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  #16  
Old 11-12-2012, 07:32 AM
Garthman Garthman is offline
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I bought one in 1971 and it's still played regularly.



OK - as some people have said, they are not the greatest guitars ever made but (as Steveyam commented) for we budding guitarists in the early 70s they were just the ticket.
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  #17  
Old 11-12-2012, 07:40 AM
steveyam steveyam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garthman View Post
I bought one in 1971 and it's still played regularly.

OK - as some people have said, they are not the greatest guitars ever made but (as Steveyam commented) for we budding guitarists in the early 70s they were just the ticket.
Nice looking guitar. How does that one play these days? is the action still ok?
You should post some more of those photos that you have on Harmony Central to show just how well they were made.
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  #18  
Old 11-12-2012, 08:10 AM
Redpick Redpick is offline
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Yep, had one just like Garthman's around 1969. It was my 1st acoustic and although it was heavily built I learned my 1st chords and learnt to fingerpick on that guitar. Fond memories. Sold it to Les Mackeown of the Bay City Rollers for the same price I paid for it - £25 from memory. Years later I started work at £10 a week!!!! Often wonder what happened to that guitar. Saw one today on Gumtree, but couldn't go back to one, it's a bit like a piece of furniture, really well made but too heavy and clunky.
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  #19  
Old 11-12-2012, 08:57 AM
Garthman Garthman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steveyam View Post
Nice looking guitar. How does that one play these days? is the action still ok?
Thank you - the pic doesn't show all the dings though, LOL. But yes, the action is fine - in fact very good - and it plays well. Apart from the dings it is in good condition and there is no sign of any neck problems despite the fact that it is over 40 years old. That Good old bolt-on neck I suppose: 4 long screws through a 4" cube of wood into the neck - takes some shifting.


Quote:
Originally Posted by steveyam
You should post some more of those photos that you have on Harmony Central to show just how well they were made.
Here you go:








Last edited by Garthman; 11-12-2012 at 09:02 AM.
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  #20  
Old 11-12-2012, 09:32 AM
steveyam steveyam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garthman View Post
Thank you - the pic doesn't show all the dings though, LOL. But yes, the action is fine - in fact very good - and it plays well. Apart from the dings it is in good condition and there is no sign of any neck problems despite the fact that it is over 40 years old. That Good old bolt-on neck I suppose: 4 long screws through a 4" cube of wood into the neck - takes some shifting.




Here you go:







Just like we said, still stable after all these years. And look at that build quality. Yep, it's 'heavy' but better heavy and well 'engineered' than warpy and rubbishy like a lot of cheap acoustic guitars at the time. But anyway, Eko guitars - certainly not in my circle of friends - were never considered 'bottom end', they were well respected instruments. Anyone who had an Eko was generally very proud of it. They looked great, had a high gloss, very stable finish (albeit 2mm thick!), they had lovely slim necks, low actions - and to our ears at the time - sounded perfectly fine. Yes I look back on my Ranger 12 and Rio Bravo 6 with fond memories. I swapped em both plus £70 to a bloke for a black (car paint) sprayed '67 SG Standard that I had to totally refinish and refurbish. But I didn't care, I'd got my Gibson electric!
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  #21  
Old 11-12-2012, 10:23 AM
Von Beerhofen Von Beerhofen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big.Al View Post
A guy in my current church choir has an Eko electric guitar that looks like this one, except in red:


I'm not sure if the row of buttons selects the pickups or allows the guitar to be played like an accordion.
I had one of these too, never knew it was an EKO (the letters must have been taken off or gotten lost somehow) but nice to finally find a picture of it.
It's a tremelo version, using ball bearings as far as I knew.
Best tremelo I've had, better then Bigsby me thinks (which had the spring drop off if you pulled it up, eeeeek).
The top was an acrylic type of material, bonded to the wooden back with some plastic strip.
It had a very nice action but can't remember if I did something to the neck angle to make that happen.
Those switches had a tendency to change all by themselves with even the slightest touch. The one used most would prevail as it would slide much easier then all others. I remember moving them unwanted with my sleeve only.
It didn't really sound very good but beggars can't be choosers,
I also had two Rangers, a 6 and 12 string. Both necks broke after a bit of a mishap in respectively a bus and a train. They were indeed pretty heavy and tough to play, but at the time I had not much of an idea of what a guitar should be like.
The sound of these wasn't bad, but then again I also didn't have much of a clue as to what a guitar could sound like.
I don't think they have added collector's value, they're just cheap instruments for the poorest of the poorest, which means they were exactly the right thing for me in 1970,
Man I'm getting quite nostalgic now, those were the days!

Ludwig

Last edited by Von Beerhofen; 11-12-2012 at 10:30 AM.
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  #22  
Old 11-12-2012, 11:42 AM
Uncle R. Uncle R. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big.Al View Post
There seemed to be plenty of Eko guitars in the Midwest. They were imported by the LoDuca Brothers in Milwaukee. They originally imported Italian accordions. In 1961, the LoDucas teamed up with Italy-based Oliviero Pigini & Company (an accordion company) to import guitars. A friend told me that he had a tour of the old LoDuca building a back in the '90's and saw a bunch of vintage Eko instruments still around. The LoDuca Brothers are still in business. They now import Italian wine.
I was a young kid in the mid '60s taking my first guitar lessons at the Hopkins street office and studios of LoDuca Bros in Milwaukee. I remember the EKO guitars well - there were EKO guitars and catalogs and flyers and wall posters everywhere in that old building. They were fresh and bright and new compared to the posters and ads for LoDuca accordians that shared space on the walls and in the display cases there.
<
I dodn't realize it at the time but I was a witness to the last remnant gasp of popularity for accordians and polka band music in Milwaukee, as well as the surging increase in the popularity of guitars and "British Invasion" pop music.
<
I was playing a solid body "Holiday" branded electric that my parents bought through the Montgomery Wards catalog. My guitar teacher at LoDuca Brothers tried valiantly to convince my parents that a shiny new EKO electric guitar was just what I needed to help me improve. Perhaps he received a commission on Eko sales. I didn't know much about business then, but even at that tender young age I was aware enough to wonder why (if the Ekos were so good) my instructor played a Gibson 335.
<
In hindsight I wish my parents had bought an Eko. It was a volatile time in guitar history, and Eko was an interesting chapter in the evolutionary story of guitars and guitar manufacturers. It would be a cool thing to have one today.
<
Uncle R.
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  #23  
Old 11-12-2012, 11:53 AM
steveyam steveyam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle R. View Post
I was a young kid in the mid '60s taking my first guitar lessons at the Hopkins street office and studios of LoDuca Bros in Milwaukee. I remember the EKO guitars well - there were EKO guitars and catalogs and flyers and wall posters everywhere in that old building. They were fresh and bright and new compared to the posters and ads for LoDuca accordians that shared space on the walls and in the display cases there.
<
I dodn't realize it at the time but I was a witness to the last remnant gasp of popularity for accordians and polka band music in Milwaukee, as well as the surging increase in the popularity of guitars and "British Invasion" pop music.
<
I was playing a solid body "Holiday" branded electric that my parents bought through the Montgomery Wards catalog. My guitar teacher at LoDuca Brothers tried valiantly to convince my parents that a shiny new EKO electric guitar was just what I needed to help me improve. Perhaps he received a commission on Eko sales. I didn't know much about business then, but even at that tender young age I was aware enough to wonder why (if the Ekos were so good) my instructor played a Gibson 335.
<
In hindsight I wish my parents had bought an Eko. It was a volatile time in guitar history, and Eko was an interesting chapter in the evolutionary story of guitars and guitar manufacturers. It would be a cool thing to have one today.
<
Uncle R.
Lovely story! thanks for sharing it.
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  #24  
Old 11-12-2012, 12:38 PM
Phantoj Phantoj is offline
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The story goes that a 15-year-old Bob Taylor wished for but couldn't afford an Eko Ranger 12 string, inspiring him to build his own guitar in shop class...
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  #25  
Old 11-12-2012, 12:55 PM
David Paul David Paul is offline
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An Eko was my first guitar. My Mom had it first, remember singing Tom Dooley with her on that one. Once I got the bug to play we traded it in on a Yamaha FG 160 I believe. Memories!
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  #26  
Old 11-12-2012, 01:23 PM
brad4d8 brad4d8 is offline
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I can't remember where I read it, but I seem to recall some connection with Eko and Levin (better known for their Goya line) and possibly even Hagstrom. I'll have to search a bit and see if I can find the info-have to head to my MDs so don't have time right now.
Brad
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  #27  
Old 11-12-2012, 01:33 PM
Big.Al Big.Al is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle R. View Post
I was a young kid in the mid '60s taking my first guitar lessons at the Hopkins street office and studios of LoDuca Bros in Milwaukee. I remember the EKO guitars well - there were EKO guitars and catalogs and flyers and wall posters everywhere in that old building. They were fresh and bright and new compared to the posters and ads for LoDuca accordians that shared space on the walls and in the display cases there.

I dodn't realize it at the time but I was a witness to the last remnant gasp of popularity for accordians and polka band music in Milwaukee, as well as the surging increase in the popularity of guitars and "British Invasion" pop music.
Uncle R.
We're not all that far from Milwaukee, and our community actually has an accordion club. A fourteen year old accordion player recently joined our contemporary church choir. (Yes we want to encourage the young people to take part, even with an accordion.) Apparently his grandfather is an accordion enthusiast and this kid caught the bug from him. He’s into vintage instruments and can rattle off the technical details about where each of his instrument was made, the kind of materials it was made from, which famous artist plays one, they type of reeds it has, and the style of songs each variety of accordion is best suited for. (Sound familiar?) Some of the accordions he has are actually pretty cool to look at, with a lot of fancy materials, flashy trim, and pearl inlay, not unlike guitars. Now, polka music has never been my thing, but it’s fun to see a young guy so excited about making music and surprisingly, he finds ways to make the accordion actually fit in even with praise band type tunes. Things run in cycles. Maybe accordion music is staged to make a comeback.

Last edited by Big.Al; 11-12-2012 at 01:39 PM.
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  #28  
Old 04-06-2019, 12:35 AM
therbulus therbulus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by showngo2000 View Post
Just saw a video with a nice sounding guitar called a "MIA 018" made by Eko guitars. Anyone know anything about the brand? I googled and found that they're made in Italy and are a somewhat lower end guitar. Anybody have one?
I had one briefly in the 60's, one of my first instruments. Traded it in because the fingerboard was too dang narrow; wish I knew what it measured, but I was a newbie who knew nothing about that stuff. It had a tailpiece and movable bridge.
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  #29  
Old 04-06-2019, 02:54 AM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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I started playing guitar sometime in the '60s and I suppose I'm unusual in that I never owned an Eko, but must of my guitar playing friends did.
The challenge back then was finding a cheap guitar that was actually playable.

Ekos, being built like Norman castle (and almost as heavy) were built so solidly that they were the easiest guitar to play for many.

I only know of one eldedrly get who still plays his Eko. There was very little tone, beng to heavily built, but opened the door to music for many.

Once my R&B band got popular our second guitarist obtained a semi solid electric made by Eko, and loved it so m8ch, he kept with it even though others had moved on to Harmonys and even some Gibsons and Guilds.
Eko made a great number of different syles of electrics.

I believe they were all made in Italy and so probably sold throughout free Europe, and thrived especially when the embargo on American instruments was in force.
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  #30  
Old 04-06-2019, 03:32 AM
NotALuth NotALuth is offline
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I played a few EKO’s back in the mid 70s and my experience echoes many of the above comments.

About 30 years ago a company in the UK called Brandoni bought up all the part-finished guitars and necks when production stopped and were offering them for sale. From their website:

Eko, the largest guitar manufacturer in Europe had in fact closed down and in 1987 Roberto acquired the entire inventory of remaining stock. Although known mainly in the UK as purveyors of low to mid-priced instruments, the Company was capable of producing some excellent products using the best woods, matched by excellent building skills. Roberto is quick to point out that Eko always maintained large stocks of well-seasoned timber; only using wood that had been stored for at least 15-20 years. The copious quantities of necks in stock at Wembley are therefore now over 40 years old and the fact that they are still in fine shape is sufficient testament to Eko longevity

More recently, I became aware that the brand name was in use again, and producing decent sounding guitars, due to the YouTube videos of Marco Cirillo who uses one almost all the time.
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