This is an excellent guitar for the price. Whatever Aria replaced it with, it must be one damned great guitar. Mine is an Aria AW250VS according to the inner label, (aw-250-vs) S/N 93050006. My father-in-law willed it to me, and ever since I've used it as my "working" dreadnought (to save wear on my one-of-a-kind Martin Commemorative D-28.) The Aria is hardy, taking my daily abuse, wide swings of humidity (which I fight valiantly!) and also does a fantastic job as the main dreadnought I use for recording. Of course I use the Martin D-28, SHE SINGS! But this little Aria (My father-in-law had the original receipt for $300.00) does a fantastic job, and I've been playing for 45 years, so I know what I'm talking about, and more importantly, what I'm listening to!
The specs on this page say the AW250's fretboard and bridge are rosewood. I believe that description of MY PARTICULAR guitar is wrong; The fret board and the bridge on mine are a DEEP BLACK color, and next to the Martin, on which both the fretboard and bridge are Ebony, they are not just passable, but look identical. I am not sure what the "VS" in the model number stands for, and Aria's Web Site has ZILCH for historic instruments. This is the one downside to their operations. I would have liked construction details on the axe. I'm "that guy."
The design overall is very close to a Martin D-28 Dreadnought, and it plays like it. I do all my own adjustments, and with light gauge strings I have the action down to a "whisper," which the neck will actually support. It does take neck adjustments wonderfully, and once set, it takes some doing (wide changes in humidity) to cause it to go out. Happy with THAT! The bridge "bone" is good hard plastic, if not true bone, which is not common on less expensive guitars. One thing that KILLS a cheap guitars sound is the nut and bridge bone being made out of soft (cheap) materials. Harder materials better support filing and sanding, which are optimal for setting action as low as you can get it. As it came to me (Dad would never have "tweaked" this thing and there was no evidence of it) it was wonderfully playable and has a full, rich sound you can't strangle out of many more expensive guitars. Well done Aria! Of course with my own personal tweaks I have to say this is a fine working, stage and even studio recording guitar, for which, I am presently using it with great playback results. The BASICS are all there for a gorgeous and full spectrum of sound. Looking at the inner construction it's a pretty standard neck/body joint, and bracing setup, which is FINE... this ain't rocket science, and a "tried and true method" is one that will rarely let you down; the "bugs are out of the design" so to speak. The materials? You can't get better for this much less than a grand, that's for sure. The world is running out of large hardwoods. Dirt-cheap guitars are made of soft stuff, and that never made a Luthier happy, nor the player who finally played the instrument. Overall quality? It's great right from the factory. With the right care and a little Luthier "magic" it's an awesome guitar, and I don't say that about many guitars that "go for" under a grand or so. If it is in good condition, was cared for properly, and wasn't damaged in any way, SNAP IT UP. It's still worth every bit if the original $300.00 retail... if not more. Value? Great>fantastic.