Epi Casino pickups?

schmee

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I bought that super clean Casino off CL a while back. I like the basic guitar quite a bit. But I'm unsure of these pickups. They just dont seem like P90's i'm used to, not terrible, but kinda lifeless. Minimal cut, and growl compared with P90's in my past. Lack full low end. may just be the hollowbody guitar though.
I've heard the thing before about metal P90 covers... Are they being choked by these covers? Is this something real or imagined?
I think I'm going to see if I can remove a cover temporarily and do a comparison.(do they just come off like most P90's or are they stuck on?)
Then again, my experience with changing a basic guitar sound by swapping pickups has been mostly a useless exercise...
 

srblue5

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I think it depends on what kind of Casino/where it was built. It’s been a while since I tried out a brand new stock Casino but I’ve read that the stock p-90s aren’t that good. Might be worth a swap to see if the tone improves?

I have a Gary Clark Jr Casino that I think has Gibson P-90s (though I don’t know for certain). They sound as good if not better than any P-90s I’ve tried on Gibsons
 

paulblackford

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I had a Sorrento a while back, and found the pickups a bit dull, as well. I bought some Fralin p90s, but, when I went to install them I found that the pole pieces did not line up with the spacing of the holes on the metal covers. I ended up having to go with after-market covers, and spacers, but the end result lined up perfectly, and sounded great. That guitar opened up, and if it had a wider neck on it I would have kept it. I know that if you go to the Lollar site, they ask you whether, or not, the p90s you're ordering are for a Casino, so there may be a structural difference (spacing, etc..) to keep in mind.
 

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backporchmusic

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I love the Casino as a guitar, but I've never played one with stock pickups that I liked (I've never played older USA ones, just imports made since the 90s.)

Such a great guitar, I do wish Epiphone would dial in the pickups. I replaced mine with some Fralins and a new wiring harness and it is a stellar sounding instrument. Piano-like in note separation and very full sounding.
 

stratisfied

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I've owned 3 Casinos over the years. The first two were the MIC "standard issue" like yours and the pickups were lacking. I sold the first one thinking it was just a fluke but the second one was the same. Both were mint/used ebay purchases. I sold them each time after a brief ownership and gave up on the Casino idea. You'd think I had learned my lesson about Epiphone P90's, but no. I bought a Wildkat and it was dark and murky sounding. I also bought a Riviera P93 and wound up with a guitar that had 3 lifeless pickups that sounded about the same any way you threw the switch, even with the middle pickup volume pot turned off. Both were resold. That one was new and went back in the box so fast it was like you hit the rewind button. Years passed and never one to quit, I purchased a like-new "Inspired by John Lennon" Casino model, also made in China but with Gibson USA electronics. The difference in the pickups was like night and day. I play that guitar a lot.
 

bgmacaw

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The MIC Casinos often come with very hot P90's that translate to kind of lifeless in a Casino. I swapped out a set of them for Lollars for a friend a while back and he liked the guitar a lot better afterwards. He let me keep the original pickups and I used one of them in this 3 stringer where it sounded better, probably because of it being further away from the strings.

 

beyer160

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The stock pickups in the imports are overwound and have metal covers, which translates to dull and lifeless pickups. How hard would it have been to use a properly wound P90 with a plastic cover?


One of my projects is to "unwind" the stock pickups in my Casino (remove wire from the coil until they're not so hot) and add plastic pickups covers. If that fails I have a pair of Gibson P90s I can install, but I'd like to find out what the stock pickups sound like unwound.
 

JohnnyCrash

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I bought that super clean Casino off CL a while back. I like the basic guitar quite a bit. But I'm unsure of these pickups. They just dont seem like P90's i'm used to, not terrible, but kinda lifeless. Minimal cut, and growl compared with P90's in my past. Lack full low end. may just be the hollowbody guitar though.
I've heard the thing before about metal P90 covers... Are they being choked by these covers? Is this something real or imagined?
I think I'm going to see if I can remove a cover temporarily and do a comparison.(do they just come off like most P90's or are they stuck on?)
Then again, my experience with changing a basic guitar sound by swapping pickups has been mostly a useless exercise...



I’ve been a P90 fan for a long time (my first real guitar was/is a Gibson Les Paul Special doublecut). I’ve now gravitated towards P90s with AlNiCo II magnets instead of the more common A5 mags.

I recently reused a humbucker sized P90 in the neck position of a Tele I built and it was too dark. Instead of replacing it, I opened it up and replaced the AlNiCo V magnets on the pickup itself with AlNiCo II magnets.

It was pretty easy to do and it brightened up the pickup and made it sound better. It was a slight difference, but one that kept me from throwing out the pickup. You might have ceramic magnets in your pickups, so the difference might be even more noticeable if you swap mags.


2E5F43FB-9A15-4D7F-AD96-15954C6AC5C3.jpeg


It might be a quick and cheap improvement to try before deciding on a pickup swap.

I’ve been happy with Tonerider’s A2 P90s… in fact, one is sitting in the bridge position of that Gibson I mentioned earlier.

3F1B6FC5-B4CF-4EF3-A8B2-24CF4C8A3643.jpeg
 
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schmee

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The stock pickups in the imports are overwound and have metal covers, which translates to dull and lifeless pickups. How hard would it have been to use a properly wound P90 with a plastic cover?


One of my projects is to "unwind" the stock pickups in my Casino (remove wire from the coil until they're not so hot) and add plastic pickups covers. If that fails I have a pair of Gibson P90s I can install, but I'd like to find out what the stock pickups sound like unwound.
I suspect they over wound them to compensate for the metal covers...? Not sure.
 

schmee

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I had a Sorrento a while back, and found the pickups a bit dull, as well. I bought some Fralin p90s, but, when I went to install them I found that the pole pieces did not line up with the spacing of the holes on the metal covers. I ended up having to go with after-market covers, and spacers, but the end result lined up perfectly, and sounded great. That guitar opened up, and if it had a wider neck on it I would have kept it. I know that if you go to the Lollar site, they ask you whether, or not, the p90s you're ordering are for a Casino, so there may be a structural difference (spacing, etc..) to keep in mind.
Did the Sorrento have metal covers or plastic?
 

schmee

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I ask this question because my little import archtop hollow Tele has P90's that are just not "sloppin my dripper" also. I actually bought Gibson P90's and put them in. Same tone. Took em out and sold them. I've been through the gamut with tone pot and cap changes etc with that guitar. It is what it is I guess.
I have used Gibson P90's extensively over the years so know what I expect from some guitars anyway.

Now I'm thinking of doing the same exercise with the Casino, but based on past results...! hmmm..... maybe a mini bucker is in my future...
 

JohnnyCrash

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I ask this question because my little import archtop hollow Tele has P90's that are just not "sloppin my dripper" also. I actually bought Gibson P90's and put them in. Same tone. Took em out and sold them. I've been through the gamut with tone pot and cap changes etc with that guitar. It is what it is I guess.
I have used Gibson P90's extensively over the years so know what I expect from some guitars anyway.

Now I'm thinking of doing the same exercise with the Casino, but based on past results...! hmmm..... maybe a mini bucker is in my future...


I really dig mini humbuckers, but I’ve found it challenging to find the right mini humbucker for my tastes, but have found two very different ones that I like: the off-the-shelf Gibson reissues (see the neck pickup of my LP Jr above) and the Lollar mini.

The Gibson is bright, much like the original ones in the ‘70s LP Deluxes. They’re awesome as neck pickups.

The Lollar is awesome too (I put one in the bridge of my SG Standard, below).

95E995EA-18D7-4EC7-A962-FDB2F36701B9.jpeg
 

paulblackford

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I ask this question because my little import archtop hollow Tele has P90's that are just not "sloppin my dripper" also. I actually bought Gibson P90's and put them in. Same tone. Took em out and sold them. I've been through the gamut with tone pot and cap changes etc with that guitar. It is what it is I guess.
I have used Gibson P90's extensively over the years so know what I expect from some guitars anyway.

Now I'm thinking of doing the same exercise with the Casino, but based on past results...! hmmm..... maybe a mini bucker is in my future...
It came with the same metal pickup covers as the Casino. In fact, the Sorrento is basically a Casino with a single florentine cutaway.
 

max_twang

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I'm in the middle of a (seemingly never ending) Casino project. Be aware that pickup replacement on Casinos can be an adventure.

I found one on Craigslist a couple years ago. It sounded "ok" but I figured I'd make it "perfect."

It wouldn't stay in tune b/c of the bigsby, cheapo bridge and nut. Got a trapeze, new bridge and Tusq
nut and that fixed the tuning issues. Also replaced the tuners.

I didn't love the pickups -- they were very hot -- about 13K if I recall correctly.

There's a thread on TDPRI about doing a partial unwind to get the DCR into the 7-8K range. See if you can find it, as I remember it was helpful. Unfortunately, I was not able to remove the "solder" that held on the pickup covers -- not even with a 100 watt iron! It seems that I'm not the only person who has had this issue. I thought of cutting the welds with a Dremel, but I didn't want to get metal shavings in the pickup, so I scratched that idea.

I bought some Kent Armstrong Casino pickups from a seller on Reverb. They're supposed to have pickup covers that are contoured the match the Casino arch top. They didn't match it on my guitar -- not even close. Huge gap between the guitar top and the bottom of the bridge pickup cover. Also, the chrome had ugly tooling marks on the edges. Back they went. Here they are on Amazon:



Found some Seymour Duncan Antiquity P-90s locally on CL. I thought the plastic might conform better to the top of the guitar. They did, but only slightly. I had to buy some black plastic P-90 spacers (Mojotone I think) and use sandpaper to get the spacers to conform to the guitar.

I have new CTS pots, a Switchcraft toggle and orange drop caps, along with fish tank tubing, and now I have to find the time to put this all back together. I probably spent the same amount on parts as the cost of the guitar. But I'm gonna make it perfect, damn it!

I don't think the metal covers are the problem -- no one complained about the pickup covers on John Lennon's guitar...though I suppose the composition of the covers might have been a factor.

If you want to use the original covers with upgraded pickups, Lollar will build their pickups into the original covers for a $20 upcharge:

 
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bgmacaw

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Unfortunately, I was not able to remove the "solder" that held on the pickup covers -- not even with a 100 watt iron! It seems that I'm not the only person who has had this issue. I thought of cutting the welds with a Dremel, but I didn't want to get metal shavings in the pickup, so I scratched that idea.

It took a while for me to get it out of the casing for the CBG build I did (above). It took while since I'd heat up the solder, wick what I could, let it cool and start again.
 

JohnnyCrash

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I'm in the middle of a (seemingly never ending) Casino project. Be aware that pickup replacement on Casinos can be an adventure.

I found one on Craigslist a couple years ago. It sounded "ok" but I figured I'd make it "perfect."

It wouldn't stay in tune b/c of the bigsby, cheapo bridge and nut. Got a trapeze, new bridge and Tusq
nut and that fixed the tuning issues. Also replaced the tuners.

I didn't love the pickups -- they were very hot -- about 13K if I recall correctly.

There's a thread on TDPRI about doing a partial unwind to get the DCR into the 7-8K range. See if you can find it, as I remember it was helpful. Unfortunately, I was not able to remove the "solder" that held on the pickup covers -- not even with a 100 watt iron! It seems that I'm not the only person who has had this issue. I thought of cutting the welds with a Dremel, but I didn't want to get metal shavings in the pickup, so I scratched that idea.

I bought some Kent Armstrong Casino pickups from a seller on Reverb. They're supposed to have pickup covers that are contoured the match the Casino arch top. They didn't match it on my guitar -- not even close. Huge gap between the guitar top and the bottom of the bridge pickup cover. Also, the chrome had ugly tooling marks on the edges. Back they went. Here they are on Amazon:



Found some Seymour Duncan Antiquity P-90s locally on CL. I thought the plastic might conform better to the top of the guitar. They did, but only slightly. I had to buy some black plastic P-90 spacers (Mojotone I think) and use sandpaper to get the spacers to conform to the guitar.

I have new CTS pots, a Switchcraft toggle and orange drop caps, along with fish tank tubing, and now I have to find the time to put this all back together. I probably spent the same amount on parts as the cost of the guitar. But I'm gonna make it perfect, damn it!

I don't think the metal covers are the problem -- no one complained about the pickup covers on John Lennon's guitar...though I suppose the composition of the covers might have been a factor.

If you want to use the original covers with upgraded pickups, Lollar will build their pickups into the original covers for a $20 upcharge:




Last week I popped off a chrome cover for a pickup magnet swap. I was worried about metal shavings too, but when I Dremeled the solder blobs, there were no metal shavings. Maybe because it was solder and not some other type of metal?

Anyway, if you’re careful, a Dremel can cut the solder holding the covers on with no problems.

That said, some people use a heavy duty work knife/cutter and just cut and cut at the solder blobs until they cut through.

Now that I’ve modified one pickup, I’m already thinking of a few more pickups I might disassemble and reassemble (thinking about swapping the chrome cover for a nickel one, also thinking of trying to swap the magnets on my Duncan P-Rail).
 

Zepfan

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Replace those pickups with some vintage spec wound P90's. A5 mag if you wantsome brashy tone, A2 for some warm tone.
 

drmordo

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Hmmm, I like the PUs in my MIK Casino. That's one of the very few guitars I own where I have never wanted to swap them out.

Maybe give it some time to get used to them. Also, buy the Lollar spacer set and raise the bridge PU closer to the strings.
 

guitarsophist

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I put Lollar 50's wind dogears in mine. Here's my discussion of the search for the right pickup:


Here's a subsequent post on my blog with a demo played by a friend:


Most of the time I am a cheapskate on pickups, but this time I think the boutique ones were worth it.
 




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