Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Sekova Grecian hollowbody electric guitar: six pickup stereo wonder?

Here's another one you don't see come up for sale very often. It's a circa-1968 Sekova Grecian, made in Japan (although the exact provenance is not known) and imported into the USA by U.S. Musical Merchandise of New York City.

Of course what makes the guitar so spectacularly bizarre and/or wonderful is that it sports SIX pickups, albeit six individual string pickups, i.e. a one for each string. You might think that makes it effectively a one-pickup guitar, but something else is going on here; just witness the number of switches and volume and tone pots. The Grecian is actually wired for stereo with the signals from the 3 bass strings and the 3 treble strings being separated. It's a nice idea, but quite crude compared to latter-day stereo guitar innovations, e.g. the Kramer Ripley guitar or the Gittler guitar where the output from individual strings can be panned wherever desired in the stereo spectrum.

But how does it sound? In an article for My Rare Guitars, Michael Wright ("The Different Strummer") commented:
As cool as it looks, this Grecian formula sucks big time. The stereo idea wasn’t terrible, but you always had to have two amps to take advantage of it. Plus, the coils are just not big enough to crank out much sound and, like so many Japanese guitars from this era, the wiring is extremely thin and the pots are crummy, so you’re lucky if the thing plays.
The example pictured about is currently being auctioned on eBay with a starting price of $295. Thanks to Steve C for bringing this guitar to my attention.

G L Wilson

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  1. Intriguing. The body on it (and the distinctive f-holes) seem identical to this old Kay:


    Same factory, perhaps?

  2. "and, like so many Japanese guitars from this era, the wiring is extremely thin and the pots are crummy, so you’re lucky if the thing plays." ( Michael Wright )

    Ouch! Point taken sir, but if you play *electric* guitar, chances are, having multiple amps is fairly standard. Hence the term, stereo. I'm sure the pots & wiring ARE crummy but that's why they have soldering irons? ( They're $10.95 ) Guitar is (1) of the few pursuits on the planet you can throw as much or as little money at as you'd like and still enjoy it!

    1. Yeah! You tell 'im!

    2. GL,

      ( I'm actively trying to get RID of amplifiers! ) They just seem to keep accumulating? Not to mention all the basket cases, transformers, tube and speakers, that could use a good re-cone piling up?

      Even those of us not much a collector, I generally have to stop and think when non-players ask how many guitars I 'own'? You wonder, are they referring to 'assembled'? I'm certain, when addressing the status quo, Wright isn't Wrong. But quirky is what we DO here..!

  3. I just acquired one of these ! Is it worth anything ? By the sounds of this article .....no ! Really ?? i thought it was a cool looking old unit ..:o)

  4. I just acquired one of these ! By the sounds of this article .Is it worth anything ?? I thought it was just a pretty cool old guitar !



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