1960s EKO-made Hollowbody Electric Guitar

A customer of mine brought this in for a friend of his. While the branding is unclear, it was certainly made by EKO in Italy. Like many of their hollowbody guitars, the neck is wonderful, stable, and fast but the body is in ruins.

It's all-ply mahogany and bracing has separated on the top (thus caving-in the top in the middle) and the ply has separated on the edges here and there. Because it's not a fabulously-expensive instrument, I simply shored-it-up and gave it a setup so it could keep ticking.

I installed "soundposts" under the loose bracing to stabilize the top, added a ground wire from the tailpiece to the wiring harness, made a shim-block for the neck pocket to let the strings clear the pickup, and then compensated the bridge and set it up on-the-dot.

It came with a nice set of Thomastik flatwounds on it (wound around the posts in a bizarre manner), so that's what you're hearing in the soundclip. You can really hear the almost '50s DeArmond sound of the pickup -- even, crisp, and clear and not at all what we think of as a traditional jazzbox in character. The guitar appears to be "good enough for government work" for now, so I'm hoping it gets some use back with its owner.

The truss works well, though I did have to carve-out its cavity to allow tool access. The original nut is plastic and is 1 5/8" in width.

The board radius is about 7.5" and it feels slick like an old '60s Fender.

The pickguard is actually steel and so all of the wiring is grounded to it and thus shielded. The guitar still has some sort of odd, mild hum when plugged-in, however, that's not ground-related.

The bolted-on neck joint is pretty neat -- as is the curved neck plate to follow the body profile.

There are tons of finish cracks all over the guitar and a lot of the first layer of veneer has cracked with them. This box is super-lightweight, by the way, which makes it fun to play.