Epiphone Releases Limited-Edition 50th Anniversary 1961 Casino Guitar

Since its initial release in 1961, the Epiphone Casino has been the instrument of choice for guys like Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, Keith Richards and Paul Weller.

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the first Casino, Epiphone has created the limited-edition 1961 Anniversary Casino, which has many features that were discontinued after the original Casino’s first year of production. Only 1,961 Anniversary Casinos have been produced, each with a numbered certificate of authenticity. The guitar has a U.S. MSRP of $1,332 (trapeze tailpiece) and $1,415 (Tremotone).

“Arguably our most famous model, the Epiphone Casino has embodied everything rock 'n’ roll for 50 years,” said Jim Rosenberg, president of Epiphone. “The release of the 1961 Anniversary Edition delivers the classic performance of the original, along with the details that made this groundbreaking axe the choice of some of music’s guitar legends. We’re proud to offer musicians the opportunity to once again experience what makes one of Epiphone’s most versatile guitars so special.”

The original Casino had a triangle metal logo badge on the headstock, "Dot" fingerboard inlays, a blank two-ply "bullet" trussrod cover, a tortoise-colored pickguard with foil "E" and black dog-ear P90 pickups. Epiphone has reproduced these features for the limited-edition model. Other features include the correct "burst" patterns on front and back, a neck joint at the 16th fret (instead of the 17th), Wilkinson vintage-style tuners with small plastic buttons and the historically accurate rectangle "blue label" inside the sound hole.

Epiphone has recreated the original U.S.A.-made black P90s with vintage two-conductor, braided, shielded wiring and black plastic covers. Other electronics faithful to the original Casino include a Switchcraft 3-way toggle and 1/4" output jack.

The Casino is completely hollow, which contributes to its signature sound made most famous by The Beatles. The body is made of five-layer Maple/Birch with a solid Mahogany SlimTaper neck, attached using the traditional mortise and tenon neck joint, hand-fitted and glued to the body. Hardware includes a tune-o-matic bridge and the choice of either a Trapeze tailpiece or Epiphone's new reissue of the original Tremotone vibrato. Each 1961 Casino also features an original-style hard case with gray exterior and blue plush interior.

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Damian Fanelli
Editor-in-Chief, Guitar World

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas (opens in new tab), was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron (opens in new tab), a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums (opens in new tab). He now plays in two NYC-area bands.