Price paid: € 650
Purchased from: local shop
Sound — 8
The sound was a click for me... I picked it up and bang, this is it. I want to make love to you, really dry and rough. Like the desert plug into an amp, ready to rock. Listen to Get back from the Beatles, that's it. Now, this can change, you turn the neck pickup with a little less tone and you can get those jazzy tones you'd get from some ES, but not perfectly like, less full but I find that I can turn that away with a little reverb on my Roland JC and some eq. I use it every saturday night to perform jazz standards such as Autumn Leaves, My funny valentine, So What or Summertime and never a band member complained it lacked The Feeling of Jazz. Now to rock and roll, in my band I use it with the full tone and dry sound I described earlier, it can get from nice clean for RHCP Under the bridge or some peculiar dirty like Queens Of The Stone Age Rhythm or those feedback from Kings Of Leon or Santana. It does not like heavy distortion though, it's awful... You loose all that tone and it yells just noise. The only big issue are the live feedbacks, at high volumes you pay for that full hollow and those p90's, it just won't keep quiet. Other than that, it has moderately versatile sound and juiced up tone. If you play rock you should get a compressor to enhance sustain. I've got to this sounds through a POD Xt live, a DigiTech GNX2, a Roland Cube 30 and JC, a Fender champion and a Line 6 spider iii. It may react differently to other amps, like the tinny terror combo (my bands mate) that hardens up your sound to real crunch without requiring a compressor or distortion pedal. With a Fender bassman though you can listen to the thin sound it naturally has.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall if you want classic rock, you can have one it can match some sounds, if you want cool jazz, you can have one it nails it down. But this is no Les Paul nor Dot so you might consider to play one before getting it. It is a very personality full guitar, it's like the tele's twang, you can get other sounds from a tele but in the end of the day you plug it and it has that twang all to the bones. So not your cameleon guitar, not a single purpose one. Matches all I play from Ac\Dc to Wes Montgomery, love every single detail about the guitar, but I can see it's character may not be to everyone's taste. I would say it's like a Strat or a tele 'cause you can do almost everything with it, but doesn't mean it was designed for all that.
Reliability & Durability — 7
Hey full hollow, it probably can fall on the floor once and live to it. Do you want to try? I didn't, it is reliable as I've borrowed a 20 year old one that is still rockin' but I wouldn't throw it up in the air or mosh with it... Else from that it has been used in countless shows and unlike my jap Strat it never got those little issues like the jacks don't make contact, or the tuners need to get bolted again... I got Dunlop straplocks the day I bought it so I've got no opinion on those... It get's a seven because it's full hollow... It's a sturdy guitar, but it cannot endure kicking it around or been throw to the other side of the stage, a tele probably can, but the only guitar actually do that is a plastic thing with pickups I own.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Perfect finish, love it in all ways, just perfect cherry blossom finish all over it. Beautiful pearl inlays that Shine all over, take some care of the neck and that nice healthy rosewood brown will not get a tan, I just use fast fret and it makes the deal. Love the tuners, never let me down, but their not some of those hard things that won't move and take the fun out of playing, you tune it every once in a long time. Now the action, I thought it was a little low from factory cause when I used my bottle neck sometimes I knocked the wood... Some friends say I got it too high, well so this is my opinion: too low for me, good for a normal player.
Features — 5
Okay here it goes, the review for my 5 year old epi Casino. Made in 2004/05 in Korea. It features: -2-Alnico P90's (single coils, dog hears; -Chrome Hardware; -Full hollow body (nice feedback!) -Maple body and Mahogany neck (set); -Tune-O-Matic bridge and a trapeze; -24 frets, with parallelogram inlays; -Included a Jack Cable. Mine comes wit a cherry finish, and it has beautiful work, I've seen some others with a heavier cherry, I picked this one because it looked more attractive to me, others may disregard this opinion. I find the features are all that I looked for, since I was a Casino fan before, and still am. But, since I must be as objective as possible: it could have, middle pickup, double single coils with selection for humbuckin or single coiled, Variax technology (which should feature each possibility and switch of the featured guitars) beside the pickups, killer switches for both tone and pickup selection, robot tuners and built in clock just in case. So that would be a ten, and even though it would pick a hammer and dismantle each of those features and turn it to a standard hollow body electric guitar, it get's a five.