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  #16  
Old 08-24-2017, 01:33 PM
ChrisN ChrisN is offline
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Originally Posted by DHart View Post
I went with two ES-339s (one an Epiphone Pro P90 and the other a Gibson with humbuckers) because I found the ES-335 body not so comfortably large, and the ES-339 body so very comfortable.
While the ES 335 and 339 are semi-hollow (both have a center block), Epiphone also offers a full-hollow P 90 in 339 size called the Casino Coupe -http://www.epiphone.com/Products/Electrics/Archtop/Casino-Coupe.aspx Gibson offered these as the ES 390 between 2013-2015 (2013 = mini humbucker, 2014-15 = P 90).

Ibanez offered a similar size/style in 1972 as the Model 1912, with a Gibson knock-off headstock inlay, but I can't determine which Gibson model they were copying, or if it's an Ibanez original.
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  #17  
Old 08-24-2017, 02:13 PM
DHart DHart is offline
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While the ES 335 and 339 are semi-hollow (both have a center block), Epiphone also offers a full-hollow P 90 in 339 size called the Casino Coupe -http://www.epiphone.com/Products/Electrics/Archtop/Casino-Coupe.aspx
Indeed!

I happen to have an Epiphone Elitist Casino (Japanese-build version), which Gibson is still having made in Japan. Fully hollow, with P90s (you can get some nice feedback when you want to). They are a bit spendy, but a fantastic guitar, with a build quality as good as (perhaps better?) than Gibson. Incredibly light weight.




Last edited by DHart; 08-24-2017 at 02:19 PM.
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  #18  
Old 08-24-2017, 03:45 PM
ChrisN ChrisN is offline
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Indeed!

I happen to have an Epiphone Elitist Casino (Japanese-build version), which Gibson is still having made in Japan. Fully hollow, with P90s (you can get some nice feedback when you want to). They are a bit spendy, but a fantastic guitar, with a build quality as good as (perhaps better?) than Gibson. Incredibly light weight.
That is a sexy beast (esp that back-of-the-headstock pic) and a special guitar! Having just bought a NOS Gibson ES 390, I'm afraid I have nothing good to say about Gibson's Memphis-site build quality - my $350 Agile is vastly superior. I like that HW vox down there, too.
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  #19  
Old 08-24-2017, 03:56 PM
DHart DHart is offline
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That is a sexy beast (esp that back-of-the-headstock pic) and a special guitar! Having just bought a NOS Gibson ES 390, I'm afraid I have nothing good to say about Gibson's Memphis-site build quality - my $350 Agile is vastly superior. I like that HW vox down there, too.
I'm sorry to hear that your ES 390 isn't so great. I've long thought about picking one of those up, but I guess that I'll probably just stick with my Epi Elitist Casino.





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  #20  
Old 08-24-2017, 04:43 PM
ChrisN ChrisN is offline
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I'm sorry to hear that your ES 390 isn't so great. I've long thought about picking one of those up, but I guess that I'll probably just stick with my Epi Elitist Casino.
Those pics are just making me feel bad! I should clarify that my 390 is built fine and plays well, but mine has multiple small finish flaws that, while easily correctable at relatively small additional expense, should never have left the factory in a first-run item. Amazingly poor QC, imo.

I'm still in the inspection period and I'll probably keep mine because new ones are getting rare (only 1 other available, so far as I know, and there's only 1 used one w/mini humbuckers available), but with what I know now, I'd instead be tempted to get the Epi Casino Coupe and upgrade the electronics, and switch to mini humbuckers. I try to avoid Chinese guitar stuff (Japanese and Korean OK), when possible, and buy USA, when possible, but this experience is causing me to rethink that philosophy. Since getting this 390, I've read just a ton of negative press about Gibson over the last 15+ years - nobody's happy with them, inside or out. Too bad - could be great. No point in paying a hefty premium to support USA companies if they're not going to treat their workers and customers better than shown by this result.

Thanks for the extra pics.
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  #21  
Old 08-24-2017, 08:09 PM
DHart DHart is offline
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Those pics are just making me feel bad! I should clarify that my 390 is built fine and plays well, but mine has multiple small finish flaws that, while easily correctable at relatively small additional expense, should never have left the factory in a first-run item. Amazingly poor QC, imo.

I'm still in the inspection period and I'll probably keep mine because new ones are getting rare (only 1 other available, so far as I know, and there's only 1 used one w/mini humbuckers available), but with what I know now, I'd instead be tempted to get the Epi Casino Coupe and upgrade the electronics, and switch to mini humbuckers. I try to avoid Chinese guitar stuff (Japanese and Korean OK), when possible, and buy USA, when possible, but this experience is causing me to rethink that philosophy. Since getting this 390, I've read just a ton of negative press about Gibson over the last 15+ years - nobody's happy with them, inside or out. Too bad - could be great. No point in paying a hefty premium to support USA companies if they're not going to treat their workers and customers better than shown by this result.

Thanks for the extra pics.
Getting the Casino Coupe and upgrading the electronics would be quite affordable. Just make sure that you can inspect the sample before finalizing, as some of the Chinese Epis vary in how well they are done. I did play a Casino Coupe a while back and it was nicely done!

New Japanese Elitist Casinos are available, but I think that they're up around $1600-1700 or so?
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  #22  
Old 08-24-2017, 08:43 PM
ChrisN ChrisN is offline
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Getting the Casino Coupe and upgrading the electronics would be quite affordable. Just make sure that you can inspect the sample before finalizing, as some of the Chinese Epis vary in how well they are done. I did play a Casino Coupe a while back and it was nicely done!

New Japanese Elitist Casinos are available, but I think that they're up around $1600-1700 or so?
Probably the right range - MF has them listed at $1999
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guita...st-1965-casino

As for my situation, I'll keep the 390 - it's fine, it's just annoying to find issues needing attention. Nice problem to have, I know, but it did diminish the experience somewhat. If something happens to this one, I'll get a Casino Coupe and upgrade things. I love the Elitist series, but I prefer the smaller size of the Coupe.
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  #23  
Old 08-24-2017, 08:47 PM
DHart DHart is offline
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Probably the right range - MF has them listed at $1999
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guita...st-1965-casino

As for my situation, I'll keep the 390 - it's fine, it's just annoying to find issues needing attention. Nice problem to have, I know, but it did diminish the experience somewhat. If something happens to this one, I'll get a Casino Coupe and upgrade things. I love the Elitist series, but I prefer the smaller size of the Coupe.
Yes, the compact size of the Casino Coupe and 339 is very nice!

Last edited by DHart; 08-25-2017 at 01:31 AM.
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  #24  
Old 08-25-2017, 01:26 AM
ChrisN ChrisN is offline
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Yes, the compact size of the Casino and 339 is very nice!
Are you saying the Casino is the same size as the 339? I thought the Casino was akin to the 330/335 in size?? 16" lower bout vs 13" on the 339/390?
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  #25  
Old 08-25-2017, 01:29 AM
DHart DHart is offline
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Are you saying the Casino is the same size as the 339? I thought the Casino was akin to the 330/335 in size?? 16" lower bout vs 13" on the 339/390?
No. I meant to say the "Coupe" and 339. (I corrected my earlier post.) Sorry for the confusion.

The Elitist Casino is similar in size to the 335, a bit larger than the Coupe and the 339. But it's so light weight that I hardly notice the difference. I'll measure to get you the dimensions.

Here is my Casino Elitist along side my Epi 339 Pro P90 (which for the money is really an astoundingly nice 339 - it actually rivals my Gibson 339. This is a great body size! A bit larger than a Les Paul ES hollow body, a bit smaller than an ES-335.)



Last edited by DHart; 08-25-2017 at 01:50 AM.
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  #26  
Old 08-25-2017, 09:40 AM
ChrisN ChrisN is offline
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Originally Posted by DHart View Post
No. I meant to say the "Coupe" and 339. (I corrected my earlier post.) Sorry for the confusion.

The Elitist Casino is similar in size to the 335, a bit larger than the Coupe and the 339. But it's so light weight that I hardly notice the difference. I'll measure to get you the dimensions.

Here is my Casino Elitist along side my Epi 339 Pro P90 (which for the money is really an astoundingly nice 339 - it actually rivals my Gibson 339. This is a great body size! A bit larger than a Les Paul ES hollow body, a bit smaller than an ES-335.)
Thanks for the clarification - if the Elitist had the Coupe/339 size, and Japanese build quality, that would be something I'd have to try. I've got a bad right shoulder, so the 335 lower bout (16" I believe) is uncomfortable for me after 15 minutes or so, but the 14" 339/390, etc. works great. In my acoustics, I'm limited to grand concert size (no more than 15" lower bout).

I started my quest for 335-like tone by looking at the 339 because of the size, then learned there was a 390, the only difference being the 339 was semi-hollow and the 390 fully hollow. While I wanted to get close to the sound of the 335, which meant laminated semi-hollow, I thought the smaller body cavity relative to the 335 would mean adverse impact on the 335 sound, and that the fully-hollow would mitigate that size loss by giving me back the space occupied by the center block - I may be over-thinking it, but that was my strategy, anyway. I do love the 390, and I know I would have loved the 339.

Can you discern any meaningful sound difference (acoustic and plugged in) between the Casino and either 339?
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  #27  
Old 08-25-2017, 12:59 PM
DHart DHart is offline
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Originally Posted by ChrisN View Post
Thanks for the clarification - if the Elitist had the Coupe/339 size, and Japanese build quality, that would be something I'd have to try. I've got a bad right shoulder, so the 335 lower bout (16" I believe) is uncomfortable for me after 15 minutes or so, but the 14" 339/390, etc. works great. In my acoustics, I'm limited to grand concert size (no more than 15" lower bout).

I started my quest for 335-like tone by looking at the 339 because of the size, then learned there was a 390, the only difference being the 339 was semi-hollow and the 390 fully hollow. While I wanted to get close to the sound of the 335, which meant laminated semi-hollow, I thought the smaller body cavity relative to the 335 would mean adverse impact on the 335 sound, and that the fully-hollow would mitigate that size loss by giving me back the space occupied by the center block - I may be over-thinking it, but that was my strategy, anyway. I do love the 390, and I know I would have loved the 339.

Can you discern any meaningful sound difference (acoustic and plugged in) between the Casino and either 339?
It sounds to me like you've got just the right instrument for your needs with the 390! If your only complaint is the minor finish irregularities which you think you can correct with a little TLC, you've got a winner.

As far as a "meaningful" tonal difference between my Elitist Casino P90, Epi 339 Pro P90, and Gibson ES-339 Classic 50's humbuckers - there is some difference due to pick up differences and build differences. Acoustically, the Casino is a little louder being all hollow. Electrically, they all sound a little different, not in a dramatic way, but in minor ways. I wouldn't play any of them unamplified 'for tone'. Interestingly, the Epi 339 Pro P90 has a feel to it that I like a little more than the Gibson! I happened to get a particularly good sample with that Epi. It's a wonderful 339. Nothing wrong with my Gibson 339, but the Epi just has something I can't describe that I tend to prefer. Weird, huh!
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  #28  
Old 08-25-2017, 01:39 PM
ChrisN ChrisN is offline
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Originally Posted by DHart View Post
It sounds to me like you've got just the right instrument for your needs with the 390! If your only complaint is the minor finish irregularities which you think you can correct with a little TLC, you've got a winner.

As far as a "meaningful" tonal difference between my Elitist Casino P90, Epi 339 Pro P90, and Gibson ES-339 Classic 50's humbuckers - there is some difference due to pick up differences and build differences. Acoustically, the Casino is a little louder being all hollow. Electrically, they all sound a little different, not in a dramatic way, but in minor ways. I wouldn't play any of them unamplified 'for tone'. Interestingly, the Epi 339 Pro P90 has a feel to it that I like a little more than the Gibson! I happened to get a particularly good sample with that Epi. It's a wonderful 339. Nothing wrong with my Gibson 339, but the Epi just has something I can't describe that I tend to prefer. Weird, huh!
I didn't realize the Casino (elitist) was fully hollow- that's interesting. I thought it was epi's version of the 335 (semi). I checked the spec and see the elitist has a 1 5/8" nut - I have enough trouble with 1 11/16! (still a newb).

While I didn't get the 390 to play acoustically, I find myself picking it up for just that in short practice bursts. It's no Goodall, but quite enjoyable compared to a solid body unplugged.

After this invigorating exchange, I'm keeping the 390. Thanks
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  #29  
Old 08-25-2017, 02:23 PM
TheChicagoTodd TheChicagoTodd is offline
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Sometime ago I purchased an inexpensive brand new Epiphone Dot Studio (Semi-hollow) to have something inexpensive laying around to practice on... well I had never owned a semi-hollow guitar before and actually I never even thought about it until I had stepped into the Chicago Music Exchange one day and played one of the $6,000 Gison customs. I was so impressed with those that that's why I ended up buying this inexpensive Epiphone which was about $260 brand new. I was so blown away by the quality of this inexpensive instrument that I decided I wanted to treat myself to the real deal or at least some type of upgrade. The $6,000 custom Gibson is simply not in the cards for me. But I think I did pretty well ordering a custom H - 555 from Heritage guitar. My H-555 is built in the same Factory and using a lot of the same machines that built all of the great Gibsons before they moved to Nashville. My H-555 has 2 Seth Lover pickups, ebony fingerboard and gold Evo fret wire, upgraded top and sides done in a dark vintage wine burst. Love it!

Todd in Chicago
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  #30  
Old 08-25-2017, 02:38 PM
DHart DHart is offline
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Originally Posted by TheChicagoTodd View Post
Sometime ago I purchased an inexpensive brand new Epiphone Dot Studio (Semi-hollow) to have something inexpensive laying around to practice on... well I had never owned a semi-hollow guitar before and actually I never even thought about it until I had stepped into the Chicago Music Exchange one day and played one of the $6,000 Gison customs. I was so impressed with those that that's why I ended up buying this inexpensive Epiphone which was about $260 brand new. I was so blown away by the quality of this inexpensive instrument that I decided I wanted to treat myself to the real deal or at least some type of upgrade. The $6,000 custom Gibson is simply not in the cards for me. But I think I did pretty well ordering a custom H - 555 from Heritage guitar. My H-555 is built in the same Factory and using a lot of the same machines that built all of the great Gibsons before they moved to Nashville. My H-555 has 2 Seth Lover pickups, ebony fingerboard and gold Evo fret wire, upgraded top and sides done in a dark vintage wine burst. Love it!

Todd in Chicago
Todd... If you select from available samples, it's quite easy to find Epiphone semi-hollow guitars (339 Pro P90, in my case) that are truly excellent instruments, for less than 1/4 of the price of a similar Gibson model. That's wonderful.

Your Dot looks awesome, BTW. Does it play well?
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