Whitstable Guitars

A selection of good quality, used guitars and specialising in imports from Japan since 2008

1980's Kawai Aquarius AQ-501 VWH MIJ & Used Hard Case


Upgraded electrics with Tonerider Rocksong coil splitting humbuckers on this guitar

Kawai are a Japanese company famous for making excellent pianos. In the 1970s & 80's they also made guitars and basses to a very good standard. This guitar is from the Aquarius range and features an Ash body, Maple neck & fretboard, a pair of humbucker pickups & a vintage style tremolo system. It's a nice guitar and it plays well but before I go on, let me tell you about a few modifications etc.

When this guitar came in, it was in a bit of a sorry state. The original pickups had been removed and some mismatched humbuckers had been installed. The electrics were also a bit of a mess & the 3 way switch didn't work very well. Add crackly pots to the equation, it needed some sorting out. The body was also quite poor with scratches & dents along with discolouration leaving it patchy & unattractive. Normally I like to leave things but I just felt it was a project worth doing!

Firstly I stripped the guitar down & rubbed down the body before respraying it in a vintage white which was the closest to the original colour I could get. After several coats of paint I relacquered it  with many coats of nitrocellulose before hand finishing it and polishing. The result isn't 100% perfect but I am very happy with the look. Next up were the electrics. Obviously I couldn't find any original pickups but I found some Tonerider Rocksong zebra humbuckers which get excellent reviews. I like the sound of single coils for rhythm so I wanted them to have coil splitting. This was possible so the tone pot is a push pull one so when it's pushed in, everything is humbucker & when it's pulled out, everything is single coil. It has some great sounds. I also replaced all the pots, the wiring and the switch. The result is a very good guitar which, until sold, I will happily take to gigs!

As I said earlier, the guitar plays nicely and the frets are good & the neck straight & slim giving nice low action. I think it is good value for money.

Kawai AQ-501 Specifications

Body: Ash

Neck: One piece Maple with 22 fret Maple fretboard

Width at nut: 42mm

Width at 12th fret: 54mm

Scale Length: 648mm (25.5")

2 x Tonerider Rocksong w/coil splitting

3 way switch

Master volume & tone knobs

Vintage style tremolo system

3 ply white pickguard

Vintage generic unbranded hard case

As stated many times, due to courier damage, all my guitars are shipped in hard cases (usually new) this one being a vintage generic one which I guess was supplied with the guitar when it was bought new

So to sum up, a nice (but a bit tatty) guitar from Kawai Japan. This model is quite difficult to find here in the UK . My thanks to the Kawai.com website for some useful information which helped me identify the model

If you are further interested in this guitar, you can either email me with any queries & I'll do my best to get back to you within 24 hours.

Or, you can buy easily and safely using the Paypal "buy now" button. Don't forget to select the right option using the drop down menu on price, i.e. Collection, UK shipping or EU shipping. If in doubt, please email me first as Highlands & Islands can sometimes be a little dearer for shipping