Price paid: C$ 300
Purchased from: Private sale
Features — 9
Made in China in 2014. Similar to the ES-335/339 models, this guitar is a somewhat smaller version of the venerable Epiphone Casino thin line hollow body electric guitar. It has two P-90 pickups, controlled with a three way switch and two volume and two tone controls, Chrome hardware and a white pickguard with the Epiphone E on the pickguard. Oval vintage style tuners, rosewood fretboard and a fully hollow maple body with a natural finish. The bridge is a tune-o-matic style with a trapeze tailpiece
Sound — 10
In my opinion, this is the perfect all around guitar. If you can only afford or have room for one guitar, then look no further. The hollow body style allows it to be played acoustically (albeit somewhat muted), and with the two P-90s this guitar can play pretty much everything from twangy to crunchy. I never have any issue with feedback no matter what I play. I've played it through a Vox VT15 as well as an Orange Micro Crush 2. I can drive it into nasty distortion through the Boss SD-1 pedal with no problem and it delivers a dirty rock sound or I can play it with minimal gain and it sounds chimey and just like an acoustic.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The guy I bought this off of had owned it for only a couple of months and had barely played it. It was setup as received from the store so as far as that goes it get high marks. I have not had to make any adjustments or alterations and it plays flawlessly. No buzzing frets or loose jacks etc. The finish around the f holes is excellent and the wood grain on the neck and body are gorgeous. The neck was set perfectly with action that was low but not buzzy. I know that a lot of players tend to look down on the Epiphone brand. Viewing it as a poor version of a Gibson, but this is really an outdated view of what they have to offer. First off there is no direct Gibson models comparable to the Casino Coupe so it can't be thought of as a poor cousin. And secondly, the builders at their Chinese factory have really learned their lessons well and know what elements are truly important to producing a high quality instrument.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I replaced the strap buttons with locking ones. I don't gig but I really can't see any reason why it wouldn't standup to regular live playing. I play it daily for an hour or two and so far there have been no issues with any aspect of the guitar. The finish is excellent and even with no thin spots.
As I mentioned above, Epiphone makes some exceptionally well built and well priced guitars currently. In fact, I would say that for the last eight or nine years this has been the case. The Les Paul Traditional Pro model I purchased in 2008 was another guitar that is fabulous. Period. Not as a good value or great bang for the buck (although it is both) but as a great instrument even when compared to Gibson Les Paul models costing four or five items as much. This Casin Coupe is of similar pedigree. It is a fantastic guitar.
Overall Impression — 10
I have now owned this guitar for 10 months and it is easily my favourite. I own two Strats, two Eastwood Stormbirds as well as a LP Goldtop. I like all of the guitars I have and they all have their strengths and weaknesses, but the one I consistently reach for is the Casino Coupe. I can play it in the evening unplugged or plug it in and wail away. Not only is it versatile, but it it a joy to play, nice and light weight so no sore shoulders and fantastic tone. For less than $600 retail this is unbelievable bang for the buck and I wholeheartedly recommend this for just about anyone looking for a good versatile everyday guitar.