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I've learned recently that the laminate construction on the Gibby and Epi hollowbodies are a deliberate design feature. It isn't a method to reduce costs. The laminates provide strength and manage hum better than a solid one ply/one piece body.

 

Signed Pete Best Casino

 

Exactly

 

Generally the difference between high end and budget laminates (at least in terms of guitar construction) is the choice of filler wood in the laminate along with the thickness of the outer laminates. In a budget guitar the outer laminates may be effectively veneers whereas high end guitars the outer laminates will be of similar thickness to the filler layers.

 

I don't know for certain but I wonder if the Casino was designed with a 5 ply laminate top as opposed to the ES330's 3 ply top as a way of addressing the fact that pop bands were playing at higher volumes (hence greater potential for feedback) and the stiffer 5 ply top would be more resistant therefore a significant usp.

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Exactly

 

Generally the difference between high end and budget laminates (at least in terms of guitar construction) is the choice of filler wood in the laminate along with the thickness of the outer laminates. In a budget guitar the outer laminates may be effectively veneers whereas high end guitars the outer laminates will be of similar thickness to the filler layers.

 

I don't know for certain but I wonder if the Casino was designed with a 5 ply laminate top as opposed to the ES330's 3 ply top as a way of addressing the fact that pop bands were playing at higher volumes (hence greater potential for feedback) and the stiffer 5 ply top would be more resistant therefore a significant usp.

 

The acoustic J-160 Lennon used was a laminate as well. It used a P90 pickup at the base of the neck. P90's and laminates seem to go together as well as the hum goes where ever P90s go.

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I have a Chinese-made Inspired by John Lennon Casino that is absolutely flawless - built perfectly. I picked up a stock natural Casino in Guitar Center the other day and it looked and felt great, too.

There will always be some that aren't as good, but when you can play them and choose , you can easily get a Chines-made Casino that is impossible to beat.

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I have a Dot that was made in Qingdao (sp)? China. It's an '07 and is flawless in fit/finish/wormanship. I've done some mod's to it as well:

002_zps11f929c8.jpg

I also have an Elitist Casino, made in Terada, Japan, that is probably the best made guitar I own, and that includes my Gibby's, Ovations, Carvins, Fenders, et al, but Elitists are now close to $2K. I got mine through Sweetwater a few years ago for less than $1300, HSC included:

006_zps4f500b88.jpg

 

Do not be afraid of Chinese made Epi's.

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"Chinese" Epiphones are still made to Gibson/Epiphone's standards. The "spec's" may be a bit

different, from the Kalamazoo era USA made models. But, only a little bit. Truss rods, TRC's

and in some cases, in the past, the neck joint location was at the 17 fret, instead of the more

correct spec, at the 16th fret. But, regardless of where it constructed, all Asian factories

have produced really decent examples. And, just like here, there are always going to be a

few, that slip through the QC cracks, now and then. But, the overall quality of Epiphone

guitars, these days, is outstanding..."at their price point," or otherwise.

 

My only wish, is that they (finally) decide to honor the models, that were originally made

here, in the USA, with spec's, that are identical, in ALL areas! They're SO CLOSE, now...

just that little extra effort, would be so great to see. But, again...that's just Me! [biggrin]

 

CB

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