View Full Version : Looking for Info on the Aria A-78 Baritone Ukulele

07-28-2018, 07:20 AM
Wondering if anyone owns an Aria A-78 baritone ukulele.
I recently ran across one and am curious to know about the brand and the baritone in particular.
There is not a lot of information online, other than Aria is a Japanese instrument company, and was started in 1953, and in the early days focused more on guitars.
A few vintage models show up from time to time on resale sites, but other than that it is a desert out there. They look to be well made with solid wood, mostly mahogany, and friction tuners.
What do you know about them?
Do you own an Aria ukulele?

07-28-2018, 08:16 AM
Googled "Aria Ukulele", found this, although no mention of a baritone


07-28-2018, 08:25 AM
You might find information about that uke on the amazon.jp site. Google will translate. I was looking at their soprano. It sounds decent, and cheap. If you get one, tell us what you think.

07-28-2018, 08:49 AM
Yes, it is interesting that they are still being made today.
The A-78 is a vintage instrument, dating probably to the 1960s, I would love to know more about the earlier ukuleles.

Aria’s classical guitars also seem to be well respected, and probably more closely aligned to the build of the A-78.

07-29-2018, 10:25 PM
I haven't tried or seen the baritone, but I owned an Aria guitalele for a while, and tried some tenor and concert models in a store.
They seem well made, generally good quality.

I would imagine a vintage instrument may have been even higher quality, if its in good condition.

07-31-2018, 04:47 AM
I ended up purchasing the instrument and wanted to post some photos of the Aria A-78.
I paid $90 for it.

The wood is a mahogany laminate and that is probably why it is in as good a shape as it is. There are a few scratches and nicks as to be expected from a 40-50 year old instrument. But no cracks and the body feels tight. The neck has some glossing, so it has been played and does feel as though it has opened up - as much as a laminate can. The sound is warm and mellow and the build is clean. There are some sanding gouges where the edges of the fret board lays on the body, and the sound hole decoration is a little indented, but over all these are cosmetic issues and do not affect playability. The saddle and nut are glued in so it would be a bit of an issue to adjust string height.

I cleaned the tuners and they seem to hold pretty well. At the moment I have put D'Addario EJ87B Titanium and Rectified Black Nylon Strings on it. I am not fond of nylon, but this all my local store had in stock. But they are good enough to get a feel for mechanics of the instrument while I wait for other string sets to arrive. Intonation seems spot on.

Since I am primarily a soprano scale player, the baritone is a novelty for me. I think it will be a fun addition to my ukulele family.

07-31-2018, 04:50 AM
More photos

07-31-2018, 02:45 PM
Vitazora, that looks like a nice find and at a great price. Congratulations!

Swamp Yankee
07-31-2018, 03:15 PM
cool! I saw the listing for that uke and wondered about it. Nice to hear from the person that got it.

The first musical instrument I ever bought for myself was an Aria dreadnaught guitar way back in 1971 or so.

08-01-2018, 05:48 AM
Ten second sound clip recorded with an iPhone
Aquila Lava Strings
https://soundcloud.com/kathleen-hancock-1/baritone-ukulele-sound-clip (https://soundcloud.com/kathleen-hancock-1/baritone-ukulele-sound-clip)

05-07-2020, 09:45 AM
I purchased an Aria A.78 a few years ago. It's my "go-to" instrument when I'm just plunking around. I like it in spite of the hard, direct tuning keys that came on it. Makes tuning a little difficult and time consuming.