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1996 Epiphone Casino Natural Pre-Elitist Revolution w/ Lennon Mods, Japan Terada


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Up for sale, a 1996 Epiphone Casino in exceptional condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original gigbag. Produced in Japan at the Terada factory and featuring a gloss Natural finish, this is an uncommon Epiphone reissue which preceded the current "Elitist" line, given the John Lennon treatment with a couple key modifications including gold Grover Rotomatic tuning machines and a small black plastic pickup toggle surround.

Acoustically, the fully hollow thinline maple body has a smooth, bright tone which pairs well with the original pair of P-90 pickups. These pickups are wound to vintage spec with plenty of midrange bark, and a glassy, percussive quality, producing both articulate cleans and overdriven growl with a refinement far beyond most other iterations of the Casino platform. Weighing 6lbs 4oz, we’ve had this Casino professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with 11-49 strings, low action and spot-on intonation.

The three-piece maple neck has a slender C-shaped profile carve with modest shoulder at the nut and a hair more roundness and heft further up the fretboard, measuring .820” deep at the 1st fret and .880” at the 12th. The rosewood fretboard features pearloid parallelogram inlay, with fret-edge binding on the stock medium jumbo fretwire. The frets are in great shape, with plenty of meat and well-rounded crowns, only showing a touch of wear beneath the plain 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 nut measures 1 9/16” in width, carved from bone for optimal clarity and sustain. On the headstock, the upgraded set of Grover Rotomatic tuning machines turn smoothly and hold pitch as they should, with gold plating and uniform surface patina.

The electronics are untouched, with dedicated Volume and Tone knobs for each P-90. Plastics include the multi-ply pickguard with “E” Epsilon badge, gold reflector cap knobs, and small Lennon-spec switch surround. The nickel-plated ABR-1 bridge has uniform patina, and the trapeze tailpiece and dogear pickup covers are notably clean. Visible through the F hole, the original orange oval label is present, with the five-digit serial from Japan's Terada factory dating production to 1996.

The gloss Natural finish highlights the dynamic grain in the maple body and subtle birdseye figuring on the top and back, framed by lightly ambered binding. Cosmetic wear is limited to extremely faint buckle rash central to the back and a handful of very light finish scratches in the clear coat on the body as a whole. The smooth gloss on the neck profile is flawless and highlights a touch of flame figuring in the central and bass-side thirds.

The original brown faux leather gigbag with gold Epiphone silkscreened text on the pocket is included.