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Mods to Chinese Casino ?


johnpaulgeorge

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Hi all, First post on this forum(although I've been lurking for a while now).

Anyhow, just aquired a Chinese made Casino a couple of days ago (swapped it for a 'Vintage' Vs6) It's natural & I've ditched the pickguard already & added a spare black washer to pick-up selecter, so it's beggining to look Lennon-ish. Any of you knowledgable guys out there suggest any hardware mods to make it sound the part too ?

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Wow !! That's given me a bit to think about.

Are Bigsby's as difficult to keep in tune as a lot of folk say ?

Got talked out of buying a Gretch in my local guitar shop due

to this instability, & having never owned a Bigsby equipped guitar

before, I was unsure. Cheers.

 

P.s. Thanks Ian, for the suggestions, wife & bank manager are both nervous !

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well for starters johns casino never had a bigsby so adding one wouldn't sound more lennonesque. The toggle on these models suck so you may wanna have a decent one put in. Also have it set up by a pro. It can make a huge difference as far as tuning and playability. Then kick on some overdrive and have a revolution!!! and lets see some pics

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Also, Lennon's had a very thin matte lacquer/sealer for the finish. He felt it helped the wood resonate more.

And, nylon saddles on the bridge, as opposed to the metal ones, currently standard. So, I would go "bone nut,"

"nylon saddles," NO Bigsby (unless you want it to resemble "George's" Casino), and a great "Setup!" Then

into a Fender Twin or Deluxe Reverb, and let 'er rip! The "Revolution" tone/distortion was done in the console,

and not via a stomp box. But, you could use a distortion pedal, to mimic it. Also, his "primitive lead" (his words)

on "Get Back," is a nice indication of a Casino into a tube amp (Twin Reverb)...and nothing else. Sounds like

the tone knob is rolled off, a bit...to cut some treble. Try it...you'll like it! That lead solo may be "primitive," but...

like all Beatles leads, his, George's or Paul's, its/they're perfect...for the song!

 

Cheers,

 

CB

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Since CB brought up the nylon saddles, let me ask still another dumb question. Current epis have the ground going to the bridge, to ground the strings, right? I don't think that nylon would work for the ground so does that mean that the ground wire would have to be moved to the tailpiece?

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casinos are already grounded to the tailpiece...

 

some people have replaced the 5.5" (I think) MIK / MIC trapeze tailpiece with a 6" (I think) trapeze tailpiece

as found on the MIJ casinos (and at various parts suppliers)...measurements are estimates, but you get the idea...

it's on my list to do eventually...

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Bigsby tuning stability isn't bad, unless you're expecting a floyd.

No dimebag divebombs here, but it's a casino, bigsby's are for shimmer.

I like Graphite nuts over bone, but that's just because they're self lubricating and I can't think of a piece of the guitar that does less for tone.

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Wow !! That's given me a bit to think about.

Are Bigsby's as difficult to keep in tune as a lot of folk say ?

 

If they're properly set up they work fine. A lot of younger guys who grew up with Floyd Rose and other modern whammies don't like Bigsbys because they feel too different from what they are used to.

 

I had a '63 Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gent for many years and had no problems with the Bigsby once I figured out what was happening: the design is such that tuning a string rotates the bar they all attach to, which detunes all the other strings! I read somewhere that Duane Eddy's was never in tune. It's easy enough to deal with, by tuning it up in increments, and after a while I got used to it and forgot it was anything different. You can't use slinky strings. It was invented during the period when players, used to playing acoustic archtops with orchestras, used seriously heavy gauge strings, and you have to take that into account. I used a set that was .011-.052 (wound 3rd) which worked fine.

 

The Bigsby won't dive bomb or pull up the pitch -- it was intended to provide a nice chordal or single-string vibrato, and for that it works fine. I'm seriously considering installing one on my Sheraton II -- that's the only thing I miss about the Gretsch. They are some peculiar instruments in the way the controls work and a neck reset is a nightmare, but the Bigsby isn't part of the problems.

 

We return you now to our regular scheduled program.

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Rosewood bridge?

Roller bridge?

Bigsby?

New trapeze tailpiece?

Bone nut?

 

Trapeze tail piece eh?

that's got me thinking.

I don't imagine that there needs to be a right or left model does there.

I like the look of them and I'm thinking to throw one one my dot.

anyone done this?

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Thanks all, I think that I'll swap out the saddles & nut to begin with & see what happens.

Also perhaps the machine heads. The stock ones are similar to klusons,

with the Epi 'E' stamped on them & they don't seem too hot (or perhaps the strings haven't

been properly stretched, must check !) I deffo prefer the grovers on my Epi LP BB, but if I put

grovers on, would I be left with unsightly screw holes ? Neck pup is a bit muddy too, any suggestions ?

 

Cookieman, will post pics in near future i.e. when I get around to taking some LOL!

BTW is your casino elitist, 68 revolution or just bog standard like mine ? Mine looks very

similar as it stands now.

 

Decided i will fit a bigsby on my black beauty. has anyone any experience with the ez-mount systems

sold on e-bay ?

 

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/LES-PAUL-EPI-BIGSBY-VIBRATO-STEEL-EZ-MOUNT-SYSTEM_W0QQitemZ120281559912QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item120281559912

 

The sellers reckon that their mount will fit without drilling any new holes, which is no bad

thing imo.( and it'll come off again if I don't like it !)

Also sussed out that I can get a vibrato like effect by pressing down on the trapeze on my casino.

 

Thanks very much everyone for your input & for making a newbie feel welcome. Cheers.

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Thanks all' date=' I think that I'll swap out the saddles & nut to begin with & see what happens.

Also perhaps the machine heads. The stock ones are similar to klusons,

with the Epi 'E' stamped on them & they don't seem too hot (or perhaps the strings haven't

been properly stretched, must check !) I deffo prefer the grovers on my Epi LP BB, but if I put

grovers on, would I be left with unsightly screw holes ? Neck pup is a bit muddy too, any suggestions ?

 

Cookieman, will post pics in near future i.e. when I get around to taking some LOL!

BTW is your casino elitist, 68 revolution or just bog standard like mine ? Mine looks very

similar as it stands now.

 

Decided i will fit a bigsby on my black beauty. has anyone any experience with the ez-mount systems

sold on e-bay ?

 

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/LES-PAUL-EPI-BIGSBY-VIBRATO-STEEL-EZ-MOUNT-SYSTEM_W0QQitemZ120281559912QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item120281559912

 

The sellers reckon that their mount will fit without drilling any new holes, which is no bad

thing imo.( and it'll come off again if I don't like it !)

Also sussed out that I can get a vibrato like effect by pressing down on the trapeze on my casino.

 

Thanks very much everyone for your input & for making a newbie feel welcome. Cheers.[/quote']

 

You're quite welcome. Also, in case you put "gold" grover's on, it would be just like "John's," visable

screw holes, and all! And, if you put a very thin "gasket" between the machine head and the back of

the neck, it will not leave imprints, so if you decide to change back to the originals, for some reason,

there will be no indication it was ever messed with. Just a thought.

 

As to the pickup, try a GFS P-90 in the neck position. Rave reviews, on this forum,

for GFS pickups!

 

Cheers,

CB

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Trapeze tail piece eh?

that's got me thinking.

I don't imagine that there needs to be a right or left model does there.

I like the look of them and I'm thinking to throw one one my dot.

anyone done this?

 

 

 

Your right there are no right or lefts you can use it for either. I think some 60s 335s used to have them stock?

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The sellers reckon that their mount will fit without drilling any new holes' date=' which is no bad

thing imo.( and it'll come off again if I don't like it !)

Also sussed out that I can get a vibrato like effect by pressing down on the trapeze on my casino.

[/quote']

 

Looks like a easy to install Bigsby. Fits right into the stoppiece studs and the the strap endpin.

Interesting design from the string angle and they claim it adds some acoustic properties and sustain to

the LP. I agree with the added sustain, but can't seem to understand how a metal cast tailpiece

will add acoustically..however, it does look good as a tailpiece.

 

I had a Bigsby years ago, and found that it had to be used gently to keep the strings from going

radically out of tune. Chet Atkins used one for years and he used it sparingly on some of his

recordings. Definitely not what you would call a whammy bar, but a very nice estetically looking tp.

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JPG, my casino is just the standard. i wasn't home 5 minutes before i had the pickguard off and black washer on. really does give it that lennon vibe. I've had it only 11 days and can't put it down. really a player. down the road I'm gonna upgrade the toggle and maybe the tuners.

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Hello all. Thanks to all who've replied in this thread.

 

Latest update :

 

Just ordered GFS P90 Dogear VINTAGE ALNICO TONE Neck I46 pup.

(Cheers, bluelake07)

Fitted Schaller security straplocks.

Re-strung with Rotosound Yellows( after a splash of lemon oil on FB)

Set of gold grovers on order.( =P~ CB)

 

So, hopefully in the next week or two I should be well on the way to completing

my Lennon 68 casino replica.

Very tempted to get sander out for body, but it's a bit daunting !

Is fitting a pick-up really as easy as you fellers make it sound ?

What about tuners ? Should they go straight in, or will I have to widen peg-holes ?

 

As you may have guessed, this is my 1st attempt at DIY mods & I'm a bit apprehensive

but also pretty excited, should be a buzz playing a guitar that's sort of unique( if you know what I mean)

Thanks again for all help & suggestions. Cheers.

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Congrats, and welcome. No need to be excessively apprehensive. No rocket science here. People have been modifying guitars for thousands of years. All you need are a few hand tools (screwdrivers, pliers, soldering kit) and patience. As you get older, you will add magnifying glass and about a dozen of those little hobby type of table vise to hold bit of this and that while your hands are occupied with important things like cigarettes and a beer glass. Take it slowly, visualize what you want the tool to do and never try to go faster than your hands want to work.

 

Oh, I almost forgot the most important part of the job -- post lots of pictures.

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CB, yeah black washer was 2nd thing I did after pickguard. Think I'll leave finish for the mo, I can see me

cracking ply, or something equally stupid ! I'll get a price from local luthier. Or would paint stripper do the

job !?

 

Cheers snook, already in me 40's so I need the afformentioned aids already !!

Just got back into playing after 15/20 yrs off & the bug is biting hard !!

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Well, I (personally) would be more cautious using anything "chemical" on the finish.

Might go too far, or ruin the binding (loosen it, etc.). A GOOD luthier,

could do all this, for you, because they're used to knowing how much

NOT to do. LOL! But, if you're unfamiliar with that kind of thing, I

wouldn't attempt it, yourself. One guy I know, used a "scotchbrite" pad,

and very lightly went all over it (parts all stripped off), until it was "matte!"

then used rubbing compound, to smooth it out, even more, and put that

slight "sheen" back on. If you're patient, and have a light touch, that might

be an option, too. But...very carefully! There are probably other's here,

that have more/better ideas, too!

 

Cheers,

CB

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