The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

❌SOLD❌ Epiphone Elite 1965 Casino Natural, 2003


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The Epiphone Elite 1965 Casino recalls one of the most famous guitars – the one played by John Lennon on many recordings. In fact, Lennon, McCartney and Harrison all had Casinos and McCartney still uses his.   There were many other Casino players,  including members of the Rolling Stones and Beach Boys.

Originally built as a Sunburst model, by 1968 (during the White Album sessions) Lennon had the finish stripped off, with two coats of thin clear lacquer re-applied.    It was felt that this improved the tone and resonance of the guitar, and this look has become a de facto standard, especially without the pickguard.

The Casino’s official designation is the ES-230D, and is virtually identical to the Gibson ES-330. It is a fully hollow thinline guitar, using a Maple Laminate body and Mahogany neck with Indian Rosewood fingerboard. The earliest versions used a Spruce top. A pair of P-90 pickups through standard individual volume and tone controls and a pickup selector are used for electronics.

There are two major variants of the Casino, with the difference being where the neck joins the body. At its introduction in 1961 and until around 1967, the neck joined the body at the 16th fret. For 1968, the neck was shifted to join at the 19th fret, providing more access to the upper frets.

The Epiphone Elite, or Elitist line is the upper range of Epiphone guitars. Built in Japan using American (Gibson) components, these are simply excellent instruments. This Epiphone Elite 1965 Casino dates to 2003 and was built at the Terada plant in Nagoya. Terada also builds Pro-line Gretsch models.

This example is in great shape, and plays well.   The original hard shell case is included.

Here is Epiphone on the Epiphone Elite 1965 Casino:

“For the Epiphone Company of 1961, the Casino was a small breakthrough. After the merger with Gibson in 1957, Epiphone no longer made jazz archtops. A new era of music had arrived. The introduction of the Casino was a modern design that announced that Epiphone was ready to begin a new chapter in its long and unique history.

Though from a distance the Casino had the look of an ES-335, the Casino was a true hollow body that gave players a clear, ringing tone that could be pushed into overdrive when needed. The Casino was an ideal guitar for stage and studio and can be heard on many landmark recordings including The Beatles’ “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band” and The Beach Boys’ “Pet Sounds.”

Maybe it’s purely coincidental that at the same time the Casino was in its planning stages at Epiphone headquarters in Kalamazoo, Michigan, the Beatles were starting out, too. By 1964, the Beatles were stars and when Paul McCartney went shopping for a new guitar that could give him the overdriven blues sound of artists like Otis Rush, he reached for a Casino.

John Lennon and George Harrison soon bought their own and used their Casinos on stage and at Abbey Road throughout the band’s career. Carl Wilson of the Beach Boys, Paul Weller of the Jam, and Noel Gallagher of Oasis are just a few of the players who made great records with Casinos. And now with the Elitist Casino, you can, too!”


Price: $2,650.00 CAD
  • Model: Elite 1965 Casino
  • Year: 2003
  • Finish Natural Gloss
  • Class: Used
  • Serial Number: T302683
  • Country of Origin: Japan
  • Condition: Very Good
  • Date Posted: 01/12/2021

  • This instrument has been sold
  • Consignment Item

  • Required CITES documentation
  • Including original Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 6.42lbs 2.92kg
  • Scale Length: 24.75in 628mm
  • Nut Width: 1.61in 41mm
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