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.