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Thread: Aria 19th Century Style Small Body Replica

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    York UK
    Posts
    77

    Default Aria 19th Century Style Small Body Replica

    It has been a very interesting and progressive 2011 for me. I started it by aquiring a Kala ukulele as a refreshing change from my long and jaded struggles in classical guitar, then quickly moving up to a wonderful Kanilea K2 Tenor......

    but those 6 strings are where my heart is so it was just a dream come true to get hold of the awesome Kanilea GL6 guitarlele, a perfect responsive and resonant little beauty - as clear and sweet as a bell. As it is tuned up to A some tunes really sound great while others will sound more natural in the more usual guitar tuning of E so I started looking for a guitar equivalent.

    Then last week after a long search I bought this Aria A19C 200N. It is a small body 'parlor' guitar which replicates the style from the early 19th Century romantic guitar era. It comes from the newish world of hand finished Chinese makers and has a top specification of solid spruce top and solid rosewood back and sides. A 63cm scale makes it a little smaller all round than a full size classical, and the small body is just what I wanted for comfortable play. There were a couple of hitches with some 'buzzing' that I quickly fixed and I'm really happy with how it sounds.

    It has a set of Aquila Alabastro strings on at the moment, till I get some Savarez Corums, then the Aquilas can go onto the GL6.

    Here is a video example for you all.



    Cheers and HAPPY NEW YEAR to all, Ken.
    Kala KA-KTG-CT Tenor
    Kanile'a K-2 Tenor Satin Finish
    Yamaha GL-1 Guitarlele
    Kanile'a K-1 GL6 Guitarlele... amazing instrument!
    Kiwaya KMC-K Master Series Concert

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Los Angeles
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    4,643

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    Ken, that is a very nice looking and sweet sounding guitar and you play it well.

    A bit out of my league, though. I'm somewhat of a lapsed CG player myself. Looking to save up enough amazon credits to buy a Yamaha guitalele.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    York UK
    Posts
    77

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    Thanks itsme, it should sound even better given enough time. Yes it is a bit pricey but as I intend to play it for years to come it makes sense to have an instrument that makes me happy. It was also a risk as there is no video at all of it in action and only 1 review that I could find.

    The Yamaha is good fun and sounds quite good with the right strings, I really hope you get hold of one. Expect a pretty cramped fretboard though, I had to adopt some partial barre technique to get around a few tunes. It's a funny old world, I hardly touch the Yamaha now and if you lived around the corner I'd gladly swap it for a few cans of beer
    Kala KA-KTG-CT Tenor
    Kanile'a K-2 Tenor Satin Finish
    Yamaha GL-1 Guitarlele
    Kanile'a K-1 GL6 Guitarlele... amazing instrument!
    Kiwaya KMC-K Master Series Concert

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Los Angeles
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken of York View Post
    The Yamaha is good fun and sounds quite good with the right strings, I really hope you get hold of one. Expect a pretty cramped fretboard though, I had to adopt some partial barre technique to get around a few tunes. It's a funny old world, I hardly touch the Yamaha now and if you lived around the corner I'd gladly swap it for a few cans of beer
    You are most kind, sir. Yeah, I'd take you up on that offer in a heartbeat and I'd give you at least a 12-pack of some good stuff.

    But I will get one eventually. Neither of us is working right now, and we can't afford to spend "real money" on toys, so amazon credit from doing online surveys is my "play money." I had enough and then my husband guilted me into buying him a saw blade with it for a home improvement project because "it will benefit both of us."

    Anyway, what strings do you recommend?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    York UK
    Posts
    77

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    Hi itsme, I actually listed in detail the strings I was using on this little yootoob vid - along with my fiendish 'headstock cam' of the very instrument

    http://youtu.be/QMB4I0N0oRk

    I'd be tempted now to say that Worth Browns would be even better for strings 1 and 2, that would make the whole set the same as on the Kanilea GL6 which is by far my most lovely little toy. But just the straight set of 'normal' EJ45 would do nicely as well, its just that I am very fussy!

    I'm sorry to hear about your situation, the financial constraints of unemployment can be a bitter prison to occupy, I spent 2 long periods locked in that situation in the 1980s and 1990s. That experience never lets me forget how priviledged I am now to have a pretty solid job where my work is both interesting and valued by the people around me. I truly hope opportunity comes your way soon.
    Kala KA-KTG-CT Tenor
    Kanile'a K-2 Tenor Satin Finish
    Yamaha GL-1 Guitarlele
    Kanile'a K-1 GL6 Guitarlele... amazing instrument!
    Kiwaya KMC-K Master Series Concert

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Los Angeles
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    Thanks for the string advice and your encouraging words, Ken.

    I looked thru my pile and see I have an unopened set of EJ46's (hard tension). That might be a good starting point for me if I don't like the stock strings. Do you know what strings they come with?

    I am so close to having enough amazon credits now! I redeemed some credit from one survey place, but they said it will take 4-6 weeks to process and it's been several weeks already. Really, some give you the amazon code immediately after you request it, so I don't understand their "processing" delay. I have enough to redeem with another outfit, but their amazon option has been "temporarily unavailable" for the last week. <sigh> When these two come thru, I'll be able to order my guitalele.

    I'll have to dig out my copy of that Jason Waldron book. I really like the Carcassi prelude. I like the Sugarplum Fairy, too, but it's going to be a while before I'm up for working on Christmas tunes again. I had printed out a bunch and worked on them for over a month, but we ended up with anywhere to go for Christmas, so I didn't get to play them for anyone but my husband. At least I enjoyed playing them.

    Your headstock cam was pretty cool. Gives a good look at your fingers doing the deed.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    York UK
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    Yes I think the Hard Tension EJ46 will be ok on the GL1. The smaller scale length has a lesser effect on the tensions. I found starting up on the Yamaha was pretty tough on my fret fingers, but got over it soon enough. There was no info on the strings it came with, they were ok but dull on the treble. It may be worth experimenting with Aquilas or Worths for strings 1 and 2 if you have any. They may sing out quite nicely and just give that extra edge that makes so much difference.

    Those Waldron books are quite hard to get hold of now. I got 4 volumes but there are 6 in total so I missed a couple. They do have some excellent transcriptions of famous melodies. One of these days I'll nail that Jupiter excerpt from Holst on my GL6 and maybe the Washington Post March to add to my UTube collection. One of them also has the whole 5 sections of the Blue Danube suite for guitar, well done Mr Waldron!

    Like you I did a bit of work on some christmas tunes although the only active thing I did was put up White Christmas on YouTube for friends.

    Good luck with getting your dues from the Amazon thing.

    ps. I just played through a few tunes on the GL1 (for old times sake) and can definitely say that although it lacks subtlety it is most certainly a proper and capable instrument. Given the price as well it is an amazing bargain - or to put it another way it costs around 25 times less than the Kanilea GL6, how good is that!
    Kala KA-KTG-CT Tenor
    Kanile'a K-2 Tenor Satin Finish
    Yamaha GL-1 Guitarlele
    Kanile'a K-1 GL6 Guitarlele... amazing instrument!
    Kiwaya KMC-K Master Series Concert

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    York UK
    Posts
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    Default another vid and info

    Hi, now its been a few weeks I wanted to update my progress with this guitar. Also here is a new vid of a short Giuliani tune - plus the same tune played on the Kanilea GL6 by way of comparison.



    It took a few experiments but 2 specific things have made this guitar into a winner for me -

    1. Trying to get a sweeter treble tone I was playing at the top end of the soundhole. Trouble was that the bass strings sounded 'muddy' in that position and even worse there were areas around the keys of C and G where some notes totally overwhelmed everything else. I think this is known as 'wolf notes'. So taking a chance I fitted a Planet Waves O-Port (small size) and it totally cured the wolf notes just like that.

    2. Bass strings still sounding a bit heavy I experimented and find the perfect string set up (for me anyway) is a set of Aquila Alabastro for strings 3,4,5,6 and Savarez Cristal Clear Trebles for strings 1 and 2. This gives a really good balance across the fretboard.

    So it took some effort to put right which is maybe a bit disappointing in a quite expensive guitar but it is making me happy now.

    Cheers, Ken
    Kala KA-KTG-CT Tenor
    Kanile'a K-2 Tenor Satin Finish
    Yamaha GL-1 Guitarlele
    Kanile'a K-1 GL6 Guitarlele... amazing instrument!
    Kiwaya KMC-K Master Series Concert

  9. #9
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    Dec 2008
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    Klumbus Uh-Hi-Yuh
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    Nice guitar. I really enjoyed your video and posted it over at Harmony Central's Acoustic Guitar Forum. I think a lot of people over there would enjoy the Aria and your playing.
    TB or not TB, that is congestion.

    http://www.ukuleleplayermagazine.com
    (Ukulele Player Magazine)
    Ukulele Player Magazine STORE...
    http://www.zazzle.com/ukeplayermagazine

  10. #10
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    Dec 2011
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    Lower Slower
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    That is a very beautiful guitar--was not onto the charms of the guitarlele and romantic guitar. I love those Guiliani works, I love how you play them, and wish I could play them. I'm about to restring a Yamaha classical guitar that was my husband's and see if I can get a few lessons from a very good guitarist who is a close friend. I just love the instrument even though I grew up on the piano and am fairly good. You can't play a piano sitting in bed, however! One of the charms of the uke, I must say.
    Ukes: Mainland mahogany tenor, Eleuke Tenor Solid Cutaway Sunburst

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