Casino review by Epiphone

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 6
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.4 (129 votes)
Epiphone: Casino

Sound — 10
This guitar perfectly fits my music style, I play Jazz, Blues and Ska. The body is entirely hollow, unlike an ES-335 which has a solid block of wood in it, giving it a very rich and warm tone. I play almost entirely on the Neck pickup, which sounds excellent, the bridge pickup is fantastic as well. I play it through a variety of Amps, anywhere from a Vox VT-20 for practice to a larger Vox AC-30. Sounds excellent regardless, I rarely use any effects except possibly a small amount of wah-wah or flange. This beast has a huge tonal palette to, which I have not full explored, It can easily go from jazz to hard rock. The neck pickup is warm and deep, and the bridge pickup sounds like nothing else.

Overall Impression — 9
I am incredibly impressed by the quality of this guitar, seeing as it was manufactured in China. I have other Chinese and Indonesian Epiphones and none of them even compare in quality and tone to this one. Playing Jazz and blues largely it is a dream. Warm and rich, very bluesy. I would definitely buy it again if it was stolen or lost. When buying it I compared it to other hollow-body and semi-hollow guitars, however most of them were much much deeper, not that that is bad, but the Casino is thinner, making it easier to handle in comparison to other hollow-body guitars.

Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar has, and will easily survive live playing, I would go without a backup, very dependable. I have had numerous other musicians comment on the quality of this particular instrument, as it is very well made. The hardware will last for a very long time, as I can tell right now, but time will tell. The strap buttons are very solid. Very very solid. Normally I put strap locks on all of my instruments, but I decided not to on this one because they are so solid, and It is hard work to get a strap off the guitar. The finish seems solid, I can see this guitar last for a very long time.

Action, Fit & Finish — 6
The action from the factory was abysmal, the strings almost touched the first fret, however Outlaw gladly fixed this when I purchased it. It is fantastic now, No problems what'soever. One additional flaw that occurred several months after purchasing it, was, the input jack fell into the body cavity, which took quite a bit of effort to dig out and reassemble. However, quality of the wood and electronics was fantastic, and I was surprised to see how well it was built, coming from china. Almost everything, from the bridge to the nut was fantastic.

Features — 9
This guitar was made in 2011 in China (unfortunately). Has standard 22 frets. Mahogany Neck, which is fantastic. Laminated Maple top, sides and body. Tune-o-Matic Bridge as with almost all Epiphone and Gibson products. Mine is a natural transparent finish. The wood is incredibly good looking. Two great Alinco Dog-Ear P90s (Neck and Bridge), with a volume and tone knob and three way selector switch. The Tuners are great, hold tune very well, I rarely have to tune the guitar as long as I keep it in standard tuning. I did buy a guitar case with it, the standard Gibson Es-335 style one, which fits this guitar perfectly, very tight and snug.

6 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I went through 4 different Epiphone Casinos from different production runs. I have to say, I have never been so disappointed from a companies offerings. First off, I will say that when they are working properly the hollowbody + P90 tone is beautiful. This is where I can definitely see the Casino appeal, that said everything else was disappointing. I am not expecting total perfection from a ~$400-500 guitar, but I am expecting it to be constructed well. All of the Epiphones I got had minor paint/binding/inlay issues, but nothing that I would consider deal breaking. The main issue is the rattling which developed in ALL of them. Apparently the P90s are mounted horrendously poorly, and they can be the source of a terrible rattling sound. I can understand one or two with this issue as a poor run, but looking at the serials all of mine came from China between late 2013 and mid/late 2014. Simply put, these issues were endemic to the instruments during this period. I did not want to give up on the Casino so I brought it to two different Luthiers. I then ended up returning the guitar in the hopes of getting a non-lemon. The last one I took to an excellent Luthier in NYC, and they confirmed my fears. Even with the work they would put into it, there was no guarantee the rattling would not come back, and they considered the problem somewhat endemic to these guitars. I gave up at this point, which is a shame because in theory these are excellent guitars. Worth noting, I called Epiphone support who seemed utterly disinterested in my problem, and their only suggestion was to ship it to them on MY dime, where they would 'try and solve the problem' or replace it. On a final note, I know a lot of people who have not had these issues. I have also known many who have had similar problems. At the very least my story is something you may want to consider, and definitely buy from a retailer that has a decent return/exchange policy. I cannot stress that part enough. From what I have read my particular issue seemed far less common with the Korean made Casinos, and if I were ever in the market for one again, that is where I would look. There are a lot of excellent hollowbodies on the market now, so at least one does not have to settle.
    Just got mine in cherry too, oh man diggin it diggin it diggin it, oh yeah did I tell you guys also? I'm really diggin it. It really does as the comment above me says "feel like an electro-acoustic guitar" almost like a kind of hybrid, sounds hella loud unplugged. Part of why I got it, very warm and rich tone, can cover so many styles as with other Epiphone hollow bodies, one of the best guitars for the best price for sure. I mean damn there is some high quality going on here. All around a good guitar. I think I'll be using it for years to come before I get another guitar. Works for my jazz and all that other jazz.
    The US studio will use the investment to help the company expand and support the development of its debut title, Blackjack Casino.
    I'm looking to buy this and play it into a Vox AC15. I hear mixed reviews in regards to the pickups and set-up, but I know people who can fix those things. Would a set of Lollar P-90s make it come to life?
    I just got mine in cherry and damn... those p90s really sing. The only thing that took me off was that I was expecting it to feel like an electric guitar but it actually feels like an electro-acoustic guitar but thats not a bad thing
    Had to try quite a few before i found a Chinese one that played well and felt good. But when i did i loved it. And still do. That thing is awesome.