Now that Gibson has finally reissued an early 60s version of the legendary Epiphone Casino, we can celebrate an original like this E230TD from 1964 and appreciate just how incredible the condition is.
Recently in from a local gentleman who had acquired this guitar at age 12-13 (by his recollection) and studied jazz on it from a young age, this '64 Casino is remarkably well-preserved and represents one of the finest of the transition-era versions you're likely to come across.
By all accounts, this Casino appears to have left the factory in the early/mid part of 1964, with the newly adapted long tapered headstock but featuring transitional nut width of 1.64". It's a little narrower than what we'd normally see for a true wide nut variance, but certainly a touch wider than the 1 5/8" width commonly associated with guitars built during this period. However you'd want to classify it, we find that it's very comfortable and plays superbly well with the more slender C carve and moderate taper found commonly on guitars built in the prior year.
The original P90s have a wonderful voice with healthy output and a nice punchiness that makes them a formidable option in the indie, Brit rock, and alt-country realm (think Radiohead, Wilco, Oasis, etc). Still, these are exceptional guitars for blues, R&B, and jazz, with a distinctly dry and woody midrange-forward acoustic voice that has nice focus and power.
The style of trapeze tailpiece is most often associated with Epiphones dating back to the early 50s, but post-Gibson acquisition can often be mixed with Gibson's diamond-embossed trapeze tailpiece seen on many of their archtop and thinline electrics. Judging by the cleanliness of the guitar and relative hardware, we presume this to be original to the guitar.
Ironically, the guitar came in with a quite worn vintage hardshell case that is not original to the guitar. It's the proper style - likely an Ess & Ess case made in the 60s or early 70s - and fits the Casino comfortably. It was understood from the old owner that the original case "had simply broken down" and this was its replacement down the line. It's got some duct tape on the edges/seams to protect some fraying , but is otherwise structurally sound.
Collectors and players alike could see this Casino as a sure-fire addition to the stable - tone, playability, and condition are all there!