During the rock n' roll craze of the 1960s, Italian manufacturer Eko became the largest guitar exporter in all of Europe. Their quirky electric guitars were often highly decorated—sometimes more style than function. But there is just something cool about the Italian designs. While they might seem overly retro and not as timeless as American designs, like a vintage Vespa scooter these 1960s relics have serious vibe.
The Modello 100 was introduced as a modestly-priced Eko archtop, and it was offered as an acoustic or with electronics. Based on the design elements and pickup, this archtop was likely made in 1965, and it has a single-pickup so it is the "Modello 100/SM" version in the Eko catalog It measures 15" across on the lower bout and 2-1/2" deep, so relative to a lot of other archtop guitars, this Eko feels comfortable and manageable. Plugged in, its single coil pickup sounds big, warm, and full.
As far as playability is concerned, this Eko is particularly impressive. The original bridge has been substituted to a proper archtop setup with a tune-o-matic bridge, and it also has a new Gibson-style tailpiece. The neck is nice and straight, fret wear is minimal, and each note rings clear and true up and down the fingerboard. The original "EKO - Made in Italy" stamped tuners hold tune nicely, and it includes a modern TRIC case.
In a lot of ways, this '65 Eko Modello 100/SM is such a cool authentic 1960s package. The finish is checked in all the right places, just so you know it's vintage. We're not sure if the plexiglass covering on the decal is original, but it looks the part and will do a great job of protecting the original "Eko - Made in Italy" logo.