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  #31  
Old 04-06-2019, 04:54 AM
brianmay brianmay is offline
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My first 12 string was an Eko and it was built like a brick outhouse. It weighed a ton and had a bolt-on neck.

The finish could repel a Saharan sandstorm. Four hefty bolts held the neck on, and the neck was coated with a form of plastic IIRC.

I bought it in about 1967 and a colleague still has it (he builds harp guitars for fun).

I think I paid something like £20.00 for it then. As value for money went, it was great value.

There's a chap on YouTube plays one - called threelegsoman IIRC

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHM7...g&index=4&t=0s
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  #32  
Old 04-06-2019, 05:11 AM
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Brucebubs Brucebubs is offline
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This is me 41 years ago.
My 1st 12-string guitar was branded 'Gonzalez' but was actually made by EKO in Italy.
Weighed a ton.
Zero fret.
Height adjustable saddle.
Terrible 6-on-a-plate tuners.
All treble.

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  #33  
Old 04-06-2019, 05:53 AM
lgherb lgherb is offline
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When we were kids our family was camping in the Eureka Springs, AR area and we went into a music store called 'The Eureka Strings' (as I recall...I was maybe 8 at the time, so this was the very early 1970's). Several of my older siblings played guitar and there was an EKO 12 string guitar that had a crack in the side near the back strap button.

My oldest sister sweet talked my Dad into buying the guitar based on the markdown and we wound up with a pretty decent 12 string in the house.

Unfortunately, I didn't play then so it was an "older kids" present in reality.

The Eko was still in the family up until a couple of years ago when one of my older brothers had it at his house and the neck broke from the string tension and the guitar 'self-destructed' while he was sitting on the sofa. I think he has an intention of bringing it to a luthier to see if it can be salvageable but as far as I know he has not done that.
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  #34  
Old 04-06-2019, 08:33 AM
Heroditus Heroditus is offline
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Graduated high school in 1972 and used $50 graduation gift from my aunt to buy a used EKO 12 string. That thing weighed a ton but I used it for many years playing in bars and coffee houses throughout my college years and beyond. After I was older and was earning a bit more money I sold it at a garage sale for $10. I got my money's worth out of it though.
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  #35  
Old 04-06-2019, 08:42 AM
AndrewG AndrewG is offline
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I don't think there are many in Europe who didn't own a 'Made in Recanati, Italy' Eko at some point in their musical journey. I owned two in the 60s; a 'Rio Bravo' dread, and the immortal 'Ranger XII'.
If you really want an original a company called Brandoni in the UK still carries original 1960s bodies, necks and parts for the XII and will build you one:

http://www.brandoniguitars.co.uk/eko12.asp

Here's a Rio Bravo (the caption erroneously calls it a Ranger):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-duaxMRRDLk
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Last edited by AndrewG; 04-06-2019 at 08:54 AM.
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  #36  
Old 04-06-2019, 02:52 PM
donlyn donlyn is offline
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Hey Bruce, noticed you replied to this thread, kind of similar to your reply to the 'does it hold tuning' 12 string thread a short while back.

So here's my story, quoting freely from my reply to that one.

Bought an EKO Ranger XII back in late '70 or early '71. Dreadnought body, natural top (spruce, probably), 12 strings, and built like a tank. And it had a zero fret if I remember it correctly. Words can't describe the fun I had with that beast. A song I played a lot on it was Country Joe and the Fish, "I Feel Like I'm Fixin' to Die Rag". (O tempora, o mores.)

As I remember it, that EKO kept in-tune decently, but frankly I'm not sure I would have known given the lack of tuners back then. And I kept it in close-to standard tuning, mostly because my friends were playing guitars too, but they were using 6 string guitars. And did I say it was built like a tank?

Nowadays my Taylor 12 strings give me little to no trouble saying in tune. Both of them are kept tuned down a half step, mostly because that's what I got used to way back when.

And my comment to Bruce on his picture (which is very nice), was "My hair was long dark brown and wavy back in the day. Now its mostly grey, and some white where it once was red."

Don
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Last edited by donlyn; 04-06-2019 at 03:06 PM.
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  #37  
Old 04-06-2019, 03:16 PM
merlin666 merlin666 is offline
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Yes, these Italian Ekos were abundant and at the bottom of the guitar pecking order when I started playing in the 70s. I remember them as being extremely difficult to play and to generate any sound to start with, and most of the young players who made the poor choice of buying one gave up on learning the instrument. However, those who stuck with it and figured out how to get some decent music out of them were considered virtuoso demigods.
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  #38  
Old 04-06-2019, 03:58 PM
Tico Tico is offline
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FWIW, yes I've heard of Eko.
Though we lived in the US, my sister had an Eko 6-string around 1969.
I think it was a sunburst, but with my memory I wouldn't bet a dime on that.

Last edited by Tico; 04-06-2019 at 11:58 PM.
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  #39  
Old 04-06-2019, 04:37 PM
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EDDIESOL EDDIESOL is offline
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Eko guitars are in the past of so many young italian guitar player (No exception here) True all the things about the absurd weight of the Ranger XII strings. Plus your left hand needed to be a iron clamp to do a chord. But in recent times Eko built really good acoustic guitars: Parlor, Auditorium, Dreadnought, Small Jumbo, Classical and even Electric with technical help by Massimo Varini (Mia line).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxIVUtk8oqY

Here' a supporter, testimonial of top of the line XII string: Riccardo Zappa with its Signature model

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEb1ead_siE

Greetings from Rome
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  #40  
Old 04-06-2019, 05:05 PM
zombywoof zombywoof is offline
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Vox acoustic guitars were essentially re-badged Ekos. The importer for Vox was Thomas Organs so they may also have brought Ekos in. Eko closed their doors in 1987.
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  #41  
Old 04-06-2019, 05:47 PM
donlyn donlyn is offline
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Happened to stumble onto this rather enthusiastic review:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iH6azkMX1-0



Don
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*The Heard:
85 Gibson J 200 sitka/rosewood Jumbo
99 Taylor 355 sitka/sapele 12 string Jumbo
06? Alvarez AJ60S englmn/mpl lam md Jumbo
14 Taylor 818e sitka/rosewood Grand Orchestra
05 Taylor 512ce L10 all mahogany Grand Concert
09 Taylor all walnut Jumbo
94 Epiphone EJ 200 spruce/mpl lam Jumbo
16 Taylor 412e-R sitka/rosewood GC
16 Taylor 458e-R s/rw 12 string GO
*Ukes
Kala ATP5
et alia
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  #42  
Old 04-06-2019, 07:11 PM
JLS JLS is offline
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Default I had two of them

My first 12 string, which sounded pretty good, but not a cannon by any means--the body looked like a dipped urethane finish. The neck twisted, got a replacement neck, can't remember what became of it...I've seen a few of these where some of the tuners seized up.

My first bass, a Vox Panther, came from the same factory, skinny little neck that made a J bass neck feel cumbersome.
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  #43  
Old 04-06-2019, 07:19 PM
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Brucebubs Brucebubs is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLS View Post
I've seen a few of these where some of the tuners seized up.
I think I was using a pair of pliers to turn some of the tuners on mine before I sold it.

In hindsight if I still had it now I'd;
- fit new tuners
- replace that height adjustable saddle set up with a rosewood insert & bone saddle.
- fit a set of bone bridge pins
- try some warmer sounding strings like Thomastik-Infeld Plectrums or GHS Silk & Bronze.

p.s. Here's what 40 years can do!

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1972 - Takamine D-70
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2009 - Martin Grand J12-40E Special
2011 - Martin JDP 2 #71/71
2014 - Alvarez ABT60 Baritone
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2012 - Dan Dubowski#61
2012 - Epiphone EJ-200/N
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  #44  
Old 04-06-2019, 07:50 PM
pastorchuck pastorchuck is offline
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I was a 15 year old kid in 1971 and I worked mowing lawns to buy my first new and "good" guitar (I thought it was then) which was a 12 string EKO. As mentioned by others, this guitar was very solid (think HEAVY) but I loved it. I was playing a lot of John Denver stuff back then.

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Last edited by pastorchuck; 04-06-2019 at 07:55 PM.
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  #45  
Old 04-06-2019, 08:48 PM
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My restoration thread: https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/...d.php?t=461163
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