!! He's one of those annal, It has to have its original Case and Paperwork and Original Hardware Bill of Sale Etc. Who tha Hell Keeps all that for a Japanese Knockoff Guitar Made 40 Years Ago?? Oh I Cant Give you That for Pw -40 it does not have its Original Shit Japanese Tuners I Can only Give You $200.00, Then He Buys it thinking, I've Just got a $600.00 Guitar For $200.00 OH YEA!!!! And By the Way, They are Not Solid Brazilian Backs and Sides, I Do Not Care What the Brochure Says SUNSHINE they Are Laminate!

Aria pw40

I have a Aria PW40 for sale in mint condition if you are interested call me at 502 6410234 thank you

Aria Pro II PW-40

Just bought a nice 9+ condition Aria Pro II PW 40 from an ebay seller. He had given up on prior ebay "buy it now" offerings at $725, $699, $625 before he messaged me that he was reducing to $369. Beautiful and fine, ($369.00 plus ship) as of July 2016. Mine's 1976 with the "Gallagher style A" and floral headstock logo with vertical "Pro II". DEFINITELY has laminated back, as the grain pattern is strong on outside; while the inside, also rosewood, has nothing similar about the grain pattern. Many on the forums want/wish that their Arias were "better than Martin" of the day....blah blah blah. Sorry, ever heard this one?

"You get what you pay for". The PW-80, which listed at $699 in 1976 was a huge jump in price from the 40 and 50; both around $399. Claims of solid back and sides on the PW-80 and the PW-100 (extremely rare!) may have merit given the large MSRP price jump.


I just bought n ARIA PRO II, model PW 55 and I am trying to find a little info on it. I bought it from the original owner. He said it was from the late 70's. How rare are they? It has model PW55 on the label inside but no serial number printed. It is in almost new condition, almost no wear at all. Any and all help will be greatly appreciated.

Just bought a pretty much

Just bought a pretty much unplayed Aria PW-35 (cloned Gibson Dove) in a clean old chipboard case for $225 plus shipping off of ebay. Am looking forward to getting it. I noted that a similar one had sold on a previous Reverb list, at $495 without any case, and, horror of horrors, no original owners purchase receipt and warranty registration. The sacrifices we must make. BTW, I am the poster of the earlier comment on PW-40, which I just resold--with hardshell case-- for a hair under $600, also on ebay. It was a great big sound, especially fine on bass with .053 light E.

Aria Pro II PW-50

Hi. Mine's in pretty good condition. A couple of fissures in the laminate in front - but otherwise
intact with a super rich sound. Anyone looking to buy it? I may take it to the local guitar shop...


70s aria pro ii

i think its around 1976 aria pro ii model pw70 . I haven't found any other ones. Does anybody have any info ?
its got abalone trim and tree of life on neck.


Aria Pro II PW19 SN 02427

I brought this guitar in 1980 and owned it ever since. I'm trying to determine if it's solid or laminated. The top appears to be solid spruce but the sides, back and neck may be Rosewood, Mahogany, etc. I can find nothing but anecdotal information and have only seen one that was sold. I was told when I bought it that it was a copy of a Martin but was no longer in production due to a lawsuit. I later bought a Martin Hard Shell case that fits the guitar perfectly. I see you provide info for a PW15 and 20 but nothing re: 1980 or PW19? Is this a limited edition oddball? or possibly a test version of a PW20? The Aria Pro II logo is in fancy script mother of pearl across the top of the head stock. I'm trying to decide if I should keep it or sell. Due to hand surgery I will probably not play it much (never did anyhow) as I have a 1952 Gibson hollow body electric that is my guitar of choice.

Any info would be appreciated.

Thank You

Info with PW-65

hi what I want to know is if the PW-65 is made with solid back and sides or if they’re laminated BR? (Brazilian Rosewood)

have late seventies to early

have late seventies to early eighties aria proII ts-500 black and gold series six string electric guitar wondering if anyone has any info on what its value could be

To guy stating his aria is

To guy stating his aria is all solid Brazillian rosewood back and sides, you are incorrect it is laminate. A ¥40,000 guitar will not buy you a solid guitar.

Aria Pro II PW-75

My Aria Pro II PW-75 12 String. Is here one, who can tell me How old is the Guitar? Serial Nr. B 400 125
Thank You for Answer.
And sorry for my (german) english ;)

Aria pro 2 Model PW 200

I have an aria pro 2 model PW200.
Made in Korea with model # starting with 89.
I believe this means it was made in 1989.
I have been looking online but can’t find anything for the his model.
Anyone have any experience with this guitar?

Aria Pro PW-75

I currently have a Aria Pro ii for sale model PW-75 with the 6 string with tree off life in nice condition comes with a vintage hard case , some small dings and scratches. If interested
please text me 843.940.3208. Sorry local sales only no trades.
Located in Myrtle Beach, SC

Aria Pro II PW51

Don't know if people still look on here any more but I've just bought a PW51 in pretty decent nick. Not looking to sell it on, it's a keeper, sounds beautiful compared to anything more modern. I recently bought a 1997 AW200T (12 string), which is also beautiful, so it got me researching Aria acoustic guitars, which in turn lead me to buying the PW51. It has the 'PRO II' written vertically, a plain wooden headstock, with a 'Made In Japan' sticker on the back and the tuners have the 'A' on them in olde english font. I reckon it's a 1979 or 80. The serial number doesn't point to any particular date, in fact it starts with a 57... Any ideas????

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