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KiwiClapton

What upgrades do I do first?

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Hi guys,

 

Any tips on what upgrades I should be thinking about for my new Casino?

 

I'm not really an upgrade guitar kind of guy, so your thoughts and tips here would be very grateful.

 

 

 

Cheers

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The most important thing is a good set up, which you can do yourself. Get Dan Erlewine's book 'How to make your electric guitar play great' from Stewmac. Most of it's easy stuff anyone can do, without special tools.

 

The PU's are good on most Epi's these days, but upgrading those will do more to improve your tone than everything else put together. You can sink a lot of money into replacing the hardware, electronics, and tuners, but why spend the money if they're working properly? You don't really get anything out of it, except a more expensive guitar.

 

Play it with the stock PU's and see what you think about the tones. An easy way to modify their EQ is to change magnets (P-90's have two magnets, laying side-by-side, repelling). That gives P-90's 2 magnets per coil, as opposed to humbuckers which have 1/2 mag per coil, so magnets are very influential in a P-90's sound. Each type of alnico is made of a different blend of metals, which gives them different magnetic fields. That changes how they 'read' string vibrations, and hence EQ. Most P-90's, including Gibson and Epiphone, have A5's (alnico 5's). Those are known for a sharp high end, lots of treble and bass, and scooped mids. I like those qualities in a neck PU, but they can make a bridge a little bright and thin. Although most PU manufacturers use two of the same magnet in their P-90's, you are not limited to that, which allows you to blend EQ's and fine tune your tones. I like an A8/A4 pair in my bridge P-90's for a fuller, richer sound; less treble, more mids. If I want the neck to have less bass and more mids, I'll use an A5/A4 or A5/A3. Lots of choices, and changing magnets only takes minutes (and no skill or experience).

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Personally, I really think the hardware on the new Epi's is vastly superior these days to what we became accustomed to seeing in previous years.

 

I've recently purchased a few (Broadway and a Swingster) there's nothing needing changing out on either.

I also have an Emporer Regent, and a Chet Atkins Elitist. and they are excellent as well.

 

I would have the setup checked (specifically the nut/saddle regulation) and maybe have someone check the fret leveling, and if those check out - leave it, play it... enjoy..

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That is one perfectly good guitar as it is now. A good setup, as others have stated, is the only upgrade needed.

 

It's really great to own and play a guitar without having to mess with it. Thank you Epiphone.

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One more vote for a good setup.

 

If there is something you don't like after that...change it.

If not....play it and leave everything else alone.

 

I should ask.....are you using it on stage?

If so, you may want to invest in a Switchcraft jack and toggle switch.

 

Willy

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Okay.... "First?"

 

Don't take this as criticism of you or the guitar - but I'd say, "Learn how to play it."

 

Didn't you say you'd been a Strat guy?

 

First: The shape of the instrument is quite different and will bring a different geometry to the playing. That in itself will affect tone and technique even if you reshaped Strat pups and flopped them onto a Casino. I've noticed that even with similar size full hollows, the relatively minor difference in scale length changes how I play - and how they sound different in ways I don't think is entirely due to different pups and electronics.

 

Secondly, wring out the controls you have already on the guitar and mess with lots of different settings on the amp. Try a cupla different kinds of strings and that also likely will bring some changes in controls. Perhaps some changes in pup height, and string gauge will play a role there too.

 

I figure for most of us with a day job, that's at least a six-month time span.

 

At that point... unless something comes up that's a problem with setup... then get the setup with preferred strings and how you play.

 

A bit later you'll have a better idea where you may wish to take tone and consider electronics changes - although there's a potentially good point on the jack (make sure it's tight and consider using Loctite when it is) and possibly the toggle switch. Then again, I tend to be a "if it ain't broke...don't fix it" type.

 

I know some "here" recommend more rapid electronics and/or change of the nut. I've nothing against making changes at all, but I don't usually care to take a drive to the "big city" without some sort of object to the trip that kills a whole day. My guitars are more important to me than that.

 

m

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That is one perfectly good guitar as it is now. A good setup, as others have stated, is the only upgrade needed.

 

It's really great to own and play a guitar without having to mess with it. Thank you Epiphone.

 

+1. Epi's really stepped up their game.

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First off, congrats on the Casino. Great guitars. You didn't mention which model Casino you have, but as others have noted, a good initial setup will do wonders. I'd also play it for a while to see what you like/don't like about it before doing any mods. Epi's electronics are always a "topic" but my Casino is an Elitist so it's all US stuff. I did however, add a Bigsby. This is pretty much my "go to" these days.

 

006_zps4f500b88.jpg

 

And yeah, pic's of yours or it doesn't exist! [biggrin]

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Well, guys thanks for the really helpful advice.

 

I'll just play the darn thing as it is and we'll see what I can do 6 months in the future,

 

Cheers again.

 

And here some proof of the guitar!

post-53890-007991700 1362025717_thumb.jpg

post-53890-052134100 1362025733_thumb.jpg

post-53890-028855800 1362025751_thumb.jpg

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learn the guitar. see what it does and doesn't do. figure out what you want from it. what you want it to sound like, to feel like. what you want to do with it. then take it from there.

 

i like to start with simple, non-invasive mods and prefer to do all the interals at once, if it comes to that. a new bridge is the most underrated mod in my opinion, and what would probably do first, were i to do such things. also a big fan of new pots, because i mess with the knobs a lot.

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The most important thing is a good set up, which you can do yourself. Get Dan Erlewine's book 'How to make your electric guitar play great' from Stewmac. Most of it's easy stuff anyone can do, without special tools.

 

The PU's are good on most Epi's these days, but upgrading those will do more to improve your tone than everything else put together. You can sink a lot of money into replacing the hardware, electronics, and tuners, but why spend the money if they're working properly? You don't really get anything out of it, except a more expensive guitar.

 

Play it with the stock PU's and see what you think about the tones. An easy way to modify their EQ is to change magnets (P-90's have two magnets, laying side-by-side, repelling). That gives P-90's 2 magnets per coil, as opposed to humbuckers which have 1/2 mag per coil, so magnets are very influential in a P-90's sound. Each type of alnico is made of a different blend of metals, which gives them different magnetic fields. That changes how they 'read' string vibrations, and hence EQ. Most P-90's, including Gibson and Epiphone, have A5's (alnico 5's). Those are known for a sharp high end, lots of treble and bass, and scooped mids. I like those qualities in a neck PU, but they can make a bridge a little bright and thin. Although most PU manufacturers use two of the same magnet in their P-90's, you are not limited to that, which allows you to blend EQ's and fine tune your tones. I like an A8/A4 pair in my bridge P-90's for a fuller, richer sound; less treble, more mids. If I want the neck to have less bass and more mids, I'll use an A5/A4 or A5/A3. Lots of choices, and changing magnets only takes minutes (and no skill or experience).

absolutely that is one of the best books out there and id also say to get dans other book. guitar player repair guide which goes more in depth than his first book. these books are the best investment any player who wants to work on there own guitar can get

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I did however, add a Bigsby. This is pretty much my "go to" these days.

 

006_zps4f500b88.jpg

 

 

Dang that looks nice. I am really considering doing that to mine. I'm a little worried about lowering the value, but as far as I know there is no way to buy a stock Elitist Casino with a Bigsby. And hey, two out of three Beatles had one on their Casinos!

 

Did you install the US or import Bigsby?

 

Sorry for hijack.

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Well, guys thanks for the really helpful advice. I'll just play the darn thing as it is and we'll see what I can do 6 months in the future,...Cheers again.

 

Congratulations, Kiwi. Beautiful blonde! [thumbup] I'm with ya on your upgrade curiosity and yer wise decision to wait, too. It's a great guitar (I'm fortunate to have an old one) just as it is and ya gotta develop a relationship with it before ya know exactly how you want it to sound different.

 

Cheers,

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Did you install the US or import Bigsby?

 

Sorry for hijack.

It's a US B7 and I had my luthier install it just so there'd be no issues (ps, they're about $30 cheaper on Amazon). You'll also have to add a couple of felt washers on the strap button because of the added depth of the B7. Now back to our regularly scheduled program.

 

Kiwi, I'll give a big +1 for Erlewines Guitar Player Repair Guide. Excellent info, and he even tells you whether the particular task is "easy, difficult, or take it to your luthier" kind of stuff.

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