NGD: Epi Casino, 2nd try

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by Sotakoira Musti, Dec 28, 2020.

  1. Peter77

    Peter77 Tele-Holic

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    Another nice pic. 58E2AB18-5DB1-4F9D-8521-031C6DCBA77D.png
     
  2. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    I have a MIC Cherry 2019 and love it on par with my American Vintage strat and teles. Of course, it took some love & upgrades to bring it up to scratch…

    "Good bones" is exactly the right description. Lovely neck with good fretwork, impeccable fit and finish, good tuners (in my case at least). From there
    - Nut needed some filing
    - I changed the bridge to a Gotoh Nashville Tune-O-Matic (NB: the stock bridge by design cannot intonate well the G string, it's a known problem affecting 330s and Casinos alike)
    - The biggest change was replacing the P-90s to a lower wind… As the readings on mine were off the chart, Epiphone graciously sent me a pair of plastic-covered (my request) "Classic dogear" P-90s free of charge… sound ace! I doubt not that Lollars would sound even better, but I'm very happy as it is
    - As I was doing the pickup swap, I had all the electronics changed
    - For looks, I got me a new pickguard and the right knobs (@dswo : I bought from mLaval Guitar Parts on Reverb)

    Here she is in her current state… all in all ≈ 130€ in upgrades and some time & love. It's a great thinline hollow-body now

    IMG_0678.jpeg IMG_0679.jpeg

    I respectfully disagree. There is nothing magical about the old Casinos that the newer ones can't have. Given good parts and reasonable construction 330s/335s are easy enough to replicate – "old wood" (rather: old laminate) and paint matter precious little in this case. Once you upgrade what needs to be upgraded and give it a good set-up, you're close enough unless you start obsessing that the f-hole is too large or the paint is not nitro (… or the color is cherry not natural or sunburst… I kid you not, a seller wanted to convince me of that :lol:). My humble MIC Casino totally nails those Beatles and early Stones sounds (not to mention Grant Green)… any remaining differences of tone are down to the amp/pedals/volume level. The guitar is just the right one. YMMV of course!
     
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  3. Sotakoira Musti

    Sotakoira Musti Tele-Afflicted

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    We’re all entitled to have an opinion :cool: Of course I’d like to have a vintage one, but atm can’t justify spending so much money.

    I played that ”Chinese miracle” yesterday for 6 hours or so, and it’s a good platform. Even straight out of the box and without pedals, it could produce near enough Beatles tones, like Taxman or And your bird can sing. Pickups are far better than in the previous one.
     
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  4. breadfreak

    breadfreak TDPRI Member

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    Some time ago I attempted a crude blend control using the old bridge pickup volume pot as a voltage divider. Old neck volume became a master volume. The blend doesn't work as expected because it's not a linear pot and because as you blend one into the other the volume drops, but... it makes for a great subtle volume control. With the knob around 4 it's a sweet rhythm sound, turn it towards 0 and I've got all the beef of the neck pickup. Happy accident! Worth trying.
     
  5. Wallaby

    Wallaby Friend of Leo's

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    That's really nice looking, the pickup covers are a nice look too.

    Congratulations!
     
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  6. dswo

    dswo Tele-Holic

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    That's about what I put into mine: US$50 for Gotoh vintage-style locking tuners (pictured below), $25 for Wilkinson locking roller bridge, $30 for some fret leveling. I'm going to try one of those mLaval pickguards.

    I chose these tuners because (a) I knew they would fit without drilling, (b) they lock, (c) I like the snot color, (d) they're light (in keeping with the weight of the guitar overall), (e) the stock tuners felt a little coarse:

    2BB4B167-B97F-4146-8E99-0460A7D170BC.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2020
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  7. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    Glad to read this!

    My latest discovery for Taxman sounds (which have been a true obsession) is that you need a fuzz face (full on) + bridge pickup with volume on ≈ 6. If you're not plugging into a Vox, you need something to replicate the nasty top-end and mids… my recipe is a Soul food with very little drive (a hair above 9), tone at noon and volume to taste. Into my BF Tremolux, it's perfect. And – added bonus – you get all of Paul's nasty Casino lead tones… it's just a matter of where you place the volume dial: Bird can sing, USSR, Birthday, me and my Monkey, the End…

    And speaking of this: have you find any way to get a decent "tape reverse" tone ("Tomorrow never knows")? I tried reverse delay, but it's just not the thing…
     
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  8. Sotakoira Musti

    Sotakoira Musti Tele-Afflicted

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    Oh me oh my, now we’re diving into deep waters :D Plain and simply, no. I just run Strymon Deco’s tape echo side with a lot’s of wobble.
     
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  9. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    Eh, that's a tough one to pull…
     
  10. smartsoul72

    smartsoul72 Tele-Holic

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    They are not cheap, but worth every penny in my opinion
    www.quickguards.com
     
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  11. neilshane

    neilshane Tele-Meister

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    My incredible wife bought me a black worn Casino for Christmas. I'm really enjoying it. The pickups are fantastic! The finish on mine is flawless. The neck is far thinner than my Gibson 335, but I don't mind it at all. Highly recommended, especially for the price.
     
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  12. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    These are good guitars and almost great guitars. They sorta remind me of the Gretsch Electromatic line, guitars that are just a couple mods away from being perfect. I read recently that Gibson approached Paul McCartney about doing a reissue of his Casino (which is, I think a year older then Lennon and Harrison's models). He said no. The Casino and the Texan are two Epiphone instruments that stood on their own. Back in the day, they were American made instruments, and not considered budget instruments. All the rest has seemingly been second tier copies of Gibson offerings.
     
  13. Kestrel

    Kestrel Tele-Afflicted

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    Picked up a Worn Ebony Casino a couple of days ago. Pretty much a satin finished Casino without the thick polyurethane, so it feels a bit more stripped down, hence the lower price from the standard MIC Casinos. Fit/finish is okay for the price. A couple of little rough spots around the binding, but the neck feels good, nice and thin. Frets could use a little polishing, but there are no sharp fret ends. As for the sound? Sounds pretty damn good. Pickups are very clear and articulate sounding, plus the lack of plasticky polyurethane on the body makes the guitar breath and resonate more, if you get my meaning. The satin black finish and the white pickguard makes the guitar look classy too.
     
  14. VWAmTele

    VWAmTele Friend of Leo's

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    Glad to hear it's working out. I've got a 2002 Elite (before the name change) and it's just a great playing/sounding guitar. No other sound like a hollow body P90.
     
  15. Ringo

    Ringo Poster Extraordinaire

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    That's a pretty guitar! I played a natural finish Casino Coupe in a music store last year, I came real close to buying it, it played and sounded great, the neck felt good too.
     
  16. mad dog

    mad dog Friend of Leo's

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    I tried with Casinos. The modern ones I mean. Owned 3 MIK casinos, Peerless made. Each had their good points, but none came close to a really compelling instrument. One had rather nice P90s. The other two had way hot, unpleasant p/us. Then tried an Elitist casino. Should have been the antidote but wasn't. The elitist was somewhat more resonant sounding than the MIK casinos. Not much. The Gibson P90s which are supposed to be so fine did nothing for me.

    Hard to generalize from these experiences. IMO, you do lose a certain something in sound with newer, less expensive guitars such as the MIK casinos. Hard to describe. Less depth, less resonance ... what does that actually mean? I know it when I don't hear it.

    Even with vintage examples, you might find a good one, or maybe not. I owned a '67 ES-330 which didn't quite sound or play good enough to keep. While a beat as hell '64 ES-330 I tried in a shop had it all. Depth of sound, tasty p/us. Remarkable. At an unreasonable price.

    I took one more hack at the ES-330/casino type. Tried out a couple Eastman T64v guitars. Essentially an ES-330 but with an ebony fingerboard, hand-rubbed nitro finish. First two were interesting, not much more. While the third I tried was so good, I could not get my wallet out fast enough. It feels, sounds like a quality, 50 year old instrument. The Lollar P90s are spectacular. Some small quality issues aside, this is one of the best guitars I've ever tried.

    It always comes down to particular examples. Just keep trying. They're out there.
     
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