The Epiphone Casino has earned near-legendary status as one of the most famous and sought-after electric guitars ever made. Popularized by artists such as John Lennon and Keith Richards, the thinline hollowbody electric has an unmistakable look, vibe, and sound that helped to shape the sound of 60s rock and popular music, extending well beyond the blues, R&B, and jazz worlds where it originated.
Following in the footsteps of its bigger brother - the Gibson ES-330 - the Casino follows the same construction and design elements with some appointment changes and a different headstock. Under the hood, you're unlikely to find much of a difference. Like many of the Epiphones built after 1958, they are Gibson-made instruments built in Kalamazoo alongside Gibson guitars, using the same materials and electronics.
Gibson enacted some big changes in 1965, most notably moving from the wider 1 11/16" nut width to a transitional 1 5/8" nut and eventually settling on 1 9/16". Guitars once outfitted with nickel-plated parts were now receiving chrome plating as well. These are two of the more prominent changes that you'll find here in this 1966 Epiphone Casino.
This may be the closest to a true "closet classic" that we've ever come across in a 60s Gibson/Epiphone. This Casino is remarkably clean from head to toe, with some light lacquer checking throughout and very little play wear. The original plastics are very clean, and the hardware also exhibits a nice patina without any pitting, corrosion, or advanced wear. The frets and nut are original, the Indian Rosewood fingerboard is rich and dark with great contrast against the unmistakably cool inlays. The only part of the guitar we've been able to determine is likely non-original is the bridge, which is an earlier 60s wired ABR-1 with original milled saddles. This Casino has the original 'GIBSON ABR-1' forge stamp bridge that gave way to the Pat No stamped bridge this guitar would've typically been outfitted with.
Playability and tone are off the charts - right in line with the condition, to be honest. The pseudo-'59 medium C neck carve feels so great that it distracts you from the narrow nut. Acoustically, it's loud and vibrant, with a distinctively punchy and dry low-mid resonance. The original P90 pickups are tremendous - open, but defined; powerful, but sweet. Clean tones are articulate and airy, and gained up it can provide a quite focused response with great attack and some of the great P90 sizzle but with more roundness around the notes. Great examples like this prove just how capable of a guitar they can be. Rock, Country, Jazz, Blues, R&B - this guitar can deliver in any genre.
To top it off, it comes with an equally clean, original, and rare grey Epiphone hardshell case with blue plush interior.
Collectors and players alike could end their search for a Casino with this guitar right here. An absolute premium example of one of the best electric hollowbodies ever made!
- Fully hollow Maple laminate body with original nitrocellulose Cherry finish
- Mahogany neck with bound Rosewood fingerboard and parallelogram inlays
- Original frets
- 1 9/16" nut width
- Medium C Profile: .86" @ 1st fret / .95" @ 10th fret
- Original 'double line' Kluson tuners
- Original P90 pickups w/ original chrome covers
- Neck Pickup output: 8.35k
- Bridge Pickup output: 8.57k
- Original wiring harness and reflector knobs
- Original trapeze tailpiece; vintage ABR-1 with original milled saddles
- Weight: 5lb 14oz
- Original hardshell case included