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1985 Epiphone Casino Vintage Guitar Natural, 1 11/16" Nut w/ Case & Tags, Japan Matsumoku Pre-Elitist


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Up for sale, a 1985 Epiphone Casino in exceptional condition and in perfect working order, complete with original hangtags and an Epiphone Elitist hardshell case. Produced in Japan at the Matsumoku factory and featuring a full 1 11/16" wide nut (a feature not offered across all Matsumoku Casino production), this is one of the first Epiphone Casinos ever offered with a Natural gloss finish from the factory, replicating the iconic appearance of John Lennon's "Revolution" Casino.

A rare and early Epiphone reissue produced years before the "Elitist" line was introduced, this Casino has a smooth and lively acoustic tone which translates 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 15oz 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 a slender C-shaped profile carve at the nut, with notable heft and roundness as you travel up the fretboard, measuring .770" deep at the 1st fret and .965" at the 12th. The bound rosewood fretboard features pearloid parallelogram inlay and original medium jumbo frets that have their full factory height and well-rounded crowns. The frets are practically perfect, showing only extremely light wear beneath the B and E strings on the crowns of frets 1-3. The neck is straight, and the truss rod is responsive and ideally adjusted. The hand-carved bone nut measures a full 1 11/16" in width, a feature in-line with pre-1965 Casino spec. The headstock features E-branded tuners with bright chrome buttons which turn smoothly and hold pitch well. The back of the headstock has a 5-prefix serial for 1985.

The electronics are untouched, with a hardware complement including an ABR-1 Tune-o-Matic bridge and trapeze tailpiece which shows a light dusting of surface patina. The original square white label is visible through the F hole. Plastic parts include a quartet of gold reflector cap knobs; two of which are original, and two of which have been replaced. Additionally, the original pickguard with silkscreened “E” Epsilon logo is still intact, exhibiting some minor scratches.

The Natural gloss finish is lightly ambered, underscoring some light bubble figuring in the maple across the front and back. Cosmetic wear is limited to just a few minor nicks and faint finish scratches on the body as a whole. The neck retains its smooth gloss finish, highlighting both birdseye and flame figuring on the outer thirds of the profile.

A modern premium Epiphone Elitist-branded hardshell case is included, along with the original hangtags.