1970s Aria Pro II (Ibanez Destroyer) Electric Guitar

Can Explorer copies be as good as the real deal? For sure. I've handled a few late-'70s Gibson Explorers ("reissue" models) but I've been really impressed by their Japanese-made rivals, to be honest. This Aria Pro II version is the same Japanese, FujiGen-made instrument as the Ibanez Destroyer models that are more common to see out on the net.

It's a customer's instrument and shares all the features you could want with their G-brand coutnerparts -- good, lightweight body, set neck with stable, comfortable cut, twin-humbucker layout and balanced build, and great looks. What it didn't have originally were spectacular pickups, though on this guy the owner had me swap-in some Bare Knuckle humbuckers to replace the already-replacement Gibson SG pickups that were in it.

I also replaced the jack and adjusted the setup and... hey presto! Killer guitar. Note the replacement tuners, and Gibson ABR-style replacement bridge. I wouldn't be surprised if the tail was a replacement, too.

This has a slim-C, fast neck with ~12" board radius and 24 3/4" Gibson-style scale.