Price paid: C$ 600
Purchased from: Long and McQuade
Sound — 10
My original intensions of buying the Casino was to replicate the classic Beatles tone. (which it does very well). My interests have sinse changed a little and I now use it to make the stoner metal sounds of bands such a Queens Of The Stone Age. My current favourite set-up is my Casino through a cranked Boss Blues Driver into my Typhoon JB-24 30 watt bass amp. The Casino shines best when the mids and lows are cranked. I'll occasionally add effects such as wah-wah and tremolo. The guitar definately sounds better with anolog style effects compared to more digital ones such as chorus and flangers. The Bridge pick-up is relatively noiseless even with high overdrive the neck pick-up is much more noisy. The P-90s are very responsive to your pick attack and can range from clean arpeggios to punchy power chords without touching volume knobs. I barely ever play with the knobs just because it sounds perfect at 100%. It also sounds best with heavier gauge strings to deliver the punch I like.
Overall Impression — 10
This is an excellent guitar in every spectrum. If your musical tastes include but are not limited to Jazz, Blues, Elvis, the British invasion, Sabbath, Zeppelin, The Sex Pistols, Queens Of The Stone Age, Eagles Of Death Metal, White Stripes, The Black Keys, or anything similar, please consider buying this guitar. Its definately not for metal players. I personally have been playing for about three years and also own an Ibanez ART 100 also an excellent affordable guitar. I would buy the Casino again without a second thought.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I have used this guitar for countless gigs and it has never let me down. The Bridge is extremely easy on strings. The strings have endured constant drops to C Standard tuning and back up with out a single break. (I use Ernie Ball's Hybrid Slinky strings) The strap buttons are still as solid as the the day I bought the guitar and they've never dropped my strap. Over time the volume knobs have become a bit wiggly but I'm sure its an easy fix once I get around to it. On a more serious note, the neck pick has become very muddy sounding and is almost unusable. I'm almost thinking something's happened to its tone knob to make it sound like the tone is permanently rolled back. I'll have to take this into the shop to fix but both Epiphone and Long and McQuade offer excellant warranties and will cost me very little to have done.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
I have barely tampered with the factory presets of the guitar. I perhaps have lowered the action a little to combat some string buzz I was encountering at the higher strings. Adjusting action by the way is a dream and does not even require destringing the guitar. For one gig, I had the action very high to play a slide guitar part and then took about 2 minutes to readjust the action to my preference. Although I'm not sure whether its general wear (I've played this guitar a lot) or factory fault, I think the electronics may be starting to deteriorate.
Features — 9
My Casino was purchased about a year ago and is a korean made 2008 model. It is maple topped with a sunburst finish like The Beatle's original Casinos it is fitted with 2 P-90 pickups and the Standard 2 volume, 2 tone and 3 way pick up selector. All hardware is nickel with grover tuners. As far as I know, it is a Standard issue casino.