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NBD! Aria Pro II slb-2

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by hrodbert696, Feb 13, 2014.

  1. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Well, actually I picked it up a couple of days ago, but today's the first day I got a picture of it. Bought this from a CL seller for $60. Based on the serial number, I think it's an '88.

    P1000064 (600x800).

    P1000065 (800x600).

    It's been banged up and dinged up, there's a finish crack by the neck pocket that looks superficial, and something's going on around the input jack that I think might be a repair job, not sure. It's perfectly solid and playable though. There's a little electronics hum that I think needs some shielding tape on the inside.

    I've kind of started to enjoy playing it just as is, but I don't really need another basic 4-string to gig with. The plan was to buy a cheap beater that I could experiment with modding on, since I don't know too much about it and want to learn. I'm thinking of defretting it because a fretless is one thing I am missing from my stable, and maybe refinishing it under the inspiration of pklima's burberry basses. We'll see. Suggestions welcome!

    Family portrait of the current stable:

    Aria Pro II SLB-2, Yamaha BB415 ("Big Red"), Carvin SB4000 ("Def Cats"), John Toon 5-string custom ("Looney Toon"), and down front a Washburn AB10.
  2. wild4oldcars


    Jan 22, 2012
    Garner, NC
    Would love a comprehensive review. Ive been looking to upgrade my pj to something better, and ive been eyeballing this model (as well as plenty of others). Also, if you get bored after the honeymoon, keep me in mind ;)

    Oh, and congrats!! :)
  3. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Seems like a great deal. Congrats.

    Have no idea of value/whether de-fret would cost you. Others may know.
  4. JennySuzuki


    Dec 18, 2013
    How's that AB10? I've been thinking about picking one of those up.
  5. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oops, forgot to check back in - the AB10 is very serviceable. Woody upright-ish tone, not much buzzing. I mostly play it in church and when my wife's library has open mic-type events with poets reading and stuff.

    OK, so the fate of the Aria; got it down to the basement and got to work ripping frets out...

    Before surgery...



    My lovely assistant helps with lemon oil on the board - someone on TB posted that can help keep the wood from chipping when you pull the frets....



    First fret out!


    My assistant has a go with the fret nippers. I've seen cautions against doing this with a screwdriver and pliers, so spent about $12 on a pair of fret nippers. They didn't need to be ground down to work.



    The slots were definitely rough when the frets came out, but didn't lose a lot of large chips in the process. I think there were a total of three or four big enough to need gluing back in.



    Starting to fill the slots. Cleaned each out with a hack saw blade and used an oak veneer to fill (the only kind that the local Home Depot had... this was an on-the-cheap project...). Then I used an Exacto knife to trim the veneer as low as I could and the rest was sanding. I had picked up some putty too in case it needed further filling but the veneer seemed to fit in pretty tight.


    All in! You could definitely feel the slots as you passed your finger over them at this stage, which had me a bit concerned. But a few coats of polyurethane and lots of sanding and polishing and it evened out nicely.


    The final product!


    Seems to play well. I filed the nut down a bit for playability, to keep action low with no fret crowns to press against. I think I may take it to oldies-band practice this afternoon and see how it sits in the mix.

    That's what I've done so far. Down the line I'm thinking of doing a fabric refinish like pklima's burberry basses, and maybe swapping out electronics for something with more oomph than the stock pickups.
  6. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    Very cool it turned out great.