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Casino Guitars

1961 Epiphone Casino

Color: Royal Tan, Rating: 9.25, $7,500.00 (ID# 01394)
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A Very Early 'Royal Tan' 'Dot-Neck' Epiphone Casino With Factory Tremotone.

 

1961 Epiphone Casino E230-TD.

This near mint very early sixties 16-inch-wide fully hollow thinbody guitar weighs just 6.10 lbs. and has a nut width of 1 11/16 inches and a standard Gibson scale length of 24 3/4 inches. Laminated maple body with single binding on the top and back, one-piece mahogany neck with a very fast thinnish profile, and a bound Brazilian rosewood fretboard with 22 original jumbo frets and inlaid pearl dot position markers. 'Short' headstock with "Epiphone" inlaid in mother-of-pearl. Three-layer (black/white/black) dome-shaped plastic truss-rod cover with two screws. Individual single-line Kluson Deluxe tuners with oval metal buttons, each one stamped on the underside "D-169400 / Patent No."). Two black plastic "dog-ear" P-90 pickups with very strong outputs of 8.37k and 8.64k. The neck pickup cover stamped (on the underside) "1 / UC-455" and the bridge pickup cover stamped "UC-450-1 / 2" (also on the underside). Three layer white over black plastic pickguard with Epiphone "E" logo inlaid in silver metal. Four controls (two volume, two tone) plus three-way selector switch for pickup selection, all on lower treble bout. Black plastic bell-shape knobs with metal tops. Gibson ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic non-retainer bridge with metal saddles. Original factory Epiphone 'Tremotone vibrato' with rosewood panel with silver Epiphone "E" logo. All hardware nickel plated. Inside the bass 'f' hole is the rectangular blue Epiphone label with Style "E-230TD" (typed in black), Epiphone "Casino" (typed in black) and [Serial] No. "35770" (stamped in black). This guitar is in near mint  + (9.25+) condition, with just the minutest amount of light finish checking. The original frets show a very small amount of wear. On the back of the headstock is a small rectangular gold label lettered in black "Koss Music Co. / 2641 James St. / Syracuse, N.Y." Complete wit the original Epiphone folding price-list dated Sept. 1, 1961 with the "Koss Music Company of Syracuse" black rubber stamp, an original "The New Hamilton" fast action capo in its original box and the original black leather guitar strap that fits over the headstock (this guitar is totally virgin and does not gave an additional strap-pin in the neck heel). Housed in its original Epiphone five-latch tan tweed hard-shell case with dark-blue plush lining (9.25). Quite simply the finest example that we have ever seen…

The original retail price in 1961 was $314.50 plus another $50.00 for the case!

"The Epiphone Casino, introduced in 1961, is a close copy of an existing Gibson model - in this case, the ES-330,  which had made its own first appearance some two years previously. Outwardly, both guitars somewhat resembled the Gibson ES-335, although the 330 and Casino were true hollow-bodies, lacking the 335's center block. They were also fitted with single-coil, P-90 pickups, rather than the 335's humbuckers. The distinctive "dog-ear" pickup covers on the first Casinos were black, and the instruments also boasted "dot" fret markers and mock-tortoiseshell pickguards. These features were all changed within a few years: the Casino… by 1963 had a three-layer white plastic pickguard, nickel-covered P-90s, and "parallelogram" neck inlays. The Casino is sometimes described as "The guitar that put Epiphone on the map," and while this statement takes no account of the company's distinguished earlier reputation, its modest "ES-330 clone" was certainly to prove highly successful with jazz, country and (increasingly) rock players… Following its introduction in 1961, the Epiphone Casino sold well in the USA, and subsequently attracted the attention of some high-profile overseas customers: The Beatles. It was actually Paul McCartney (nominally the group's bassist) who first used one during a Beatles recording session in London in 1965. The following year, however, George Harrison and John Lennon purchased their own Casinos, and while Harrison did not play his very frequently (he was more closely associated with Gretsch's), Lennon almost immediately adopted the Epiphone as his principal electric guitar, and continued to feature Casinos on live gigs and recordings for the rest of his life." (Nick Freeth. The Illustrated Directory of Guitars (pp. 131-133).

Introduced in 1961, this was Epiphone's $275.00 version of the highly popular Gibson ES-330. The Casino was discontinued in 1970. B.B. King, Eric Clapton, and Jimmy Hendrix (while playing with the Isley Brothers) were all playing Epiphone Casinos. Near the end of 1964, Epiphone scored an unexpected coup when the Beatles bought three Casinos -- one each for George Harrison, John Lennon, and Paul McCartney. All three Casinos were Sunburst, and George's had a Bigsby vibrola tailpiece. McCartney put his on record almost immediately, playing the guitar fills on the group's 1965 hit "Ticket to Ride" on his Casino. Fans around the world saw the Casinos on the Beatles's world tour of 1966. The group used them on various recordings and promotional films.

In the early fifties the highly respected Epiphone company closed its doors for the last time and many of its employees went to work for Guild. In 1957 Gibson took control of Epiphone lock, stock and barrel and throughout most of the sixties Epiphones were made alongside Gibsons in the Kalamazoo factory, often sharing bodies, electrics and hardware, but always retaining the distinctive Epiphone headstock. The most famous Epiphone users were The Beatles' John Lennon and George Harrison, who both owned Casinos - ES330-style semi-acoustic guitars. Lennon stripped his tobacco sunburst instrument bare of finish and in photographs this looks like a regular blonde Casino. Other Epi players were the lamented Steve Marriott who often used a solid-bodied Crestwood in his days with Boogie band Humble Pie.

1961 Epiphone Casino

I Had A 1961 Casino...This Is Not One   The 1961 Casino In Royal  Tan  Had The Medal Badge On The Head Stock... It Did Not Have The Epiphone Tremlo .....In '62 My Dealer Sold Me The Tremlo Unit From a '62 Model Casino And Swapped My Fixed Tailpiece To A '62 Mode.... Then In 1963 I Traded My Casino For A Fender Stat... Worst Mistake I Ever Made....... Tom In Texas...    

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