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Beatles Anthology/Beatles Gear - Casinoville


JefferySmith

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I have watched 5 hours of the Beatles Anthology, and it is amazing just how much "jazz boxes" dominated the rock and roll scene before the thin models such as the Casino and the Gretsch Tennessean/Country Gentleman styles took over. Those big jazz boxes look very uncomfortable for the standing players, and John Lennon seems to be overwhelmed by the Gibson acoustic/electric in some of those films. I also picked up the book on the stories behind the songs written by the Beatles.

 

But I am still nonplussed by the regular appearance of the Casino throughout those 60's. Did Gibson ever make a 335-type guitar with P90's?

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That ES 330 looks exactly like my ES 335 from 1964 except for the P90s. Same tailpiece and block inlays.

 

But is a completely different guitar from the neck joint position to the lack of the center block. They did go to to a 19th fret joint in 1968 to standardize manufacturing but it proved very unpopular and a year or so later they returned to offering the original 16th fret joint as an option.

CB: Rare because nobody liked them and hence nobody bought them so now they're available for considerably less money than an original 16th fret model.

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....plus' date=' many of the longnecks, being unsupported by a center block, "folded", and became a reliability issue.[/quote']

 

Which makes total sense since Norlin was looking for anyway it could to avoid any future warranty issues.

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Al, have you had the opportunity to play a long neck 330 along with the standard version?

I was wondering if they Sound (appreciably) different, tone wise, because of the different neck joint,

and body cavity space? If THAT was why they weren't popular, and Gibson went back to offering

the original configuration, as an option? I've seen both, but never at the same time/place...so I

never had the opportunity, to do a "side by side" comparison.

 

CB

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Al' date=' have you had the opportunity to play a long neck 330 along with the standard version?

I was wondering if they Sound (appreciably) different, tone wise, because of the different neck joint,

and body cavity space? If THAT was why they weren't popular, and Gibson went back to offering

the original configuration, as an option? I've seen both, but never at the same time/place...so I

never had the opportunity, to do a "side by side" comparison.

 

CB[/quote']

I haven't ever personally owned one but I had a band mate many years back who did but I can't say I'd be able to compare a difference in tone after this many years. I do remember it feeling very different from another ES-330...but I don't even think I can describe that difference...maybe like the difference between old Coke and new Coke..(everyone under twenty five is going what???)...just something different lol

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Thanks, Al. I was just curious. I have had the opportunity to play a Kalamazoo Casino (mine),

and a friends ES-330 standard version, and they were identical, in tone! I know some, have stated

that the Casino is "warmer," or "colder" sounding, depending on who it was, and their guitars or

perceptions, but...the ones I've played side by side, were identical sounding (to me, anyway). Both

had nylon saddles, so the sustain was the same, as well. But, different guitars, even by the same

company and the same model, can often be quite different in tone, and feel. So...maybe, I was lucky,

in that the ones I tested, were so similar?

 

CB

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"But I am still nonplussed by the regular appearance of the Casino throughout those 60's"

 

I'm curious...why are you "nonplussed?" Do you feel that the casino is an inferior guitar?

 

"it is amazing just how much "jazz boxes" dominated the rock and roll scene before the thin models such as the Casino and the Gretsch Tennessean/Country Gentleman styles took over. Those big jazz boxes look very uncomfortable for the standing players, and John Lennon seems to be overwhelmed by the Gibson acoustic/electric in some of those films."

 

I've alway thought the rockabilly players looked pretty cool with those big jazz boxes...

 

gitaar_clip_image012.jpg

 

scottyl5.jpg

 

elvis with the guitar this time:

 

ElvisL5a.jpg

 

and the other elvis:

 

ElvisEpi.jpg

 

 

also, do you mean Lennons J160E? An iconic guitar for Lennon and Harrison...I've always thought they

looked great played by the Beatles:

 

herejohn.jpg

 

PR_JohnLennonJ160.jpg

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No, I'm nonplussed because I was a huge fan of Kalamazoo guitars (I was rather snotty in rejecting Gretsch, thinking the painted on F holes was just crazy, and Fender seemed like a surf guitar and little more) but I didn't realize how dominant the Casino was in 60's rock. At the time, I think I just saw it as a 335-like Epiphone with cheaper pickups. It is obviously a very unique guitar with an unmistakable niche. The years that I was in a band (1965 through 1968), Les Paul guitars were not being made (they called the SG guitars "Les Paul" for a while around that time), and I viewed the singlecut Les Pauls as a relict from the past. How times have changed.

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My first Gibson was a 330 - best and most beautiful guitar I ever owned. Of course, I wish I still had it. I was aware of the existence of the Casino and realized it was the same animal but I never saw one "in person", not in stores, not anywhere. My love and memories of that guitar led me to putting P90 drop-ins in my Dot. So now I have a 330-esque guitar. While it may not be an actual 330 or Casino, it's close enough especially considering the price and I can get some of those oh-so-familiar British invasion sounds.

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There is no way around it. I have to get an Elitist Casino while they are still alive and well. I won't feel complete without it. I'll leave the Sheratons as they are (they are both wonderful as is). And I will probably request being buried either with a Casino or a Byrdland on my right side. I hope my wife doesn't cremate me with that axe.

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There is no way around it. I have to get an Elitist Casino while they are still alive and well. I won't feel complete without it. I'll leave the Sheratons as they are (they are both wonderful as is). And I will probably request being buried either with a Casino or a Byrdland on my right side. I hope my wife doesn't cremate me with that axe.

 

Elistist Casino is a nice "bug" to be bitten by! Don't fight it, just enjoy!

 

CB

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Also, weren't the big "Jazz Boxes" more popular, at that time, because (early on, at least) the 330-335's weren't made, yet? I think that style music, too, had a lot to do with it. It was a fuller, cleaner, sound..."back then!" A lot of

the Rockabilly players used them, or the thicker Gretsch guitars, of the era, to get that cleaner "Twang!"

 

CB

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Al' date=' have you had the opportunity to play a long neck 330 along with the standard version?

I was wondering if they Sound (appreciably) different, tone wise, because of the different neck joint,

and body cavity space? <...>

CB[/quote']

 

I'm not Al, and I don't play one on TV <wink and grin>

 

Since I have both, I have done a side-by-side comparison.

 

First of all, they both feel the same with one exception, the neck on my 330 is a little longer so the arm has to extend a tiny bit more. But they both have that wonderful slim, touch-and-go neck.

 

The 330 has nylon saddles, the Casino does not. Also the pickups on my Casino are adjusted higher than the pups on my 330. After saying all that, plugged in, the Casino does have a slightly brighter tone and a bit more sustain. But the sound is very close.

 

I haven't tried to make them both sound identical, so I keep the pickups adjusted to the place where the original guitar-tech put them. Some day I may get curious and experiment, but right now all I want to do is make music with them. (I'm hopelessly addicted to making music.)

 

Acoustically the 330 has a more mellow tone than the Casino. Could be the nylon saddles, different wood, different finish, or the fact that due to the long neck the bridge is mounted higher on the body. I don't know enough about guitar construction to make an educated guess.

 

I have heard that Gibson made the "long neck" at the request of the 330 players. I've also read that it is a bit more fragile than the Casino but not by a great amount. I've heard the breakeage of the 330 long neck to the 330 short neck is about the difference between an SG and an LP. But that is all hearsay. Mine spent a few years in and out of the case and in the band van, but for the last 20, it's been either hanging on the wall or in either Leilani or my hands.

 

I also read on the Gibson Vintage forum that during the Beatle and "British Invasion" era, Gibson was having distributorship problems in the UK and the Gibsons were difficult to find there but the Casinos were easy to find and that is why so many of the UK groups chose the Casino.

 

One more thing, but archtops were not considered "Jazz Boxes" at the time, they were simply electric guitars. Many a rock-a-billy and C&W artist played what is not called a "jazz box". So I suppose jazz box is a modern marketing term.

 

Insights and incites by Notes

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Thanks, Bob...

I think some of the diffences, you're talking about, between your long neck 330 and your Casino, are more likely the age,

of the 330. There are (probably) some subtle diffences in the pickups, too? But, the time I had the opportunity to play my

vintage Casino, with my friends ES-330 (also of about the same age/vintage), they were SO close, as to be identical, in

tone, and playability. Both had nylon saddles, so the sustain was the same, as well. Maybe that was a fluke?

I don't know..but it was interesting. What I'm curious about, is IF there's any real difference in a "Long neck" 330, compared to the normal variety 330, in tone or "fullness" given the smaller neck joint area, of the long neck version. Probably not...but...???

 

CB

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(snip)

One more thing' date=' but archtops were not considered "Jazz Boxes" at the time, they were simply electric guitars. Many a rock-a-billy and C&W artist played what is not called a "jazz box". So I suppose jazz box is a modern marketing term.

[/quote']

 

Quite true. I didn't even hear the term "jazz box" until recently. The lead guitarist in my first band had a single pickup Gretsch Anniversary in Bamboo Yellow (probably made around 1960), and it just looked like an acoustic archtop with a pickup on it. As you might expect, it had feedback issues, so he finally traded it in on a Rickenbacker 360.

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