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Gigging with an Epi Casino


StewartB

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My local music store has two Epi Casinos for sale - one standard and the other a John Lennon model (AUD$1,999)- both very tempting. I have a couple of questions that I'm sure the forum can answer: -

 

In a live gigging situation (amps up pretty high / not miked through the PA) does the Casino generate a lot of feedback (being a hollow body)?

 

Other question is that I have read the Casino is great for rhythm guitar but not very good as a lead guitar because of a lack of sustain - true or false?

 

Thanks all......................

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Other question is that I have read the Casino is great for rhythm guitar but not very good as a lead guitar because of a lack of sustain - true or false?

 

Probably true, but who the hell cares? It's what John Lennon and co used for their unmistakable sound. With a good pedal out front, you'll get plenty of sustain when you need it. I like artists who make their weapon of choice work. The Casino is a wonderful guitar. Is it choice #1 for lead work? No. Can it be used for lead work? Damn right.

 

Enjoy yer guitar.

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It's what John Lennon and co used for their unmistakable sound. With a good pedal out front, you'll get plenty of sustain when you need it. I like artists who make their weapon of choice work. The Casino is a wonderful guitar.

 

 

 

Thanks HarpBoy, I believe you are correct about the "weapon of choice" and making it work. That's one of the important things that separates great players from the rest of the pack.

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Huh? Dude' date=' the lead from "Taxman" is played on a Casino. If a Casino ain't good for lead work, then what is?

 

lead begins at 1:10...

[youtube']

 

You are right I'm sure. Taxman lead was a Casino. I shouldn't pay attention to everyting I read on the web! Point taken.

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Yes, but it can be managed...by moving as far from the amp, as possible, by stuffing something inside,

that dampens the movement, of the top and back, of the guitar...where that kind of "feedback" is

generated. "Whistling" feedback, is from non-wax potted pickups, or "microphonic" pickups. Unless

they have those kind, the only feed back you'll probably get, is from the top and back, moving out of

phase. A rolled up (clean & dry) bar towel, rolled up socks, or if you get really ambitious, you can place

a piece of balsa wood, or styrofoam, in-between the inside of the back, and the inside of the top, usually

under or slightly behind the bridge (going in, from the bridge pickup cutout)..so it's tight enough, to stop

the feedback vibrations, but not too tight as to cause bowing problems. It's easier, than it sounds...

Some "Jazz" players, just use tape, over the "f" holes, to eliminate (or, at least reduce) that kind of

feedback. The balsa wood solution, is more permanent, and quite simple, really. Plus, you don't see

it, and it adds no appreciable weight, either.

 

As to "Lead guitar" work. Sure, as long as you don't need upper fret access. Not really good, for that.

It's not a "Metal" type guitar, but Blues, Beatles, Stones, or anything like that, it would be fine. Macca

and Lennon, and George played "lead" on their Casinos. So did Keith Richards, and many others.

 

Cheers,

CB

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Yes' date=' but it can be managed...by moving as far from the amp, as possible, by stuffing something inside,

that dampens the movement, of the top and back, of the guitar...where that kind of "feedback" is

generated. "Whistling" feedback, is from non-wax potted pickups, or "microphonic" pickups. Unless

they have those kind, the only feed back you'll probably get, is from the top and back, moving out of

phase. A rolled up (clean & dry) bar towel, rolled up socks, or if you get really ambitious, you can place

a piece of balsa wood, or styrofoam, in-between the inside of the back, and the inside of the top, usually

under or slightly behind the bridge (going in, from the bridge pickup cutout)..so it's tight enough, to stop

the feedback vibrations, but not too tight as to cause bowing problems. It's easier, than it sounds...

Some "Jazz" players, just use tape, over the "f" holes, to eliminate (or, at least reduce) that kind of

feedback. The balsa wood solution, is more permanent, and quite simple, really. Plus, you don't see

it, and it adds no appreciable weight, either.

 

As to "Lead guitar" work. Sure, as long as you don't need upper fret access. Not really good, for that.

It's not a "Metal" type guitar, but Blues, Beatles, Stones, or anything like that, it would be fine. Macca

and Lennon, and George played "lead" on their Casinos. So did Keith Richards, and many others.

 

Cheers,

CB[/quote']

 

Thanks Charlie Brown - your advice is appreciated. Quick question - would the John Lennon model be much better than the standard? I know the Lennon has US P90s and the maple seems to be a "birdseye" rather than plain?

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YES! But, it's a LOT more expensive, too. American parts, pickups, and finishing!

The wood patterns vary, a bit...not really "birdseye"...that I've seeen, anyway.

Will have good/great re-sale value, over the standard Casino, as well. But, if you're

more a player, than collector, and have a limited budget, or have no real intent on re-selling,

the Standard will be fine. Another great alternative, is the IBJL version. Chinese made

(most I've seen are excellent), with American parts, and electronics/pickups. Around

$775-800 w/case...at most good dealers. MF and GC are at $999.00...but, you can Do

better, price wise, than that...probably even from them. ;>)

 

CB

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YES! But' date=' it's a LOT more expensive, too. American parts, pickups, and finishing!

The wood patterns vary, a bit...not really "birdseye"...that I've seeen, anyway.

Will have good/great re-sale value, over the standard Casino, as well. But, if you're

more a player, than collector, and have a limited budget, or have no real intent on re-selling,

the Standard will be fine. Another great alternative, is the IBJL version. Chinese made

(most I've seen are excellent), with American parts, and electronics/pickups. Around

$775-800 w/case...at most good dealers. MF and GC are at $999.00...but, you can Do

better, price wise, than that...probably even from them. ;>)

 

CB[/quote']

 

Thanks mate. I'm a player so might default to the "standard". Could afford the Lennon, but will probably play both tomorrow and make a decision as a player first.

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Thanks mate. I'm a player so might default to the "standard". Could afford the Lennon' date=' but will probably play both tomorrow and make a decision as a player first.[/quote']

 

Well, if you can (really) afford the Lennon one, you can't do better, than that..on a Casino!

So...??? But, yeah...play 'em both. I dare say the Lennon one will (probably) win you

over?! LOL! Good luck, either way!

 

 

CB

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The secret to the Casino is tweaking it to create something you are happy with, not trying to bend it to your needs. If you have a specific pedal set up/amp etc way of playing then the casino might not fit into that but if you want to play a cool, comfortable lightweight guitar that packs a lot of punch which can test your patience but also unveil the beauty of an unconventionl setup (i.e not hollow/humbukers solid/single coils) then you could discover something qite brilliant or unique.

 

It's not for everyone but i couldn't live without it. if you can affrd it then by the John Lennon Inspired by... unless you're not a 60s fiend. but if not, why buy a casino????

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Stewart,

I have to disagree with some of the others' responses. My experiences were with a Sorrento, but it's basically the same guitar. I ended up reluctantly selling it because it wasn't the tool for the job.

 

Like you, I was gigging regularly with a loud backline and un-mic'd. I was the main soloist in the band, using a 2x12 combo. I had terrible problems with microphonic feedback when I used boost or high volume/high gain settings for lead work. The obvious thing is to move further from the amp, but we weren't playing Shea Stadium. It was mostly small bars/pubs and you were often wedged in right next to your amp with nowhere to go.

 

In trying to eliminate it, I ended up with settings which worked better for the Sorrento but were crap for other guitars. That meant in effect that I could only use that guitar all night, and could no longer easily and quickly switch guitars for some numbers. We were playing covers and I really wanted to be able to move between 2-3 guitars during the set. I didn't want the delay that goes with fiddling with amp settings; it's unprofessional and breaks the flow of the set.

 

There might have been solutions; stuffing it with padding, which I was reluctant to do because it had such a nice acoustic tone. Or wax-potting the metal-covered P90s. I didn't know about wax potting at the time; I don't know whether it would have fully cured it. Alternatively, dropping the volume and mic-ing it up, but that would have complicated our set-up and soundcheck.

 

I'm sure in a studio setting or at lower volumes you can make it work. But at high vol / high gain settings where you are stuck right next to your amp, it's a pain. That might be why it's thought of as more of a rythm than a lead guitar.

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Yeah, High volume, lots of distortion or overdrive, WILL lead to feedback problems.

To Me...The Casino shines, in natural, lighter overdrive situations, coming from the amp

alone...without the use of pedals. I used it, quite successfully, with a tube amp

(Fender Deluxe Reverb), and nothing more, for years. Some of today's music (and a lot of

"Classic" rock...the heavier, and more overdriven (Marshall Stacks w/LP or SG)

variety) is NOT, a Casino's forte. It's meant to be played much cleaner, but it's

natural "growl" from it's P-90's, and hollow body construction, is a wonderful tone,

on it's own. Again, more "Beatles, Stones, and traditional Blues," than the harder

Rock, or Blues Rock....especially, in tight quarters, with lots of volume and distortion...

as mentioned above. For the harder Rock, a ES-335, Lucille (no "f" holes), or Les Paul,

SG, Strat, Telecaster, or equivalent...would be more appropriate...IMHO.

 

As to changing amp settings, breaking up the flow, or looking unprofessional, I've never

had that feeling, or problem. I change amp settings, all the time, in between songs,

if it's needed. I have to do that, for instance, with my Rick-12-string, unless I (sometimes)

have the luxury of having a seperate amp, for it alone. But, we (the band) all know this,

and structure our set/song list, to accommodate those, guitar and amp setting, changes.

But, we all have different approaches, and feelings about such things.

 

Cheers,

CB

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I don't gig with my Casino, so I've not much to say, but I thought I'd throw in one of my favorite quotes from a "modern" player -

 

"I had an old Casino, a Sheraton, a couple of solidbodies, I recently got an Emperor. On my new album I'm playing a Casino reissue. That's the only electric I use. It's a killer. It's a great guitar. If you turn a Casino up to 5 or 6 on a little amp, it feels like it's gonna jump out of your hands!" - Steve Earle

 

Gotta love the P-90 growl.

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Other notable Casino leads: Maybe I'm Amazed, Ticket to Ride, I Want You (She's So Heavy), and John's parts in the three-way lead on side 2 of Abbey Road (John is the third in the sequence).

 

Paul McCartney has said that if he could only have one electric guitar, it would be his Casino. They are very versatile guitars, and though they won't do the Carlos Santana singing sustain type thing, they are certainly usable for lead guitar in many other styles.

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[b

Thanks HarpBoy' date= I believe you are correct about the "weapon of choice" and making it work. That's one of the important things that separates great players from the rest of the pack.[/quote]

 

 

In the mid 90s I saw a blues band in Des Plaines Il and the lead guitarist was playing a burst Casino. I asked him between sets if I could see the guitar and he told me the year, 68 I think, and it had some heft to it.

 

Years later when the first reissues came out and I saw them at the GC in Canton MI I grabbed one and almost ended up launching it as it was so light compared to the one I held several years before.

 

I saw a blues band in the early 2000s and the lead guitar player was using a Ric 330 with the highgains and getting a good blues tone.

 

My friend uses his Sorrento all the time on Blues and Jazz gigs through a Fender Bassman.

 

Check Brain Jones Ed Sullivan "Little Red Rooster" performance as he uses the Casino for all the slide parts.

 

It may not work for metal with a Marshall stack but a guitar is a tool so it is not just rhythm only.

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Stewart' date='

I have to disagree with some of the others' responses. My experiences were with a Sorrento, but it's basically the same guitar. I ended up reluctantly selling it because it wasn't the tool for the job.

 

Like you, I was gigging regularly with a loud backline and un-mic'd. I was the main soloist in the band, using a 2x12 combo. I had terrible problems with microphonic feedback when I used boost or high volume/high gain settings for lead work. The obvious thing is to move further from the amp, but we weren't playing Shea Stadium. It was mostly small bars/pubs and you were often wedged in right next to your amp with nowhere to go.

 

In trying to eliminate it, I ended up with settings which worked better for the Sorrento but were crap for other guitars. That meant in effect that I could only use that guitar all night, and could no longer easily and quickly switch guitars for some numbers. We were playing covers and I really wanted to be able to move between 2-3 guitars during the set. I didn't want the delay that goes with fiddling with amp settings; it's unprofessional and breaks the flow of the set.

 

There might have been solutions; stuffing it with padding, which I was reluctant to do because it had such a nice acoustic tone. Or wax-potting the metal-covered P90s. I didn't know about wax potting at the time; I don't know whether it would have fully cured it. Alternatively, dropping the volume and mic-ing it up, but that would have complicated our set-up and soundcheck.

 

I'm sure in a studio setting or at lower volumes you can make it work. But at high vol / high gain settings where you are stuck right next to your amp, it's a pain. That might be why it's thought of as more of a rythm than a lead guitar.

 

[/quote']

 

Good information from experiences. Many thanks for that. I guess the one thing that comes out of the excellent responses to my question is that the Casino is probably not meant for hign gain/metal - I'm not into that so much these days, and while I do play with a loud backline on occasions, the repertoire is mostly what we in Australia call "pub rock". This is what others would call Classic Rock - a mixture from the 60's / 70's / 80's - no metal as such.

 

My thought is that the Casino would be good as a rhythm guitar for some of that material. My alter ego is blues - jamming with various people at much lower volumes, and the posts in this thread seem to say the Casino would be good for that situation.

 

Probably worth my while to give the Casino a try out during the week. I can probably crank the amp up at the music store for a minute or two although that won't be the same as on stage. Will advise if I go ahead and purchase.

 

Thanks again to all who have posted replies - it is appreciated.

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Keith Richards used a Casino for some of his leads in the studio and concert in Stones early and mid 60s days,John played the "rooftop" Get Back lead on his Casino.I have an MIC and a 65 John Lennon and I find them great for lead but the J.L. has more chime and "sparkle".

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