NGD: Greco EGC Super Sound Custom (Identification help needed; mongrel specs!)

Discussion in 'Other Single-Cuts' started by SirToastaLot, Sep 29, 2017.

  1. SirToastaLot

    SirToastaLot Junior Member

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    Apologies for not bunging this into the Greco Identification Megathread; I think this is a very unusual case since this thing is a real mongrel in terms of specifications!
    Please forgive a newbie for being too presumptuous, haha.

    I've had this mysterious EGC Super Sound Custom lying around for a few months now - a little bit of research has been done here and there - but I think I need the super sleuths from M.L.P C.S.I to finally solve this case!

    The little bit of research I've carried out indicates that this guitar was perhaps produced during the tail end of the 'Super Real' production run and transition into the 'Mint Collection' phase. A few folks on this forum have formed the opinion that Greco were just mixing and matching parts & materials to 'get things done with' when the legal hammer was coming down on the 'Super' line.

    The truss rod cover states the obvious 'Super Sound Custom'. Documentation is missing from the big rectangular Greco hard case, and there is no sticker on the back of the headstock to indicate whether it is an EGC 600, 800 or 1000 etc...
    The Greco logo headstock inlay isn't particularly thick or thin.
    I cannot tell what material has been used for the fretboard block indicators, vaguely pearloid...

    We have the gold 'Waffle Back' tuners here that you tend to see on the higher end 800, 1000, 1200+ models.
    Bridge and tail piece (not in the photos) are 8001 F.G.B and F.G.T models (MADE IN JAPAN).

    Cosmetically, it has a very nice flame top, very likely a veneer. The maple cap is a good three-quarters of an inch thick judging from inside of the pickup cavities.
    Non-pancake body, but the mahogany back looks to be made from three pieces.
    The fingerboard seems to be a top quality cut of Brazilian Rosewood, very dense with a pleasant streaked pattern to it. Didn't the higher end EGF models tend to get this type of fretboard wood?

    Serial on the headstock (as seen in the photos) is A816711. So can we definitively say that this is a 1981 model?

    The pickups look to be the main mystery here - the real experts should jump in now - simply stamped with the digits '2 0 11 22'. No stickers indicating a model type.
    The code indicates a 1980 production when referencing this post: http://www.mylespaul.com/threads/mij-pickup-data-thread.155804/page-10#post-3154348
    The closest code belongs to a Greco EGF-1200 (#2 0 11 21) with Dry-Z pickups.
    As you can see from my photos, there isn't a 'Z' on the back of the housings. What the hell are these things!?

    I haven't seen anything that looks like this Super Sound Custom in the old catalogues, did Greco take orders for customised variations for special shop runs?

    Photos:
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Wall of text & detail alert!
    Looking forward to your opinions, feedback and thoughts!
     
  2. wulfman

    wulfman ABB Fan Premium Member

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    I recall that one for sale on Yahoo Japan sometime last year. It is a Jan 1981 Super Real era EG-800C with a solid flametop. Nice guitar, but not a transition model. Mother of Pearl inlays, rosewood fretboard. It could be Brazilian rosewood. Fujigen ran out of Brazilian in 1981 and some of the later EGF-1200s had regular Indian rosewood. The pickups should be PU-2. They ended up calling them "Screamin" in the 1981 catalog for the EG-800C but yours is an early 81 and should have PU-2s.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017
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  3. jimmyjames

    jimmyjames Senior Member

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    Rockin' axe mate :cheers2: Would kick arse with an Ace makeover :hmm:
     
  4. SirToastaLot

    SirToastaLot Junior Member

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    Wow, that's a surgical strike, thanks for clearing things up and for the info wulfman.
    There are so many broken photos (thanks greedy picture hosts!) out there, it's been extremely tough to compare this guitar to other examples of 'Super Sounds'. I don't think I've seen many that look like this one...

    Were markings and labels often left off the pickups in that era?

    What's your opinion of these Super Sound models? I'm fairly new to MIJ single cuts (slowly converting from being a super strat person).
    Cheers, dude.
    No need, this guitar is in good enough nick to keep as is. Plus I've acquired a fairly beat up lates seventies Greco Ace Frehley model that might get some TLC down the line. Expect a thread on that one soon - model labels are missing, some pickups aren't original and the specs are weird so I can't tell if it's a 600PR or 800PR.
     
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  5. wulfman

    wulfman ABB Fan Premium Member

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    Pickup production was transitioned from Maxon to Fujigen in 1981 and they were making a lot (Ibanez included) so some inconsistency is probably to be expectd. Some PU-2s have PU-2 stamped, some have an "A" stamp like the "Z" and, and some have nothing like the others (U-1000, U-2000, UD pickup) which just have the production numbers that do not have the model indication.

    I have a non-catalog Super Real Custom with Dry Z but have had a couple of the EG-800Cs too. Aside from the rosewood fretboard and pickups I don't see how the quality / performance can be much different between them all as they were made by the same factory and craftsmen. Yours is a rare flametop custom though, and is nicer looking IMO than some of the Super Real EG-1800 flametops that came out are around the same time.

    Like any matched wood parts some guitars will have a little extra magic in how well the maple and mahogany resonate together. I have gotten into strats a bit more over the past few years and also recommend the Greco strats. Pickups can be a bit "meh" but I prefer the neck profiles to the Tokai models.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017
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  6. jimmyjames

    jimmyjames Senior Member

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    Truss rod covers seem to have been randomly applied, if factory original. My 68-80 had a Super Power trc, that + the seller's ordinary pics ensured I was the only bidder :thumb:
     
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  7. SirToastaLot

    SirToastaLot Junior Member

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    Thanks again for the info Wulfman, you are a most helpful expert!

    That pickup manufacturing situation sounds chaotic. I guess I've got a pair of Maxons if they date from late 1980.
    It look likes there aren't many opinions regarding the PU-2, those Dry types get all the attention! Do you personally have a liking or disliking of them?

    That Black Beauty Supreme looks fantastic, that has to be a keeper...
    The flame top was the main factor that got my interest, good to know that it compares favourably to the 1800 models.

    Cool to find out that Greco made a decent Strat as well, how do they compare to the official Japanese Fenders?
    I was considering bagging an older Fernandes ST copy, but they all seemed to be really beaten-up.

    A sharp eye for a good deal!
    Were they smoking a bit too much Wacky Backy back in those days? You'd normally picture the Japanese being very organised and methodical at their work places...
    Oh well, all that matters is that they made/make killer guitars.
     
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  8. jimmyjames

    jimmyjames Senior Member

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    +1 on the PU-2 question, are they similar to Super 70s ? They have been well regarded by some of the guys here.
     
  9. wulfman

    wulfman ABB Fan Premium Member

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    I like them a lot. They don't sound their best with the 300k volume and 100k tone pots that came with the EG-800C and EGF-850 models I had but if you replace them with 500k pots you are off to the races.

    Here is a video of and EGF-850 , but who knows if the pickups are the PU-2 or otherwise.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2017
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  10. SirToastaLot

    SirToastaLot Junior Member

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    I just found this photo of the 1980 catalogue over at the Japanaxe forum, from a decade old thread:
    [​IMG]
    The exact P.U. serial I have on mine lines up with the EG-800C model. So it looks like I've got PU-2 pickups for certain (unless the mentioning of the U-1000/2000 models means something...).

    Clip sounds good, despite not knowing if that's a stock EGF.
    I'm going have to get my JCA22H hooked up again and then crank the EG800C through it.

    Thanks for the tip regarding the Potentiometers. Will the 500k pots result in a brighter attack?
     
  11. wulfman

    wulfman ABB Fan Premium Member

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    That is not a 1980 Greco catalog, that comes from a Japanese Guitar Magazine and is a comparison of Greco guitar data from selected models as you can see from 1977-1981.

    Could actually be that your guitar was used in this sample though there were probably a fairly large number of pickups made on any given day. The Japanese comment next to the EG-800C actually says that the "pickups should be PU-2 from the catalog but the size of the pickups suggests they are U-1000 or U-2000s" . I'm not sure what they are referring to for size differences.

    Without knowing more, I'd say that the samples size there is pretty small and the PU-2's I had were in the 8k range so you probably have PU-2s in there.
     
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  12. 21stcsm

    21stcsm Senior Member

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    One thing I've learned here about Greco is you have to look at the totality of features because it was not uncommon for Greco to use a part (or two) from a higher tier model on a lower tie guitar

    A good example is my Budhokan Ace Frehley

    It has waffle tuners which were supposed to only be on the higher tier (mine is the lower version ... EG600 is model # iirc) model only but I got lucky

    That being said - it's almost impossible to go wrong listening to Wulfman's comments otoh. Not trying to kiss butt but when I have questions - ... I know who to listen to
     
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  13. SirToastaLot

    SirToastaLot Junior Member

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    Whoops, should have looked closer at the wide range of dates on there.
    It would be funny if this guitar was the guilty sample suspect in the review.

    The mystery continues...would it be worth investing in a good multimeter to measure the resistances?

    Yep, looks like there is a pattern forming regarding 'positive' production hiccups, fortunately there aren't many (or any?) examples of Greco dipping into the lower tier parts bin to fit on higher specification models.

    As mentioned (briefly) above, I've got an Ace Greco as well, but I can't tell for sure whether it is the 600 or 800 version.
    I'll make sure to start a thread about that one soon, I'll look forward to your educated opinion (as well as wulfman's).
     

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