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I Finally Lennonized My Casino

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How often do they have sales like that if you know?...

How often? Believe it or not usually once a month. Any holiday. Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Halloween even. But you don't really have to wait for these holidays to get deals from the big online dealers. You can deal with them at anytime. Will you get 20% off during a non-sale time? Maybe, maybe not; but you can easily get 15% off.

 

The neck on my Inspired By is perfect. I don't even think about it so I know it is fine with me. When I first got my natural Inspired By I did notice the neck was fantastic because the finish on the neck is unlike my Standard Casino. On the Standard it is poly and the Inspired By has more like a satin finish - less tug on your hand.

 

My Inspired By did not come with Epiphone stickers on the pickups. The pickups on the Inspired By are the Gibson ones and a shade brighter and seem to have more bite than my Standard (it is hard for me to do an A/B test because my Standard has flatwound strings and my Inspired By has roundwounds). Have to say both Casinos pickups are LOUD! Whenever I plug in either Casino I have to lower my amp's volume settings.

 

The Casino was really not an "original" Epiphone. It is a knock-off, a cheaper version of Gibson's ES-330.

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$899 for a used Inspired By Lennon Casino? Dude, I paid $765 for a brand new one last year. Shop the online sites and when they post these 20% off sales, buy!

 

The Inspired By is well worth any price. The Standard Casino is really great, but for three hundred bucks more it is worth it to buy the Inspired By for the upgrades. Better tuners, better electronics, more accurate appearance to the 60s model, plus it comes with a case!

 

Once again, the Standard Casino is an excellent guitar. The elecrtronics, the looks...no complaints at all. You can not go wrong with either a Standard or an Inspired by. Where you can go wrong is with an Elitist Casino. The Casino was a budget guitar. To turn a budget Casino into a high priced Elitist just because John played a Casino is just wrong. If John drove a Hyundai and then Hyundai sold that same model at Ferrari prices you'd agree that would be wrong. That's what Epi did with these Elitist Casino models. The Casino was and still is a cheap Gibson knock-off model. Don't pay high "Elitist" price for it.

 

Buy an Inspired By; but if you can't swing it, you will be incredibly happy with the Standard Casino.

 

No disagree completely, sorry. The standard casino is not an excellent guitar it's a average Chinese hollow body with cheap electronics, switch and tuners. Believe me I've upgraded enough of em.

 

The IBJL is an much better guitar with Gibson guts and higher quality parts all around and case included.

 

The Elitist IS an excellent guitar. Made in Japan they are beautiful and worth every penny.

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Where you can go wrong is with an Elitist Casino. The Casino was a budget guitar. To turn a budget Casino into a high priced Elitist just because John played a Casino is just wrong. If John drove a Hyundai and then Hyundai sold that same model at Ferrari prices you'd agree that would be wrong. That's what Epi did with these Elitist Casino models. The Casino was and still is a cheap Gibson knock-off model. Don't pay high "Elitist" price for it.

 

WRONG. The Elitists are absolutely fantastic guitars. Equal or better than any Gibson. There is NOTHING "cheap" about an Elitist. (As an aside: So if Elitists are "cheap knock-offs," what the f*** are regular Epiphones?) Now, I will grant you that the ONLY reason that the Epiphone Casino is still produced today is because John Lennon played one, but the Elitist version of the Casino has no Lennon branding on it whatsoever. NONE. If you think it does, that would tell me that you've probably never seen one in person, much less played one.

 

Standard-line Epiphones are (for the most part) not professional-level instruments straight out-of-the-box. Elitists are.

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You Elitist Casino fans sure miss the point.

 

Once again, the Casino was a budget guitar. It was a cheap copy of Gibson's ES-330. If you don't have the cash for the Gibson ES-330, come over here and buy a cheap knock off of that model.

 

Now, just because three lads from Liverpool played those cheapo Casinos, Epiphone decides to make a suped up, maxed out version of it...and have the nerve to call what is a knock off guitar an "Elitist."

 

Sure the Elitist may be a great guitar, that ain't the point. The point is Epiphone took a cheap guitar, put an "Elitist" name on it, and jacked up its price simply to milk the Beatles' connection. You know, The Beatles also chewed Juicyfruit gum. Should Juicyfruit sell an Elitist pack of Juicyfruit gum because of that? Epiphone is wrong to do this, to sell an expensive version of a cheap guitar. There is nothing wrong with the cheap Casino! Three Beatles played the cheap Casino...not an Elitist.

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Once again, the Casino was a budget guitar. It was a cheap copy of Gibson's ES-330. If you don't have the cash for the Gibson ES-330, come over here and buy a cheap knock off of that model.

 

Wrong again. The Casino was a budget option to a GIBSON. That doesn't mean it wasn't an expensive, American-made guitar in it's day... because it was. You would be right if we were talking about Teiscos or the like but we're not.

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How often? Believe it or not usually once a month. Any holiday. Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Halloween even. But you don't really have to wait for these holidays to get deals from the big online dealers. You can deal with them at anytime. Will you get 20% off during a non-sale time? Maybe, maybe not; but you can easily get 15% off.

 

The neck on my Inspired By is perfect. I don't even think about it so I know it is fine with me. When I first got my natural Inspired By I did notice the neck was fantastic because the finish on the neck is unlike my Standard Casino. On the Standard it is poly and the Inspired By has more like a satin finish - less tug on your hand.

 

My Inspired By did not come with Epiphone stickers on the pickups. The pickups on the Inspired By are the Gibson ones and a shade brighter and seem to have more bite than my Standard (it is hard for me to do an A/B test because my Standard has flatwound strings and my Inspired By has roundwounds). Have to say both Casinos pickups are LOUD! Whenever I plug in either Casino I have to lower my amp's volume settings.

 

The Casino was really not an "original" Epiphone. It is a knock-off, a cheaper version of Gibson's ES-330.

Never ordered online, looking at musicians friend, so i'll wait till for a holiday sale, I could swear your an epiphone salesman, convinced me to get one already....

 

Awesome, thanks for the info, was worried about the neck, my American standard has the best neck i've played in awhile because of the Satin finish, wonder if the Casino can compare. Also how visible are the electronics in the body? Recommend Flatwounds or roundwounds? Hows it sound unplugged?

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I have watched this thread with interest, nice guitar.

 

I was wondering what happens 15-20 years from now when you don't have the guitar anymore and it's changed hands a few times. Eventually some schmuck will get their hands on it and more than likely pass it off as a real blue label.

 

"I will never give this guitar up" isn't in the equation.... we all do it...

 

I will be dead and gone, but 20 years from now I'm betting it will be the subject of "Is this a Fake" ???? on some forum.

 

Still, really nice looking guitar.

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An excellent question and one I've been waiting for an answer to. I would probably not put the nylon (or non-metal, whatever) saddles on because I want to keep whatever treble I have. I never considered the grounding issue. Anybody?

 

The tailpiece either TOM or frequensator is grounded. The strings touch those... there is no grounding issue. Nylon saddles are not real desirable in my book.

 

There is a reason Gibson stopped production of them.

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After playing the Casino with Nylon saddles for a couple of weeks I'd say that it definitely takes away some of the treble and that the guitar is less sensitive when responding to more gain so you need more gain and less volume to get the same distortion levels.

 

However it also has a nice jazzy feel and smoother sounding notes so it's perfect for stuff like Get Back and Don't Let Me Down but less effective without a pedal on stuff like Revolution and Birthday but it makes perfect sense to me as that's more true to the original guitar. I think a good fuzz/distortion pedal is on the cards.

 

I've got to be honest, this guitar is not as versatile as it was before because of the Nylon saddles and I wouldn't recommend this mod to anyone unless they were specifically trying to recreate 60s sounds authentically.

 

For me it's perfect because it's more authentic and I have other guitars (including a peerless casino and riviera) that i can use for more modern tones.

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Eventually some schmuck will get their hands on it and more than likely pass it off as a real blue label.

 

Vintage Casinos don't have poly finish and join the body at a different fret; obvious differences.

 

I'm finding these vintage spec mods to modern Casino threads very interesting.

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Just put my washer on my VSB and spent about an hour slowly scraping out of the stickers and glue. Very messy business. The sticker is long gone. Going to wait until tomorrow and put my blue sticker inside the body when it's not got any moisture in there and adding my nylon saddles. I'm tempted by the new pickguard now...

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The tailpiece either TOM or frequensator is grounded. The strings touch those... there is no grounding issue. Nylon saddles are not real desirable in my book.

 

There is a reason Gibson stopped production of them.

So on a trapeze tailpiece, like the ones used on a Casino, you drill a hole in the end of the guitar, by the strap post, and run the ground wire to it?

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I was wondering what happens 15-20 years from now when you don't have the guitar anymore and it's changed hands a few times. Eventually it will be the subject of "Is this a Fake" ???? on some forum.

As others have pointed out, it is a Standard Casino. Trying to pass that off as a vintage Casino is like trying to pass a Gremlin off as a Corvette.

 

Twenty years from now if someone questions whether or not my Standard Casino is a vintage Casino, then that would prove Charles Darwin was wrong. Man is not evolving into something better, rather man is evolving into something very dumb.

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So on a trapeze tailpiece, like the ones used on a Casino, you drill a hole in the end of the guitar, by the strap post, and run the ground wire to it?

 

What are the disadvantages to not having a ground wire connected? My guitar doesn't seem to be making any noises so far.

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spent about an hour slowly scraping out of the stickers and glue

 

I'm tempted by the new pickguard now...

Did you use naphtha or water to get at the sticker?

 

I have to say I am glad I changed my pickguard to one with less of a pronunced bulge on the bottom. You have to take a look at yours. Does that bulge cover a bit of the pickup switch? If yes, then it will sure cover much of the black ring. Lennon's ring was all visible. If you are going to the trouble of getting that black ring, don't you want it all visible?

 

You can see the difference in the lower end of my old pickguard and new pickguard. Nothing insanely drastic, but the new is shorter and the bulge is less pronounced. The new pickguard has enough space now between the guard and the black ring to look more authentic and to make me happy.

 

And for more nitpicking, the top of my new guard is closer to the horn cutout than my old guard. Lennon's is like that, too.

 

casino001.jpgcasinoblueinkitchen006-1.jpg

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There's about a cm between the bottom of my PG and the top of the black ring so i don't think I'll benefit. For some reason i thought there was a difference in the number of layers but I think the 60s ones were also w/b/w afterall.

 

I'll take some pictures once my mods are complete. I've even got the Budokan set list taped to the side! :) I previously had a stainless steel 50s style E but I'm waiting on my foil E.

 

EDIT: After reading your post I didn't bother with the Naphtha. Didn't want to spend any more money than I needed so I went at it with the warm water and a cloth and dampened the sticker and scraped and scraped. My Casino is a 2006 Unsung Casino so the serial number is on the back of the headstock so I wasn't too fussed about preserving the sticker. The results look good. Wasn't too much trouble with a bit of elbow grease.

 

Can't wait to get that sticker in there. I've been waiting for this guitar to look this way for about 2 years.

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So on a trapeze tailpiece, like the ones used on a Casino, you drill a hole in the end of the guitar, by the strap post, and run the ground wire to it?

 

Yes Sir... you do that when you install a Bigsby also. You run the wire to the screw hole and only with a center block guitar do you need to drill a long hole right through the screw hole on an angle.

 

Other wise bring the wire through the hole and do one wrap around the screw. No need to drill a hole on a hollowbody.

 

You only need to use a thin bare wire, very thin and not stranded but solid so it doesn't flop around.

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Vintage Casinos don't have poly finish and join the body at a different fret; obvious differences.

 

I'm finding these vintage spec mods to modern Casino threads very interesting.

 

Quite true, I have also seen threads where the poly finish had been knocked down beautifully to look just like a nitro finish.

 

I'm wasn't speaking of a collector or someone like that but rather a person armed with just enough facts to make a dumb decision.

 

I think they look great, they are the persons guitar and they can do whatever they please with them. I'm not saying that doing that is wrong, there should be a safety net in the guitar to prevent that from happening 20 years from now.

 

I helped a friend rewrap a old Ludwig drum set and he used indelible marker and wrote "rewrap" (small but visible if you looked) on each drum right on the bearing edge. You would have to recut the edge and go through a whole lot of trouble to get rid of it. He also installed the badge backwards on the Bass Drum and other little things like that to make it obvious.

 

It's getting to a point already that there are so many fakes floating around (and some are really good) that it will get difficult to tell unless you are a total guitar geek (which we all are, including me)

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Once again, the Casino was a budget guitar. It was a cheap copy of Gibson's ES-330. If you don't have the cash for the Gibson ES-330, come over here and buy a cheap knock off of that model.

When Gibson bought Epiphone, the whole game plan was to expand their dealership network & dominate a larger share of the market by essentially competing with themselves. It has been repeatedly documented by Walter Carter, George Gruhn, and others that Epiphones produced by Gibson in the Kalamazoo factory are completely equal in build quality to their Gibson counterparts. Models that were virtually the same in construction such as the 330 and Casino were almost identically priced, with the Epi version generally costing only a few dollars less. This pattern was seen with many models including acoustics, such as the Gibson B25 and the Epi Cortez. A number of Epi models had no direct Gibson companion, and in fact for a time the top of the line Epi acoustic cost more than the top of the line Gibson acoustic. On occasion, Gibson created exclusive Epi artist endorsed models such as the Howard Roberts hollowbody electrics. Roberts collaborated with Gibson on the design of his Epiphone models, which preceeded the HR Gibson versions. Again, the factual & documented history is conclusive regarding the side by side construction of these two product lines.

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The Casino was a budget guitar.

In 1969, as a mere youth, I went shopping for my first, good American guitar and I knew I wanted a semi. Not because of Lennon, McCartney or Harrison but because I'd seen Clapton playing one (no, I didn't know then that Clapton used a 335). I had an absolute maximum of £250.00 to spend and for that sum I could only get the Casino. The price difference between the Casino and a Gibson ES330 at £265.00 was £15.00 but £15.00 took some earning back then for a kid of my age. If you fast forward to todays prices that would most likely be a difference of £2500.00 against £2650.00 which hardly made the Casino a "budget guitar" then nor would it now if they were still US made.

 

(The end of that tale is that I didn't like the Casino (still don't - sorry) and about 6 months later I traded it in for a used, cherry 335 which I kept until 1986.)

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Perhaps budget is a poor choice of words, but the facts concerning the Casino and the Gibson 330 are 1) the Casino was cheaper (however slight), and 2) the Casino was a mock-up, an imitation, not the real thing. Remove any Beatles or Keith Richards influence and can't it be said that if you bought a Casino back then, weren't you opting for the lesser of two guitars? Take home a Casino over a Gibson 330 and weren't you opting for the budget guitar? Is anyone going to say they wanted an imitation over the real deal Gibson?

 

Essentially we are just splitting words here. Yes, I do understand that Epiphone back then was considered more of a premier guitar than what they are seen as today. But it still stands that the Casino was just a "poor man's version" of the Gibson 330. Look at the new Epiphone Swingsters. Aren't they just a poor man's Gretsch even though they are priced the same? Wouldn't a Casino be seen in the same light back then?

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Perhaps budget is a poor choice of words, but the facts concerning the Casino and the Gibson 330 are 1) the Casino was cheaper (however slight), and 2) the Casino was a mock-up, an imitation, not the real thing. Remove any Beatles or Keith Richards influence and can't it be said that if you bought a Casino back then, weren't you opting for the lesser of two guitars? Take home a Casino over a Gibson 330 and weren't you opting for the budget guitar? Is anyone going to say they wanted an imitation over the real deal Gibson?

 

Essentially we are just splitting words here. Yes, I do understand that Epiphone back then was considered more of a premier guitar than what they are seen as today. But it still stands that the Casino was just a "poor man's version" of the Gibson 330. Look at the new Epiphone Swingsters. Aren't they just a poor man's Gretsch even though they are priced the same? Wouldn't a Casino be seen in the same light back then?

Well, my choice of guitar wasn't influenced by The Beatles or Keith Richards. As I said previously I wanted one like Claptons but I was a young kid and too inexperienced a player to realise that all semi's weren't alike. Plus there wasn't as much info available about guitars as there is now. All I do know is that apart from the name and the shape of the headstock a Casino was every bit the same as a 330. I don't think I settled for a budget guitar I settled for a guitar within my budget which is not the same thing. If you buy a top of the range Gibson Les Paul is the model just below it the budget version? Is it the one below that? or the one below that? Where does budget start? Maybe the extra £15.00 for the Gibson was the price of brand snobbery in those days. Your comparison of a Swingster and a Gretsch is a little askew to my way of thinking. If you want a poor mans Gretsch you can just buy an Electromatic.

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The black ring I bought on e-bay arrived and I installed it. The black ring is more or less the same as the one that came stock on my Inspired By Casino. Same thickness, size, color, shine, and I suppose material.

 

casring001.jpg

 

The silver collar around the pickup switch on the Standard is definitely smaller in diameter than the collar around that on my Inspired By. This smaller diameter makes the black ring appear larger. I did not want that at all. The solution was that there is a small metal ring under the collar that is a shade wider than the collar itself (picture 2). All I did was put the black ring on the guitar, then the metal ring on top of that (picture 3), and then I screwed down the collar. The metal ring adds some diameter to the collar and the black ring does not look as large (picture 4).

 

picture 2

casring002.jpg

 

picture 3

casring003.jpg

 

casring005.jpg

 

A wider Switchcraft switch will make it look perfect, but for now as you can see in the last photo the ring looks pretty darn good. It is far nicer than the rubber ring I put on. For seven bucks, not a bad deal at all. Now I'm searching for the blue label and the two screw truss rod cover. If I don't find those I am happy with my new pickguard, foil 'E', and black ring.

 

 

Sorry to ask again, but I am having trouble putting in the washer. I did everything you said, and I am really having trouble screwing down the nut, it seems like there is not enough switch! There's not it enough of it so I can screw the collar down.

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