Up for sale, a 1983 Greco Cougar I in excellent, 100% original condition and in perfect working order with a Violin gloss lacquer finish. A holy grail of Greco guitar collecting, the Cougar is so rare that most players aren’t even aware it was ever made. 1 of 50 produced in a single production run as a special order for Mitaka Gakki Guitar Shop, the Cougar I is a unique, non-catalog instrument with top-tier features including an ebony fingerboard, Dry 1982 PAF-style humbuckers, and a cashew lacquer gloss finish.
Produced at the Fujigen factory at the height of Greco's powers, the Cougar was crafted on the heels of the lauded Super Real line of instruments. Unique in its tonewood complement, the Cougar boasts a carved spruce top on a mahogany body, with a mahogany neck capped with a bound ebony fretboard. There's a distinct natural woody snap and percussive clarity given the tonewoods at play, with the glassy articulation of ebony and inherent warmth of mahogany. Very ergonomic in its shape, the Cougar boasts a flowing shape reminiscent of but also more comfortable than a Les Paul, with considerable rounding on the back body edges and a deep carve on the treble side cutaway for easy access to the highest frets.
This guitar comes complete with its original Fujigen-made "Dry 1982" humbuckers. This particular PAF replica pickup is the highest grade humbucker offered in any Greco in the '83 model year, and the detail and dimension of these pickups reflects Greco's dedication to faithfully reverse engineer Gibson's late '50s humbucker tonal properties. The sound is nuanced and rich, with plenty of definition and power from the bridge pickup, and more warmth and fullness in the neck position. Lightly wax-potted, these alnico magnet humbuckers interact well with higher gain amps too. Weighing 8lbs 6oz with plenty of natural punch and sweet sustain, we've had this Greco dialed in here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings, low action, and spot-on intonation.
The mahogany neck has a medium C-shaped profile carve with generous shoulders in every register, measuring .845” deep at the 1st fret and .970” at the 12th. The bound ebony fretboard features ornate pearl inlay, with fret-edge binding on the flawless medium jumbo fretwire. This guitar plays cleanly up the 24 3/4“ scale with a straight neck and a responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod. The nut measures a full 11/16” in width, carved from bone for optimal note clarity and sustain. The headstock has an abalone eagle inlay with “Mitaka 1965” text (the year of Mitaka Gakki’s founding), as well as "The Greco" script text and original "Cougar"-embossed truss rod cover. The genuine USA-made Grover Rotomatic tuners have bullseye gear housings and Imperial-style buttons; turning smoothly and holding accurate pitch.
The electronics function as intended, and the solder joints are untouched. Controls include dedicated Volume knobs for each "Dry 1982" humbucker, a Master Tone control, and a three-way pickup selector toggle. The neck pickup cavity also reveals the long tenon neck joint. The nickel hardware is notably clean, including the ABR-1-style bridge and stopbar, and plastics comprise the ambered switch tip and bonnet knobs.
The gloss cashew lacquer Violin finish is framed on top by heavily ambered body binding, highlighting the tight, straight grain of the carved spruce top. Cosmetic wear is limited to one small finish chip on the edge of the treble side cutaway, and some minor marks and light finish scratches consistent with limited use. The neck retains its smooth gloss, with a bit of light wear on the profile carve from frets 9-13.
The original Mitaka-branded faux leather padded gigbag is included.