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Greco EG-650 | Mid-70s

Greco EG-650 | Mid-70s

Here's a marvellous replication of a Gibson Les Paul, with improvements, by Greco from the mid-70s. Made in Japan at the famous Fuji-Gen factory.  One great guitarist that tried it out at our store suggested that Gibson should be learning from these guys how to build guitars :)he felt it playing better than most other Gibsons. This was the first set-neck Les Paul model from Greco, the EG-650 was their flagship guitar in the early years. One notable detail is the weight and resonance of the guitar having a semi-hollow bodied construction, it has a pancake mahogany body with a belly cutaway at the back, two-piece top with a flame laminate, slim mahogany neck with a 22 fret rosewood fingerboard, weighs in at 3.9kgs. The guitar also has super comfy low vintage frets which makes it sweet on your fingers to play, with super low action this guitar is a true masterpiece. The condition is exceptional considering its 47+ years in existence, with only one slight dent by the jack input, the rest looks as if it was barely played. It is aproximated to be from 1974/1976.


A Little tale of Greco and the creation of this beauty follows:

During the early ‘70’s, GRECO asked Mr. Hidesato Shiino (formally worked for Yamaha)
to develop the guitar production and to act as a marketing consultant for Greco. 

In early days, Mr. Shiino was in charge of most of guitar manufacturers not only Greco.
He consulted ELK, Guyatone, Fernandes, Kasuga and others. He contacted his old friend Mr. Shigeru Narumo ; a very popular Japanese guitarist. Mr. Narumo started to supervise the GRECO guitar development with Mr. Shiino. They advised GRECO to develop a guitar better than the Les Paul at a more affordable price. Mr. Shiino conducted the factory side and made a proto type guitar for Mr. Narumo due to his required specifications in just a few days and he was very surprised with the new custom EG. He had his band members play a Gibson, a Fender and this new EG custom blindfolded and they all agreed the EG was the best of the three.

Narumo played an EG-360 Custom on stage alternating with a Gibson. The audience was surprised to see and hear a Japanese made guitar that was as good (if not better) than the original.

Narumo’s only complaint was with the finish color which GRECO had copied from a photo of Paul Kossoff (of the rock band Free) supplied by Narumo. Kossoff was playing a No. 2 that was finished in the brown sunburst but GRECO couldn’t ascertain the color of the rear so they just furnished the sunburst on the back and neck.

Narumo’s involvement and performances provided GRECO a huge sales increase. So much so that GRECO asked Narumo to endorse GRECO exclusively. While reluctant, Narumo saw possibilities in getting his dream guitars made. In a visit to the Fujigen factory, Narumo suggested opening the rear Humbucking pickup and to contour the back much like the Stratocaster. The resulting guitar was the EG-420 and was much superior to the EG-360.

GRECO and Narumo collaborated on many models following the EG-420 and this became GRECO’s golden age of replica and clone guitars. This culminated in the EG-800 which was largely influenced by Narumo. It had the open pickups and contoured back of the 420 with higher quality wood. The EG-420 was a semi-hollow body of 6ply mahogany sandwich. The new EG-800 had an ebony finger board, a solid 2p maple top and a narrow neck. The neck joint became the set neck type, too.

Officially, Narumo has said that he didn’t know anything about the EG-800. He has mentioned that he was in charge through the prototype of the EG-700 and only heard about the EG-800 several years later. Despite Narumo’s stance, the EG-800 is called the “Narumo Model” by collectors. The EG-650 has also been called the Narumo Model. It was a semi-hollow bodied construction with other of Narumo’s suggested features. Now, we could guess the reason of their relations were not smooth, because, the middle man, Mr. Shiino was not there, He concentrated the Armature Rock Festival that time.


    - Body: Pancake mahogany (semi-hollow construction) 

    - Body Back: Belly cutaway on the back,

    - Top: two-piece top with a flame laminate

    - Neck: slim mahogany neck

    - Frets: 22 fret

    - Fingerboard: Rosewood fingerboard

    - Weight: 3.9kgs 

    - Case: Original Greco Hard case

    - JAPAN

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