“ Brand: Eko / Type: 12 String / Acoustic „
* Prices may differ from that shown
This is a good 12-string guitar, especially for the price. It looks good, and it sounds good, and most importantly for a 12-string, it's not too hard to play - the fretboard is slightly wider than a 6-string, though not so much as to make chording difficult. The spaces between the strings are pretty much perfect, too - youb can make a chord without muffling other strings, which is a common problem with 12-strings. Though I admit this is most likely dependent on the size of your fingers - I'd describe my fingers as average-sized, and I have no problem forming clear chords. The sound is chimey, as with most 12-strings, but clear and resonant. Overall I'd recommend this as a reasonably-priced introduction to a 12-string guitar - though obviously it's not the best one out there, it's good for the price, and if you're wanting to experiment on 12-string but not spend a lot of money, this is a good option.
Described as "the most successful European guitar ever", the 'Eko Ranger' is a classic instrument which first went into production during the mid 1960's. Eko have recently reintroduced the Ranger, although this review relates to my original version which I estimate to be from around 1971 (before I was born I hasten to add!). The guitar is a twelve (rather than six) string model, although six string versions of the Ranger are available. Twelve string guitars are great fun to play, and had an upsurge in popularity after George Harrison used a Rickenbacker 360 in A Hard Day's Night - as a result Eko's own twelve string models saw a boost in sales afterward. If you've never heard of Eko before, they're an Italian firm who were founded in 1959. The company quickly built a reputation for designing and constructing quality products, and this is certain the case with their Ranger guitars.
Look and Feel - the appearance of the stringed wonder
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The Ranger is a pleasant looking beast with a rosewood construction and pearl inlays on the fingerboard. It's really well made too, with surprisingly (and unnecessarily) thick wood used throughout. Because of this, the Ranger is a large guitar which has a definite weightiness about it. Rather than being an annoyance however, the heavy nature of the instrument is part of the charm, and it's actually very comfortable to hold. Sound-wise, the Ranger is excellent - it doesn't have the loudest volume, but the tone is clear and bright. In fact, I generally find the majority of twelve string guitars enjoyable to play, as the sound produced is fuller than that of many six string varieties. The Ranger's action is fairly low, making it a guitar which is easy to play - a joy in fact. Interestingly enough, the Ranger has a removable neck (via a bolt plate on the back), and this makes setting it up rather easy if you want to fiddle around with it (not that i've ever taken the neck off myself!). My version is more red in colour than the one in dooyoo's picture (it seems that the 70's ones get redder with age), although apart from that, it's identical.
Price & Availability - how much will a Ranger set me back?
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If you wanted to buy an Eko Ranger today, you can pick up the re-issue version for anything between £160 - £199 depending on the retailer. However, there are many original versions of the guitar on eBay with prices varying between £100 and £180 - the fact that so many of them were made, means that you shouldn't have any trouble finding one. I personally think that in terms of the guitar's quality, £150 would be a price that represents decent value for money, especially when you consider the build quality of the instrument. Apparently, back in the 70's the guitar could be bought new for £50, which was a fair price back then, and nowadays the guitar is holding its price quite nicely.
Final Word - the ultimate verdict...
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Overall, I would have no hesitation in recommending the Eko Ranger as a superb guitar with a clear and pleasant sound. It's a guitar which has been used by many recording artists over the years (Jimmy Page used this model), but it's also perfectly suited to the beginner - the only downside is the size, which means is probably isn't best suitable for the little people (yes, guitar-playing Dwafs may want to look elsewhere). I would actually recommend getting one of the originals, as they seem to be more solid than their newer counterparts - in fact they are so well made, that they will probably last forever. At the end of the day, the Ranger is simply a great guitar in all its forms, including the six string varieties.