1978 Greco EG-700 Replica Les Paul

A Greco Les Paul from the lawsuit era.

As discussed in our feature story on counterfeit guitars, many of today’s bogus brand name imitations lack any semblance of quality materials or workmanship. That, however, was not the case from the late 1960s to early 1980s, when various Japanese guitar makers were busy making inexpensive “replicas” of some of the world’s most iconic guitar designs.

The Greco brand of “replica” guitars was started by the Kanda Shokai Corporation in 1966, and is widely considered to be one of the best. Fueled by the popularity of bands like Led Zeppelin and other British invasion artists, the company was producing copies of Gibson’s Les Paul Standard by the early 1970s using scaled drawings derived from Gibson catalogs, and photos of musicians using real Gibson guitars. The company even enlisted the services of popular Japanese guitarist Shigeru Narumo to supervise its production of the Greco line, which gave a tremendous boost to its sale of Les Paul replicas.

By the mid-to-late 1970s, the company was making a Les Paul copy that rivaled the craftsmanship of its authentic U.S. counterpart—at prices far below those of the real McCoy. This 1978 Greco EG-700 is an exquisite example of those guitars. It features a beautiful Cherry Sunburst finish, set-neck construction with medium tenon joint, non-original Grover-like tuners and gold top-hat control knobs. The only discernable difference would be its headstock, which is slightly narrower and longer than a typical Les Paul’s. Other than that, it’s a stunning example of Japanese six-string ingenuity from the 1970s.

Oh yeah, and it plays like buttah!

Flexible filtering options and a vicious fuzz distinguish the Tool bass master’s signature fuzz-wah.

Great quality filters that sound good independently or combined. Retains low end through the filter spectrum. Ability to control wah and switch on fuzz simultaneously. Very solid construction.

Fairly heavy. A bit expensive.

$299

Dunlop JCT95 Justin Chancellor Cry Baby Wah
jimdunlop.com

4.5
4
4
4

Options for self-expression through pedals are almost endless these days. It’s almost hard to imagine a sonic void that can’t be filled by a single pedal or some combination of them. But when I told bass-playing colleagues about the new Dunlop Justin Chancellor Cry Baby—which combines wah and fuzz tuned specifically for bass—the reaction was universal curiosity and marvel. It seems Dunlop is scratching an itch bass players have been feeling for quite some time.

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Intermediate

Beginner

  • Develop a better sense of subdivisions.
  • Understand how to play "over the bar line."
  • Learn to target chord tones in a 12-bar blues.
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Playing in the pocket is the most important thing in music. Just think about how we talk about great music: It's "grooving" or "swinging" or "rocking." Nobody ever says, "I really enjoyed their use of inverted suspended triads," or "their application of large-interval pentatonic sequences was fascinating." So, whether you're playing live or recording, time is everyone's responsibility, and you must develop your ability to play in the pocket.

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