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1980 Epiphone Casino Vintage Guitar Sunburst w/ Case, Japan Matsumoku Pre-Elitist


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Up for sale, a 1980 Epiphone Casino in exceptional, 100% original condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original hardshell case. Produced in Japan at the Matsumoku factory, this Casino is 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 P-90 pickups. The pickups have the midrange bark and percussive cut associated with P-90s; 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 shoulders, measuring .780” deep at the 1st fret and .980” 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. This guitar plays cleanly up the 24 3/4” scale with a straight neck and a responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod. The bone nut measures 1 9/16” in width. The headstock sports an epsilon truss rod cover and Epiphone inlay, and the Kluson-style tuners turn smoothly and hold accurate pitch. The 0-prefix serial on the back of the headstock dates this guitar to 1980.

The electronics are untouched, with chrome pickup covers on the P-90s and a hardware complement rounded out by an ABR-1 Tune-o-Matic bridge and trapeze tailpiece, both notably clean. Plastic parts include a quartet of original gold reflector cap knobs and the multi-ply pickguard with silkscreened epsilon graphic. The original square blue label is visible through the F hole.

The Sunburst gloss finish highlights light bubble figuring in the maple on the lower bout on the back. Cosmetic wear is limited to a few dings on the top headstock edge, some light scuffs central to the back, and just a few additional very minor marks on the body as a whole. The maple neck retains its smooth gloss.

The original black tolex hardshell case is included.