Ranger 6 review by EKO

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.2 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.1 (71 votes)
EKO: Ranger 6

Price paid: $ 539.85

Purchased from: Intersound Leicester

Sound — 9
Sound is quite thin an jangly, doesn't have the usual weight you would associate with an old dreadnought, more refined in many ways. Good for lead lines and flatpicking, but digging in for some strumming produces good results as well. Tone is nicely balanced and projection is good, runs rings around any of todays budget guitars.

Overall Impression — 9
This is my second acoustic, and probably my last because it will outlive me at this rate. Just one word of advice though, these guitars are getting more popular these days, and there are a lot on eBay, going for quite cheap. I bought this from a shop, and although it was a lot more than eBay, being able to try before I bought it, and being assured of its quality was definitely worth the money. Be wary of any examples you see on the web, they may not have had as careful an owner as mine!

Reliability & Durability — 10
As I said, this guitar is bound to be at least older than me (18), but it is built like a brick shit house and will last for ever. It was made for hitching around with, so its bound to be pretty robust I guess. Would definitely withstand live playing, and probably a lot more besides. Strings don't break that easily, but one strap button seems to be quite loose, probably playing with a strap isn't a good idea. Apparently this was made as a budget guitar, if so it feels incredibly well made (it's also very heavy), especially compared to the plywood boxes you get churned out these days! Although Eko have gone bust, there are still some parts rattling around on the web if you need replacements, so don't worry.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Bought second hand, so can't really rate factory settings, but the Tune-O-Matic bridge means that you can't really go wrong! Construction was dead on, no need for any adjustment really.

Features — 9
Don't know when it was made, Eko went bust in 1969 but some reissues were put out in the 80s. Made in Recanti, Italy, according to the headstock. 21 frets on rosewood board, quite small scale, but unplayably so, and neck feels robust. Smooth satin finish, looks like a solid top, on a dreadnought body. Classical style open tuners. Bridge has this cool Tune-O-Matic style thing which allows you to adjust the action without even taking the strings off, results have been mixed but still a real advantage, and I've never seen it anywhere else on an acoutsic! Oh, and a 0th fret, just to add to the extras.

21 comments sorted by best / new / date

    My first "real" guitars were Eko's when I was many decades younger than I am now. I had 7 of them, 6 and 12 strings. They all had to go though, life took over, and I was delighted when Eko started producing again. I bought the Ranger 12 string and the instant I held it I felt a teenager again. Neck is a great width for me, the action is so low on factory settings with no buzzing anywhere - in fact, it is much lower than my Les Paul as set up by Gibson! But I need strings for my Eko beauty. I have hunted for help, I have repeatedly emailed Eko to try and discover what brand of strings they put on these instruments and, more importantly, what gauge of strings. The top E looks close to .008, it is much thinner than the .009 on my other acoustics. Does anyone have any ideas? I sure don't want to put heavier strings on and destroy such a perfect action.
    I bought my EKO Ranger 12 string in 1964 and it was my first guitar-it was extremely easy for a beginner to fret-wide neck and low action-I still have it 45 years later. It had a few bumps and bruises when my kids were teenagers but still sounds sweet. It's a brassy sound but mellow-tremendous volume for an acoustic.
    I rate the EKO Ranger 6 Original guitar better than a Gibson Hummingbird, Dove J45 or D45. The only better guitar that I have ever played was a Vintage Goya as it had slightly more of a rich bass to it. How these sell for £50 is unbelievable I would say they play as well as any £1200 guitar.
    Also bought my Ranger 6 in 1968 in the UK. From memory it was £120, about 10 weeks wages at the time but we were hard done by then, snigger. It's been all around the world with me and survived many folk clubs and pub gigs. Still looks as good as ever except for a bit of crazing in the gel coat where it once got clobbered. I used to have the 12 and wish I still did, that was awesome. I'll have to try and track one down. The 6, plays as good, if not better, than ever.
    Bought my 6 string Eko Ranger semi-acoustic in the summer of 1968. Label inside the body says it was made in January 1968.At the time I belong to a folk group. Unfortunately didn't play it for a few decades but now back at it. It still has the rich tone it had back in the 68. It was well protected and still has the incredible finish.
    I proudly own an Eko Ranger 6. It was originally my mom's, she had it given to her back in the 60's while she was at Uni in London.It was the first Guitar I ever learned to play on. Still in excellent condition, apart from its color, which has slightly faded over time. My daughter is currently learning to play the guitar on it, just like I did and hopefully I will be passing it on to her. Still sounds amazing, not bad for a guitar that's roughly over 50 years old!
    Had my Ranger 6 since bought 2nd hand in 1969. Was fairly old then, could it be 50's? has a serial number on a plate at bottom of neck. Any ideas folks?
    I bought my Eko Ranger 6 for 35 in 1964 new and have had it ever since. I used to hitch - hike to Aviemore evry weekend with it on my back (it helped me get lifts)Kenny Rogers and even Ian Anderson have had a go on it way back in time. I changed the guitar to left hand so that my daughter could learn on it, then kept it in open G for years after I bought a Hummingbird. The Eko is currently back to its right hand configuration and plays very well. The guitar has mellowed well, the tone is excellent and has lost it's "tinnyness" years ago. The colour has also toned down from it's original but looks even better for it.Although the wood has resonated well, it still is a very heavy guitar, great action and slim neck. Way ahead ofn its time as a budget guitar. No idea what it is worth, it is not for sale, and will probably see me out.
    well... i just purchased this exact guitar from amazon for $74.99 USD,w/shipping! I hope the new ones sound as good as the old doggs. At this price, I fell I stole it! Will re-post when it get here by the end of sept. 2010.
    Had my EKO Ranger 6 since 1974, still have it now. Bought from a shopping catalogue. Has had a repair done to the back of the neck just below the top nut. Possibly sent back to the catalogue company who got it repaired. I have played a lot of up to date acoustics but still haven't found one that comes close to the sound of the EKO. Very rich warm tones unlike a lot of Japanese acoustics that are on the market today costing 3 or 4 times as much. A friend had a later version of the EKO Ranger 6 with a black headstock, it didn't sound the same. The tones from this particular instrument were very thin and weak compared to mine. The headstock on mine is a natural finish type with "Made in Recanti,Italy" written underneath the EKO logo. The only other acoustics that was better than the sound of the EKO that I have played were a Gibson J200, one of the Guild Dreadnought series guitars, and a Martin but at a price that was much out of the range of my pocket. I recently saw an EKO Ranger 6 exactly the same model as mine in Cash Converters for 99. If I had had the money on me at the time I would have bought it.
    Just picked one up today, EKO ranger 6, never heard of them before so checked them out on the web and ended up here, Got it for free as it was damaged, it has a big crack to the body on the back, I was going to patch it on the inside, but after a bit of pushing and shoving it pretty much popped back in, sounds great too. Ive put a wood filler on the inside and outside of the crack to strengthen it a bit, and will sand it down and touch it up a bit tomorow. Does anyone have any advice other than what Ive done, I'm not a guitar Tech, just bought a few old nackers in the past and fixed them up a bit for fun.
    mines a ranger 6 1972 sounds amazing, i love to play on it, they should be worth so much more than they are
    Hi Gallplum, I've just taken ownership of my dad's Ranger 6. After owning it since new in the early 70s, he's recently bought a Taylor and the old Eko was not getting much attention. There was some damage to the bridge and one of the internal braces was coming unstuck so I was looking around for someone who might be able to help fix it. I came across Roberto Brandoni here: http://www.brandoniguitars.co.uk/index.a... As you will find out on the website, Roberto bought out a load of old Eko stock when they first went bust. He still has lots of parts in his North London workshop - and I know this includes original machine heads. It may be worth dropping him a line and seeing if you can mail order some for your 12 string.
    I have one of these in 12 string. A mate had one of these in 1969 in Guernsey, it was known as an Eko Jumbo. I have waited 40 years to find one, here in New Zealand. It looks like a train has passed over it, but it still sounds like I remember. Sadly the top six tuners are missing, so I can only play as a 6 string at the moment. If anybody knows where I could aquire a set of tuners for it, I would be forever in their debt. Mine has the black headstock with the white Eko inset. I will post some pics, if that is possible, later.
    Forgot this: I think it cost GBP50 when new - I split the cost with my mum [as a Christmas present]. It has held it's value well although there wasn't much initial value there anyway. I've no intention of selling it although my 21 yo daughter's hassling me about giving it to her...
    According to the pdf catalogs on guitarfetish mine's a Ranger 6 1982 model. My memory insists on telling me I've had it longer. I lived in England til '1983 and I swear I had the guitar well before I left. I've done nothing to it over those years - apart from adding then removing a Greenpeace sticker. It still has the big sound it always had. Can't remember when I last renewed the strings or what type are now on it. It will outlast me I'm sure