Epiphone Casino 2013

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Let It Be: The Beatles and the Epiphone Casino. Jerry McCulley. Four decades and a couple of generations later, the Beatles’ 1967 opus Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band has only grown in stature. At the BBC, where one of the album’s signature tracks. Donation match will be provided by Gibson Gives, a 501(c)3 Foundation, and is limited to the first 200 Epiphone® guitars sold on Epiphone.com between December 10, and December 31, 2020. Retail value of each match guitar is $139 with a total possible donation value of $27,800. Hi, I felt in love with the Casino model from Epiphone. There's 2 of them at the local store, a natural transparent finish (awesome looking!) and all-black/ebony one (classy looking!) The natural one was built @ Epiphone new Chinese factory. The Black one is korean-made. Epiphone is an American musical instrument manufacturer founded in 1873 by Anastasios Stathopoulos, currently based in Nashville, Tennessee.In 1957, Epiphone, Inc. Was purchased by Gibson and relocated from New York to Kalamazoo, Michigan.Epiphone was Gibson's main rival in the archtop market prior to 1957. Aside from guitars, Epiphone also made double basses, banjos, and other string instruments. I have an Epiphone Casino Coupe, which sounds wonderful unplugged and plays really well. Unfortunately, plugged in it sounds dull and muddy. I don’t have much experience with fully hollow body guitars, so not sure if that’s just what they tend towards. Or, whether it’s the brass pickup covers, or just crap pickups.

  1. Epiphone Casino 2019
  2. Epiphone Casino 2012
  3. Epiphone Casino 2001
  4. Epiphone Casino Natural
  • 1Identifiers
  • 2Factory Codes
  • 3Epiphone Japan Serial Numbers



In 2008 models begin to appear without a factory i.d. letter prefix.

  • YY = Year of manufacture
  • MM = Month of manufature
  • FF = Factory I.D.
  • RRRRR = Ranking number

Example: 08121520333 = 2008 / December / factory 15 / unit 20333

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NOTE: Pre 1994 productions also frequently omitted factory letter codes and appeared as all numbers. e.g. 3042779


  • F/FF = Factory code (No factory designator for some 1993 and earlier models)
  • Y/YY = Year of manufacture (Single digit for some 1997 and earlier models)
  • MM = Month of manufacture
  • RRRR = Ranking number (may be more or less digits)

Example: 3021234 = Samick Korea / 1993 / February / unit 1234
Example: S3021234 = Samick Korea / 1993 / February / unit 1234
Example: S93021234 = Samick Korea / 1993 / February / unit 1234
Example: SI01021234 = Samick Indonesia / 2001 / February / unit 1234
Example: SI010212345 = Samick Indonesia / 2001 / February / unit 12345


  • F = Factory code
  • YY = Year of manufacture
  • M = Letter code to corresponding month (A = January, B = February, etc.)
  • RRRR = Ranking number

Example: R01B0123 = Peerless Korea / 2001 / February / unit 0123.


Epiphone Elite/Elitist models

  • F = Factory code (F = Fuji-gen, T = Terada)
  • Y = Single digit year of manufacture (2002-2009)
  • YY = Double digit year of manufacture (2010-Current)
  • SSSS = Sequential ranking number

Example: F21234 = Fuji-gen Japan / 2002 / unit 1234
Example: T101234 = Terada Japan / 2010 / unit 1234

Factory Codes


For Epiphone serial numbers that begin with a letter(s), this list identifies the factory & country where produced:

  • B - Bohêmia Musico-Delicia (Czech Republic)
  • BW - ____?____ (China)
  • C - Cort
  • CI - Cort (Indonesia)
  • DW - DaeWon (China)
  • EA - QingDao (China) = Epiphone Acoustic
  • ED - Dongbei (China) = Chinese Dongbei means North-east.
  • EE - QingDao (China) = Epiphone Electric
  • F - Fuji-gen (Japan) = Elite/Elitist models (See: Epiphone Japan Serial Numbers)
  • F - Qingdao (China) = Les Paul Standard '59 / '60 / Tribute Models (See: F-Serial used on LP Std'59/'60 models and Tribute/Plus models)
  • F/FN - Fine Guitars (Korea) = non-Japanese models
  • FC - ____?____ (China 2000's) Possibly 'Global Fine Supply Ltd.'
  • FC - Fuji-Gen (Japan 1990's)
  • H - _______ (China?) Found on a 1995 El Nino
  • G/GG - Identified as early modern Masterbilt acoustics (Epiphone says they have no record of G serials)
  • GR - Grand Reward (Farida, Guang Dong) China, Seen on some early Masterbilt acoustics
  • GP - ____?____ (Korea) found on a BB King Lucille from 2001 (verified by Epiphone Customer Service)
  • I - Saein (Korea)
  • J - Terada Gakki Seisakusyo (Japan)
  • J - Unknown. Possibly Jakarta, Indonesia - Found on a 1997 S-310
  • JC - Unknown. Possibly Indonesia - Found on a 1998 Mini V
  • JK - ??? Korea or Indonesia - Found on a 1999 G-310 Junior
  • K - Korea Ins. (Korea)
  • L - Leader Musical Instrument Co Ltd (Korea)
  • MC - Muse (China)
  • MR - Mirr factory, China
  • N - See: FN
  • O - Choice (Korea)
  • P/R - Peerless (Korea)
  • QG - Qingdao Gibson (China) - Interim designation used prior to 'EA' & 'EE'
  • S - Samick (Korea)
  • SI - Samick (Bogor, Indonesia)
  • SJ - SaeJun (China)
  • SK - ???
  • SM - Samil (Korea)
  • SN - ____?____ (Indonesia)
  • T - Terada Gakki Seisakusyo (Japan)
  • U - Unsung (Korea)
  • UC - Unsung China (China)
  • WF - ____?____ (China) found on an Accu Bass Junior from 2001
  • X - ____ (China) - Early to mid 1990's serial number label - Verified by Epiphone Customer Service. Seen on 'Epi' brand guitars.
  • Y - Korea (seen on a PR775CE)
  • Z - Zaozhuang Saehan (China)


For some models starting in 2008, if serial begins with numbers.

NOTE: The factories identified by these codes are based on patterns which forum members have observed. The numbers appear as the 5th and sixth digits in the serial number.

  • 11 = MIC sticker on a '08 Masterbuilt 500
  • 12 = DeaWon or Unsung (China -- uncertainty remains as to which factory)
  • 13 = China - factory unknown
  • 15 = Qingdao (China) -- electric
  • 16 = Qingdao (China) -- acoustic
  • 17 = China - factory unknown MIC sticker on a J160E
  • 18 = China - factory unknown found on one 2009 model bass
  • 20 = DaeWon or Unsung (China -- uncertainty remains as to which factory)
  • 21 = Unsung, Korea
  • 22 = Korea (factory still unknown)
  • 23 = Samick factory Indonesia
  • I = Indonesia (this letter has appeared as the 5th digit on two authentic new models made in Indonesia)

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F-Serial used on LP Std'59/'60 models and Tribute/Plus models

This newest serial number system used by Epiphone is not yet completely deciphered.

'F' doesn't refer to 'Fine, Korea' - nor to 'Fuji-gen, Japan' - New 'F' models are made in China.

This serial number system doesn't exactly tell the year - and doesn't tell the month at all.

  • Beginning with F300000 in late 2009 used on LP Std'59/Std'60/Tribute models
  • Continued around F310650~F311050 in spring 2012 on Tribute-Plus models
  • Continued around F305000 in 2011
  • Continued around F310000 in 2012
  • Continued around F317000 in 2013
  • Continued around F324000 in 2014
  • Continued around F330000 in 2015

Epiphone Japan Serial Numbers


The Yamano Gakki Epiphone Japan serial numbers from 1998 onwards are in a YMMPPP format.

Y = Year of manufacture
MM = Month of manufacture
PPP = Production number

The serial number letters used by the Terada and Fuji-Gen guitar factories are:

  • J = Terada
  • T = Terada,
  • F = Fuji-Gen
  • No Letter = Fuji-Gen

Example: J902123 = Terada / 1999 / February / unit 123
Example: T902123 = Terada / 1999 / February / unit 123
Example: F902123 = Fuji-Gen / 1999 / February / unit 123
Example: 902123 = Fuji-Gen / 1999 / February / unit 123


For Yamano Gakki Epiphone Japan semi acoustic models from 1987 to approximately 1997, the serial numbers are in a YCPPP format.
They were made by Terada and usually have an Orange Epiphone label.

Y = Year of manufacture
C = Model code
PPP = Production number

Model Codes (C)

  • 1 = NVJ
  • 2 = EMPEROR
  • 3 = RIVIERA
  • 4 = SHERATON
  • 5 = CASINO
  • 6 = Limited Edition
  • 7 = EB-2
  • 8 = ES-930J
  • 9 = EMPEROR-J

Example: 34123 = 1993 / SHERATON / unit 123
Example: 38123 = 1993 / ES-930J / unit 123


Blue Label 'Union Made'
Brown Label

The Aria Epiphone Japan models that were made by Matsumoku from the early 1970s and ending before 1987 do not have a reliable serial numbering system but can be approximately dated using their Epiphone label colours.

  • 1971-1975 - Blue label - Early models say 'Union Made'
  • 1976-1979 - Tan or white 'Lincolnwood' label with Norlin logo
  • 1980-1987 - Brown Label with splotched pattern

Blue Labels:

The early Japanese blue labels were left over from production at the Kalamazoo factory and were used on Japanese-made instruments until supplies ran out (approximately 1970-1971). These labels say 'Union Made' in the lower left corner and are sometimes hand-stamped with 'Made in Japan' at the bottom. Some of the interim blue lables had neither the 'Union Made' nor 'Made in Japan' markings on them. When supplies ran out, these labels were replaced with a new batch that were printed 'Made in Japan' in the lower right corner. Pre-1970 'Union Made' labels are distinguishable from labels used on Japanese intruments by the printed model name of the intrument only.

Lincolnwood Labels:

The Lincolnwood label was also used for the Tawainese 'Epi' series acoustic guitars from 1979-1980. These labels say 'Made in Tawain' in the bottom right corner.

Refurbished Models

MIRC Refurb Label

Serial numbers starting with '311xxxx' on a golden sticker are 'refurbished' guitars sold by MIRC (Musical Instrument Reclamation Center)

  • There is no way to tell the year or the month it was made in the MIRC serial
  • Original serial numbers are usually defaced
  • Original warranty void
  • Sometimes the word '2nd' is stamped on back of headstock
  • MIRC specs can often be different from stock specs

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Epiphone Casino
Body typehollow
Neck jointSet
Scale24.75' with 14' fretboard radius
Bodymaple (laminated)
Neckmahogany on most models in most periods; sometimes maple
Fretboardrosewood on most models, ebony on some
Bridgeadjustable Tune-o-Matic style
Pickup(s)2 P-90s
Colors available
Vintage Sunburst, Turquoise, Natural[1]

The Epiphone Casino is a thinline hollow body electric guitar manufactured by Epiphone, a branch of Gibson. The guitar debuted in 1961 and has been associated with such guitarists as Howlin' Wolf, George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Keith Richards, Dave Davies, Paul Weller, The Edge, Josh Homme, Daniel Kessler, Noel Gallagher, Brendon Urie, Gary Clark, Jr., Glenn Frey, John Illsley, Peter Green and Dave Grohl.[1][2]

Casinos have been manufactured in the United States, Japan, Korea and China.


The Casino, also designed by Epiphone as model E230TD, is a thinline hollow-bodied guitar with two Gibson P-90 pick-ups. Although generally fitted with a trapeze-type tailpiece, often a Bigsby vibrato tailpiece is used in its place (either as a factory direct feature or as an aftermarket upgrade). Unlike semi-hollow body guitars such as the Gibson ES-335, which have a center block to promote sustain and reduce feedback, the Casino and its cousin, the Gibson ES-330 are true hollow-bodied guitars. This makes it lighter, and louder when played without an amplifier, but much more prone to feedback than semi-hollow or solid-body electrics.

Early versions of the Casino had a spruce top. Through 1970, the Casino headstock was set at a 17-degree angle and the top was made of five laminated layers of maple, birch, maple, birch, and maple.[1][3] With the exception of the John Lennon models, subsequent Casinos have been made with 14-degree headstock angle with five layer all maple laminated tops. Current versions have a laminated maple top, sides, and back, and a mahogany neck.[1]

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Factory string gauge guide for Casino[edit]

Per the Epiphone String Gauge Guide, the Casino comes with string gauges (from high to low): 0.010' 0.013' 0.017' 0.026' 0.036' 0.046'.[4]

Use by the Beatles[edit]

Paul McCartney playing a Casino at Live 8, 2005.

In 1964, Paul McCartney, The Beatles' bass player, was the first Beatle to acquire a Casino[5] (a 1962 model), using it for his studio forays into guitar work, including his guitar solos on 'Ticket to Ride' (1965), 'Drive My Car' (1965) and 'Taxman' (1966). In 1965 John Lennon and George Harrison bought 1965 Casinos,[5] which are clearly seen in photos of Japan concerts (last World Tour, 1966).

John Lennon used the Epiphone Casino as his main instrument during the remainder of his time with the Beatles.[5] In 1968 when the Beatles were making the White Album, Lennon had the pick guard removed from his Casino and professionally sanded to bare wood and lightly lacquered with two thin coats of nitro-cellulose.[citation needed] In the early seventies, the original tuners were replaced with a set of gold Grover tuners or machine heads. His stripped guitar (still with the original nickel tuners) is first seen in the 'Revolution' promo film. The guitar was used at The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus in December 1968, the Apple rooftop concert on January 30, 1969, and the concert of Live Peace in Toronto 1969 with the Plastic Ono Band on September 13, 1969. It can also be seen in the Let It Be film, including the rooftop concert, and most other pictures of Lennon playing guitar after that time.

Harrison had his fitted with a Bigsby trem, removed the pickguard (it can be seen in this state in the 'Hello Goodbye' and 'Penny Lane' videos, and in pictures of the final Beatles show in San Francisco, 1966). He also had it sanded down in 1968.

Current Casinos[edit]

Epiphone currently builds several versions of the Casino. These include:

  • Regular 'Archtop-Series' Casino made in China and uses non-American made parts (Korea until 2007)[1]
  • Elitist Casino. Made in Japan and set-up in America, and contains American made parts such as the pickups. Body is 5-ply maple, Gibson P-90 pickups, and nickel hardware.[6]
  • Casino Coupé. A smaller version. The body is the same size as a Gibson ES-339.[7]
  • Inspired by John Lennon were made in China with American-made 'Tribute' P-90 pickups and a five-ply maple body and are less expensive versions of the now defunct United States Collection John Lennon 1965 / Revolution Casino bodies were built in Japan and assembled in America. The 1965 version has a sunburst finish, white pick guard and small button Grover tuners. The Revolution version was based on the modifications Lennon made to his 1965 Casino during the recording of the White Album, which include a 'stripped' (natural) satin finish, gold Grover tuners, no pickguard, a deeper set-in neck, and Lennon's serial number on the back of the headstock.[1]
  • Limited Edition 1961 Casino. This limited version is offered in Royal Tan and Vintage Sunburst, with either a trapeze tailpiece or a tremotone tremolo. It sports a 5-layer maple-birch body, Gibson P-90 pickups, 'short' headstock, bullet trussrod cover, tortoiseshell pickguard, and pre-Gibson era Epiphone badge.[8]

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Wikimedia Commons has media related to Epiphone Casino.
  1. ^ abcdef'Epiphone Casino'. Epiphone.com.
  2. ^'Gary Clark Jr'. GaryClarkJr.com. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
  3. ^'Antique Vintage Guitars collector info - collecting old VINTAGE GUITARS'. provide.net. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  4. ^'Epiphone String Gauges'(PDF). Web.archive.org. Archived from the original(PDF) on September 23, 2010. Retrieved 2014-06-13.
  5. ^ abc'Epiphone: A History'. Epiphone.com.
  6. ^'Epiphone Elitist Casino'. Epiphone.com. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
  7. ^'Expert Review: Epiphone Casino Coupe - Harmony Central'. harmonycentral.com. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  8. ^'Epiphone 1961 50th Anniversary Casino'. Epiphone.com.

External links[edit]

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