I remember being fascinated with alternative-material instruments from a young age.  The first bass I ever purchased was a beaten up old Ibanez Ergodyne EDB and I remember playing it for the first time and being unable to believe I had spent so much time on the beaten up Precision Bass I had spent so long playing.  Everything about it fascinated me, and I remember wondering why composite guitars were not more common at the time.  These days, I have become more traditional, with a certain admitted hesitation to composite instruments.  After being disappointed with several manufacturers’ products, you can imagine my skepticism when I first was told of a small company somewhere in Europe beginning to build with a new composite material.


Aristides Guitars is a Netherlands-based company that has, as of late, become more mainstream in the progressive/metal guitar scene.  As someone that has fallen for several “Fly-by-Night” Hype luthiers in the past, I had absolutely nothing but skepticism for these instruments.  Then, I received one.


The Aristides 060 is about as futuristic of a guitar as it gets, both in materials and design.  At first glance, I wasn’t sure if I was looking at a stealth fighter or a guitar!  The weight of this one was around 7.5 pounds, not bad at all.  The Matte finish was exceptionally well-done, and even my incredibly picky eye could not find a single flaw with the fit or finish of the instrument.  Whilst this particular guitar has an Ebony fingerboard, it seems, in the future, that the only wood on these instruments is to be replaced by Richlite for the fingerboards.  The lack of wood certainly seems to be an environmentally-friendly choice, and very conscious, considering how many trees are being harvested to build instruments currently.  Another aspect is the lack of climactic influence on the instrument, creating a very stable touring instrument for even the most grueling of conditions.

DSC_0011_zpstmo0nz98 DSC_0027_zpseirronke

The specs of this guitar are very well-appointed, with a 12-16” Compound Radius, Ebony Fretboard with pearl inlays, Black Graphtech Tusq Nut, 25.5” scale, Bare Knuckle VHII/Cold Sweat pickup set (Seymour Duncans standard), Hipshot Hardtail (Floyd Rose Optional) bridge and locking tuners, MEC Electronics, one volume/one tone, and a 5 way switch with 24 Stainless Steel Frets.  The neck is a very comfortable soft “C” shape that is very fast and the “Neck heel” is basically non-existent, providing completely unhindered access to the upper registers.

DSC_0023_zpssqykppqd DSC_0010_zpssneluz22

Fretwork is impeccable on this guitar, and the (notorious) Dutch attention to detail is apparent in all aspects of design and construction.  The instrument balances very well on the included leather strap at several different heights and playing is utterly effortless.  The action on this particular one was scary low, dare I say under 1.2MM at the 12th fret?  As much as I wish I could compare this instrument to another instrument on the planet, it is simply just not possible.  The Arium provides a very unique clean tone that can almost be defined as “shimmery” with the tone rolled off, and rolled on I was able to move into clean, warm jazz tones with ease.  I was skeptical of the semi-hollowbody design for feedback issues, but even under the highest of gain settings overdriven, the instrument was very easily controlled with zero issues.  The 060 was one of the tightest heavy tones I have ever heard, with a richly satisfying tone both for modern metal enthusiasts and traditional alike.  Although I am convinced there is simply nothing this instrument cannot do, if you play heavier music, you owe it to yourself to check out the 060.

DSC_0025_zpsbilhbkbr DSC_0008_zpsjhae69ij


The Aristides 060 may quite possibly be the most unique instrument you ever play.  The fit and finish are superb, as well as the fretwork.  Tonally, the palette is very broad, although, this particular instrument was definitely voiced more for the metal enthusiast.  With a price tag of 2,223 Euros excluding VAT, (About $3000 USD) for a standard model, the 060 will definitely make you check your wallet, however, I find it hard to believe many would find this instrument disappointing in any way.  The instrument is superbly designed, built and sound absolutely crushing.  If you are a vintage elitist this may not be the best choice for you, however, if you like unique, incredible boutique instruments you don’t see everyday and innovative design?  You probably should have a look at this instrument. Aristides is here to stay, and they have brought the future with them, if you are ready.


Incredibly Stable material

Exceptional Build Quality

Quick Build time

Tonally Diverse

Excellent Hardware/Pickup choices

Environmentally Conscious


Large Price Tag

No wood construction may deter some

***Stay Tuned for an Aristides 060 Video Review by our very own Brian Gilmanov soon!***

We now carry the latest guitar brands in our Community Store: http://shop.wiredguitarist.com/

About The Author