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Fake Epiphone Casino Elitist?

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Hey guys.

Looking at purchasing an Elitist Casino that I've found online.

Everything generally seems ok. But the back of the headstock raises an eyebrow.

I searched the code to find that the guitar was made in 2001, but other Casinos I've found made around that time have the Grover tuners, while from pictures, this clearly does not.

Also, the sticker of the "Epiphone Elitist", isn't it supposed to be a direct print rather than a sticker?

So I wonder, is it a fake?

post-100144-033156700 1554955801_thumb.jpg

post-100144-003100700 1554955814_thumb.jpg

post-100144-038299000 1554955825_thumb.jpg

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Hey guys.

Looking at purchasing an Elitist Casino that I've found online.

Everything generally seems ok. But the back of the headstock raises an eyebrow.

I searched the code to find that the guitar was made in 2001, but other Casinos I've found made around that time have the Grover tuners, while from pictures, this clearly does not.

Also, the sticker of the "Epiphone Elitist", isn't it supposed to be a direct print rather than a sticker?

So I wonder, is it a fake?

I don't own a Casino, nor claim to be very knowledgeable about them. But I believe they do have the sticker inside the body.

The tuners are another question. It is weird that they appear to have no name of the manufacturer on the tuners. :-k

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I have had a couple of Casino's in my day but I'm no expert. I do see your concern on the tuners, like yourself, I all the ones I find have the Grovers. Please note that the lower end Casinos use the tuners we see in that pic. I too question the "Epiphone Elitist" decal on the back of the head stock, almost looks like someone printed out from their computer at home and it's going to fall off on the next humid day. I'm not saying its a fake, just smells funny to me. May be a miss representation of a lower end Casino. How much are they asking?

Edited by Big Bill

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Hey guys.

Looking at purchasing an Elitist Casino that I've found online.

Everything generally seems ok. But the back of the headstock raises an eyebrow.

I searched the code to find that the guitar was made in 2001, but other Casinos I've found made around that time have the Grover tuners, while from pictures, this clearly does not.

Also, the sticker of the "Epiphone Elitist", isn't it supposed to be a direct print rather than a sticker?

So I wonder, is it a fake?

 

I'm not able to decide if that guitar is a fake or not. However here are some things to consider:

 

• The Elite series started in 2002, and was later relabeled to Elitist (in 2004 I guess) - so it is unlikely that this is a guitar from 2001 if it is a genuine Elitist model.

• The serial number would point to 2011 rather than 2001 on an Elitist model (my Casino Elitist serial starts with T1.... as well, and that is a 2011 model made at Terada plant Japan).

• The Elitist label is indeed a print and not a sticker:

 

Elitist_Label_zpstfu6zflt.jpg

 

• As an Elitist Casino 1965 VS it should have Grover tuners:

 

Elitist_TRC_zpszsoyghye.jpg

 

The 3-screw trussrod cover however would be correct, see above. On the other hand my other Elite Epiphones have Gibson style 2-screw TRCs that are engraved GIBSON (not Elite or Elitist). Seems they changed the TRCs between models and years.

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I'm no expert, but I'll mostly second LongMan's comments. I have an Elitist Casino that I bought new from Sweetwater in 2010. A few things:

1. Mine has Grover tuners

2. The inside "sticker" is a "sticker", but it does look like yours

3. It also has the 3 screw truss rod cover, and finally,

4. My serial # also starts with "T1", indicating that it was made in Terada.

 

Hope this helps.

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The tuners & the decal/sticker on the back of the headstock are really problematic. They do not conform to any Elitist Casio I’ve seen from Terada.

 

We know it’s not a 2001, because there was no such beast.

 

If it were being considered a 2011, the tuners are wrong & a decal/sticker would not be applied over the finish. I’ve seen an Elitist decal/sticker available on eBay, so this would be easy to fake.

 

My guess is that this is not the real deal.

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I had a luthier change my tuners on a Dot, and they came out wonky like that. I don't like the effect at all. I think the former owner just changed tuners using existing screw holes.

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The tuners & the decal/sticker on the back of the headstock are really problematic. They do not conform to any Elitist Casio I’ve seen from Terada.

 

We know it’s not a 2001, because there was no such beast.

 

If it were being considered a 2011, the tuners are wrong & a decal/sticker would not be applied over the finish. I’ve seen an Elitist decal/sticker available on eBay, so this would be easy to fake.

 

My guess is that this is not the real deal.

 

I had a 2001 1965 Elitist Casino for a short while, so they do exist. But the serial number doesn't look right to me, and the Elitist Water Decal looks strange as well.

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I think the former owner just changed tuners using existing screw holes.

All Elitist Casinos (except the recent Ltd Ed version sold primarily in Japan) have come stock with Grover Rotomatics, which require a larger hole for the threaded bushing.

 

If someone has a true Elitist Casino & wants to go to the style of tuner pictured by the OP (faux-Klusons), an adapter-bushing is required. Conversely, the pictured tuners have been standard fare on Casinos made in Korea & China for many years.

Edited by bobouz

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I had a 2001 1965 Elitist Casino for a short while, so they do exist. But the serial number doesn't look right to me, and the Elitist Water Decal looks strange as well.

Duane, the Elite Casino was released in 2002. By the 2004 model year, the name had formally been changed to Elitist, due to a copyright issue with Gretsch if I recall correctly.

 

It's possible that some Elite Casinos were manufactured towards the end of 2001, prior to their release in 2002 - personally, I've never seen one, but it's certainly within the realm of possibility. But even if that were the case, the labels on this guitar would be incorrect because they read Elitist rather than Elite.

 

Another factor which assures that the OP's pictured guitar is not from 2001, is the fact that the headstock logo font pictured was not used on Elitist Casinos until approx 2010. In 2010, Epiphone began standardizing their headstock logo font to the one shown on this guitar. All Terada-Elite/Elitist hollowbodies from 2009 and earlier (except the Broadway) used a different font, characterized by a short-center-lined 'E'.

 

Therefore, we're back to: Is this an Elitist from 2011? Again, going with probabilities, I would think not. The tuner change could be done with an aftermarket bushing as I noted above, but it's highly doubtful that a decal logo would have been applied over the finish by Terada.

 

Anything is possible, but the origins of this guitar are suspect & worth investigating carefully before purchase.

Edited by bobouz

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I believe the OP may have gotten the date of 2001 from Guitar Dater, I checked it out there and it came back with that date. I don't rely on that app to much. With that being said, if we were to take the date out of the picture, there's still some red flags.

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There were prototype Elite Casinos made before the official release of this model - a friend of mine has one, and I have an '06.

They have differences to the normal ones, such as Kluson tuners, no transfer under the lacquer on the rear of the headstock etc.

It's quite possible from the pictures that this is one of those, The main features look right compared to mine.

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The guitar in the pictures appears to have a semi circular scarf joint in the neck (the headstock and neck are two separate pieces joined together, as indicated by the two tones of wood). Eltists have true one piece necks (save for a stacked heel).

Red 333

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The picture is not good enough to be sure if it is a scarf joint - but if it is, it's not an Elite/Elitist. The join is easier to see on the side of the headstock.

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Also note that Elite/Elitist have a Nitrocellulose finish not Poly, USA Electronics and premium materials (what ever that means) hardware and wood I think.. ie ABR Bridge, Bone Nut, 5 Ply Maple construction and Spuce Top, Grover Tuners, etc... And Made In Japan....

Head.jpg

Edited by mihcmac

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Though a few Elitist models have nitro finishes (the Texan, Riviera, the Casino models sold now only in Japan, the McCartney Texan, two Lennon Casinos,  and some if the Hooker Sheraton variations sold on the past off the top of my head), most Elite/Elitists have poly finishes: all of the various Les Pauls and SGs, SG and Thunderbird basses, J-45, L-00, J-200, Texan, Sheraton, Riviera 6 and 12 string, ES-335, Broadway, Country Gentleman, Byrdland.

Red 333

 

Edited by Red 333

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2 hours ago, pitfall said:

The picture is not good enough to be sure if it is a scarf joint - but if it is, it's not an Elite/Elitist. 

 

It's a bit hard to make out with the picture as posted, but very easy to see below the sticker with the screen brightness turned up. 

Red 333

Edited by Red 333

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On 4/11/2019 at 9:14 PM, bobouz said:

Duane, the Elite Casino was released in 2002. By the 2004 model year, the name had formally been changed to Elitist, due to a copyright issue with Gretsch if I recall correctly.

 

It's possible that some Elite Casinos were manufactured towards the end of 2001, prior to their release in 2002 - personally, I've never seen one, but it's certainly within the realm of possibility. But even if that were the case, the labels on this guitar would be incorrect because they read Elitist rather than Elite.

 

Another factor which assures that the OP's pictured guitar is not from 2001, is the fact that the headstock logo font pictured was not used on Elitist Casinos until approx 2010. In 2010, Epiphone began standardizing their headstock logo font to the one shown on this guitar. All Terada-Elite/Elitist hollowbodies from 2009 and earlier (except the Broadway) used a different font, characterized by a short-center-lined 'E'.

 

Therefore, we're back to: Is this an Elitist from 2011? Again, going with probabilities, I would think not. The tuner change could be done with an aftermarket bushing as I noted above, but it's highly doubtful that a decal logo would have been applied over the finish by Terada.

 

Anything is possible, but the origins of this guitar are suspect & worth investigating carefully before purchase.

Correct.

Red 333

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On 4/11/2019 at 1:22 PM, LongMan said:

 

I'm not able to decide if that guitar is a fake or not. However here are some things to consider:

 

• The Elite series started in 2002, and was later relabeled to Elitist (in 2004 I guess) - so it is unlikely that this is a guitar from 2001 if it is a genuine Elitist model.

• The serial number would point to 2011 rather than 2001 on an Elitist model (my Casino Elitist serial starts with T1.... as well, and that is a 2011 model made at Terada plant Japan).

• The Elitist label is indeed a print and not a sticker:

 

Elitist_Label_zpstfu6zflt.jpg

 

• As an Elitist Casino 1965 VS it should have Grover tuners:

 

Elitist_TRC_zpszsoyghye.jpg

 

The 3-screw trussrod cover however would be correct, see above. On the other hand my other Elite Epiphones have Gibson style 2-screw TRCs that are engraved GIBSON (not Elite or Elitist). Seems they changed the TRCs between models and years.

An Elite/Elitist wore a Gibson two hole truss rod cover only if it was a version of a guitar that was a Gibson originally. So, all the Les Paul's, SGs, the ES-335, Byrdland, J-45, J-200, and L-00 wore them (they were Gibsons long before they also were issued as Epiphones), while the Sheraton, Riviera, Casino, and Texan got Epiphone style TRCs like the sixties Epiphone badged models they were based on (though with three holes, like contemporary Epiphones and all those made after the sixties, roughly). The nitro finished  Elitists (McCartney Texan, Lennon Casinos, Japan-only Texan, Casino, Riviera, etc.) got vintage style (pre '70s) Epiphone TRCs with two holes. Whew!

Red 333

Edited by Red 333

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My first post on this thread I showed a headstock shot from the Epiphone site of an "Elitist 1965 Casino" 3 hole nut cover with no inscription on it but the same page main image below shows Elite on the cover...

VS_Splash.jpg

Then Epiphone also shows a similar model the "Limited Edition Elitist 1965 Casino Vintage Outfit" that has the 2 hole cover with the Epsilon on it. Also this one has Gotoh "Kluson style" tuners like the OP showed and not the heavier Grover's like in the image above..

Elit65CasinoVntg_Splash.jpg

These current very similar Elitist Casino models could cause some confusion..

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Right. Poly finished 1965 has 3 hole EpiphoneTRC. Nitro finished Ltd Edition 1965 Casino has 2 hole cover. This identifier (3 for poly, 2 for Nitro) is used consistently across the Elitist line (see my post above], except when a model gets a Gibson bell TRC, which is always two hole. And no Elitist with a Gibson bell TRC has ever had a nitro finish. 

Red 333

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Epiphone released the "Vintage Outfit" Elitist Casino a few short years ago, along with an Elitist Riviera (stopbar tailpiece) & Elitist Texan, all with nitro finishes.  As Red noted above, these were intended primarily for the Japanese market, but some have made it into other countries - such as the used (new-version) Riviera I saw being sold in a local Guitar Center.  There are Japanese sellers that list them on Reverb, so they certainly could be sold & shipped worldwide.

Unfortunately, these newer models have indeed caused some confusion with their earlier Elitist Casino, Riviera, & Texan counterparts - which were all manufactured with a poly finish (and three-hole TRCs).

Previously, the only other nitro finished Terada-Japan models I'm aware of were the two versions of the '65 Lennon Casino and '64 Hooker Sheraton (released as the USA-Series in 2000), and the '64 McCartney Texan (Adopt-A-Minefield fundraiser, released in 2005).  It is noteworthy that none of these models were called Elitists (unless being inaccurately represented by a seller).  Additionally, these models all had two-hole TRCs.

A rather convoluted situation!   

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Bobouz post prompted me to open the Mccartney Texan's case and look at the COA.

I've always called it the Elitist Paul McCartney 1964 Texan, as that is what it was  referred to in online sales descriptions  when it was sold (Sweetwater's is still cached, for instance, if anyone cares to look).

Lo and behold its COA and the hang tag refer to it as the Limited Edition McCartney 1964 Texan, as Bobouz wrote!  Ya learn something new every day.

That being said, I have a combined Gibson/Epiphone brochure where they call it the Elitist Paul McCartney 1964 Texan, lol!

The Epiphone catalog DOES call the MIJ McCartney Texan and the Lennon Casinos "Limited Editions," though. Convoluted indeed!

In any case they're made by the same hands that make the wonderful guitars that get badged "Elite/Elitist," and I feel fortunate to have been around when they were more widely around new for sale. I've got two Elitist Les Paul Standards, an Elitist SG, Elitist ES-335, ELitist Byrdland, Elitist Broadway, Elitist J-200, Elitist Texan, Elitist Casino, two Ltd. Edition McCartney 1964 Texans (look at me using the right name), and one each of the two Ltd. Edition John Lennon Casinos.

Edited by Red 333

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14 hours ago, Red 333 said:

I have a combined Gibson/Epiphone brochure where they call it the Elitist Paul McCartney 1964 Texan, lol!

The Epiphone catalog DOES call the MIJ McCartney Texan and the Lennon Casinos "Limited Editions," though. Convoluted indeed!

Red, I also have a combined Gibson/Epiphone brochure in which the Terada version is called the Elitist PM '64 Texan.  Who knows, it might be the same one!  Mine came as an eight page centerfold-pullout attachment to a Musician's Friend catalog, and my guess is that it was produced by MF rather than Gibson (it includes prices & product numbers).  One full page is devoted to the three McCartney models - the Elitist moniker was probably an effective way for them to separate the Terada version from the Montana models.

 But as noted, when checking official Epiphone material, the model is never called an Elitist -  including the initial release of the model in Epi's "new products catalog 1965."

Even more importantly than all of that, I must say what a wonderful collection you have of Terada-made instruments!  I only have an '00 Hooker Sheraton (w/ Frequensator), '05 McCartney Texan, and '09 Elitist Casino.  If I had been a more savvy buyer at the time, I would have at least picked up the Byrdland!  

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