Aria Pro ll
I have a preference for the Aria Pro ll brand of bass guitars. I like the older 80’s models better than the modern ones. In terms of looks and sound the SB1000 as used by John Taylor in Duran Duran is my favourite. However since i have small hands and short stubby fingers my playing preference is for the SB Elite series which has a thinner neck at the nut and there are several versions including a one and two pickup version. Elite l, Elite 2 together with some Special editions ELT and the LTD.
I have a number of SB’s over the past few years. I purchase here in Japan, usually at auction and spend a few months cleaning, repairing,setting up and playing. A new set of strings is always a must. Being a finger player rather than a plectrum I prefer flatwounds. Since I have a nickel allergy I like stainless flats which are difficult enough to find in Japan. Add to that a further preference for a light guage (no more than 100 on the low E string) and its nearly impossible to find a set that meets my criteria.
I have seen a few bass guitars with warped and twisted necks over the years and I think part of the reason for this is the use of heavy guage strings here in Japan. When I receive a used bass it usually has very old rusty nickel roundwounds on it with a heavy guage. The truss rod will be usually cranked all the way clockwise to counter the heavy strings. The action will be raised at the bridge so that is about 0.5cm – 1.0cm at the 24th fret. Perhaps its something to do with slap and pop players but quite frankly I find a bass set up this way is unplayable.
The SB1000 models that I’ve owned an oak original and a SB1000 Cliff Burton edition, both had ebony fretboards and so did the SB1200. There is something about playing on an ebony fretboard that just feels better to me.
If its not a Aria, an Ibanez will do!