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I just got my first Casino, a 10 year old Chinese model and I was wondering about its pick-ups. I noticed that the bottom of the covers are curved to match the curve of the guitars top. I also noticed that the neck pick-up is very sloped and quite a distant from the strings. Is this normal for casino?


I'm thinking about replacing the pick-ups as the existing ones seem to lack articulation when strumming chords. Single notes sounds great. Any recommendations would be appreciated. I am looking at Fralins, Kent Armstrongs, and Vintage Vibes.



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Hi Bradduer.

Your description of the curve and slope,of your pickup covers,is correct.The bridge cover should be curved underneath,and the top should be flat.On the neck pickup it should be flat underneath,and sloping towards the neck on top.I`ve owned and played many Casino/ES330 types over the years,and none have had the pickup covers fit perfectly to the guitar top,there always seem to be some gap showing,somewhere.

If your guitar is 10 years or so old,i would have thought it was Korean,not Chinese.Before you replace your pickups,try adjusting them first,P90`s work best with the pickup polepieces very close to the strings.The P90,is quite a simple pickup,to make,and it appears the Koreans did quite a good job,making them,but they do vary from guitar to guitar.I personally think the Elitist,pickups sound a bit more authentic than those in the Lennon reissues!,but that`s down to personal taste,i`m actually very fond of the Japanese pickups in my Matsumoku made Casino`s,and find them to be very raunchy!.As for replacements i`ve heard good things about all those pickups you mention,but they do seem to have their own take on the basic P90 sound.The Razor TSB-91,got a good write up.The August 2004 guitar & bass magazine(UK)(claimed they sounded close to the originals!),as did the Lindy Fralin`s,Bare Knuckles BKP-91 & Seymour Duncan AntiquityP90.In this particular roundup the DiMarzio,Gibson & Rio Grande Jazzdawgs,did not do as well,but again that is down to a reviewers personal preference!!.You could try some GFS p90 dogears,they are made to pretty much original specs,are cheap(check ebay!)and a lot of forum member`s,like GFS stuff,if i wished to replace my P90`s,i`d certainly give them a try(although thy come in Cream or Black,they should fit your existing metal covers).Hope this is of some help,and i`m sure others will give you their views.

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