Casino: current MIC vs Gary Clark vs Elitist?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by dswo, Dec 2, 2018.

  1. dswo

    dswo Tele-Meister

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    Next year I'd like to purchase a Casino. I've read as much as I can and have learned that:
    • Chinese Casinos are great.
    • Chinese Casinos are junk.
    • MIJ Elitists are worth every penny.
    • You have to get one of the old Korean Casinos.
    • The Chinese Casinos are more consistent.
    One thing I haven't seen is a comparison of the Gary Clark, Jr. signature model with the MIJ Elitist. Anyone have experience with both?
     
    ukepicker likes this.
  2. Telecastoff1

    Telecastoff1 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I've been "eyeing up" the new Casinos as well. I owned an American made Casino when I was in my 20's. It was my working guitar. It was truly one of the finest guitars I have ever owned. That guitar and all the rest of my equipment fell victim to financing a divorce. I still miss that guitar.
     
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  3. mad dog

    mad dog Friend of Leo's

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    Hands on with all these usual suspects is the best way to know. I've owned 3 MIK casinos, one MIJ Elitist, tried out any number of MIC casinos. Not yet on the Gary Clark Jr. signature model.

    Learned a lot. One real surprise was finding I did not care for the Gibson p/us in that Elitist casino. Strange but true. Another thing, this one no surprise. It's the individual guitar that counts. Generalizations on country/factory origin are helpful in pointing the way, but only go so far.
     
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  4. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    I agree with mad dog on judging individual guitars.....but in general, I don't think I've ever held a BAD Japanese or Korean made Fender or Epiphone. But I'm so finicky about a guitar's neck, (especially non-replaceable set-necks) I'd have to try one first.
     
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  5. rand z

    rand z Friend of Leo's

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    I have Chinese made 2014 Casino.

    It seems to be well made, and handles and plays nicely. I did have to set it up a bit, but it's a good guitar.

    Sound wise it's heavy on the mids's. The PU's are on the hot side... serving the purpose of a decent blues/rock machine (Gary Clark Jr.).

    So, IMO, it's a bit of a one trick pony, but I like it.
     
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  6. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Friend of Leo's

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    I have bought a couple of sets of P90's people were selling out of MIC Casinos. They are pretty hot, measuring about 14k on the bridge and about 10k on the neck. I think people who want a more traditional Casino sound are happier with a vintage wound set. I used the pickups I bought in cigar box guitars and put one in my Agile LP Jr.

    As with any factory guitar, particularly less expensive ones, a good setup goes a long ways. You'll find a lot of used Casinos being sold because they won't "play in tune" when the actual problem is just binding at the nut, incorrectly set intonation or something else along those lines.
     
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  7. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    I've never owned one but have certainly shopped for them. My local store recently got in an Elitist Casino and while I didn't plug it in, I was extremely impressed by it both unplugged and just in terms of QC. Made me want one even more. I've played the standard-issue Casinos a few times and always loved the sound but hated the weirdly shaped neck. It always seemed both cramped and too thick in the wrong places. My take on it is that I would not buy one off the internet, I would need to hold and play it before purchase.
     
  8. Twang Deluxe

    Twang Deluxe Tele-Meister

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    I owned an Epiphone Casino 2009 MIC and it was a piece of crap.
    It was always out of tune and the PU sounded muddy.
    A luthier modded it and I spent a lot of money for a bone knut, but even after that it was still a piece of crap
     
    tonyj likes this.
  9. jrblue

    jrblue Tele-Afflicted

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    I had one of the Korean Casinos and it was terrible. I think every comment on your list is correct, at least in my experience. Epis have been all over the place, and their Casinos -- the ones I've actually held -- have ranged from very clean and tight to just awful. MIJ usually gives you better quality and consistency, but I don't think I would ever buy an Epi Casino without insecting and playing it. LPs are a much, much easier build so I can see why people roll the dice on them, but with a Casino I sure would not do so. My take, overall, is fairly negative on them... just not all that good. Perhaps I've just encountered some clunkers, as others have found ones they love. Good luck.
     
  10. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Friend of Leo's

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    Yep, I've got a Peerless Casino. I've changed the nut, tuners, bridge, electronics, pickups and still go back and forth about whether I like it or not. I hang it up for months and grumble about it, but take it down occassionally and fall in love all over again. The modern pickups are too hot for a hollowbody guitar. I also notice that it is really light and seems kind of delicate for a guitar of its size (I think real Casinos and the Elite C are 5-ply bodies and the MIK and MIC are 3-ply, but I haven't seen anyone compare the thickness of the two). This guitar also seems to be picky about which amp it runs through.

    I will say that its a guitar that pulls me back again and again. None of my other guitars have quite the same mojo. I love the idea of a Casino.

    I've seen some interesting Youtube comparissons between the Elite and Inspired By Casino. It sounds like Epiphone accidentally made a great guitar in the Inspired and quickly discontinued it. The Lennon era Casino (and the IBC) also meets the body at a different fret, I'm not sure how that changes the guitar's performance.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018
  11. Tomm Williams

    Tomm Williams Tele-Afflicted

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    Not exactly on topic but I believe connected. I had a 2010? Casino that was just a lousy guitar. I now have a 2018 Epi 335 Pro that is one of the best players I believe I've ever owned (including CS Gibsons) so yes...... QC is all over the place.
    But when you find one its glorious knowing what you paid for it.
     
  12. dswo

    dswo Tele-Meister

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    This year Epiphone advertised the Casino as "Now for the first time featuring new Dogear P-90T Classic™ single coil pickups." But I haven't seen anyone comment on them anywhere.
     
  13. straightface

    straightface Friend of Leo's

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    I have a Peerless Songbird, made in the factory where the MIK Casinos were made. I bought it used pretty cheap. it seemed pretty well made but the pickups were harsh/hot and I swapped them out for Lollar low winds. Now it plays and sounds great.
     
  14. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Friend of Leo's

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    Kent Armstrong also sells a Casino pickup with a DC resistance down around 7-8k. That's what I used. I think my originals were up around 14-16k, as I recall. Way too hot for this style of guitar. That made a big difference in the tone and behavior for me.
     
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  15. Wayne Alexander

    Wayne Alexander Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I had one of the limited edition Lennon Revolution Elite ones. The quality and the sound were superb. It was the most resonant guitar I have ever had my hands on - it would vibrate against my stomach and blow air out the F holes every time I played it at volume. I loved that, but it also would feed back very easily, which made it difficult to manage in a loud rock band setting, at least if you're standing near your amp. It had too narrow/shallow a neck for my hands, and so I eventually sold it.
     
  16. blues2win

    blues2win NEW MEMBER!

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    I have a GC Jr Sig Casino. It’s my second-sold the first and missed it. Both have been impressive in the QC department, no issues there. The neck has a D shape that was easy for me to get used to. Pickups are Gibson USA dog ears and they are punchy and hum-free, with a forward midrange. Guitar responds very well to pedals. Grover tuners are solid, as are the electronics. I cannot compare it to another Casino, but I’ve owned vintage and reissue Gibson 335’s, and they just didn’t suit my taste as well. I’m not parting with this one.
     
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  17. dr_tom

    dr_tom Tele-Meister

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    My cousin plays a Korean Casino. I really like it. Great looking instrument.
     
  18. tweedman2001

    tweedman2001 Tele-Afflicted

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    I have a IBJL revolution Casino. I bought it used but compared it to the Elitist and standards in the store. For me there was no comparison. The IBJL neck won. Wide enough and full enough for me. As a bonus the P90s sounded great too. Of course YMMV but that's what I found.
     
  19. DougM

    DougM Friend of Leo's

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    I've had a Casino and a Wildkat, both MIC, and I've found that I prefer the sound of the P90s in my cheapo Epi LP Special 1 to those pickups. Do the metal vs. plastic covers change the sound at all, 'cause I know that in the 70s guys used to remove the covers off the HBs in their LPs, saying it made them sound brighter. If I was going to get another Casino, I would probably get the Casino Coupe, because I like the smaller body, and the better upper fret access. I have an Epi 339 instead of 335 because I find the smaller body more comfortable.
     
  20. zippofan

    zippofan Tele-Afflicted

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    I have a 2014 MIC Casino that plays very nicely, though I am a hack as a guitarist. First thing though, the pickups had to go, way too harsh and hot. I installed the above mentioned Kent Armstrong's, much sweeter, with a good harness. I installed a bone nut and a switch grommet and have been happy since.

    casinoharness.jpg
     
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