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1981 Epiphone Casino Vintage Electric Guitar Tobacco Natural Japan Matsumoku Pre-Elitist w/ Case


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Up for sale, a 1981 Epiphone Casino in near mint, 100% original condition and in perfect working order, complete with a hardshell case. Produced in Japan at the Matsumoku factory, this Casino features a Natural gloss finish. One of the first Casinos ever offered with a Natural gloss finish from the factory, this finish replicates the iconic appearance of John Lennon's "Revolution" Casino.

 A rare and early Epiphone reissue produced decades before the "Elitist" line was introduced, this Casino has a smooth and lively acoustic tone. Translating well through the original pair of Maxon-made P-90 pickups, the guitar delivers the rich midrange bark and percussive cut associated with a P-90, with a dynamic, glassy snap in the top end and a broad bass register growl when overdriven. Offering a refinement far beyond most modern Casino reissues, this vintage Japanese iteration is simply a compelling, easy-playing guitar, weighing a mere 6lbs 12oz and balancing well on a strap. We've had this Casino professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar, dialed in for optimal action and intonation with fresh 10-46 roundwound strings.

The three-piece maple neck has an extremely slender C-shaped profile carve at the nut, with nicely rounded shoulders in every register and more overall heft as you travel up the fingerboard, measuring .750" deep at the 1st fret and .945" at the 12th. The bound rosewood fretboard features pearl trapezoid inlay and original medium jumbo frets that have their full factory height, well-rounded crowns, and fret edge binding. The frets show just a touch of wear beneath the plain strings on frets 1-3. The neck is straight, and the truss rod is responsive and ideally adjusted. The hand-carved bone nut measures 1 9/16" in width. The headstock features original Grover-style nickel-plated tuners that turn smoothly and hold pitch well, along with a 1-prefix serial for 1981.

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 which show just a dusting of surface patina. The original square blue label is visible through the F hole. Plastic parts include a quartet of original gold reflector cap knobs and the elevated multi-ply pickguard with silkscreened "E" graphic. The Natural gloss finish is lightly ambered, highlighting tight, faint birdseye figuring in the maple across the back. Cosmetic wear is limited to only a couple very faint scuffs in the clear coat on the back, as well as a couple faint finish scratches at the bass-side waist on top and light pick scuffing across the pickguard. The gloss finish on the neck profile is nigh flawless.

Extremely well-kept, this Epiphone Casino is professionally setup and a rare, discontinued iteration made in Japan to standards that equal (and in some cases exceed) the modern Elitist reissues.

A modern brown Lifton-style hardshell case is included.