1981 Aria Pro II Herb Ellis

Maker: Aria

Bought From: Swissvale Music

Comments: I've had this guitar since the early 80's, except for a period I sold it to one of my students. I subsequently bought it back. Based on the Gibson ES-175 (16 inch body), it is really quite attractive to look at, and sounds really very nice. The cosmetic appointments (ebony fingerboard with split markers, L-5 style tailpiece, gold-plated hardware) are more upscale than you might expect. The body is laminated, not solid wood, so it has a punchy sound rather than the smooth sound one gets from a more expensive instrument. There are lots of guitarists who prefer this sound to that of a solid wood guitar; they are also more feedback resistant.

Herb Ellis really did use one of these for quite a while; I have several record albums from the late 70's and early 80's with him pictured with this guitar.