12-strings were always somewhat mythical to me. Needless to say I was very intersted when a collegue of my father offered to sell his 12-string acoustic/electric Eko Ranger 12 to me (with only 6 strings because he couldn’t handle 12 and a cool little National combo).
On the day I’m writing this I sold the guitar to a student just over a week ago. Reason being that I mostly lean towards my other 3 12-string guitars I currently own and fairly recently acquired. Other than that it’s still a very cool guitar and I’ve used it almost every album I did from 2007 on. It’s got some nice history to it also.
I don’t know much about the guitar itself and it’s previous life. It’s also missing a serial number so that’s not really helping. What I do know is that these were build between 1967 and 1974 and they changed quite a bit in appearance throughout these years, making identification a little easier. Once I saw a video of a (probably dutch) duo of singers both using the exact version of my guitar and it was shot in 1971. The first version in the catalogues that looks a bit like mine is from 1969 so I now know mine was probably from 1970 or 1971.
Being a fairly cheap Italian made guitar this instrument was very popular in dutch mainstream music from that era. Artists like Earth & Fire, Golden Earring, The Cats, BZN and George Baker Selection all used this guitar. Even Jimmy Page and Mike Rutherford used one. It’s also a very sturdy guitar and besides having every feature god forbid on acoustic guitars (laminated top, sides and back, bolt-on neck, potmeters mounted to the top, giant thick scratchplate, adjustable bridge) it sounds very nice and smooth without a massive loss of sparkle.
Because of it’s former popularity you can always find quite a handful of these on Marktplaats (a dutch subdivision of eBay) for around €200 and often even cheaper. So if you’re looking for a great 12-string on a low budget, I highly recommend checking these out.