Grouse Guitars, your favourite vintage guitar dealer
Grouse Guitars - previously your vintage guitar, bass and amp dealer (now closed). Click the 'back' plectrum to go back to the previous page, or click the "Grouse Guitars" nameplate above to go directly to the Grouse Guitars homepage.

Greco's copies of Gibson®'s archtop ES-175® were given the model designation of 'FA', and judging from the original star tuners (same as Ibanez at the time) and no serial number, I'd say this beauty dates from around 1975, right at the end of the 'Gneco' era (when the logo had an 'r' that looked like an 'n' - see the detailed pictures of the pickup covers in the 'more pictures' link below). (subsequent investigation of the high-quality Maxon pickups show a code of 24X18, which shows the pickups are model 2, made in 1974 (4) on December (X) 18th (18), which would make the guitar a very early 1975 production the date stamp is shown in the last photo in the 'more pictures' link below)

The fact that the guitar has star tuners makes me suspect this guitar was made in the FujiGen Gakki factory, rather than the Matsumoku factory, both of which made high-quality 'lawsuit' copies at that time for the Greco brand name (mainly for the Japanese home market). The guitar carries all the hallmarks of the lawsuit era, with its accurate (blatant!) copying of the Gibson® open-book headstock, the tailpiece and even the embossed pickup covers, mimicking the Gibson®-embossed covers of the very early '70s.

This guitar has been well-played, but is in great condition, and is totally original. The original frets show some wear, but have plenty of life left, while the plated metal components show some nice ageing. The pickups (original Maxon - see note in italics above) are absolutely fantastic, with loads of output and bite, and the original wiring (metal-braided just like the Gibson® original) and pots are high-quality and faultless in operation. There are only a few small and inconsequential chips and marks on the original Natural finish, which looks stunning on the all-maple body and neck!

There are two areas on the guitar which have been shielded from the light, and which appear as lighter patches - one is on the back, oval-shaped, where a sticker of some description must have been. The other is less obvious, and shows that the floating bridge was mounted for some time a few centimetres closer to the tailpiece, which would have made the guitar unplayable. i can only assume that the guitar must have been on display in a sunny location for quite some time, and that the bridge had not yet been correctly located. Maybe the oval sticker on the back was a price sticker...who knows? Over time, these marks will fade, especially if the guitar is kept in an area bathed with natural light.

A brand new plush-lined hardshell case will be supplied with this vintage made-in-Japan guitar, and it has been freshly strung with a set of my favourite jazz strings - Dr Thomastik Jazz Swing Flat Wound, Medium Light, JS112s. This guitar will impress!

Sold to Simon

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