Other Guitars

Eko E85 for sale. Pics of what mine looked like originally.


I've spoken of mine from time to time but I thought, seeing this one currently for sale on Flea-bay, I'd show it and comment on my changes over the years. This guitar & mine are examples of a rare model from the late '70's. Few ever come up for sale and some I've seen have had an obscene asking price. Mine, with the changes, is a spectacular playing guitar....and pretty too. IMO this one is overpriced by 40 -50%. If you got it for $250-300 and made some [or all] my upgrades, you'd have a terrific guitar for a fair price.

You'll notice this model has a set-in neck, the only Eko model I've ever seen with this construction, vintage or the recent reissues. Most are bolt-on. BTW, this model has not unfortunately been reissued.

The neck width at the nut is 1.80" which was a big attraction for me when I bought it new in '79. 10 years later I had the back of the neck sanded down to my specs for thickness and profile, that being a soft V.

Mine had the double pickguards on this guitar. I took off the upper one and it still looked visually poor to me so I took off the lower one too and IMO improves the looks substantially. Still have them if anyone is interested.

Frets changed out and had the new ones - vintage low - extended to the outer edges of the binding. Nut was plastic which severely dulled any brightness and sustain. I changed that out for bone and had the slots spaced wider apart to take advantage of the now wider - rosewood + binding - fingerboard, made possible with the extended new frets. BTW, while hard to see in my pic, the inboard 4 slots are properly angled towards their tuning posts.

A number of years back I changed out the crappy tuners for Grover Imperials. With this shape, size and inlays, it suits the Imperials as shown in my pic.

At the same time, I dealt with the bridge. Notice the bridge is adjustable which wasn't suitable for installation of the LR Baggs Anthem system so Nicole removed the bridge, seamlessly filled the slot with matching wood and installed a bone bridge, then the system.

Pretty guitar with impeccable playability. In '94 I took it to the CAAS Convention and asked all the top players if they'd please play it to see if they could recommend any further improvements, beyond the nut and bridge materials. They didn't have any suggestions and loved how it played, in particular the low action, neck profile and the Flattop strings on it.

With a few changes, this could be a nice acquisition for someone!

Edit: Looking at the ad again I forgot to comment on the "professional repairs" mentioned. They aren't specific but from what I can see and just guessing as oddly, they don't mention the work done!, it may have been a neck reset which would be good but not bring the value up to the asking price.



I know some other Philly guys will chime in on this one: Back in the day there was a shop in Northeast Philly, Cintioli's Music. The owner, Benny Cintioli, was an accordion player from Italy who had a relationship with EKO through accordions. At some point he bought a boatload of EKO guitars, everthing from plastic sparkle covered off sets w/ 6 rocker switches and four pu's to superstrats with locking trems and USA pu's. If you didn't have the scratch for the latest Gibson or Fender, Benny might offer one of these unique exotic axes from the bowels of his mysterious shop basement. We would hide our disdain out of respect for Benny and politely say no thanks. We were generally young and stupid. I knew someone who didn't say no and remember being quite surprised as to how good his Italian Superstrat sounded and played. Of course he still wanted to unload the EKO for cheap and I still politely said no thanks, I was saving up for a Gibson. I finally got the Gibson (from Cintioli's) a Les Special reissue that came at no extra charge with a twisted neck that never played right and I ended up trading. That EKO, with it's multi-laminate neck is probably still straight as an arrow to this day.


I contacted the seller and said they didn't have to do a neck reset. They replaced a couple of frets and fixed some loose binding. There are some issues with the finish checking as well. FWIW, mine is pristine with no issues with any part of the guitar.

The seller says he has at least one more of these, but not up for sale at this point.


I like the looks of it--including the double pickguard. I see that this is a UK sale. I'll keep an eye on it for any movement in price.


I've been corresponding with the seller and his shop specializes in restoring Ekos. He mentioned that awhile back there was an Eko museum in Italy but isn't there anymore.

After describing the impeccable condition of mine, along with my upgrades, he mentioned that he's never seen one of these E85's in pristine/unblemished condition.

He said he has other E85's and is working on a book on Eko's which will be interesting for me.

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