Eko VL-480S Les Paul Reviews
Bought from EBay vendor for Euro 210 ($ 250) The vendor had some similar guitars on his website, mainly Stagg models. From the photos, it was easy to note that the finishing of the "Eko Les Paul" is by far superior to that of other clones (including Epiphones). Once you have the axe in your hand this impression is totally confirmed.
The quality for the price is astounding! The parts are not cheap: tuners, bridge, switches, knobs, everything feels really solid. This is much better quality than a lot of the Les Paul copies on the market. Detailed and accurate finishes that can hardly be found on an instrument in this price range, with pearl inlays on fretboard and headstock. The woodgrain coming through the finish is very regular and nice (am I particularly lucky? The top table is a one-piece!). Execellent action and accurate intonation.
I tested a week ago a Gretsch Syncromatic that was @ 390 Euro, which also had similar shape & good tones, but was without any doubt far less interesting from the aesthetic point of view.
The sound is, as expected, similar to a Les Paul. Impressive sustain; the tones for the blues stuff are really warm and the sound for the rock 'n roll is full.
Frankly, I can't see any. The multiple binding on body and neck is perfect, although there is a *single* little black spot on it in the headstock region (very difficult ot see).
Although Eko is an historical Italian brand that recently made some good modern replicas of its vintage models, this guitar is made in China, 2002: it has a three-tone sunburst solid ash top (the rest of the body surely being some other bottom-of-the-scale wood), maple neck with 22-frets rosewood fingerboard with large octave markers, and a cool pearl inlay in the headstock. Really nice detail around the body and headstock. It has gold plated hardware throughout which makes it look much more expensive than it is. The style, pick-ups (PAF clones) and controls are classic LP, thus making it a nearly perfect replica of the Les Paul Custom ... apart from the bolt-on neck and the quite pointy cutaway! Very good gloss finish.
In comparaison to my 1981 Aria CS-250 (a good Japanese instrument with convincing, bright and full sound), this Eko LP seems to have warmer tones and a little more sustain.
The guitar seems to be extremely well made, and at this ridiculous price this is probably the best Les Paul copy on the market for the money.Andrea
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