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About stevo58

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  1. The cheap and easy way is to replace the bridge with a Gotoh wireless. If you want locking, a TonePro will work - it’s the same as the Gotoh with an added grub screw. The Casino uses a 1-piece bushing/threaded post, so the grub screw will do a number on the threads. I used a TonePro for a while, then I pulled the bushings and installed Faber hardened steel, which required enlarging the holes to 12mm. The Faber locking system is clearly better (no tilt), and the hardened steel bushings made a subtle but real difference in the bass response. But the Gotoh is fine for non-compulsive people.
  2. Yep, 600 wet sand and patience. As long as the run-off is milky white, you are removing poly clear coat. Once the color changes, you’ve gone too far. I removed the finish completely from the neck. There was a rock-hard clear undercoat which I decided to leave as is. My original plan was to oil it. The undercoat actually feels fine.
  3. In 2017, I bought a MIC Casino because I didn’t want to gig anymore with my ES-125TDC, as it was getting fragile. I didn’t expect the Casino to be the equal of that (amazing) guitar, but I figured it would be good enough. It ended up being an insane modding journey, which I did mainly for the fun of it, but the out-of-the-box setup was quite good, actually, with perfectly acceptable fretwork and good action. The only things I did immediately were replacing the pickups with Fralins (and the pots, switch, etc. as long as I was in there), because the originals were too hot, middy, and
  4. My 1958 ES-125T has three layers. My 2015 Gibson ES-335 Studio has three layers. I believe the Studio has a maple middle layer (I won’t swear to it) while the more expensive 335s have a poplar middle layer. My 2017 standard Casino has five layers. L5, L7, Super 400, Byrdland have solid carved tops. Pretty much anything starting with ‘ES’ (125, 175, 350, 3x5 ...) is laminated. ES-150 is a special case. A solid top can be carved (see above) or pressed (Gibson Formed Archtop from a few years ago, most inexpensive solid topped arch tops) Carved tops can be fully hand carv
  5. I’ve been thinking of doing this on my casino, just because. How thick were the original acrylic inlays, and how thick is the MOP? Did you have any problems removing the acrylic - I would probably drill through the center and try to pry it out, at least as a first attempt. How did you radius the blocks without removing the frets?
  6. The metal covers act as a huge heat sink, making it very difficult to unsolder the tabs. I doubt if a 40-watt iron will work. My Ersa electronically-controlled solder station, at 450C, couldn’t do it. A 100-watt gun might do it, or a gas flame.
  7. In my opinion, any guitar whose pots are open to the environment should have sealed pots, for example, Bourns type 82 or 95. Otherwise you will be cleaning them regularly. The new worn Casinos have the “P-90 Pro” pickups, which are an improvement over the ones in the standard Casino, which are overwound and muddy. I also think the thin finish is another big improvement. I thinned down the poly clear coat on my 2017 Casino, and it made a big difference. The guitar was livelier and more resonant without that thick blanket.
  8. Well, I own a Gibson 335. Ok, it’s just a Studio, but it’s a fine guitar. I also in the past owned a Dot. It was also a fine guitar. I sold it a couple months after I bought the Gibson. The Gibson just feels better. There’s no comparison. The neck feels stable and resonant, while the Dot was dead and flexible. The finish feels better. It hangs better on a strap somehow. There are just countless small details which add up. It’s the first 2-humbucker guitar I’ve been able to bond with. The proper 335s I’ve played are even more extreme. It’s up to you what you want to pay for. One
  9. I bought a ‘58 125T fifteen years ago. It had been through the wringer over the decades. The seller was going to hang it on his wall as deco. It had a poorly -done cutaway. An access hatch slightly smaller than a large county in Texas had been cut in the back. An EMG humbucker (with coil split) had replaced the P90 (which was fortunately in the case). The bridge was glued AND screwed to the top. It sported a nylon-saddle tunomatic. It had some mystery inlay added to the peghead. A bigsby had been mounted at some point. And then removed. The pots and jack were shot and unsalvageable.
  10. To be honest, I never saw any particular point to it.
  11. Yeah that’s it, but the 2015 added a locking tailpiece, too.
  12. There are rosewoods, and there are rosewoods. I have a Prucha tenor banjo with the most amazing piece of rosewood I’ve ever seen as a fingerboard. It’s not pretty, but nearly as fine-grained as ebony, and hard as can be. The banjo is played heavily and I see no wear on it at all. No idea what species it is.
  13. I agree completely with you - except for the fingerboard. As a matter of fact, when they came out, the red-with-black-binding appealed to me immediately. I think it is a very elegant, restrained combination, and I made up my mind immediately to buy one. As I said, I played Teles for decades, and the only 4-knob guitar I own (a highly modified Qing Dao Casino) still confuses me in the heat of a gig. I make heavy use of guitar volume and tone controls and I would always grab the wrong one. The studios aren’t in the lineup anymore, but the last one was creeping up in price close to the
  14. I have a wine red 2015, and for the most part love the guitar. (Half-) Significant changes to 2014: different truss rod, rounded fingerboard edges, locking bridge and tailpiece. Insignificant change: f-hole on trc. Mine has black binding on the body and fingerboard, I assume the ginger burst has it, too. That may have been new in 2015. To my taste, the black-on-wine red is very restrained and elegant, and not so in-your-face as white or ivory would be. What I don’t like: the binding is not scraped, not even on the dot side, so the the position markers are wine red on black. One of
  15. The absolute best trapeze is the ABM 1504. It’s made in Germany of nickel plated bell brass, is expensive as all get-out, and, in my experience ( I put them on my Casino and my Loar) it actually improves the string definition on the bass strings. Everything else is Asian pot metal. So just order the usual one from Stew Mac or Ali Baba or wherever. I went with ABM because I’m obsessive compulsive and wanted the correct nuts, not the huge long ones that most trapezes have these days. In the photo you see a vintage 125 with the original Gibson tailpiece, and the ABMs on the other
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