Aria Pro II Avante Series 6-String bass - Please educate me...
I am picking up a bass this weekend from a local fellow who just doesn't spend a lot of time of 6-string - it is an Aria Pro II Avante Series - beyond that I don't know a lot about it.
There is apparently a problem with the electronics in this bass, but that is really the least of my worries - for what I am putting into this bass, I could afford to gut it completely and replace the preamp and still be money ahead, if for whatever reason I can't figure out where the problem is in the existing circuitry.
I owned a couple of Aria Pro basses back in the day, including a 6-string I would practically kill to get back. I recall them as being fairly versatile instruments with really flat fretboards. Sadly, I don't recall much else - that was a lifetime ago. From what little information I can find online it does seem that the scale of this bass is 34", which I vastly prefer.
In fact, am I the only old guy who gets driven about half-crazy by 35" scale basses? I have passed up some really nice instruments due to this one feature. It seems that most manufacturers effectively add the extra length on the neck end of the bass (rather than the body end), making it really likely that when I go for a low F on the e-string that I end up hitting an #F instead. Schecter 5 and 6-string basses in particular drive me crazy - love the look, love the tone, wish the upper horn was an inch or two longer to shift the bass.
Can anyone tell me anything about this bass? String spacing at the bridge? Twin truss rods or a single?
Sincere thanks for any help anyone could give me!
Re rant: I prefer 34" scales- long-ago broken fingers in my left hand have reduced the spread a bit, so the first 4-5 frets feel far better. That said, I think there are plenty of 34" basses to choose from- I focus my rants on bad drivers and my wife(some overlap there ;)).
The string spacing looks tight- like 15-17mm.
I hope this helps.
OK - I picked up this bass Saturday (turns out the seller was also a Talkbass member) and cleaned it up, put on new strings, and set it up. A few observations:
This bass is in great shape - it doesn't appear to have been played much.
That said, the bass looks - odd. My guitarist stopped over yesterday and asked if it had been refinished because the headstock is a dark stain and the body is natural - I hadn't paid that much attention (yes, I'm daft). If it is refinished, someone did an exemplary job of it.
It is a HEAVY bass - I haven't weighed it yet, but it's possibly the heaviest one currently in the arsenal.
The electronics had some issues, but I discovered that 99% of those issues were dirty pots - a quick spray with cleaner helped tremendously, and a couple more applications should hopefully eliminate the problem completely. The active system is useful and musical, and about a 2/3 bump on the bass control gives the bass a deep, resonant tone that rivals any other bass I have ever played.
The string spacing at the bridge is TIGHT - really, really tight. Like about 16mm tight.
(As an aside, I measured the bridge spacing on the rest of my basses - almost all of them are 19mm, including my Yamaha RBX765A, which feels tighter than 19mm for whatever reason.)
I have no clue as to the type of body wood - anyone know or want to guess? The following post has a close-up of the body wood.
The original model sticker is still on the back of the neck heel, which really surprised me given the age of the instrument. It reads AVB-TN-6/N.
The only real problem I have had with it thus far is the bridge - with no grooves to hold the saddles in line they tend to wander quite a bit, especially the low B string. I just ordered a closeout replacement Carvin/Hipshot bridge that should take care of that little issue nicely.
Anyone know anything else about this bass?
Close-up of the wood grain...
A close-up of the grain structure - you can feel the grain itself in the finish.
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