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Epiphone Elite Casino

#1 User is offline   VMM 

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 08:15 AM

Hello all. Am a newbie here and am am attempting to perform some due dilligence regarding a potential Epiphone Casino purchase. The guitar is being sold by a friend of a friend and I'm quite green when it comes to these guitars. It is a light colored Elite/elitist without the pickguard. It comes with a hardcase and is supposedly in good condition. I've seen a few pictures but would like to get permission before posting them here. I will try to get some better pictures as well and see the guitar in the flesh. It has a truss cover which is labelled elite. On the back it has a sticker stating it was set up in the United states. The f-hole has a label stating that it's an Epiphone Casino 1965/NA. The serial number is T30XXXX. Using guitar dater and other resources I've searched for it appears to be a 2003 Terada made Japanese guitar. What I'm confused by is the 6 numbers in the serial number. Up to this point, all of my research (include Gibson/epiphones own info) indicates that the elite/elitist guitars had 5 serial numbers after the factory letter designation. Any thoughts? The Epiphone "i" has a dot above it which I thought was characteristic of Teradas. It has the standard Epiphone headstock (not the gibson style made for domestic Japanese production). Any thoughts are much appreciated. Thanks.

#2 User is offline   clarkuss 

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 09:14 AM

If it says T30XXXX and it has the grey elite label and the TRC then it is most likely what it is being advertised as. I've never seen any fake Elitists/Elitists. Here's another one:

Posted Image

#3 User is offline   bobouz 

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 11:02 AM

Mine is an '09 with six digits after the T.
Gibsons: '22 "A" Mandolin / '66 ES 125T / '90 Tennessean / '00 J-100 Xtra
'02 J-45 Rosewood / '02 SG Faded-moon / '06 ES 335 / '09 ES 339
'10 ES 330L / '11 ES 335-P90s / '12 LP Tribute / '12 ES 330 VOS
'12 LP Special / '12 J-185 / '13 LG2 American Eagle / '14 J-15
Epis: '66 FT45n Cortez / '00 AIUSA-JLH 1964 Sheraton / '04 Peerless Casino
'05 Paul McCartney 1964 Texan / '09 Elitist Casino / '10 Valensi Riviera
'11 50th Anniversary 1961 Casino / EL-00 Pro / {Trinity: TM-475 Mandola}
Martins: '01 Custom Rosewood Dread / '09 OM-1

#4 User is offline   VMM 

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 12:24 PM

Thanks for the info! Obviously need to get my hands on it and try it out but the in general, I've heard that these Japanese models are great guitars. I guess the Matsumuko versus Tereda is controversial in some circles but are considered to be a different animal versus the MIK and MIC models. I wonder how these compare to the American originals? I'm a neophyte player but have 3 main guitars... a select American Strat, Johnny Marr Jaguar, and a roughly 1986 Les Paul Studio with ebony fretboard. Definitely have developed GAS! I'll try to get some pics up ASAP. Thanks.

#5 User is offline   clarkuss 

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 01:09 PM

If I could only have 1 guitar it would be an Epiphone Casino and the Elitist guitars are up there with the best being made in modern times at a non-ridiculous price range so if you can try it out, make sure you do, because you will probably fall in love with it.

I have 3 Korean Casinos because I play in a Beatles tribute band. I have two "John" style ones and a "George" style but if the band ended tomorrow I would sell all 3 and get an Elitist or 1965 Lennon Casino. Both made in Japan in the same factories with the Lennon one being 60s specs.

#6 User is offline   VMM 

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 02:22 PM

Here are some pics. Thanks for checking them out. The guitar definitely has the elite sticker on the back. I guess this must predate the decision to switch to the elitist name to avoid confusion with the Ovation guitars.

Attached Image: photo1.JPG

Attached Image: photo2.JPG

Attached Image: photo3.JPG

#7 User is offline   VMM 

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 02:59 PM

Oh another dumb question. Did these come from the factory without the pickguard? This guitar doesn't seem to be labelled a John Lennon model specifically but I guess it is a reissue of the natural grain/blonde finished guitar without pickguard. Thanks in advance.

#8 User is offline   Dennis G 

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 03:05 PM

View Postclarkuss, on 17 June 2013 - 01:09 PM, said:

If I could only have 1 guitar it would be an Epiphone Casino and the Elitist guitars are up there with the best being made in modern times at a non-ridiculous price range so if you can try it out, make sure you do, because you will probably fall in love with it.

I'm right there with you. I have a 2010 Elitist from Terada and it is pretty much my go to guitar the majority of the time.

Mine also has six digits after the T in the serial #, and it has a dot over the i in Epiphone, and it came with the p/g installed. The Bigsby is a recent addition:

Posted Image
Dennis
--------------------
Love my Dot and my Wildkat, too, but I'm really diggin' my Casino!!!
"Yesterday's history, tomorrow's a mystery. Live for today." Carroll Shelby
"If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun." Katherine Hepburn
RIP AnimalFarm (Greg).

#9 User is offline   charlie brown 

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 05:07 PM

IF I was going to get another Casino...if would DEFINITELY be an "Elitist!"
Even at the considerable extra cost! Every one of those, I've played, have
been outstanding! Both in construction, and finish, but also in "unplugged"
resonance! [thumbup]

CB

#10 User is offline   charlie brown 

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 05:11 PM

View PostDennis G, on 17 June 2013 - 03:05 PM, said:

I'm right there with you. I have a 2010 Elitist from Terada and it is pretty much my go to guitar the majority of the time.

Mine also has six digits after the T in the serial #, and it has a dot over the i in Epiphone, and it came with the p/g installed. The Bigsby is a recent addition:

Posted Image


"Holy George Harrison, at the Budokan," Dennis G...that guitar looks GREAT, with the Bigsby! [thumbup] [biggrin]

#11 User is offline   Dennis G 

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 05:14 PM

View Postcharlie brown, on 17 June 2013 - 05:07 PM, said:

IF I was going to get another Casino...if would DEFINITELY be an "Elitist!"
Even at the considerable extra cost! Every one of those, I've played, have
been outstanding! Both in construction, and finish, but also in "unplugged"
resonance! [thumbup]

CB

Couldn't agree more CB, and do I feel happy today. Just looked at the current street price, and it's considerably higher than when I bought mine, and I got $200 off the then street price in a dealer promo. Woohoo! But, even at today's street price, it's a bargain guitar and knowing what I know now, I'd buy one again in a heartbeat.
Dennis
--------------------
Love my Dot and my Wildkat, too, but I'm really diggin' my Casino!!!
"Yesterday's history, tomorrow's a mystery. Live for today." Carroll Shelby
"If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun." Katherine Hepburn
RIP AnimalFarm (Greg).

#12 User is offline   VMM 

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 05:25 PM

Thanks for all the responses. I know the pictures are limited but I'm going to test out the guitar ASAP. On the pictures provided, I don't see any red flags or anything unusual jumping out at me. Scouring ebay and other websites has given me a good idea for the value as well. I'll let you guys know and hopefully post some additional photos. Thanks for the help!!

#13 User is offline   Dennis G 

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 08:34 PM

View Postcharlie brown, on 17 June 2013 - 05:11 PM, said:

"Holy George Harrison, at the Budokan," Dennis G...that guitar looks GREAT, with the Bigsby! [thumbup] [biggrin]

Thx CB. The best part? It plays as good (if not better) than it looks! When the house catches fire, this is in my right hand and my Ovation Elite is in my left. Mrs. G is on her own LOL! (Kidding, sort of [confused] )
Dennis
--------------------
Love my Dot and my Wildkat, too, but I'm really diggin' my Casino!!!
"Yesterday's history, tomorrow's a mystery. Live for today." Carroll Shelby
"If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun." Katherine Hepburn
RIP AnimalFarm (Greg).

#14 User is offline   frenchie1281734003 

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 11:10 PM

View PostVMM, on 17 June 2013 - 02:59 PM, said:

Oh another dumb question. Did these come from the factory without the pickguard? This guitar doesn't seem to be labelled a John Lennon model specifically but I guess it is a reissue of the natural grain/blonde finished guitar without pickguard. Thanks in advance.


The "Elite" you are looking at is from the first full year of production, the original designation for this guitar was as the "Epiphone Elite 65 Casino", and not as a Lennon specific model. It would have originally carried a white three ply pickguard with the raised plastic "E" logo.

As others have said, the "Elite/Elitist Casino is right up there. I play an 83 Matsumoku, but these are just as great.

Steve.
1980 Daion Heritage 78 acoustic.

1994 Gibson J-100 Xtra (Mahogany) acoustic.

1994 Guild JV-52 Super Jumbo, number 20 of 28 made.

2011 Fender U.S.A 52 Telecaster FSR (Thin skin), Lake placid blue.




"I started off with nothing,and I still have most of it left. "Seasick Steve".

#15 User is offline   Red 333 

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 08:37 AM

View PostDennis G, on 17 June 2013 - 08:34 PM, said:

Thx CB. The best part? It plays as good (if not better) than it looks! When the house catches fire, this is in my right hand and my Ovation Elite is in my left. Mrs. G is on her own LOL! (Kidding, sort of [confused] )


Oddly enough, a trademark conflict with the Ovation Elite name is why Epiphone changed the name from Elite to Elitist (so it is said).

#16 User is offline   Dennis G 

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 06:06 PM

View PostRed 333, on 18 June 2013 - 08:37 AM, said:

Oddly enough, a trademark conflict with the Ovation Elite name is why Epiphone changed the name from Elite to Elitist (so it is said).

What a "coinkydink" as Yakov Smirnoff (okay showing my age) would say. I knew that there was a trademark issue, but didn't realize it was with Ovation. Either way, both "Elite's/Elitist's" are well worth the money. Great guitars.
Dennis
--------------------
Love my Dot and my Wildkat, too, but I'm really diggin' my Casino!!!
"Yesterday's history, tomorrow's a mystery. Live for today." Carroll Shelby
"If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun." Katherine Hepburn
RIP AnimalFarm (Greg).

#17 User is offline   diverden 

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 11:23 PM

This is an "03 Elite without any modifications.

Posted Image

1967 Gibson ES 335 TDC
1973 Ovation Glen Campbell
2003 Epiphone '65 Casino Elite
2004 Epiphone Elitist Les Paul
2005 Fender 72 Telecaster Custom
2005 G&L ASAT Special
2006 Epiphone Masterbuilt AJ-500 ME VS
2006 Epiphone Custom Shop Ltd. Ed. 1963 J-45/VS
2009 Epiphone Lenon EJ-160
2010 Fender "Highway One" Stratocaster
2010 Fender Deluxe P Bass Special 4-String Bass
2010 Guild GAD JF30-12

Traynor Valve 80
Line 6 Spyder iV 75
Fender Rumble 150
Digitech GNX3000

#18 User is offline   Signman 

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 11:42 AM

Reading between the lines I'm thinking the Elitist has a chunkier neck profile than the 65 Lennon ?



View Postclarkuss, on 17 June 2013 - 01:09 PM, said:

If I could only have 1 guitar it would be an Epiphone Casino and the Elitist guitars are up there with the best being made in modern times at a non-ridiculous price range so if you can try it out, make sure you do, because you will probably fall in love with it.

I have 3 Korean Casinos because I play in a Beatles tribute band. I have two "John" style ones and a "George" style but if the band ended tomorrow I would sell all 3 and get an Elitist or 1965 Lennon Casino. Both made in Japan in the same factories with the Lennon one being 60s specs.


#19 User is offline   Gunner 

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 11:45 AM

I have never played a 65 Lennon, but I cannot imagine a guitar with a slimmer neck than the Elitist that I owned. My guess is they are the same or similar since they are/were both made in the same factory in Japan (for the most part). I have played the standard and IBJL casinos and the necks were much fuller than my Elitist.

#20 User is offline   Jayyj 

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 12:53 PM

The Elitist is a skinny neck alright, but I recently got to AB one against my JDM Fuji Gen Casino and the Fuji Gen still came out thinner by a fair bit! The Elitist is narrow but a nice generous C profile like the handful of real '65s I've played, the Fuji Gen has less on the shoulders. I wouldn't choose it but I've got used to it with a bit of fettling to the set up.

The Elite/Elitists seem closer than anything previous to the originals, although all the various Japanese factory reissues I've seen have been great guitars in their own way.

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