1966 Eko Bass mod. 995 with the original pickups introduction of six and twelve-string guitar versions and of modified configurations made for Vox. Made in Italy
WHEN I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND WAS RELEASED IN NOVEMBER 1963, EVERYONE INTO MUSIC BECAME AWARE THAT THE BEATLES WERE HERE TO STAY.Up to that point media coverage had focussed a lot more on their hairdo than on their gear. The heretofore largely ignored Höfner 500/1 bass played by McCartney didn’t receive its iconic status before early 1964, especially following the band’s first U.S. tour in February of that year.So, if you think that the Eko 995 is just a Beatle bass copy, you are wrong. This instrument was first mentioned in a price list circulated in April 1964; no way Eko could have developed this bass in so little time. And actually it was a semi-acoustic version of the solid-bodied 1150 (introduced in 1962), sharing the same body outline. Translating classic solid shapes into thinline designs was quite trendy in those years, e.g. with the Jazzmaster-inspired Framus Television and Hopf Saturn, without forgetting the most extreme example, the triple-cutaway Eko 295 modelled after the 700.or playing as good as the Eko.”
In the late ’60s, the frontline endorsers for Eko’s 395 and 995 instruments were the Grass Roots (“Temptation Eyes,” “Let’s Live for Today,” etc.), and the band appeared in an ad to promote the models. In the same era, left-handed bassist Doug Lubahn (VG, February ’10) played a flipped-over 995 (strung “righty”) with his own band, Clear Light, and used the instrument as the in-studio bassist for the Doors on songs such as “You’re Lost Little Girl,” “People Are Strange,” and “I Can’t See Your Face In My Mind,” among others.
“The Eko had a beautifully-rounded sound if you played it with a pick,” Lubahn recalled in his interview. “If you plucked with fingers, though, it didn’t sound so hot!” More recently, Les Claypool (of Primus) has been seen plunking on a vintage 995.
Eko must have been doing something right with the 995, considering its popularity in its time. It wasn’t the fanciest “Beatle bass” wanna-be, but it wasn’t the worst of the genre, either. When they see it, many a babyboomer player will nod their head and mutter, “Yeah, I remember those…”
The body is 13″ wide and 2 3/4″ deep. It has an arched spruce top, birdseye maple back and sides, and three-layer binding (white/black/white) on the edge. Its Dura-Glos finish is called Honey Brown. Electronics include two height-adjustable pickups with staple-type polepieces. A Lo Duca Brothers catalog refers to them as having “double polarity,” inferring they’re humbuckers.
The pickguard is made from clear plastic with the gold logo screenprinted on the underside followed by the application of brown paint. The oversized white finger rest is also plastic.
The 995’s popularity means that variants of the bass will be encountered, including examples that have a standard three-way pickup toggle switch instead of the four-position rotary switch seen here. Alternate tuners will be encountered, as will white or black pickguards, and black pickups.
EKO GUITAR PLANT RECANATI ITALY 1964