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1974(?) Epiphone Casino (pic heavy!)

Discussion in 'Other Guitar Discussion' started by Strat Jacket, May 17, 2018.

  1. Strat Jacket

    Strat Jacket Strat-Talker

    127
    May 11, 2018
    Illinois
    I bought this back around 1974/75...my first electric guitar, an Epiphone Casino.
    I've had it ever since, though there was a long inactive period when it had fallen over and the nut broke at the high E slot, so it sat in the closet unstrung. During that period the Frequensator bridge, Tune-O-Matic and pickguard got misplaced. I finally got tired of staring at it and brought it to a local guitar tech for rework.
    He replaced the nut, and was able to find replacement hardware for the bridge and Frequensator, then did a basic action setup for me. After not playing it for nearly 20 years it was amazing to plug in and hear it talk again. It played far better than I ever remembered and sounded amazing!

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    Gorgeous wood on the back of this thing!

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    Even though it's a bolt-on neck, it's solid. Hey, if it works for Leo, it works for me...

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    The replacement Frequensator...

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    ...and Tune-O-Matic...

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    The original humbucker pickups, still crankin'...

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    Last edited: May 17, 2018

  2. Strat Jacket

    Strat Jacket Strat-Talker

    127
    May 11, 2018
    Illinois
    The only issue I had with this axe was that the tuners were garbage. Any time I really wailed on it or did a bunch of bends it was out of tune, sometimes before I was through a song. I finally had enough of that garbage and bought a set of gold Grovers...

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    Stays in tune far better now.
    See, that whole bolt-on neck thing can come in handy!

    For installing the new tuners, I bought the Stew-Mac 10mm piloted reamer. Worked like an absolute charm.
    One funny thing about this axe; on the neck plate you see the stamping "MADE IN JAPAN". But if you view the tag glued inside the body through the F-holes with a flashlight, it says "EPIPHONE, KALAMAZOO MICHIGAN...MADE IN JAPAN...LOL!
    That was back in the day when MIJ was a dirty word, I guess. But I have no complaints about craftsmanship; the whole thing is very nicely done and finished. All in all, a nice player and definitely a keeper. And incidentally, one of the fastest necks I've ever played.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2018

  3. Groovey

    Groovey Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    58
    Nov 17, 2016
    NC. USA
    That thing is gorgeous!
     
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  4. Strat Jacket

    Strat Jacket Strat-Talker

    127
    May 11, 2018
    Illinois
    Thanks! I sort of think so myself.
     
    Groovey likes this.

  5. crawdaddy

    crawdaddy Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 11, 2010
    Valley o Sun
    That is one cool looking guitar....though I'm sorry to say, I don't think it is a Casino....If my memory serves me right, it was made by Matsumoku and is a "EA-250" model.....still a very cool guitar with that 70's vibe....

    EDIT: I found a '74 Epiphone catalog.....

    pg4-5.jpg

    Could this be your guitar.....only yours is a lot cooler in woodgrain....
     
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  6. Stratoskater

    Stratoskater Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    42
    Feb 8, 2011
    Raleigh NC
    Yep, not a Casino, it is in fact the EA 250 or EA 255 depending on appointments. Probably a 255 since the headstock is bound.
     

  7. Strat Jacket

    Strat Jacket Strat-Talker

    127
    May 11, 2018
    Illinois
    The tag inside the body definitely says "Casino". I will try to get a few photos tonight if they turn out.
    You can actually see the tag (blue in color) through the F-hole in the first few pix but I can't enlarge it big enough to read the script.

    Of course, that doesn't mean it wasn't mis-labeled.
     
    craigh likes this.

  8. Strat Jacket

    Strat Jacket Strat-Talker

    127
    May 11, 2018
    Illinois
    It sure looks like the EA-250 with gold hardware and a Frequensator installed. Now you have piqued my curiosity.

    This was back in the era when Gibson was pumping out junk with the Epi name on it...witness those tuners. Junk. Gibson hardware, but junk.
    IIRC I believe I paid $150-$175 brand-new for this. I looked at 3; 2 of the red models, but the wood grain is what really attracted me to this one. It was the only natural finish one there.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2018

  9. crawdaddy

    crawdaddy Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 11, 2010
    Valley o Sun
    Who knows...maybe they named every hollow body a "Casino" back then:):)....really doesn't matter as it is a cool guitar.:thumb::thumb:
     
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  10. Stratoskater

    Stratoskater Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    42
    Feb 8, 2011
    Raleigh NC
    Strat Jacket likes this.

  11. ChukkerNation

    ChukkerNation Strat-O-Master

    Age:
    48
    936
    Apr 9, 2015
    Magrathea
    Take it with a grain of salt but I found this explanation on Reverb for a listing.

    The Epiphone EA-255 - which borrowed the Casino moniker for a time - was the successor of the original EA-250 model that ran from 1970 - 1975. These two EA models were the first semi-hollow guitars made by Epiphone after production moved from Kalamazoo, MI to Japan in 1970.

    The earlier EA-250 was made with a cherry finish and nickel hardware, sometimes with a vibrato bridge, while the later EA-255 seen here came standard in a walnut finish with gold hardware. Oddly, neither guitar used Gibson's common 24.75" scale length. Instead, they featured a Fender-like 25.5" scale.

    Years of Production: 1975 - 1978
     

  12. Stratoskater

    Stratoskater Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    42
    Feb 8, 2011
    Raleigh NC
    Yep and they are semi hollow I believe not hollow like the casino. Otherwise what would the neck bolt on to?
     
    Neil.C and Strat Jacket like this.

  13. Strat Jacket

    Strat Jacket Strat-Talker

    127
    May 11, 2018
    Illinois
    Yes, mine is a semi, not a hollowbody.
    Both of those look very close to mine. I could have the year wrong; It could possibly be a '75 or maybe early '76 production? All I remember is I was a Junior in HS and had to work half the summer to save up for the darn thing at minimum wage.
    I really appreciate you guys sharing that info with me!
     
    Stratoskater and ChukkerNation like this.

  14. Strat Jacket

    Strat Jacket Strat-Talker

    127
    May 11, 2018
    Illinois
    So we were both correct. It is both an EA-255 and a Casino at the same time.

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  15. carver

    carver The East Coast Strangler Strat-Talk Supporter

    super cool guitar.

    these mij epiphones are pretty damn nice.

    Im surprised yours doesnt have a three piece neck. most of the ones I have had in my hands had a three piece. super stable.
     
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  16. jaybones

    jaybones Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    If neck is bolt on, definitely not a Casino...
     

  17. RaySachs

    RaySachs Strat-O-Master Silver Member

    Age:
    59
    574
    Jun 25, 2017
    Philly area
    When did they start using P90s exclusively in Casinos? That’s a cool looking guitar, but I always thought P90s was part and parcel of what made a Casino a Casino... I just spent a few days playing an Ibanez knockoff of a Casino with dogear P90s. It had one small block under the bridge to mount it too, but is otherwise completely hollow...

    -Ray
     
    Namelyguitar likes this.

  18. West Coast Idea

    West Coast Idea Strat-O-Master

    Age:
    58
    665
    Mar 10, 2017
    Out on the Range