Epiphone Casino vs Ibanez AM93

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by supersoldier71, Jul 23, 2014.

Epi Casino or Ibanez AM93

Poll closed Jul 28, 2014.
  1. Epiphone Casino:

    66.7%
  2. Ibanez AM93:

    16.7%
  3. Other:

    16.7%
  1. supersoldier71

    supersoldier71 Tele-Holic

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    Hey friends,

    So I'm looking at picking up a semi-hollowbody or hollowbody just 'cause I don't have one of either.

    The Casino seems like it'd be the most different sounding from my other guitars (LP, Tele, Strat, Agile Hawker and Kramer Striker), but since I'm freely admitting that I'm buying a tool that has no particular use, the fact that it's way different from my other guitars is cool, but not a deal-maker.

    The Ibanez is A) GORGEOUS!!! and B) seems to be very well constructed, and while YouTube ain't the greatest tool for evaluating tones, it makes some very nice ones at that.

    I record at home, play at church a tiny bit and jam with friends,through either a Peavey Classic 50 410 or a Mustang 3 v.1, and as I said, I've got a fairly diverse arsenal of sounds at my disposal already.

    Any opinions?
     
  2. Tritone

    Tritone TDPRI Member

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    Well the AM93 seems more like an ES-335 than a Casino (or the Gibson ES-330 which is nearly identical to the Casino). It is semi-hollow and has humbuckers, not P-90s.

    I had an AS-73 and a Casino, not at the same time. They were both solid guitars, but the Casino definitely has more, erm, "personality" if you know what I mean? The bridge was rattly, the tuning wasn't the most stable, and the pickups had a big difference in volume, and the bass pickup could get boomy. That said, I still preferred the basic sound over the AS-73, which sounded rather dull to me, even with nice aftermarket pickups. I thought the Casino had a lot more growl and punch in the mids, but also more highs and just seemed more bright and lively, while the AS-73 just seemed more subdued and jazzy.

    But these are very small sample sizes, so take these observations with a dose of salt.

    Finally, I'll add that if you like the Beatles or Elliott Smith's live tone, the Casino might be a good choice.

     
  3. supersoldier71

    supersoldier71 Tele-Holic

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    Wow, that's a lotta stuff wrong with one guitar...that AS73 must have put you to sleep while you were playing it!
     
  4. Tritone

    Tritone TDPRI Member

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    And I forgot to mention that after 6 months or so, the nut on the input jack on the Casino came unscrewed and the jack fell into the body of the guitar!

    Still, I plan to get another Casino at some point... but definitely the Japanese-made one.
     
  5. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    The Sheraton is more in line with the AM93 since it's a semi-hollow as compared to the Casino. I've got a Korean Sheraton and it's an incredibly built guitar, absolutely flawless. However, all the electrical components and pickups from the factory were junk and required replacement.

    Having said that I voted for the AM93. It's supposed to be extremely well built and they've recently upgraded the pickups in the 93 series guitars from their mid-level ACH series to top of the line Custom 58's, so you should have a pro quality guitar straight from the factory. No upgrades required.

    As for comparisons to the 70 series Ibanez's, well there is no comparison. Although some people like their 70 series guitars, so far I have yet to pick one up that didn't feel awkward and sound cheap. Inferior workmanship, inferior electronics. The 90 series are much better guitars and deserve to be considered in their own right.
     
  6. screamin eagle

    screamin eagle Poster Extraordinaire

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    I currently own an AS 73 and a casino (50th anniversary issue). I've modded the AS 73 continually to try to bond more with it. Still no love at this point.

    I've done multiple pickup swaps, changed out the entire wiring harness, put a bigsby on it and still not much more favor than before. I love p90's so I decided to put a pair of black covered dog ears on it.

    Now, it at least looks pretty damn cool...but still not much more than that. I've had for a number of years and just can't bring myself to bond with it or ditch it.

    The casino gets regular rotation--stock. But it is the anniversary issue with all gibson electronics.
     
  7. Del Pickup

    Del Pickup Poster Extraordinaire

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    Just out of interest, does anyone know whether the original Casinos from the 60's were finished in nitro or some sort of poly based finish?

    I really fancy getting a natural finish Casino but the shiny finish that they seem to come with makes me think that they might have some fairly thick poly finish that I might not be able to bond with. I guess I could always sand that off (or at least take some of the gloss off with a Scotch pad).

    I used to think that the discussions about the difference between nitro and poly finishes were just so much hype but since getting my Gibson 335 with its beautiful nitro finish I've decided that I prefer the feel and look of nitro finished instruments and this was confirmed when I got a Road Worn strat with its thin skin nitro finish. That guitar has been my #1 strat recently as much to do with the finish and how nice it feels as anything else.

    So, if anyone's got a newish Casino, can they tell me how the finish feels to them. Is it really as glossy as they look to be?

    I know there'll be people who read this who'll think I'm being stupid but I can live with that...........
     
  8. MadJack

    MadJack Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    The Poly on my Casino is fairly thick. Not as Thick as my other import guitars, but more than a Nitro finish.

    I don't think the Casino is as nice as the AM93, but nicer that what I've seen and heard from the AS-73. It is a P90 guitar compared to a HB guitar, so the tone will be a more mid heavy. The tone is warm and crunches up nicely. I like a bit of a brighter tone, so I rewired mine with the '50s/Vintage wiring to help give it a bit of chime. I also use stainless steel strings on mine, to help brighten the tone a bit. The pups are hot @ 11.2 kΩ & 10.6 kΩ. I do really like it and play it often.
     
  9. bendercaster

    bendercaster Tele-Holic

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    I went through a similar search about 8 years ago. At the time, I loved the way the casino sounded, but I ended up with an artcore because I thought it was a higher quality instrument. I didn't like the thick, sometimes gloopy finish on the casinos. Some of them had buzzes and rattles to them that the Ibanez guitars generally didn't.

    The Artcore was a great guitar. It was well made and the Custom 58 pickups sounded awesome. But I should have bought a casino because the casino sound is what I really wanted. 6 years later, I sold the Ibanez and bought a used casino.

    I am not sure what the used market is like where you are, but if you are concerned about a thick finish, you might see if you can find one from the mid to late 90s. I have a 95 I think, and it seems to have a thinner finish than newer casinos I have played. It also has lower output pickups with a dc resistance in the 9k range.

    That said, I do think the newer casinos still have that casino feel and sound. If I had not found the one I have now, I would have picked up a newer standard, and I am sure I would have been happy with it.
     
  10. Del Pickup

    Del Pickup Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yes. Sometimes you think that something will do the job although it's not 100% what you really want and you shell out the money for it, only to find that it just doesn't scratch the itch and you end selling it (usually at a loss) and end up buying what you really wanted in the first place.

    Been there, done that many times!

    As for the Casino, I guess it's the old Lennon fascination coming back on me! I always thought that he looked sooo cool playing his natural finish Casino wrapped up in his fur coat on the roof of the Apple building playing 'Get Back' and 'Don't Let Me Down'!!!

    I guess what I could do if I found that the factory finish was too gloopy for my liking would be to strip it off and oil the finish and let it age - which it would do very quickly with only an oiled finish. Now that would be cool!
     
  11. fabricator

    fabricator Tele-Meister

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    To me, the great thing about the Casino is that it sounds different than most other guitars out there. If you already have humbucker-equipped guitars, that Ibanez isn't going to sound much different than them.

    If you go with a Casino, I would also recommend finding a Korean-made model from the 90's - it's what I settled on, and I'm very happy with mine (although I did replace all the electronics, it does make a noticeable difference in tone).
     
  12. gatorfiend

    gatorfiend Tele-Meister

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    what fab said. sold a 97 peerless to finance my pistol. wish I hadn't. looking back the only thing I wasn't crazy about was the neck felt a little skinny and there was a botched wiring job on mine.
    that thing would nail some ernest tubb tones though.
    let us know how it turns out.
    ooh and add a bigsby mine had it and I liked it a lot.
     
  13. fabricator

    fabricator Tele-Meister

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    I forgot to mention that I used to have a 1959 Gibson ES-330 (their equivalent of the Casino). I still kick myself for selling it, as it sounded AMAZING, but it would feed back uncontrollably at stage volume. The top on my Korean Casino is a little thicker than my old 330, plus there's a thicker section (maybe +/- 1/8") under the bridge and pickups to help control feedback. I put vintage-spec Lindy Fralin P-90's in mine, along with a new harness, and I love it! It sounds as good as I remember my old ES-330 sounding, and I can play it onstage.

    I also have a Les Paul with P-90's, and it sounds fantastic, but the fully-hollow body of the Casino really gives it a very distinct sound. I would describe it as "open" or "chimey" when clean, and just plain mean (but with really good note separation/definition) when distorted (think George Thorogood - he played a similar guitar).

    BTW, I think think I paid around $300 for mine last year (found it on Craigslist).
     
  14. Del Pickup

    Del Pickup Poster Extraordinaire

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    I saw a Gibson 330 advertised on the website of NZ's biggest music store. It looked very nice too - until I saw the price - $6200NZ!!!!

    Now, OK, everything's more expensive here due to increased shipping costs, etc but that's way more than what they want for a 335 ($4500-5000). How does that happen??

    And a standard Casino retails for $1100NZ.......... OK maybe not fair to compare but you get my drift.........

    Now I would hope that the 330 would be a significantly better instrument but 5 times better????

    Just saying.........
     
  15. ringodingo

    ringodingo Tele-Holic

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    I assume the guitars have the same pickups. I'd go with the Casino 'cuz it reminds me of Marvin Berry's guitar.
     
  16. supersoldier71

    supersoldier71 Tele-Holic

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    I don't currently own a guitar with single coils. My Tele has stacked humbuckers in the bridge and middle (and a min-hum in the neck) , my Strat has stacked humbuckers in all three positions.

    I'm sure I could find nice sounds from the Ibanez, but maybe I'd find nice sounds from the Casino that were of a different flavor than the guitars I already own?

    So conflicted!
     
  17. Tritone

    Tritone TDPRI Member

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    If you don't have any P-90 guitars, let alone any single coils, I think this is almost a no-brainer! :) Well it would be for me, as I love P-90s.
     
  18. J. Hayes

    J. Hayes Friend of Leo's

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    .......

    I have both of 'em and they both sound different so they're used accordingly... Someone mentioned the Korean Epi Sheraton and said the pickups were junk... I'll have to disagree with that as my '92 MIK Sheraton still has it's original pups and they sound great... I have mine tapped and also switched out of phase with a pair of pull pots.... Here's a shot of my Casino and Ibanez and also one of my Sheraton.........JH in Va.
     

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  19. supersoldier71

    supersoldier71 Tele-Holic

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    I think I'm leaning towards the Casino...as did the poll.

    The Casino is least likely to sound like anything else in my stable.

    Also, I dig me some Gary Clarke, Jr.
     
  20. jetlennon

    jetlennon Tele-Meister

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    Check as many casino as u can. I first had an "normal" casino wich i didn't like. Very dull sounding pups. Now i found a 50th anniversary casino with the gibson hardware. Best guitar ever! Hard to find tho. I think the john lennon inspired has the same features...
     
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