Psychedelic-Rock'n'roll: EPIPHONE CASINO GUITAR



The most famous Epiphone model introduced by Gibson after taking over was the Casino.
It is known for its heavy and rich sound which makes it an ideal rhythm guitar.
"Epiphone Casino Guitar" is generally thinner and more trebly than a guitar equipped with humbuckers such as the "Gibson ES-335 Guitar" which is THE semi-acoustic of choice for many lead (as well as rhythm) guitarists.
The "Epiphone Casino" is a hollow-bodied guitar with two "Gibson P90 Single Coil" pick-ups, and often include a "Bigsby B700 Vibrato Tailpiece".

Unlike semi-hollow body guitars such as the "Gibson ES-335", which have a center block to promote sustain and reduce feedback, the "Epiphone Casino" and the "Gibson ES-330 Guitar" are true hollow-bodied guitars.
This makes them lighter and louder when played without an amplifier.
However, due to its hollow-body design, it is much more prone to feedback than semi-acoustic or solid-body electrics.
Early versions of the "Epiphone Casino" had a spruce top.
Through 1970, the "Epiphone Casino" headstock was set at a 17-degree angle and the top was made of five laminated layers of maple, birch, maple, birch, and maple.

Keith Richards with his Epiphone Casino in 1965

With the exception of the Epiphone inspired by "John Lennon", have been made with 14-degree headstock angle with five layer all maple laminated tops.

Keith Richards with his Epiphone Casino in 1966

The "Epiphone Casino" has the same basic body dimensions and construction of the commonly recognized "Gibson ES-335", the "Epiphone Riviera Guitar" and the "Epiphone Sheraton Guitar" .
However, unlike the "Gibson ES-335"-style body, which features a solid-center block, the "Epiphone Casino" is completely hollow.

Brian Jones with his Epiphone Casino. Photo by John Rowlands/ZUMA Press

Additionally, older featured a 17-degree (as opposed to a 14-degree) headstock and a neck joint at the 16th (as opposed to the 17th) fret.

Epiphone,Casino,lennon,revolution,gibson_es_335,hollow_body,gibson_firebird,harrison,richards,humbuckers,Bigsby,guitars,psychedelic-rocknrollphoto courtesy by Gibson

This creates more string tension and when combined with the thin, hollow body produces a very unique sound - one that has become most associated with "John Lennon" and "The Beatles".

Epiphone,Casino,lennon,revolution,gibson_es_335,hollow_body,gibson_firebird,harrison,richards,humbuckers,Bigsby,paul_maccartney,studio,psychedelic-rocknroll"Paul McCartney" purchased an "Epiphone Casino" together with an "Epiphone Texan Acoustic Guitar" in December 1964.
It was in the spring of 1966 during the recording sessions for the Beatles Revolver that both "John Lennon" and "George Harrison" acquired a pair of sunburst Epiphone Casinos.


Epiphone_Casino,lennon,revolution,gibson_es_335,hollow_body,1966,revolver,George_Harrison,psychedelic-rocknroll"John Lennon" first used the new "Epiphone Casino" live on Sunday May 1, 1966 at the "New Musical Express Annual Poll-Winners' All-Star Concert" held at London's "Empire Poll", Wembley.


John Lennon at NME Poll Winners' All-Star Concert Party at Empire Pool, Wembley

It was from this point on that "John Lennon" CHOSE the "Epiphone Casino" as his MAIN electric guitar.

Epiphone,Casino,lennon,revolution,gibson_es_335,hollow_body,gibson_firebird,harrison,richards,humbuckers,Bigsby,psychedelic-rocknrollOn June 24, 1966, "The Beatles" embarked on their third world tour, which included stops in Germany, Japan, the Philippines and the United States.

Beatles on stage at Budokan, Japan 1966

For this tour, "John Lennon" chose his "Epiphone Casino" as his main guitar with his "Gibson Montana J-160E Acoustic/Electric Guitar" brought along as a spare.

Epiphone,Casino,lennon,revolution,gibson_es_335,hollow_body,gibson_firebird,harrison,richards,humbuckers,Bigsby,paul_maccartney,studio,psychedelic-rocknroll"John Lennon" used the "Epiphone Casino" for every live performance on this tour.
In 1968 "John Lennon" remove the original factory finish from his "Epiphone Casino".
He thought the guitar would sound better without finish on it.
The guitar was sanded down to the bare wood and finished with a very thin, dull coat of lacquer.
This newly recreated version of the "Epiphone Casino" was first used by "John Lennon" in the summer of 1968 during "The Beatles" recording sessions for "The Beatles" double record, "The White Album".Filming for what was to become "The Beatles" last movie, "Let It Be", started on January 2, 1969.
The filming climaxes on January 30th with "The Beatles" celebrated performance on the London Roof Top of their "Apple Corps Ltd." office building at number 3 Savile Row.
For this last magical public performance given by "The Beatles" as a band, "John Lennon" once again chose his "Epiphone Casino".

Epiphone_Casino,lennon,revolution,gibson_es_335,hollow_body,gibson,rooftop,1969,psychedelic-rocknrollIn November 1997, a team of engineers from Epiphone and Gibson visited "The Dakota" in Manhattan, New York City to examine John's "Epiphone Casino".
During the examination, measurements were carefully performed, body tracings were done, drawings were created, and photographs were taken.
Epiphone proudly reissues two "Epiphone John Lennon Casino".
The "Epiphone John Lennon Casino" is a reproduction of the guitar as John originally purchased it with the vintage sunburst finish and stock hardware.
The Epiphone John Lennon Casino stripped is a reproduction of the stripped Casino featuring one dull coat of lacquer, Gold Grover tuning pegs and with the pickguard removed.

"Epiphone Casino": "E230T"; "E230TD"

Available: 1961-68; 1961-69

Pickups: One single coil dog-ear P90; Two single coil dog-ear P90s

Scale: 24 3/4"

Body:Maple top sides, bound.16" wide (lower bout),19" long,1 3/4" thick

Neck: One-piece set mahogany with binding, rosewood fingerboard with pearloid inlays.
22 frets.

E230T: 1 volume and 1 tone control. Tune-o-matic bridge. Tailpiece is either a trapeze, Frequensator or Tremotone vibrola.

E230TD: 2 volume and 2s tone control. Tune-o-matic bridge.
Tailpieis either a trapeze, Frequensator or Tremotone vibrola.

Finishes: Shaded/Sunburst, Royal Tan, Cherry from 1967



Kwai Chang said...

The problem here is that my love for craftmanship has already led to the purchase of many expensive guitars...none of which I ever learned how to play...all of which I gave to my brother. Epiphones are high quality which is why I cannot continue here...sorry!

Anonymous said...

A related guitar with a similar tone is the Gibson ES 330, essentially the Gibson version of this guitar, with P90's and no block under the pickups, I have a 1968 model. With a round wound G and an overall heavier set of strings to increase the tension a bit, it sounds very similar. It does squeal like crazy when cranked up and distorted, but can be used well for heavier stuff in a recording situation through a modeling amp sim and sound almost like an old P90 equipped SG in that kind of setup, as well.

Colin H, Cambridge, Canada

Anonymous said...

I believe that second photo, "Brian Jones with his Epiphone Casino," is actually Brian playing a Gibson ES-330. Do you have a higher resolution photo to zoom in on the headstock? It looks more likely to read Gibson, and the black pickguard is consistent with an ES-330 than a Casino (search for "gibson es-330").

Psychedelic-Rocknroll said...

thank you, you are right. i have corrected my mistake.
have a nice day,

Anonymous said...

The photo clearly shows the Epiphone logo on both the pickguard ar the Bigsby tail.

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