Aria Pro 2 AVB 45 - second hand active bass

I’ve found this bass up for sale nearby. I’m looking for a relatively cheap backup bass and I think I’m going to give it a try.
It looks very nice and hopefully it’s easy to play. It’s also about 25 years old, if the internet is not too wrong, and has active electronics, or so it seems.
No idea how that ages. I should be able to notice physical damages, I’ll check the neck and truss rod - somebody suggested it in other topics. I’ll also bring a 9v battery in case the one in the bass is dead.
Is there anything I should check related to active electronics specifically? Assuming the owner let me check the electronic cavity, what signs could indicate that it is damaged or likely to die soon (assuming it sounds and feels nice in the first place)?

Also, assuming I would like to mod it in the future, is there a passive PJ configuration where 4 pots make sense? Or you just leave the pots there, even if they are not connected to anything? :thinking:

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Truss rod is the most important thing to check. Then check if neck is twisted. The rest is fixable.

Got pic?

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Thanks, good to know

Pics here https://www.ebay-kleinanzeigen.de/s-anzeige/e-bass-aria-pro-ii/2249371415-74-9008

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Killer bass. May end up being your number one. Those things were works of art in their time. I would doubt anything being wrong with it. Doesn’t appear to have led a rough life.

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Sure is. Volume, volume, tone, tone, is a nice set up and would give you more control over the sound. :sunglasses::+1:

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actually I find really weird to have two tone controls without a pickup switch. a nonsense to me.

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So, I went and tried the bass. It’s quite old, and even if it mostly sat in the closet has a few scratches and the electronics do not work correctly (the guy thought it was the amp, I brought the Boss Cube for testing).
However, the neck, truss rod, bridge, tuners etc are in working order, and I like the body shape and neck feel. Given the electronics issue, we agreed on a lower price. I decided it was worth it as a mod platform, even if things go wrong I would have learned something. I was considering replacing the original pickups with passive ones anyway.

So, the options: the Quarter Pounder and the Geezer PJ have caught my attention. Has anybody played any of these two and would recommend them?
Any other suggestions, mostly for genres between rock and (classic) metal?

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I have a set of QP’s in my Warmoth build. They are clear, clean and punchy as hell. They can get deep if needed but with a roll of the tone knob, they can chime and sound like a piano. They can also do the farty P-Bass tone rather well. I think you would be hard pressed to spend more and find a better set of pickups. Good value for the money.

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My Lakland came with the Geezer PJ pickups. Quite dark sounding, as you might expect. P 100% J 0% is hot and mean, so if that’s what you’re looking for I recommend

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Oh, that’s perfect timing, I’ve just begun searching for demos on youtube :+1:

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I vote :hamburger: :hamburger:

QP all the way

Oh well, they definitely sound great, but they are not cheap. At least a bit higher than what I was planning for. I’m sure it’s possible to spend more and get less, but as my first DIY project, I’m not sure I’m willing to pay 250 euros. Maybe they’re cheaper in the land of the free, but that’s the price on this side of the pond.
And the pickup sizes in the description are in inches only, whereas the EMG has both imperial and decimal measures. In this case, it’s just a minor annoyance, but errors in unit conversion have caused disasters before :rofl:
But their sound - at least in recordings - is pretty damn good :metal:

I guess it’s up to Santa’s pockets now :grin:

Let’s just hope you’ve been good this year :santa:

You could also mix and match. The P and J don’t have to be from the same maker :slight_smile:

It really depends on what you’re going for.

For P pickups I liked a lot of them more than the Quarter Pounders; DiMarzio has several, Fender CS '60s is surprisingly good, Barenuckle is of course awesome, etc. I ended up going with a DiMarzio Model P. Split P is good too:

I know little about J pickups but I bet there are some equally good ones.

I have both in different Aerodynes.
These are very very different pickups and I suggest watching some YouTube videos for comparision.
Quarter Pounders are modern and agressive.
Geezers have a ‘very Geezer’ warmth to them.
All depends on what you are looking for, they are both great, vof very different things though.

You can see both in this video (note strings are different too, check description).
RED = QP
NATURAL = GEEZERS

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Thank y’all for your answers, there are way too many good options :rofl:

I decided to dismount the pickups to measure the cavities in the body, but I also double-checked the electronics again before doing it. The problem seems to be a combination of a loose jack in the socket and old/defective potentiometers (definitely the volume)…


I was wondering if replacing those parts is still within my limited soldering capabilities or at least a good exercise before installing new pickups :smile:

One pot has A100kA and 2LW written on the back, and the three others have something like B100k (barely visible in the picture).

First question: is something visibly damaged in the board/component that I missed? (I have played around with this stuff long ago, but not much experience in general)
Second: is there any reason to use 100k again pot instead of the way more common 250k (just looking at websites and asking google. Again, assume an elementary experience in electronics, none in music applications)? Are that even 100k pots or something else?
Third: any general suggestion or link to resources on the topic?

Thanks :zap:

  • I see one resistor up too to the left that looks pulled up and smooshed over, check its connection and that it’s not touching the jumper next to it.
  • the pots chosen were to give the bass a unique sound to the Arias. Changing them will change the tone (but so will the pickups.
  • if you don’t own a multimeter, time to give yourself a Christmas present and check the pots before doing all that work to find it’s a defective chip or something else in fixable instead.
  • I’d go over to talk bass and search or ask what the common failures on these are, folks might know.
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Right, I’m definitely rusty on the matter, I didn’t even think about that. Next challenge: let’s find where the multimeter has been abandoned after the last use… :laughing: