Epiphone Casino

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Epiphone Casino
Body typehollow
Neck jointSet
Scale24.75" with 12" fretboard radius
Bodymaple (laminated)
Neckmahogany on most models in most periods; sometimes maple
Fretboardrosewood on most models, ebony on some
Bridgeadjustable Tune-o-Matic style
Pickup(s)2 P-90s
Colors available
Natural, Vintage Sunburst, Turquoise[1]

The Epiphone Casino is a thinline hollow body electric guitar manufactured by Epiphone, a branch of Gibson. The guitar debuted in 1961 and was made famous by its use from John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison of the Beatles in the 1960s. The guitar model has also been associated with such guitarists as Howlin' Wolf, Noel Gallagher, Keith Richards, Dave Davies, Brad Whitford, Shirley Manson, Paul Weller, The Edge, Josh Homme, Daniel Kessler, Brendon Urie, Gary Clark, Jr., Glenn Frey, John Illsley, and Peter Green.[1][2]


Casinos have been manufactured in the United States, Japan, Korea and China.[citation needed] The Casino, also designated by Epiphone as model E230TD, is a thinline hollow-bodied guitar with two Gibson P-90 pick-ups.[citation needed] Although generally fitted with a trapeze-type tailpiece, often a Bigsby vibrato tailpiece is used in its place (either as a factory direct feature or as an aftermarket upgrade).[citation needed] Unlike semi-hollow body guitars such as the Gibson ES-335, which have a center block to promote sustain and reduce feedback, the Casino and its cousin, the Gibson ES-330 are true hollow-bodied guitars. This makes it lighter, and louder when played without an amplifier, but much more prone to feedback than semi-hollow or solid-body electrics.[citation needed] The Casino neck joins the body at the 16th fret instead of the 19th like on the Gibson ES models.[citation needed]

Early versions of the Casino had a spruce top. Through 1970, the Casino headstock was set at a 17-degree angle and the top was made of five laminated layers of maple, birch, maple, birch, and maple.[1][3] With the exception of the John Lennon models, subsequent Casinos have been made with 14-degree headstock angle with five layer all maple laminated tops. Current versions have a laminated maple top, sides, and back, and a mahogany neck.[1]

Per the Epiphone String Gauge Guide, the Casino comes with string gauges (from high to low): 0.010" 0.013" 0.017" 0.026" 0.036" 0.046".[4]

Use by the Beatles[edit]

Paul McCartney playing a Casino at Live 8 in 2005.

In 1964, Paul McCartney, The Beatles' bass player, was the first Beatle to acquire a Casino[5] (a 1962 model), using it for his studio forays into guitar work, including his guitar solos on "Ticket to Ride" (1965), "Drive My Car" (1965) and "Taxman" (1966); he also played it on “Helter Skelter” (1968). In 1965 John Lennon and George Harrison bought 1965 Casinos.[5]

John Lennon used the Epiphone Casino as his main electric instrument during the remainder of his time with the Beatles, replacing the Rickenbacker 325.[5] In 1968 when the band were making the double album The Beatles, Lennon had the pickguard removed from his Casino and professionally sanded to bare wood and lightly lacquered with two thin coats of nitro-cellulose.[citation needed] In the early seventies, the original tuners were replaced with a set of gold Grover tuners or machine heads.

Harrison had his fitted with a Bigsby trem and removed the pickguard. He also had it sanded down in 1968.

McCartney's 1962 Casino, kept in the original sunburst finish, is still owned by him and occasionally used live. Like Harrison's Casino, McCartney removed the pickguard and added a Bigbsy trem to it.[6]

Current Casinos[edit]

Epiphone currently builds several versions of the Casino. These include:

  • Regular "Archtop-Series" Casino made in China and uses non-American made parts (Korea until 2007)[1]
  • Elitist Casino. Made in Japan and set-up in America, and contains American made parts such as the pickups. Body is 5-ply maple, Gibson P-90 pickups, and nickel hardware.[7]
  • Casino Coupé. A smaller version. The body is the same size as a Gibson ES-339.[8]
  • Inspired by John Lennon were made in China with American-made "Tribute" P-90 pickups and a five-ply maple body and are less expensive versions of the now defunct United States Collection John Lennon 1965 / Revolution Casino bodies were built in Japan and assembled in America. The 1965 version has a sunburst finish, white pick guard and small button Grover tuners. The Revolution version was based on the modifications Lennon made to his 1965 Casino during the recording of the Beatles double album, which include a "stripped" (natural) satin finish, gold Grover tuners, no pickguard, a deeper set-in neck, and Lennon's serial number on the back of the headstock.[1]
  • Limited Edition 1961 Casino. This limited version is offered in Royal Tan and Vintage Sunburst, with either a trapeze tailpiece or a tremotone tremolo. It sports a 5-layer maple-birch body, Gibson P-90 pickups, "short" headstock, bullet trussrod cover, tortoiseshell pickguard, and pre-Gibson era Epiphone badge.[9]
  • In 2021, a Gibson USA made Epiphone Casino became available.[10]
  • In 2023, Epiphone released a new Chinese-made Casino as part of the Original Collection.[11]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Epiphone Casino". Epiphone.com. Archived from the original on June 28, 2019.
  2. ^ "Photos". GaryClarkJr.com. Archived from the original on February 21, 2012. Retrieved February 23, 2012.
  3. ^ "Vintage Epiphone Guitars Model Information and Specs: Casino electric archtop (thinline)". Vintage Guitars Info. Retrieved July 5, 2016.
  4. ^ "Epiphone String Gauges" (PDF). Epiphone.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 23, 2010. Retrieved June 13, 2014.
  5. ^ a b c "Epiphone: 140 Years". Epiphone.com. Archived from the original on August 16, 2017.
  6. ^ "The Beatles' Casinos". vintageguitars.com. Retrieved May 11, 2023.
  7. ^ "Epiphone Elitist Casino". Epiphone.com. Archived from the original on July 21, 2013. Retrieved February 23, 2012.
  8. ^ O'Keefe, Phil (December 4, 2014). "Expert Review: Epiphone Casino Coupe". Harmony Central. Retrieved July 5, 2016.
  9. ^ "Epiphone 1961 50th Anniversary Casino". Epiphone.com. Archived from the original on July 23, 2013.
  10. ^ Astley-Brown, Michael (March 30, 2021). "Epiphone unveils made-in-USA Casino". Guitar World.
  11. ^ Owen, Matt (May 24, 2023). "Epiphone reboots its Broadway, Sheraton and Casino collections with some of its most luxurious finishes yet". Guitar World.

External links[edit]