Casino = Versatility

Discussion in 'Epiphone Guitars' started by BuddyHollywood, Feb 17, 2021.

  1. BuddyHollywood

    BuddyHollywood Member

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    I've had my Casino for 5 years now that I bought used. It is a 2011 50th Anniversary one with Gibson P90s. I got to compare it to an original 1961 Casino and it felt basically the same except for the old nitro finish on the original. They nailed the original neck profile on the reissue and the way the guitar felt in my hands was virtually identical. Even though this guitar is made in China and the originals were made in the USA they totally captured the essence of the original. I also got to compare it to 2 different Gibson ES-330s and I preferred the feel and while I didn't plug them in I also preferred the acoustic tone of my Casino. The D shaped neck is my absolute favorite now too. I was always comfortable with it but now it's the one I gravitate to. It has slowly and consistently proven itself to me to where I'm now starting to think of myself as a Casino player. When and how did that happen? I only made a few small mods to it to bring out its full potential. I installed a Wilkinson bridge, a bone nut and a Lollar P90 shim to raise the bridge pickup.

    I am slowly becoming aware of its amazing versatility. For example the volumes are very responsive and change the whole character of the guitar depending on where the 2 volumes are set, especially in the middle position where the pickups are hum cancelling against each other. They must be wired 50s style because it doesn't seem like there is little if any treble drop off when I lower the volumes. If I have the bridge pickup on 10 and the neck pickup on 7 I get a great rock tone. If I turn the bridge to around 7 with the neck on 7 it's almost Filtertron-ish in the middle position. If I turn the bridge down to about 3 while the neck is on 7 I can play funky riffs that I would normally reserve for a Strat neck pickup. If I have both pickups on about 3 it can replace an acoustic guitar in a live setting. The hollow midrange sound of the Casino is addicting to my ears also so even while I'm attempting to achieve sounds I would normally play on other guitars I'm liking the hollow tones of the Casino even more anyway. This is not even mentioning the great tones available with both pickups individually. I'm also not taking into consideration how fun it is to play!

    [​IMG]
     
    Mike M, guitarlover, Antigua and 3 others like this.
  2. soulman969

    soulman969 Well-Known Member

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    I agree with everything you wrote. For me it's an exceptionally versatile rock guitar that can be "leaned" in many directions and doesn't always get the credit it's earned.

    It's no mystery to me why a pure rock 'n roll rhythm guitarist like John Lennon put aside his Rickebacker once he played a Casino.
     
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  3. BuddyHollywood

    BuddyHollywood Member

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    I'm understanding why a player like John Lennon, who was not really into gear from what I understand, chose to play a Casino. It is a great musician's tool. It's the most utilitarian hollow body guitar I can think of. It's the hollow body version of a Les Paul Special and is as versatile as a Telecaster. I notice when I play it I'm not fighting the guitar at all. It doesn't get in the way and it allows the music I'm playing on it to shine. I also understand now why Paul McCartney said his humble Casino is his the one electric guitar he would keep above all others even though he owns many high end guitars.
     
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  4. Antigua

    Antigua Active Member

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    I had this exact same thought, but for me this didn't happen until I replaced the stock metal covers, in one case with plastic convers, in the other with nickel silver covers. Stock, I think the guitar is a bit muddy, even with an EQ pedal trying to help. Once that was remedied, the I had the guitar in our jam room with about ten other guitars of various sizes and shapes, and the Casino is always calling out, because it's suitable for absolutely everything. With the brighter pickups, it does glassy blues, but the P-90s still deliver for high gain, and then the hollow body makes it work great for jazz and folk.

    And then on top of that, I put one of the $40 piezo bridges I mentioned in the other thread, so the it's a full hollow acoustic guitar, too. The piezos sound pretty good in all the Epiphones, but it's especially natural sounding with the Casino's arched sound board.

    The way the neck heel is recessed farther into the body than with a 335, by nearly an inch, and being lighter than a semi hollow, also makes the guitar extremely comfortable to operate. I wish Epiphone would come out with more variants, maybe some mini humbuckers, or a model with a fatter neck. I would really like one in red, but they can only be had used at the moment.

    I have a Swingster (a pimped out Emperor), and I think that jazz boxes with neck and bridge pickups are generally very versatile sound-wise, but the Casino has a thin body that can be maneuver like a solid body, while having the resonance of an acoustic, and so I think it it will always be hard to beat.
     
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  5. soulman969

    soulman969 Well-Known Member

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    A players tale.

    A buddy of mine has an old HS pal whose a Nashville Pro and was bragging to him on his Casino Coupe. The guy has a Tele herd like mine and an ES339 P90 Pro like mine but he told my buddy his Casino gets most of his love and attention.

    Now my buddy wants one in natural and you can't find a Coupe in that finish or any other for love nor money right now and new full size Casinos in natural are also on back order so who knows when they'll be available again. But I did find him a 2017 red Coupe if he's willing to drive 75 miles to get it.

    What's funny is a few years ago just after I got mine he played it because via a series of trades it was his old ES339 Pro I'd bought that I'd ended up parlaying into my Casino. But he liked a semi-hollow Ibanez better and bought it instead. Said he didn't like the P90s as much as humbuckers.

    Then he sold the Ibanez because he got hooked on $200 Fireflys which once you stick another $100 or more into them are actually fairly decent but not the same level as a Casino. So last night he finally gives in and decides to sell his last Firefly and buy a Casino which he could have had in natural for a couple hundred less three years ago. I shake my head.

    Same guy I finally talked into buying a used MIC Squier CVC for $250 but first he had to prove to himself a $100 blonde Monoprice wasn't just as good. They sent him three before they all got returned and he finally realized the were more useful as firewood. The inexpensive Epi LP Specials and SLs are far better guitars for only a few bucks more, but I digress.

    I'm all about less pricey imports, value, and squeezing a nickel 'til Jefferson screams "Liberty". But some of this stuff that's marketed in a race to the bottom of who can sell it for less just isn't worth the time and the aggravation and I wish some of these YouTube "promoters" would be more honest about that. If a builder cheats on labor alone someone has to make that up and that someone will most likely be the buyer.

    JMHO
     
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  6. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Well-Known Member

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    Some people just have to decide for themselves and take a longer time to be convinced. I'm guilty of this to some extent. For my part, I stick with Squiers, Epiphones, and my sub-$400 Gretsch. I took a chance on a Harley-Benton for ~$210 (shipped) and was pleasantly surprised. Other than that, I don't really feel like exploring the Fireflys, Indios, Grotes, and IYVs, even if some may come from the same factories as HB.
     
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  7. Cozmik Cowboy

    Cozmik Cowboy Well-Known Member

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    I have said it before, and I assure you I will say it again: The Casino/ES-330 was the peak of electric guitar development.
     
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  8. BuddyHollywood

    BuddyHollywood Member

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    Man, I think about adding that piezo bridge to my Casino every day!
     
  9. soulman969

    soulman969 Well-Known Member

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    Ford, GM, Chrysler, Toyota, Honda, etc all have models of varying levels of trim and quality although thank God no more Pintos or Monzas. Or K cars either for cryin' out loud. :mad:

    Asia will build whatever you want at whatever price level an importer wants to pay but like you I prefer to stick with brands backed by those who have a long established rep to uphold and have been around for many years as well.

    While I do believe their are bargains to be had they more typically come from dealers selling their own import brand like Thomann does with HB. GFS seems to be pretty dependable as well while others seem to come and go over time.

    My gripe is with some of the YouTubers who over promote certain brands not being as honest as they should about the QC of what they promote and the work and/or expense needed to bring an instrument up to an acceptable level.

    Some are playable right out of the box but I can tell immediately I'm playing a "cheap" guitar that would need work to make it acceptable to me. The Fireflys my buddy bought are very much like that and the Indios were just bad.

    In another news he texted me awhile ago to say a used Coupe in natural finish popped up on the GC site today. He wondered if $395 shipped w/tax was still a good price. :hmm:

    I said Jeebus Crisbus buy it.....NOW. It's the only one for sale in that finish in the entire US new or used and it's what you want isn't it? If you don't like it you can return it to a local GC and you won't have to drive two hours one way to look at and maybe buy another in red a guy is asking $410 for.

    He has Martin acoustics worth thousands and drives $50k cars but he's worried about $50 in shipping and tax. :confused: The $60 shipping costs were why he decided against buying an HB T-style for $220 shipped and ordered that Indio for $120 shipped instead. Then shipped three of them back. :facepalm:

    Next time I see him I'm gonna smack him one. :rofl:
     
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  10. BuddyHollywood

    BuddyHollywood Member

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    I'm beginning to understand the logic and agree with the truth in your perspective!
     
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  11. Imerkat

    Imerkat Well-Known Member

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    Got it in Royal Tan sold it and hoping to support Epiphone USA if the specs are right. I think hollowbody P-90 is it’s own awesome sound; never been able to dial it away

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
  12. Jimbeau

    Jimbeau New Member

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    Amen. I have a John Lennon "1965" Casino, and its versatility is one of the things I love about it. All three pickup combinations offer distinct characters, but even just the neck pickup – clean, it's round and full and jazzy-bluesy, and dirty it gets close to sounding quite Strat-like (which I guess makes sense, being a single-coil on steroids).

    And even though the pickups are naturally "honest" and in-your-face, a modest amount of compression pedal can smooth them out nicely.
     
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  13. Antigua

    Antigua Active Member

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    Only $40 for the part. I'm willing to go into detail about installation process if anyone is interested.
     
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  14. soulman969

    soulman969 Well-Known Member

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    One more update on this story and it's GC content. As expected.....another fail and more likely GC lying.

    So on Monday my buddy buys the guitar right? It's in his cart at 1:00 PM and payment is accepted. If it's only in his cart it's still available to all but acceptance of payment makes it unavailable. It's now paid for and his guitar.

    On Tuesday GC queers his order and refunds him..WTF? :dunno:

    So he calls me and I tell him to call the store and tell them once they accepted his payment he owned that guitar. The store mgr does his expected song and dance about prior sale laced with BS about different SKU numbers and whatever else he can come up with as an excuse to hide the probable truth.

    My guess is one of two possibilities;

    1) The manager or an associate wanted it and queered the sale. We've seen this happen before and I've experienced it myself so this isn't just a one off coincidence.

    2) An associate called a buddy or another customer to give him a heads up to get to the store or give him a payment immediately and buy it because someone else had it in their cart. We know this has happened before as well.

    But GC in Cheektowoga, NY of all places wants him to believe someone just strolled in off the street and bought that specific guitar when it hadn't even been listed for sale until just before my buddy bought it. Less than one hour. :facepalm:

    What are the chances of that? :rolleyes:

    I know GC gets beat on a lot but it's deals like this and my own experience with a similar deal and their dishonesty that make it a true pleasure NOT to do business with them.
     
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  15. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Well-Known Member

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    Lesson to your friend - if he sees another at that price, buy it immediately and consult with you later.
     
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  16. BuddyHollywood

    BuddyHollywood Member

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    This happened to me once with a Les Paul Tribute model except in my case it took a few days for them to reply that the guitar was out of stock and they would refund my money.
     
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  17. soulman969

    soulman969 Well-Known Member

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    Yup.....his need for affirmation may have been costly even though we have no way to prove or disprove GC story. He did find a full size one in natural locally but doesn't think he wants to pay the $550 asking price though fair or bargain. :facepalm:

    Others have said some businesses do run separate systems for online sales which may only update every 24 hours. That would give the GC store both an out or the possibility it did happen as they claimed. It's the odds and the coincidence that gets me but it's not my deal so I'm not losing any sleep.

    Anyway, it a hell of a poor way to run a Chocolate Factory. :D
     
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  18. soulman969

    soulman969 Well-Known Member

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    Another PS to the GC/Casino Coupe tale:

    To his credit the store manager did respond personally to the written complaints my buddy voiced to GC corporate and backed him in his suggestion that GC's present system leads to having things like happened talk place more frequently.

    If a store isn't informed for up to 24 hours or more that an online sale has taken place and they need to ship it of course they're gonna keep on marketing the item and sell it if they can. My guess is this happens more often than we hear of.

    While I don't expect GC to do anything in the near future, or maybe ever, to fix this I do want to single out the store manager in Cheektowaga for being a "stand up guy". He's obviously one of those who does care about his store and it's reputation and there are some GCs like that. Just not enough IMHO.
     
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  19. BuddyHollywood

    BuddyHollywood Member

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    I took my Casino into Guitar Center over the weekend to compare it to a Gretsch Tennessee Rose they had for sale. I played the two back to back for over an hour and recorded some bits on my phone. Listening back I realized that my Casino is able to get close to the chimey sounds of the Gretsch with some volume adjustments between the two P90 pickups. They didn't feel the same or even sound the same while playing them but while listening back to the recordings they were closer than I would have expected. Don't get me wrong, the Gretsch sounds amazing. It has a bloom after the attack that is addicting to my ears. The Filtertron pickups were clear, articulate and sounded good in every pickup position. They even sounded good with the tone knob turned down! The Casino has a bit more raunchy sound but for how I play that actually works in my favor. While I could get the Casino to sound close to the Gretsch I could not get the Gretsch to sound close to the Casino.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2021
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