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1980 Epiphone Casino Vintage Electric Guitar Antique Voilin Japan Matsumoku Pre-Elitist


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Up for sale, a 1980 Epiphone Casino in perfect working order. Produced in Japan at the Matsumoku factory, this Casino features an Antique Violin gloss finish and subtle birdseye figuring on the maple top.

A rare and early Epiphone reissue produced decades before the “Elitist” line was introduced, this Casino has a smooth and lively acoustic tone with plenty of warmth faithfully captured by the stock Maxon-made dogear P90 pickups. The pickups have the midrange bark and percussive cut associated with P90s; a dynamic, glassy snap in the top end; and a broad bass register when overdriven. Offering a refinement far beyond most modern Casino reissues, this vintage Japanese iteration is simply a compelling, easy playing guitar. Featherweight at 6lbs 6oz, this Casino has been professionally setup here at Mike and Mike’s Guitar Bar with 11-49 roundwound strings, low action, and accurate intonation.

The three-piece maple neck has a very slender, fast-feeling C-shaped profile carve at the nut, growing rounder and fuller in the higher registers of the fretboard with generous shoulder, measuring .785” deep at the 1st fret and .985” at the 12th. The bound rosewood fretboard is dark cut, featuring pearloid parallelogram inlay and the stock medium jumbo fretwire. The frets are practically perfect; retaining their full factory height with well-rounded crowns and only a faint hint of wear beneath the strings on frets 1-3. This guitar plays cleanly up the 24 3/4” scale with a straight neck and a responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod. The upgraded hand-carved bone nut measures 1 9/16” in width. The headstock sports an epsilon truss rod cover and Epiphone inlay, and the upgraded Grover Rotomatic tuners turn smoothly and hold accurate pitch. The 0-prefix serial on the back of the headstock dates this guitar to 1980.

This Casino does exhibit an expertly repaired headstock fracture, structurally sound and invisible to the eye, with clear black overspray across the headstock joint.

The electronics are untouched, with nickel pickup covers on the P-90s and a hardware complement rounded out by a Nashville-style Tune-o-Matic bridge and trapeze tailpiece, both notably clean. Plastic parts include a quartet of original gold reflector cap knobs and the elevated multi-ply pickguard with silkscreened epsilon graphic. The original square blue label is visible through the F hole.

The Antique Violin gloss finish highlights microscopic birdseye figuring across the maple top, and cosmetic wear includes two circular acrylic fills beneath the tailpiece, presumably from a vibrato of some sort. There are a few microscopic chips along the binding at the cutaway horns and a smattering of faint finish scratches and pinhead-sized dings on the body as a whole. The gloss finish on the neck profile is smooth and clean, with the exception of a tiny shallow ding on the bass-side shoulder behind fret 3 that is imperceptible to the palm while fretting.

A vintage well-padded faux leather Japanese gigbag is included.