Epiphone introduces the '61 Reissue Casino 50th Anniversary
Limited edition of 1,961 instruments 13-Jun-11
Epiphone has released the '61 Reissue Casino 50th Anniversary. Here's what they have to say about it...
Celebrate 50 Years of Epiphone's Classic Casino! Epiphone has made a name for itself by producing some of the greatest and most innovative musical instruments for over 135 years. While models such as Masterbilts, Broadways, Wilshires, Coronets, Emperors and Texans are some of Epiphone's most memorable models, the Casino is arguably our most famous due to its close association with The Beatles. Now, Epiphone brings back the first Casino in celebration of it's 50th anniversary - the "1961" Casino.
The new 1961 Anniversary Casino has many features that were discontinued after the first year of production. The result is a classic that will be both familiar and totally new even to Casino lovers like Paul McCartney, Paul Weller, Noel Gallagher and Keith Richards.
The Casino Story: For the Epiphone Company of 1961, the Casino was a small breakthrough. After the merger with Gibson in 1957, Epiphone no longer made jazz archtops. A new era of music had arrived. The introduction of the Casino was a modern design that merged Epiphone's history with the best of Gibson electronics. Though from a distance it had the look of an ES-335, the Casino was a true hollowbody giving players a clear, ringing tone that could be pushed into overdrive when needed. It was an ideal guitar for stage and studio and can be heard on many landmark recordings including The Beatles' "Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band" and The Beach Boys' "Pet Sounds."
Maybe it's purely coincidental that at the same time that the Casino was in its planning stages at Epiphone headquarters in Kalamazoo, Michigan, The Beatles were starting out, too. By 1964, The Beatles were stars and when Paul McCartney went shopping for a new guitar that would feed back, he reached for a Casino. John Lennon and George Harrison soon bought their own and used their Casinos on stage and at Abbey Road throughout the band's career. Carl Wilson of The Beach Boys, Paul Weller of the Jam, and Noel Gallagher of Oasis are just a few of the players who made great records with Casinos.
Classic Vintage Styling and Unique Features: Introduced in 1961, the original Casino had unique features that ultimately were never offered beyond that first year. These include the pre-Gibson era triangle metal logo badge on the headstock, "Dot" fingerboard inlays, a blank two-ply "bullet" truss rod cover, a tortoise-colored pickguard with foil "E", and black dog-ear P-90 pickups. Epiphone has faithfully reproduced these features for a one-of-a-kind retro look not found on Casinos produced after 1961. Other attention to detail includes the correct "burst" patterns on front and back, a neck joint at the 16th fret (instead of the 17th), Wilkinson Vintage-Style tuners with white buttons, and the historically accurate rectangle "blue label" inside the sound hole.
Original Premium Electronics: No detail of the original '61 Casino has been missed. Since the original Casinos incorporated parts and electronics from the Gibson factory, the 1961 Anniversary Casino has followed the same philosophy. Epiphone has recreated the original black P90s using a Gibson USA P-90R dog-ear pickup for rhythm and a Gibson USA P-90T at the bridge. Widely known as Gibson's first successful single-coil pickup, these lean and mean P-90's offer a stellar combination of high output and biting treble response. They also feature vintage two-conductor, braided, shielded wiring and black plastic covers. Other electronics faithful to the original Casino include a SwitchcraftTM 3-way toggle and 1/4" output jack.
The P90's were a favorite among jazz players for their clear horn-like tone. A young jazz student in 1961 could put on some flat wounds (and perhaps an unwound third if the teacher wasn't looking) and hear the tone of Barney Kessel, Tal Farlow, or maybe even Charlie Christian.
Quality Construction, Hardware and Add-ons! Unlike an ES-335, the Casino is completely hollow which contributes to its unique, signature sound made most famous by The Beatles. The body is made of 5-layer Maple/Birch with a solid Mahogany SlimTaperTM neck attached using the traditional mortise and tenon neck joint hand-fitted and glued to the body using TiteBondTM glue. Hardware includes a tune-o-matic bridge and your choice of either a Trapeze tailpiece or Epiphone's new reissue of the original TremotoneTM vibrato. Cool! To top it all off, each 1961 Casino features an original-style hard case with gray exterior and blue plush interior and a numbered certificate of authenticity. As with every Epiphone, it also comes with the peace of mind you get from a Limited Lifetime Warranty backed by Gibson Musical Instruments famous 24/7/265 day Customer Service.
Limited Production - Get One While You Can! Production records indicate that only 176 Casino TD's (trapeze) and 153 Casino TDV's (TremotoneTM) were made in 1961 so if you happen to have an original, you not only have a very rare instrument but a valuable one as well. Today, originals sell for $5,000 or more depending upon condition. So if you don't own one, now's your chance! But don't wait too long. Epiphone is only making a total of 1,961 Anniversary Casinos and once they're gone... they're gone! Features
5-layer Maple/Birch body with correct "burst" patterns on front and back
Mahogany neck with SlimTaper™ profile
Gibson USA P-90R dog-ear rhythm and Gibson USA P-90T bridge pickups
Locktone™ Tune-o-matic bridge with Trapeze tailpiece or Epiphone's new reissue of the original Tremotone™ vibrato
Wilkinson Vintage-Style tuners
Pricing and Availability:
Royal Tan with Trapeze Tailpiece: $1,332 msrp
Vintage Sunburst with Trapeze Tailpiece: $1,332 msrp
Vintage Sunburst with Tremotone: $1,415 msrp More information: