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Gibson ES 330 vs Epiphone Casino Elitist

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I own an ES330 and have also played many times on the Casino. There is no comparison with these two. The ES330 is all around better. The Casino sounds thin, both acoustically and plugged in, when compared. The pickups on the ES330 are also hotter and beefier sound. The ES330 has a thicker laminate, better hardware. I do like the Casino, the ones I have played felt good and a few needed some fret polishing, but still a nice guitar for what you would pay. Still, hands down the ES330 is a better guitar all around. My only complaint with the ES330, is upper fret access beyond the 15th is really hard to impossible.

 

My .02 cents.

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I assume you are referring to the recent ES-330 VOS vs the Elitist Casino. There also was short lived ES-330L with 19 frets clear of the body. I happen to own all of these models, along with a Peerless Casino and a 50th Anniversary '61 Casino.

 

There can be noticeable variations within any given model line, with some stellar examples, and some mediocre examples. I would suggest you play as many as you can get your hands on, and then decide which one you personally prefer for the type of music you play.

 

As for my own favorite, hands down it's the ES-330 VOS (excelling in tone, playability & build quality), but the Elitist Casino is also a very nice instrument. It's really pretty hard to go wrong with either one.

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Similar to earlier posters, I have played USA made ES330, MIC Casino and MIK Peerless Songbird...

 

IMO the ES330 will always win for quality and history and again IMO is closer to the original Casino...being 'badged' accordingly on the same production line back then...

 

Casinos nowadays are all Oriental made on price grounds and offer excellent VFM from £400 or so

 

There are Oriental Casinos with US P90's fitted and priced accordingly

 

The cachet of the Casino name associated with Beatles/Kinks/Stones et al does have a powerful influence...

 

V

 

:-({|=

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Japanese Casinos are a very different kettle of fish to the Korean, Chinese or Indonesian versions though. The 330VOS is a very nice guitar and I'd agree probably the pick of the bunch, but the Elitist Epis are exceptional instruments that are easily comparible to Gibson. I have an earlier Japanese Casino made by Fujigen and it's the equal of any modern Gibson in terms of build quality. I play my '65 330 more than I do the Casino - the neck profile suits me better and the pickups seem a little more dynamic and responsive - but the Casino is a great example of professional workmanship.

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As I have posted in several threads on this board, I bought a used Epi Dot and installed Lindy Fralin P-92s, and this guitar sounds and plays fabulously!... prolly at less than one-fourth the cost of a 330. And btw, I own a 335 and this guitar plays almost as well and sounds better.

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I own a ES330 made is the sixty's, very nice guitar with a wonderful P90 sound. The Elitist is not in the same league. The only rival must be the Japanese Matsumotu made Casino. This is a beautifully made guitar,like a 330 but the neck is different could I say more comfortable and the pickups more gutsy, the bass is noticeably stronger too.. however these are diffent guitars and if you like hollow bodies you want both.

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I own a ES330 made is the sixty's, very nice guitar with a wonderful P90 sound. The Elitist is not in the same league. The only rival must be the Japanese Matsumotu made Casino. This is a beautifully made guitar,like a 330 but the neck is different could I say more comfortable and the pickups more gutsy, the bass is noticeably stronger too.. however these are diffent guitars and if you like hollow bodies you want both.

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I don't know how anyone can say that the Epiphone Casino Elite is not at least the equal of a Gibson es330.

I own an '06 Casino Elite and an '06 es335DD, and they are absolutely comparable in terms of build quality and sound quality.

I also tried out dozens of vintage and new Casino's and es330's before I bought the Elite, and it's every bit as good as the best of them.

Take the John Lennon limited run re-issues - they are fantastic guitars, and were built by the same people in the same factory in Terada.

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Pitfall, I agree. The recent Japanese Casinos are every bit as well made as an off the peg Gibson - the only compromise is the lack of nitro, but even then the poly finishes are beautifully applied. I don't have any experience or the Matsumoto guitars, but the Tereda and Fujigen examples are exceptional in build quality. Given a choice of modern 330s I'd probably go for the VOS on account of the larger neck and the vintage looking finish, but it would be a close race.

 

Vintage is kind of a separate thing. The best 330 and Casino I've played were both vintage, but there's a very different feel to old instruments. Whether they're better is a difficult question though.

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I have a Casino Inspired natural its about 4 months old and a Gibson ES 330 VOS and in the past a Elitist as well . Many people compare the two Gibson and Epiphone and although there are those who believe they sound the same in my experience believe me they very much don't . The ES 330 has more sustain and and much more beef on the bottom end and the high side its just not as thin as the Casino .

 

I had the ES 330 L nice tone more on the scale with the Casino but with a bit more growl . The ES 330 VOS with the under wound pickups and large neck just give you the sweetness of a tele but can also deliver a sting of a rattler when desired .

 

Myself I prefer some beef in the neck and the ES VOS delivers that along with the vintage feel and tone . The Casino is without question fine instrument one of the best for that price range and can deliver some great tone thats why I have one so I guess I like both for what they give me .

 

 

By the way Ive changed all wiring and caps , pots in my Inspired Casino which now is a step above in quality as good as any Gibson .

 

CTS 530k Short Shaft Potsmatched all are the same spec : These are the highest quality, split-short shaft, audio taper potentiometers from CTS. Solid brass shaft and bushing for durability. 3/8-32 US thread, 3/8" bushing height, split-knurled shaft, and 3/8" shaft length, vintage audio taper, and real Bakelite base plate.

 

(2) Jensen .022 Capacitors: These are exceptional foil paper-in-oil caps with silver leads. Widely regarded as some of the best sounding paper-in-oil tone caps available for that vintage "woody" tone!

 

(4') Vintage-Spec Braided Shield Wire: This is genuine 22 gauge braided shield wire. Made by the same company that made it for Gibson in the 50's.

 

(1) Switchcraft Jack: Switchcraft is widely known as the finest input/output 1/4" jack available.

 

(1) Switchcraft 3-Way Toggle Switch:

 

(1') 20 Gauge Buss Wire: Hard to obtain genuine silver-plated 20 gauge solid copper buss wire for grounding the pots like the originals.

The pots, caps, jack, and 3-way toggle soldered (50's style) using only the highest quality 4% silver solder.

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I assume you are referring to the recent ES-330 VOS vs the Elitist Casino. There also was short lived ES-330L with 19 frets clear of the body. I happen to own all of these models, along with a Peerless Casino and a 50th Anniversary '61 Casino.

 

As for my own favorite, hands down it's the ES-330 VOS (excelling in tone, playability & build quality), but the Elitist Casino is also a very nice instrument. It's really pretty hard to go wrong with either one.

 

Bobouz (or anyone, really),

 

I'm looking a guitar whose sound is closest to the ES-330 VOS or the Luther Dickinson ES-335...that woody, throaty sound that's great for blues, slide, jazz, and Americana rock. My issue is typically neck profile. I want a smaller sized neck. Anything that feels "chunky" to me never feels comfortable. With that in mind, which of the guitars you own might be closest to this description?

 

I'd also consider a vintage ES-330 or Casino or whatever, as long as the neck and acoustic qualities were to my liking...I can always swap out pickups and electronics. Oh, and a Bigsby is always a plus in my book...

 

Any suggestions?

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The Elitist Casino has a narrow neck. Mine is 1-10/16" at the nut.

 

The ES-330 VOS generally has a pretty chunky neck. But when I purchased mine, I played three in the same day & found one with a significantly thinner neck profile. This was a good thing, as I too prefer a narrower profile & would rate this particular guitar's neck as very comfortable.

 

Early vintage 330/Casino models have a fatter profile, while '65 and beyond will usually have a very narrow profile (1-9/16"), which many folks find difficult to play. That said, the late '60s models can sometimes be okay, depending on the depth of the neck & overall taper as you extend up the fingerboard.

 

The ES-330L has a 60/30 neck, so it is somewhat in the middle. I find it to be highly comfortable, but the 330L can be rather difficult to find, as the production run was quite limited.

 

If at all possible, it's best to try before you buy!

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