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


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Up for sale, a 1985 Epiphone Casino in exceptional, 100% original condition and in perfect working order. 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, 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 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 11-49 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 .795" deep at the 1st fret and .995" at the 12th. The bound rosewood fretboard is an extremely dark cut of this tonewood, featuring pearl parallelogram inlay and original medium jumbo frets that have their full factory height and well-rounded crowns. The frets show only light wear beneath the plain strings on the crowns of frets 1-6. 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 light patina on the gear housings and bright chrome buttons, turning smoothly and holding 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. The hardware has plenty of shine, with a light dusting of patina on the dogear pickup covers in particular. The original square white label is visible through the F hole. Plastic parts include a quartet of original gold reflector cap knobs. The Natural gloss finish is lightly ambered, highlighting microscopic birdseye figuring in the maple across the back. Cosmetic wear is limited to just a few minor nicks and faint finish scratches on the body as a whole. The neck profile retains its smooth gloss finish.

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.

The original form-fit brown faux leather gigbag is included.