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60/70s guitars

05 Sep 04 - 06:41 PM (#1264913)
Subject: 60/70s guitars
From: ThreeSheds

I've noticed a few threads in praise of EKO guitars and obviously many people have a great affection for them. I have a guitar that was bought in far off days before the arrival of the Yamaha FG 180 when if you were serious about guitars you aspired to EKOs Hoyers or if you had unbounded wealth Levins The guitar that grabbed my attention was a Hawk and fetured a broomstick handle for a neck ( I think the neck is the reson I instincevely capo guitars at 4th fret) and a whacking lump of cast brass for a saddle Despite the fact that the kerfing is the wrong way round and the original machine head disintegrated into brass filings decades ago this guitar refuses to die and can even sound good. I have only once ever seen a similar guitar, a friend had a hawk 12 fret 12 string with an action normally seen on a longbow. Does anyone else have one of these beasts?

06 Sep 04 - 04:10 PM (#1265491)
Subject: RE: 60/70s guitars
From: Mooh

The Hawk Guitar was closely related to Framus, possibly from the same factory (Germany?). It was an importer's guitar rather than a manufacturer's name. Entry to mid level instruments likely, though as sturdy as their Framus relatives.

I've never actually played one, but know the Framus relations well.

Peace, Mooh.

07 Sep 04 - 12:36 PM (#1266049)
Subject: RE: 60/70s guitars
From: Mo Bradshaw

Just found this thread and decided to post- first time!
I have a Hawk 6 string guitar which I bought in about 1968/9 for about £35. The label inside says sole distributors Boosey and Hawkes(sales ltd)London.
I had to replace machine heads some years ago and had the action taken down a bit, but it still plays well.
Would be interested to know if anyone else has one.

07 Sep 04 - 12:57 PM (#1266061)
Subject: RE: 60/70s guitars
From: GUEST,Betsy

My first "proper "guitar was a nylon string thing - a Tatra Classic.
When I went on to steel strings I had a Hagström with adjustable bridge , which some b*stard nicked - so bought a new Harmony Sovereign.When I changed the strings, the bridge pulled of the front of it - it was only glued !!! and ended up with an Yamaha FG 180 which served me very,very well for many years - until I bought the American guitar which the Yamaha had originally tried to copy a Martin (H)D-28.
The FG 180 stood more mis-treatment than any guitar should need to undertake and it was without doubt very well-made .
An EKO was played by an old mate of mine - Mick Rowbottom from Dunstable way - he adored it - I couldn't bear to play it - it weighed a Ton and ( seemingly ) the sound which did enter the guitar simply refused to come back out. I believe it probably used up three times more wood than an ordinary guitar - and I cannot bear to pick one up - good news for tree conservationists too !!

08 Sep 04 - 08:52 AM (#1266710)
Subject: RE: 60/70s guitars
From: GUEST,Lanfranc at the orifice

I had a Hawk briefly around 1967, it was a six-string and superficially similar to a contemporary Hagstrom - dark sunburst finish, neck of aircraft-carrier section, action like a double-bass, plastic headstock with a gold hawk printed on it. Only kept it a few months and sold it together with a "Nashville 10" and a very cheap Egmond 12-string in order to purchase one of the first "John Pearse" Aria guitars.

The Aria was a totally different animal, based on Guild D-series and, so later rumour had it, some were made by Guild luthiers in Japan as they taught the Japanese to assemble them. A superb guitar for the GBP70 or so I paid for it (at the time a Martin D18 would have cost around twice as much). I sold it to a friend in the mid 70s, having by then acquired my Martin and begun to descend the slippery slope to SGAS. Wish I'd kept it, one turned up at a session I played at recently, and it was still good, if battered. Not bad for a laminated wood guitar.

Played the occasional borrowed Eko, and another similar make of Italian guitar (possibly a badged Eko?), but all suffered from the huge block of wood holding the neck in place, and many from having an ebony (or something like it) neck that weighed a ton. Never fancied buying one, though.

Almost uniquely among my guitar-playing friends and acquaintances, I have never owned a Yamaha - Yairi, Takamine, Kimbara, Washburn, Westone, Tanglewood, Artisan, etc, etc, but never a Yamaha. My current collection of 4 Martins (D-18, SPD-16, DM12, 000CS-GTE) 2 Washburns, and one each from Yairi, Westone and Tanglewood will probably see me out, but I keep an eye on eBay and other places in case on of those early Arias surfaces!!


10 Sep 04 - 04:47 AM (#1268368)
Subject: RE: 60/70s guitars
From: ThreeSheds

When I first posted this thread, I had been reading other guitar threads in which the postings that seem to be trying to out do each other with more and more expensive or exotic guitars and Igot rather bored reading them,it seemed people had lost sight of just how much fun could be had out of lam tops that had had years of tweaks and tlc lavished on them. It occured to me that many of the guitar exotica postings were from a land far away and seemed to be part of Harley riding Pony tail and beer gut syndrome

10 Sep 04 - 04:55 AM (#1268373)
Subject: RE: 60/70s guitars
From: Paco Rabanne

Admit it shed dweller, you are simply too poor to afford a proper guitar aren't you?

10 Sep 04 - 05:23 AM (#1268383)
Subject: RE: 60/70s guitars
From: ThreeSheds

I'm just too polite to brag about the Lowden or the Fender Strat or the...

10 Sep 04 - 05:25 AM (#1268385)
Subject: RE: 60/70s guitars
From: Paco Rabanne

Strats are for girls! you should get a Gibson sonex180 custom like what i have got.

10 Sep 04 - 06:03 AM (#1268414)
Subject: RE: 60/70s guitars
From: GUEST,Banjoman

I bought a second hand Hawk for £12 in about 1970 from someone who had owned it then for about 4/5 years. I still have this although its in a bit of a sorry state now, needing a new neck to replace the original which is showing signs of breaking just beloe the headstock.
Its now little more than an ornament. Lots of scratces & bumps on it, but as it holds a lot of memories, I would only part with it to someone who might consider putting it right.
I know play either an Ovation or a very early Lakewood (+ one of about four different banjos) all of of which are superb.
I also owned a Stella 12 string in the early sixties but that was knicked by a bloke I loaned it to to earn some money busking. He probably earned enough to vanish overseas with my guitar. The Stella had no truss rod and the action needed a grip like a vice but it made a great sound.

28 Feb 09 - 02:00 AM (#2577658)
Subject: RE: 60/70s guitars
From: GUEST,Briny Reck

I have a 12 string with 'The Hawk' printed on the headstock above a logo of the bird in flight. It was purchased impetuously from a flea market about five years ago for £80.

It was strung badly with what looked like rusty wires and I wasn't able to check it to see if it was playable. It was quite naive to buy it under these circumstances but once I'd got it home and restrung it, it played rather well and held it's tuning brilliantly. The only trouble is - longbow action! I can only play it for a few minutes before my hand aches like a rotting tooth.

I was very excited to see a reference to it here as I've not been able to find anything else about it anywhere and there's no label inside it that I can seeramus related.

If anyone has any other information about it I'd be really interested to hear it.

28 Feb 09 - 05:33 AM (#2577703)
Subject: RE: 60/70s guitars
From: BobKnight

Hey - seems I posted on the wrong thread - not really, but I noticed this one which seems more relevant. I too have a Hawk jumbo from about 1967, cost me £27. Dark sunburst - but the neck is a dream with a very low action. The machine heads are shit, very stiff, and never having owned a case for it in all the years, it looks incredibly scabbie. The tortoiseshell pickguard (plastic) fell off years ago, but I still have it. When I can be bothered to change the strings, every three or four years, it sounds very nice. :) It's never been used professionally, (I play bass) it's just an old "strummer," for the house.

28 Feb 09 - 06:45 AM (#2577726)
Subject: RE: 60/70s guitars
From: Nick

Betsy - world of coincidence. My first guitar was a Tatra Classic too and I still have the Yamaha FG180 that I bought in 1972. The Tatra is long gone. The Yamaha's neck is still straight and true and though the body has taken a bit of a battering over the years it still plays ok and sounds alright. Yamaha FG180 - judging from the Carly Simon No Secrets poster behind and the loon pants I'm guessing this is about 1972 or 1973

28 Feb 09 - 06:58 AM (#2577732)
Subject: RE: 60/70s guitars
From: Nick

>>if you had unbounded wealth Levins

Does this mean my wife and I are rich? - Levin - this one is actually from 1954 and needs some work!! I play it occasionally as a four string guitar to play some Joni Mitchell songs to substitute for a dulcimer. It was given to Lynne as a present by someone she once shared a house with. Unbounded wealth, eh? Hmmm.

28 Feb 09 - 03:26 PM (#2578041)
Subject: RE: 60/70s guitars
From: GUEST,Briny Reck

I've just found this-

The guitar that he plays first when you start the clip (not the one that he's holding in the 'still') is exactly the same as mine except his pick guard is missing. My pickguard is the same shape as the one in the ebay link.

I never thought I'd find anything about it or see another one.

28 Feb 09 - 05:45 PM (#2578117)
Subject: RE: 60/70s guitars
From: GUEST,GUEST dulcimer player

I have a 60's/70's "Western" guitar, label says model no 9001 made in Japan, it is a copy of a Gibson/Epiphone Hummingbird. Had an action that needed the strength of a weight lifter to hold down but a friend took it down for me and it now plays very well. Had both an Eko Ranger 6 and 12 string in the 70's, current fave guitar is a Cort - along with the 2 dulcimers and banjo. Would love more info on the old Western if anyone can help.

01 Mar 09 - 08:14 AM (#2578469)
Subject: RE: 60/70s guitars
From: ThreeSheds

I'll admit to a bit of hyperbole about unbounded wealth and Levins! but lets be honest they were pretty classy guitars Not for nothing were they known as the european Martin,though of course that was all before Fylde Lowden Sobell Lakewood!

02 Mar 09 - 07:14 AM (#2579162)
Subject: RE: 60/70s guitars
From: banksie

I never thought I'd see discussion anywhere about Hawk guitars. I have one, which I bought in 1966, and have always found it a joy to play, with no problems with the action. The only issue is that, when gigging it people said it was a bit quiet, compared to more modern guitars.

I tried to do some research about them but finding information proved difficult. I tried the Whitechapel Furniture Museum (which has comprehensive luthier records going way back) but their best guess was that it was a customer brand name - I was interested to see mention of a Boosey and Hawkes label because mine does not have that, just a stencilled serial number. I assumed it was them, but the company denied all knowledge when I asked them.

But the museum did point me a Framus and the best I could find out was that, post-war, Framus did make a large number of such instruments, under many different brand names, with incomplete records kept of the names, serial numbers etc.

As an aside, in about 1982 I had it valued at Hanks in Denmark Street, London and was told £200, purely because.... "it was the make of guitar that Bob Dylan played when he first started out", and was therefore something of a `collectors' item'.

I am more than happy to assume that this was a `line' intended to impress a prole from the provinces. But it would be interesting to check that bit out. I have this strange memory of seeing an early Dylan promo picture with him holding a Hawk guitar, but I can't be sure that is now not self-fulfilling self-delusion. While I have not scoured Dylan-related websites diligently, I have not found the picture I think I remember seeing.

02 Mar 09 - 10:36 AM (#2579276)
Subject: RE: 60/70s guitars
From: ThreeSheds

I saw a Hawk for sale in Denmark st 2 or 3 years ago the price tag was £300+ which I thought was an astounding amount of money for a guitar which despite its wayward charm is hardly worth that sort of cash.
If youre wondering what I mean by wayward charm how else would you describe a fretboard that only just wide enough for 5 strings not 6 and a neck profile that is more broom handle than "C" or "D" in shape, and dont forget the huge adjustable brass saddle or the totally inappropriate but rather tasteful intricate classical style rosette.
All in all it just leaves me wondering how many members were in the commitee that designed the Hawk?

03 Mar 09 - 07:16 PM (#2580660)
Subject: RE: 60/70s guitars
From: GUEST,Briny Reck

That's a fantastic response Banksie! I never thought I'd see a discussion either. Your post sheds a lot of light on the subject and makes me wonder if my guitar is worth more than I paid for it.

Perhaps having pound signs springing up in my eyes to the sound of 'Kerching!" is the wrong reaction though. The Dylan connection, if true, holds a lot more value to me. Two hundred quid would be nice but I'm not desperate at the moment and I'd like to hang on to a bit of history. Even if it's not true, it's nice to think that the instrument has pedigree and isn't just a piece of tat from a dodgy market stall.

I have a thread running in the Vintaxe forum. It pretty much repeats what I've said here but there are some photos of my Hawk there. I quoted your post there Banksie, I hope that's not too presumptuous.

03 Mar 09 - 07:19 PM (#2580664)
Subject: RE: 60/70s guitars

By the way, I'm sorry if I've been part of hijacking this thread and turning it into a bit of a Hawkfest. I'll open a different thread if it's a problem.

04 Mar 09 - 02:09 AM (#2580850)
Subject: RE: 60/70s guitars
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity

I still use my 1963 Martin D-21, (with Ovalaga Rosewood body,rare!!) For recording I've used Yamaha FG-110, and FG-140, and my Martin, plus a Larrivee Presentation Model...all truly great instruments...even though my latest projects are on keyboards. For electric, I've owned and used a custom made, left handed Brazilian(now illegal to import)rosewood Strat, from Mighty Mite. Gibson 335, and Gretsch Country Gentleman.

04 Mar 09 - 05:04 AM (#2580897)
Subject: RE: 60/70s guitars
From: GUEST,Phil Williams

'Sky in my Pie' Transatlantic Records.
John James and Pete Berryman. Still in the premier league of all time
great guitar Albums, and if I remember rightly played on a Levin and a Harmony Sovereign respectively.

04 Mar 09 - 05:17 AM (#2580905)
Subject: RE: 60/70s guitars
From: Waddon Pete


The first guitar I bought was a nylon strung Barnes & Mullins. That was more years ago than I care to remember! It wasn't very expensive, but it was love at first sight! It is still with me as my second guitar and still goes out on the road and receives it's fair share of compliments, even though (like it's owner) it's looking a bit battered now!

I did have an Eko 12-string, but sold it.....wish I hadn't now......

Best wishes,


04 Mar 09 - 09:17 AM (#2581011)
Subject: RE: 60/70s guitars
From: GUEST,Phil Williams

Eko Ranger 6 and 12 nice guitars, but you needed a trolly and a crane
to move them!

22 Aug 10 - 08:17 AM (#2970417)
Subject: RE: 60/70s guitars
From: GUEST,Pete Kelly

The Hawk was the second guitar I had to learn on when I was 12. £14. Loved it. Action a bit high but nice tone. Gave it to a relative and eventually got it back a couple of years ago bent cracked and in a sorry state. For nostalgia reasons I gave it to a repairer in Brum. Bob Barry. All restored so it now plays really well and had a Seymour Duncan timberline pick up added. Sounds so good now that everyone thinks it's some old classy Gibson or similar. All cost me a bomb but I love it now and wouldn't part with it.

22 Aug 10 - 08:40 AM (#2970424)
Subject: RE: 60/70s guitars
From: mauvepink

I have recently had my Italian bred 1968 EKO Ranger 12-string renovated. Sounds better now than I ever remember 20 years ago and all who have played it love it. Yes, she's heavy, but then my 12-string Tak is too.

The sound is a lot 'lighter' than most modern 12-strings I have heard but it's sweet and not at all 'bassy'. I love all five of my guitars but I confess to having a soft spot for the EKO. We have been through a lot in 40 years. My others are all 6-strings: 2 x Aria and 1 x Tak

I cannot comment on Hawks, unfortunately, but this thread tells me I should at least have a go on one some day.

As Stephen Stills sang way back "Love the one you're with"



22 Aug 10 - 12:24 PM (#2970498)
Subject: RE: 60/70s guitars
From: Newport Boy

My main guitar is a Hoyer jumbo - bought new for £36 in about 1965. Nice rounded tone with medium strings - I tried light strings but it sounded rubbish. Still in good condition, except the varnish cracking. I shouldn't keep it hung up in centrally-heated rooms.

My other guitar is a 100-year-old Italian guitar made by Alfredo Albertini. The face is traditional mandolin-style, with marquetry and inlay - Albertini was better known for mandolins. Cost £2.50 in about 1975.


22 Aug 10 - 02:12 PM (#2970547)
Subject: RE: 60/70s guitars
From: GUEST,biff

must admit have been very fond of early seventies steel string folk guitars. very solid nice chordal sound like the guitar's got your back

22 Aug 10 - 02:21 PM (#2970559)
Subject: RE: 60/70s guitars
From: alex s

Newport Boy - I have a Hoyer of the same vintage and the finish is incredibly cracked - like crazy paving. It plays OK though.
I also have a harmony sovereign from the same era which looks as if it has just been sprayed. what were Hoyer using?

22 Aug 10 - 06:06 PM (#2970673)
Subject: RE: 60/70s guitars
From: Bru

Still got my two Epiphone 12 stringers bought in 1970 & 1971. Both have had the neck blocks re-glued in the last four of five years (common Epiphone bolt on neck problem) and both have only sounded better as the years have gone by. The first one cost 80 quid in 1970, which wasn't cheap at the time.

29 Jan 16 - 11:15 PM (#3769240)
Subject: RE: 60/70s guitars

i have got a hawk body .the back is kind of round like ovation not as much .its was a sunburst very rough so i sand it all down .it turn out to look like all pine .great looking so i reseal it with thin varnish .but the neck was to far gone for a little bit i played it love it gave me a different sound altogether between yamaha and gibson i say.finnaly the neck let go .i love to fine another neck for it or to buy another like it email is thanks every one love the discussion on hawk

30 Jan 16 - 06:55 AM (#3769292)
Subject: RE: 60/70s guitars
From: GUEST,Eddie1 - Sans cookie as ever

I remember seeing someone with an EKO 12-string who fitted a button for the strap on the "heel" of the neck cos that was very trendy! He put it round his neck and the headstock headed quickly southwards! He reverted to fixing the strap to the headstock pretty quickly!

30 Jan 16 - 07:07 AM (#3769294)
Subject: RE: 60/70s guitars
From: GUEST,Raggytash

I still use my Yamaha FG335 which I bought in January 1979. If anything it gets even better with the passing years.

31 Jan 16 - 04:48 AM (#3769539)
Subject: RE: 60/70s guitars
From: Rusty Dobro

I have a 70's Mugen 12-string which my brother bought for £2 at a car boot sale It had two cogs missing from the open machine-heads, no strings attached, and a two-inch split which has been completely stable. The bridge lifted once, but was easily repaired, and I now keep it tuned a tone down to lessen the strain. It is of course a Martin clone, plays just like one, and sounds amazing.

31 Jan 16 - 06:54 AM (#3769554)
Subject: RE: 60/70s guitars
From: GUEST,Ray

Eddie - they came with a strap button on the "heel" end of the body from new - I bought one new, for £25 in around 1965.

They didn't actually have a heel as such, the neck was screwed on from the back through a damned great neck block. Mine has been as stable as anything (I've not played it for, must be, 20 years) but I've heard of the block disintegrating.

They were a perfectly playable guitar, better than most in their time insofar as you could tune them. They weren't particularly loud but the six string version + their sisters the "Eros" guitars, were ridiculously quiet.

I went on to the £37-10s Yamaha FG180 - which I sold to Arthur Wakefield for £65 after I bought a Martin D18, new, for £190. [That's inflation for you!] Arthur tripped over the 180 in his club some years later and that was the end of that!

01 Feb 16 - 06:23 AM (#3769812)
Subject: RE: 60/70s guitars
From: bubblyrat

I believe that Martin bought Levin simply because they had a vast stock of good tone-woods ??
I was in Singapore in 1967/68 when Yamaha guitars were all the rage ( FG 180 ?).
In about 1970 I bought , in Gosport, a Suzuki with an adjustable bridge, and it served me well until after 2000, when it went in part exchange for my Avalon.

01 Feb 16 - 07:27 AM (#3769836)
Subject: RE: 60/70s guitars
From: Phil Cooper

The guitars I had in the 60's/70's started with a Sears Silvertone ($24.00 on Dec. 1, 1969). I got a harmony a couple years later, then a Madiera (Japanese knockoff of a guild). In London as an exchange student I bought an Eko Ranger 6 for the five months I was there (paid 40 pounds and resold it when I flew back for 10). I later traded the Madiera and a banjo for an Alverez tree of life guitar. Then the 80's hit and I bought a Fylde Orsino and GAS took over.

01 Feb 16 - 12:30 PM (#3769897)
Subject: RE: 60/70s guitars
From: GUEST,Ray

Yes, I think the FG180 was the first Yamaha guitar we saw in the UK - possibly a couple of years later than the ones you saw in Singapore.

01 Feb 16 - 12:52 PM (#3769902)
Subject: RE: 60/70s guitars
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker

My first guitar was approx xmas 1974.
A Shaftesbury acoustic from my mum's mail order catalogue.
[the big book containing everything, including pages of ladies in nothing but their bras and panties]

I reckon it would have been about £45.00 before HP charges.

Bolt on neck, probably a rebadged EKO ???

I stuck a Schaller pickup on it and gigged it through a vox AC30, then a HH 100 watt combo.

The bridge eventually raised up cracking the soundboard last time I'd used, then sadly discarded it.

Found it again 3 years ago, smelling of stale cat pee and mildew, when I cleared out my deceased siblings flat.

Sibling apparently took it on and payed a 'luthier' to fix it with chicken wire and car body filler.

Maybe I should restring it...??? 😬

01 Feb 16 - 01:06 PM (#3769906)
Subject: RE: 60/70s guitars
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker

It's a tiny photo, but probably one of these...

01 Feb 16 - 01:33 PM (#3769911)
Subject: RE: 60/70s guitars
From: GUEST,LynnH

I can't remember what my first 'proper' i.e. Jumbo guitar was but it was traded for a YamahaFG110, which I am still using. Somebody once reckoned that I'd found a good one! All this despite it being trodden on at a Barnsley Festival by a Silly Wizard. We'd played for a ceilidh in the evening where Silly Wizard sat in with us- talk about wall-to-wall band across the stage! Since we doing a workshop in the same venue next day, we left our instruments on the stage. The caretaker had switched off all the main lighting when one of the wizards realised he'd left his fags on stage and so, relying on the 'emergency exit'lighting he stumbled around until he found them. In the course of this stumbling around he trod on the neck of my guitar (my fault for not having a hard case at the time). Somebody in Kiveton Park glued it back together and, forty years or so down the line, I'm still using it.

01 Feb 16 - 02:44 PM (#3769922)
Subject: RE: 60/70s guitars
From: GUEST,MikeL2

Hi Raggy

<"I still use my Yamaha FG360 which I bought in January 1979. If anything it gets even better with the passing years.">

I have a Yamaha FG360 which I bought in the early 70's. Still got it and it does play and sound better as it gets older - unlike its owner !!!



01 Feb 16 - 07:18 PM (#3769971)
Subject: RE: 60/70s guitars
From: olddude

Anyone remember the starter guitar from gc Murphy called a Kent. The strings about a foot off the frets. No wonder most kids said no to learning guitar after their parents bought one