El Degas Identification

Talk about and show off your El Degas instruments here.
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Brazoo
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El Degas Identification

Post by Brazoo » Mon Jun 22, 2020 12:10 pm

Hi everyone! I was hoping to get some help identifying this model of El Degas. I purchased it in the early 90s from a pawn shop in Toronto and never knew much about it.

From looking at pics online it seems kinda unique. For one thing I can't find any that look like the have the same pickups. Also, it's only got 3 knobs and a switch on the pickguard with 6 settings. (These settings seem to change the sound, kinda like fuller sound or more treble. It's hard for me to tell exactly what they're doing, to be honest.)

There are no markings on it, apart from the "Made In Japan" marking on the steel cover on the back. This seems fairly common with El Degas guitars that I've seen online.

I don't know a lot about guitars in general so if I've been unclear about something I apologize. Thank you for any help!

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Last edited by Brazoo on Mon Jun 22, 2020 1:44 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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charles
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Re: El Degas Identification

Post by charles » Mon Jun 22, 2020 1:49 pm

That's a copy of the GIbson L6-S! I have one as well.

It's an oddity of the time, when Gibson Norlin was trying out some very unconventional designs with their model line. I always found it kind of funny that the El Degas brand bothered to copy the L6-S and Marauder when they were (reportedly) pretty universally despised in the guitar community at the time.

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charles
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Re: El Degas Identification

Post by charles » Mon Jun 22, 2020 1:52 pm

I've never confirmed whether the 6-way pickup selector knob works the same on these as the original Gibson, but here is what they do on the original, from 1-6:
Both pickups, in series
Neck pickup, alone
Both pickups, in parallel
Both pickups, parallel out of phase, with the neck pickup's bass response restricted through a series capacitor.
Bridge pickup, alone
Both pickups, series out of phase.

Brazoo
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Re: El Degas Identification

Post by Brazoo » Mon Jun 22, 2020 3:15 pm

Thank you Charles - you're amazing!

It's funny, I mainly play with the dial turned to 1 or 4 but I could never tell what they were actually doing.
I find the fretboard is kinda roundish, if that makes sense. Is yours like that too?
Do you have any idea of what year this was produced?

Brazoo
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Re: El Degas Identification

Post by Brazoo » Mon Jun 22, 2020 3:18 pm

Also - does the dial on mine look the same as yours? At some point I lost mine during a move and replaced it based on memory. I could never find a pic online to compare to see if I got one that looks the same.

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charles
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Re: El Degas Identification

Post by charles » Mon Jun 22, 2020 5:50 pm

Sadly, some previous owner of my L6-S copy replaced the selector knob with a 3-way toggle. I've always meant to have the electronics put back the way it was supposed to be but time has a way of getting away on me. Your chicken-head knob looks accurate.

The fretboard of these does seem to be more radiused than most standard Gibson models. some of these weird Norlin-era models were trying on some of Fender's ideas (bolt on necks, scale length, radius) so I expect the copies do something similar.

I'm not certain on the dates of manufacture but I would suspect mid-70's. The Gibson L6-S was produced from 73-79 and I suspect the copies were from somewhere in that same era (but who knows).

Brazoo
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Re: El Degas Identification

Post by Brazoo » Mon Jun 22, 2020 7:36 pm

Thank you so much - I really appreciate you solving the mystery for me!

Cheers!

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