Are Eko Guitars Any Good? A Thorough Guide (2023 Edition)

Table of Contents

If you are wondering if Eko guitars are any good, you’ve come to the right post!

Eko Guitars: Background

The Eko Guitars brand goes all the way back to late 1950s Italy.

With Oliviero Pigini as the company’s founder, it sought to fulfill the growing market demand for acoustic and electric guitars.

They were initially focused on regular acoustic guitars and archtops.

As time passed, and after Pigini’s passing, Eko Guitars slowly started shifting towards budget-friendly guitars.

They even moved away from guitar building alone and focused on the growing demands for organs and other keyboards.

Most notably, they gained some attention for making guitars under the Vox brand back in the 1960s.

In 1985, the company was officially done despite keeping its great reputation among budget brands of the era.

But it was soon restarted by Lamberto Pigini, Oliviero’s brother.

After some decades of business, the company slowly established its name as a budget-friendly alternative to big brands.

Eko Guitars isn’t a brand that you’ll stumble upon that often.

These days, the media is filled with more popular, or “mainstream,” cheap guitar brands.

Of course, it’s been a long time since the company moved production outside Italy.

Having a budget guitar brand that’s not outsourcing production overseas would be nearly impossible.

Nonetheless, they still keep their main business within Italy, including design and development.

Eko Guitars Product Line

Eko now covers a wide variety of guitars and guitar-related products.

This includes:

  • Steel-string acoustic guitars
  • Nylon-string classical guitars
  • Acoustic bass guitars
  • Electric guitars
  • Ukuleles
  • Amplifiers for electric guitars and basses
  • Pedals
  • Various accessories

The product range is relatively wide, so it would be tricky for me to present it all with a brief guide.

However, the “meat and potatoes” of Eko are their electric and steel-string acoustic, so I’ll focus on that.

Acoustic Guitars

Eko Guitars Ranger VR VI Natural - Audio Test

At the moment, there’s a total of 13 acoustic guitar series.

From the models available today, the higher-end ones are in the Ego category.

These guitars kind of gravitate towards the pro-tier guitars, although there are some differences.

What’s more, they even come with Fishman preamps and pretty decent tonewoods.

Series like Tri and Ranger are more modest, although they still have some pretty great features.

For instance, Eko Ranger guitars are all dreadnaughts with pretty surprising visual traits.

Looking through the series, there’s also an incredible variety of body shapes, neck profiles, and other practical features.

For instance, you’ll also find a model like NXT A100ce Natural with a squared cutaway.

But for the most part, Eko acoustics are auditorium or grand auditorium-style instruments.

In my honest opinion, Ego Icon, Alps J450ce, and an all-mahogany Duo A200ce stand out.

I also love that they have some baritone acoustic models and 12-strings.

For the most part, these are cheaper to mid-priced models.

Electric Guitars

Eko S350V Daphne Blue UNBOXING + SOUND TEST , Gianluca Abella

Although there are fewer series and models to check out here, I think Eko’s electric guitar line is the most exciting.

One thing to remember is that they mostly focus on vintage-style stuff.

For instance, the Camaro series has three offset models inspired by Fender’s Jazzmaster and Jaguar guitars.

On the other hand, they come with conventional bridges and control configurations.

So this is purely aesthetic.

The Original Relic series is an interesting one, focusing on Strat and Tele-style models with vintage-style traits.

There are also other examples of T and S-style models, some even with relic’d finishes.

However, models that stand out to me are Eko Mia IV Sa and SA 350.

The Mia is a relatively unique take on thinline semi-hollow electric guitars.

The SA 350 is an interesting copy of Gibson’s classic ES-335, and it even comes with a set-neck formation and all controls.

This one could pull some serious punches with a new pair of pickups.

Other than that, there are some “Super Strat” kind of models, like Aire Stealth.

This one has an unusual pickup combo that they market as HSS although it looks like four humbuckers disguised as HSS.

Other than that, we have 24 frets and a decent Wilkinson bridge.

For its price, it’s more than a decent cheap alternative to shred-style guitars. 

The Secret Is in Their Headstocks

What I’d like to point out is Eko’s incredible headstock design.

In a way, they ripped off Ernie Ball Music Man guitars.

The main feature is that most of them come with a “4 + 2” tuner machine configuration.

Such a design keeps the strings tidy and in a straight line when breaking over the nut.

It definitely improves tuning stability and can impact tone quality.

However, I’d recommend a nut replacement if you want it to take full effect.

What Are Eko Guitars Like? Are They Any Good?

As I said, Eko Guitars are budget-friendly guitars for the most part.

There are some slightly more expensive acoustic models.

Nonetheless, from the very beginning, the company was focused on “more for less.”

Of course, these days, they’re pretty much like most other affordable brands.

Nonetheless, I’d say they’re worth it for the most part.

Sure, you can’t expect some top-tier quality, not at this price level, at least.

However, you’d be surprised how great some of their acoustic and electric guitars can get.

Specific electric guitar models are pretty great, although I’d always recommend some mods.

Pickups and electronics could use swapping; the same goes for some hardware pieces.

But if you’re looking for a backup or cheaper alternative, you can’t miss with an Eko.

There is, however, one downside.

They’re not as common and widespread on the market these days.

That’s where a brand like Harley Benton beats them since they’re much easier to find and are even cheaper on average.

But if Eko is one of the available options near you, it’s not like you’d make a bad purchase with them.

They’re consistent and decent.

Above all, they make for great mod platforms.

Vintage Stuff

The vintage stuff from the old days is a different story.

These guitars hold decent value among collectors, and some odd models are unlike anything else from that era.

But to be perfectly honest, they’re collectibles rather than valuable instruments.

They’re probably attractive to anyone who’s into old vintage European or Eastern Bloc stuff.

But I’m not sure they’re worth it if you’re not into that particular niche.  

Are Eko Guitars Any Good: Conclusion

I hope this article has helped you consider whether Eko guitars are good for you!

I think they’re decent instruments, but they don’t have any particularly unique aspects that would make them a better buy than another budget guitar manufacturer.

But I’d like to know what you think!

Let me know in the comments!

And if you want to read more guitar brand review content on this blog, check out:

3 Responses

  1. Ziva Brogan says:

    I used to have an Eko ranger 30 yes ago, or so, I to find them perfectly capable in a professional context. I am in the process of buying an Eko Sonora, because of my previous experience but know nothing about the range, can you help me? Is the action similar, is the neck any different to a ranger 6, are the strings close together or similar to the ranger? Kindest regards, Ziva.

    1. Hi Ziva. We looked and couldn’t seem to find a Sonora model by Eko. Could you please clarify if we got the name right? Thanks!

  2. Stephen Vincent Coombs says:

    I have a 1964 Eko Barracuda that I used to use on stage back in the eighties. I love it. It’s not only a great looking guitar for the old rock and roll I used to play but also a great sounding one as well. It’s sixty years old and still looking good. You just can’t beat the old stuff.

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