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  1. #1

    gibson 330 reissues, vs. epiphone john lennon signatures

    sorry for posting for what is possibly a tired subject.
    i would be interested in comparisons of overall quality in construction and sound, playability, between the 2; gibson reissues, vs. epiphone john lennon, signature casinos.
    my experience is with the epiphone.

    thinking of selling a gibson to finance a 330. in nyc, hard to believe there is not a store where they are plentiful. they do have a vintage 65, and 61 in one store. and also a reissue, out in long island, (with a bigsby).
    i will check that out but vintage is not what i am desiring.

    i keep reading the gibson 330 in general is constructed better, and sounds better, in general. i can believe this for obvious reasons, though i am certain you can find a casino which would out do a 330. i also like the idea of the 3 ply vs. 5 for added resonance. also, i honestly just prefer a gibson.

    i have had a johnny a custom for 10 years and it is an excellent guitar, however i find i only use it for recording, and tho the value has doubled in that time, and will probably continue to do so i find my tastes have changed and i would rather have a guitar which also lends itself to creating music, (basically i write songs). have 2 casinos. one, too low volume/resonance. (i typically play unamplified), and the other, great acoustically, but somewhat harsh for my tastes, (the revolution model). I am also put off a bit purchasing on eBay for this guitar as guitars can vary so much, the chance of getting one that fits would be somewhat rare possibly.

    Thanks for any input.
    richard

  2. #2

    Re: gibson 330 reissues, vs. epiphone john lennon signatures

    Can't speak to the Casino but I have a 2012 330 custom shop model. The full hollow design is very appealing especially unplugged. Mine sounds great and is the best choice sitting around strumming unplugged.

    i didn't think they put bigsbys on the 330s because they are full hollow.

    I recommend the 330 but I'm biased 😀

  3. #3

    Re: gibson 330 reissues, vs. epiphone john lennon signatures

    Quote Originally Posted by joptunes View Post

    i didn't think they put bigsbys on the 330s because they are full hollow.
    I had a Kalamazoo Casino back in the 60's. It had a factory Bigsby.

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member deytookerjaabs's Avatar
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    Re: gibson 330 reissues, vs. epiphone john lennon signatures

    What do you mean by the Lennon being harsh? I had the non-revolution USA model and the only change I made to it was plastic covers on the p90's which IMO was an improvement, though I learned the hard way that all the repro parts aren't vintage correct. It was a great guitar, and the USA ES-330's are equally wonderful, almost the same but the Lennon Casino had a more vintage style fret wire from what I recall. I sold it to Rock and Roll vintage during a tax crunch, lol.

  5. #5

    Re: gibson 330 reissues, vs. epiphone john lennon signatures

    Quote Originally Posted by majorminor View Post
    I had a Kalamazoo Casino back in the 60's. It had a factory Bigsby.

    Is the Casino full hollow body?

  6. #6

    Re: gibson 330 reissues, vs. epiphone john lennon signatures

    Quote Originally Posted by deytookerjaabs View Post
    What do you mean by the Lennon being harsh? I had the non-revolution USA model and the only change I made to it was plastic covers on the p90's which IMO was an improvement, though I learned the hard way that all the repro parts aren't vintage correct. It was a great guitar, and the USA ES-330's are equally wonderful, almost the same but the Lennon Casino had a more vintage style fret wire from what I recall. I sold it to Rock and Roll vintage during a tax crunch, lol.
    oh i mean it is loud, and the open chords are amazing but down the fretboard somewhat compromised, buzzing a bit, needs work. whereas the 1965 i have is/had a fret job when i traded for it. lower volume etc.

  7. #7

    Re: gibson 330 reissues, vs. epiphone john lennon signatures

    Quote Originally Posted by joptunes View Post
    Is the Casino full hollow body?
    the signature is supposed to be. i have read some of the others, possibly the korean has some sort of wood there. but not like the 335. someone posted a photo on another forum where under the soundboard there was something.

  8. #8

    Re: gibson 330 reissues, vs. epiphone john lennon signatures

    Quote Originally Posted by joptunes View Post
    Is the Casino full hollow body?
    Yes.

    Certainly in the 60's they were nearly identical to ES 330 construction.

    ******

    I have a late 2012/early 2013 Custom Shop ES 330 VOS. It is an exquisite guitar. Is the Lennon Casino an Elitist? Japanese made? Either way, nothing wrong with current Casinos. Maybe the one you describe as "harsh" sounding would benefit from a change of pickups or pots?

    I love my 330 VOS. Buy with confidence, I say. My thing was, I wanted a 330. The Casino was a consideration, but I found an offer I couldn't refuse on the 330.

  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Member deytookerjaabs's Avatar
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    Re: gibson 330 reissues, vs. epiphone john lennon signatures

    Quote Originally Posted by mdubya View Post
    Yes.

    Certainly in the 60's they were nearly identical to ES 330 construction.

    ******

    I have a late 2012/early 2013 Custom Shop ES 330 VOS. It is an exquisite guitar. Is the Lennon Casino an Elitist? Japanese made? Either way, nothing wrong with current Casinos. Maybe the one you describe as "harsh" sounding would benefit from a change of pickups or pots?

    I love my 330 VOS. Buy with confidence, I say. My thing was, I wanted a 330. The Casino was a consideration, but I found an offer I couldn't refuse on the 330.
    There was a limited run USA made version of the Lennon Casino in two forms..one was the "revolution" which was like the guitar after his refin, the other was what the guitar would've been like from the factory "John Lennon 1965 Casino". I scored mine for $1,000 on Ebay years ago, it was about dead on to a vintage Casino, the neck even had that real shallow set & angle, very impressive guitars that went under the radar on the used market for a while (not so much anymore).

  10. #10

    Re: gibson 330 reissues, vs. epiphone john lennon signatures

    Quote Originally Posted by deytookerjaabs View Post
    There was a limited run USA made version of the Lennon Casino in two forms..one was the "revolution" which was like the guitar after his refin, the other was what the guitar would've been like from the factory "John Lennon 1965 Casino". I scored mine for $1,000 on Ebay years ago, it was about dead on to a vintage Casino, the neck even had that real shallow set & angle, very impressive guitars that went under the radar on the used market for a while (not so much anymore).
    yes the is the one i have.

  11. #11

    Re: gibson 330 reissues, vs. epiphone john lennon signatures

    Quote Originally Posted by handwerk View Post
    yes the is the one i have.
    Would it be impolite to demand photos?

  12. #12

    Re: gibson 330 reissues, vs. epiphone john lennon signatures

    Quote Originally Posted by joptunes View Post
    Is the Casino full hollow body?
    The Kalamazoo product was essentially the same as the Gibson 330 - so yes, hollow body with the slightly less accessible neck than a 335.

    Not sure about modern ones.

  13. #13

    Re: gibson 330 reissues, vs. epiphone john lennon signatures

    Quote Originally Posted by mdubya View Post
    Would it be impolite to demand photos?
    will attempt to take photos

  14. #14

    Esseries Re: gibson 330 reissues, vs. epiphone john lennon signatures

    The USA Lennon Casinos were made by Gibson, akin to 330 Reissues, but with the Epi specs and headstock, obviously. They are very well regarded and I kick myself on not getting both new (very few lefties out there, offered by MF, and Elliot Easton has the 1965)... but then again I didn't have the dosh then so it would've been a big deal

    I picked up a used Revolution, and it's wonderful. I don't find it harsh but it is very alive and resonant given the ultra-thin coating of lacquer.

    I have the VOS 330 and love it too. Can't say I'd have given up the Casino for the 330, but love having the 330. I prefer the neck.

    I'd say you'd really need to comb over both and decide if you let go of a limited USA Casino for a 330. I wouldn't move the Johnny A either, but plenty of folks move things out they don't bond with, no matter the value or perceived investment. If you will have no regrets letting the JA or the Lennon go after thinking hard, then do go for it.

    Me: I'd keep both, wait n' save for a used recent VOS 330, get a good price... they are out there and continue to be, so more guitars wins in this scenario (well, in most scenarios).

    Last edited by jb_abides; 03-18-17 at 08:02 AM.

  15. #15

    Re: gibson 330 reissues, vs. epiphone john lennon signatures

    Quote Originally Posted by jb_abides View Post
    The USA Lennon Casinos were made by Gibson, akin to 330 Reissues, but with the Epi specs and headstock, obviously. They are very well regarded and I kick myself on not getting both new (very few lefties out there, offered by MF, and Elliot Easton has the 1965)... but then again I didn't have the dosh then so it would've been a big deal

    I picked up a used Revolution, and it's wonderful. I don't find it harsh but it is very alive and resonant given the ultra-thin coating of lacquer.

    I have the VOS 330 and love it too. Can't say I'd have given up the Casino for the 330, but love having the 330. I prefer the neck.

    I'd say you'd really need to comb over both and decide if you let go of a limited USA Casino for a 330. I wouldn't move the Johnny A either, but plenty of folks move things out they don't bond with, no matter the value or perceived investment. If you will have no regrets letting the JA or the Lennon go after thinking hard, then do go for it.

    Me: I'd keep both, wait n' save for a used recent VOS 300, get a good price... they are out there and continue to be, so more guitars wins in this scenario (well, in most scenarios).

    the 330 you have. does it have the 59 neck? since the revolution model is the most resonant and actually inspires me to write i will probably keep it. the ja is amazingly well made, and a really professional instrument, but like i said used for recording only. i may wait a bit as i may be going thru a phase, but the 330 is a guitar i really want. just would want to find a good one. from what i've read they can vary and buying online from somewhere like wildwood is ok because you can return, eBay not. pretty much stuck with what you purchase.

  16. #16

    Re: gibson 330 reissues, vs. epiphone john lennon signatures

    Quote Originally Posted by jb_abides View Post
    The USA Lennon Casinos were made by Gibson, akin to 330 Reissues, but with the Epi specs and headstock, obviously. They are very well regarded and I kick myself on not getting both new (very few lefties out there, offered by MF, and Elliot Easton has the 1965)... but then again I didn't have the dosh then so it would've been a big deal

    I picked up a used Revolution, and it's wonderful. I don't find it harsh but it is very alive and resonant given the ultra-thin coating of lacquer.

    I have the VOS 330 and love it too. Can't say I'd have given up the Casino for the 330, but love having the 330. I prefer the neck.

    I'd say you'd really need to comb over both and decide if you let go of a limited USA Casino for a 330. I wouldn't move the Johnny A either, but plenty of folks move things out they don't bond with, no matter the value or perceived investment. If you will have no regrets letting the JA or the Lennon go after thinking hard, then do go for it.

    Me: I'd keep both, wait n' save for a used recent VOS 300, get a good price... they are out there and continue to be, so more guitars wins in this scenario (well, in most scenarios).

    i did read the e. easton thread which he said he had epiphone make a dozen lefties. so a few are out there. tho, did mccartney just reverse the guitar, and set it up for the reverse?

  17. #17

    Esseries Re: gibson 330 reissues, vs. epiphone john lennon signatures

    Quote Originally Posted by handwerk View Post
    the 330 you have. does it have the 59 neck? since the revolution model is the most resonant and actually inspires me to write i will probably keep it. the ja is amazingly well made, and a really professional instrument, but like i said used for recording only. i may wait a bit as i may be going thru a phase, but the 330 is a guitar i really want. just would want to find a good one. from what i've read they can vary and buying online from somewhere like wildwood is ok because you can return, eBay not. pretty much stuck with what you purchase.
    I have 1 of 3 Lefty JA so yeah, I know they are special... he-he. Mine's a Bigsby.

    Neck on VOS 330, it's a '59 Reissue, so it's got a mahogany neck, with a maple spline, '59 neck profile with dark rosewood and rolled cream bindings. 3-ply maple/poplar/maple, both front and back. Fully hollow, short scale.

    PUPs are P-90s, slightly under wound. Sounds great unplugged too. Looks killer in Vintage Burst. The look was already a throughback look in 1959, so it has lots of vibe. I'd pick up a natural if I ever find one again.

    Mike Votlz who runs Gibson Memphis has really upped their game, with things like the ES Paul and Reissues, and some Retro patterns with modern twists. With all the turmoil at over at Custom, I am keeping my eye on what Mike's doing in Memphis and hope to snatch up whatever lefty output they offer before the wind changes...

    Being a lefty I don't have the luxury of righty Try N' Buy. I look around online and dealers, and ask questions and go with my best instinct. Haven't lost yet, with a real dog. OK, so some have been "more special" than others; I wouldn't worry if you work with a LPForum dealer or someone online you trust (I'll place Sweetwater in that camp, and you can get them to do firsthand accounts too).

  18. #18

    Re: gibson 330 reissues, vs. epiphone john lennon signatures

    Quote Originally Posted by handwerk View Post
    i did read the e. easton thread which he said he had epiphone make a dozen lefties. so a few are out there. tho, did mccartney just reverse the guitar, and set it up for the reverse?
    Yes, I think there were 6 a piece, 1965 and Revolution.

    Macca did the flip thing...




    I should say DOES the flip thing... I've seen him wield it!


  19. #19

    Re: gibson 330 reissues, vs. epiphone john lennon signatures

    Quote Originally Posted by mdubya View Post
    Yes.

    Certainly in the 60's they were nearly identical to ES 330 construction.

    ******

    I have a late 2012/early 2013 Custom Shop ES 330 VOS. It is an exquisite guitar. Is the Lennon Casino an Elitist? Japanese made? Either way, nothing wrong with current Casinos. Maybe the one you describe as "harsh" sounding would benefit from a change of pickups or pots?

    I love my 330 VOS. Buy with confidence, I say. My thing was, I wanted a 330. The Casino was a consideration, but I found an offer I couldn't refuse on the 330.

    both were made in japan-assembled in use

  20. #20
    Les Paul Forum Member marshall1987's Avatar
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    Re: gibson 330 reissues, vs. epiphone john lennon signatures

    Quote Originally Posted by handwerk View Post
    sorry for posting for what is possibly a tired subject.
    i would be interested in comparisons of overall quality in construction and sound, playability, between the 2; gibson reissues, vs. epiphone john lennon, signature casinos.
    my experience is with the epiphone.

    thinking of selling a gibson to finance a 330. in nyc, hard to believe there is not a store where they are plentiful. they do have a vintage 65, and 61 in one store. and also a reissue, out in long island, (with a bigsby).
    i will check that out but vintage is not what i am desiring.

    i keep reading the gibson 330 in general is constructed better, and sounds better, in general. i can believe this for obvious reasons, though i am certain you can find a casino which would out do a 330. i also like the idea of the 3 ply vs. 5 for added resonance. also, i honestly just prefer a gibson.

    i have had a johnny a custom for 10 years and it is an excellent guitar, however i find i only use it for recording, and tho the value has doubled in that time, and will probably continue to do so i find my tastes have changed and i would rather have a guitar which also lends itself to creating music, (basically i write songs). have 2 casinos. one, too low volume/resonance. (i typically play unamplified), and the other, great acoustically, but somewhat harsh for my tastes, (the revolution model). I am also put off a bit purchasing on eBay for this guitar as guitars can vary so much, the chance of getting one that fits would be somewhat rare possibly.

    Thanks for any input.
    richard

    ??? Is there some text here?
    "Scan not a friend under a microscopic glass; you know his faults so let his foibles pass".

    Sir Frank Crisp
    Friar Park
    London, England

  21. #21
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: gibson 330 reissues, vs. epiphone john lennon signatures

    The 2012-2014 (I think) ES-330 Reissues are great. They have the original neck join (Gibson did a long neck reissue with the neck join more like an ES-335 a couple years before). I'd just caution to be careful with price. You can get nice vintage ES-330s that are killer guitars for not much more than the Reissues. You won't get the huge neck but some of those 60s 330s are fabulous guitars. I A/B'd my Reissue with a 60s and the vintage one smoked it (plugged in, unplugged my guitar sounded nicer), it was no question (which led to me getting a different set of pickups that were able to compete). Just my $.02.


  22. #22

    Re: gibson 330 reissues, vs. epiphone john lennon signatures

    Quote Originally Posted by mrfett View Post
    The 2012-2014 (I think) ES-330 Reissues are great. They have the original neck join (Gibson did a long neck reissue with the neck join more like an ES-335 a couple years before). I'd just caution to be careful with price. You can get nice vintage ES-330s that are killer guitars for not much more than the Reissues. You won't get the huge neck but some of those 60s 330s are fabulous guitars. I A/B'd my Reissue with a 60s and the vintage one smoked it (plugged in, unplugged my guitar sounded nicer), it was no question (which led to me getting a different set of pickups that were able to compete). Just my $.02.

    Which pickups did you get, Mr. F? And did they deliver? Did you use the stock harness? I am not wild about the taper on any of the pots on my 330, but the pickups sound great at volume. They sound fairly pedestrian (but no real complaints) at the low volumes I tend to favor.

    The neck pickup, in particular, sounds glorious through my Champ, or Champion 600, or through the Deluxe model on my Mustang.

    TIA.

  23. #23
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: gibson 330 reissues, vs. epiphone john lennon signatures

    Quote Originally Posted by mdubya View Post
    Which pickups did you get, Mr. F? And did they deliver? Did you use the stock harness? I am not wild about the taper on any of the pots on my 330, but the pickups sound great at volume. They sound fairly pedestrian (but no real complaints) at the low volumes I tend to favor.

    The neck pickup, in particular, sounds glorious through my Champ, or Champion 600, or through the Deluxe model on my Mustang.

    TIA.
    I had a set custom-wound by Bryan Gunsher. I described what I perceived as the problem and told him how the guitar was loud and resonant unplugged. He had to use the baseplate of the neck pickup (I think) because there's something special about it's size... but yeah in the end I was very happy.

    There's another guy on one of the forums who bought a set of Throbak P-90s for his 330 Reissue after having a similar experience comparing his to vintage examples and he was very happy with the change. I didn't feel I needed all the exact historical appointments just that tone. Bryan doesn't advertise at all so his prices are very reasonable, and I had heard his Tele pickups before so I figured he could wind a good P-90 and he did. bg-pups.com

    I kept the stock harness, although I think I replaced one of a fake bees with an orange drop because I broke it trying to wire everything myself (I ended up giving up and bringing it to my tech, I just lost patience trying to pull the output jack through with the piece of string I'd attached lol).

    I did the comparison at a local guitar store that had the vintage one. There were a few different players there and we all took turns. It wasn't gig volume but it was decently loud, we were in the fancy room so we were playing some boutique amp, maybe a Friedman or vintage blackface? I really don't remember the amp but I remember that the older 330 just had MORE. Yes the pickups were louder but they were also clearer and had more definition. If you hadn't done the comparison side-by-side you'd have thought my guitar was fantastic, but the direct comparison revealed flaws you didn't know were there.
    Last edited by mrfett; 03-19-17 at 11:31 AM.

  24. #24
    Les Paul Forum Member TM1's Avatar
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    Re: gibson 330 reissues, vs. epiphone john lennon signatures

    All, & I mean All of the Lennon's were built by Terada in Japan. They were shipped over here to the States and finished & hardwared. Same with the bodies for the Eric Clapton "Crossroads" guitar. Tereada made the bodies and then shipped them to Custom in Nashville..why? Because they did not have a mold/template for the `63/`64 era bodies. Terada, having made the Elites and the Lennon Casino's used the body shape for the Clapton's.
    Not until Mike Voltz took over the factory in Memphis have we seen the correct body shape for post Mickey Mouse eared Gibson semi's.

  25. #25

    Re: gibson 330 reissues, vs. epiphone john lennon signatures

    Quote Originally Posted by TM1 View Post
    All, & I mean All of the Lennon's were built by Terada in Japan. They were shipped over here to the States and finished & hardwared. Same with the bodies for the Eric Clapton "Crossroads" guitar. Tereada made the bodies and then shipped them to Custom in Nashville..why? Because they did not have a mold/template for the `63/`64 era bodies. Terada, having made the Elites and the Lennon Casino's used the body shape for the Clapton's.
    Not until Mike Voltz took over the factory in Memphis have we seen the correct body shape for post Mickey Mouse eared Gibson semi's.
    Yes, thanks for the clarity; I was being sloppy above. My intent in using 'USA Lennons' (1999, plus the 2004/5 holdbacks) was to distinguish those built in Nashville from subsequent Lennon Casinos (which I believe originate totally built in Indonesia or China, made with US electronics).

    To your point, isn't it also correct the necks were carved and definitely glued/set in Nashville? Then the HW and finishing. I think this was termed "Assembled in USA" by Epiphone...


  26. #26

    Re: gibson 330 reissues, vs. epiphone john lennon signatures

    Quote Originally Posted by mrfett View Post
    I had a set custom-wound by Bryan Gunsher. I described what I perceived as the problem and told him how the guitar was loud and resonant unplugged. He had to use the baseplate of the neck pickup (I think) because there's something special about it's size... but yeah in the end I was very happy.

    There's another guy on one of the forums who bought a set of Throbak P-90s for his 330 Reissue after having a similar experience comparing his to vintage examples and he was very happy with the change. I didn't feel I needed all the exact historical appointments just that tone. Bryan doesn't advertise at all so his prices are very reasonable, and I had heard his Tele pickups before so I figured he could wind a good P-90 and he did. bg-pups.com

    I kept the stock harness, although I think I replaced one of a fake bees with an orange drop because I broke it trying to wire everything myself (I ended up giving up and bringing it to my tech, I just lost patience trying to pull the output jack through with the piece of string I'd attached lol).

    I did the comparison at a local guitar store that had the vintage one. There were a few different players there and we all took turns. It wasn't gig volume but it was decently loud, we were in the fancy room so we were playing some boutique amp, maybe a Friedman or vintage blackface? I really don't remember the amp but I remember that the older 330 just had MORE. Yes the pickups were louder but they were also clearer and had more definition. If you hadn't done the comparison side-by-side you'd have thought my guitar was fantastic, but the direct comparison revealed flaws you didn't know were there.

    Thank you. I truly appreciate that reply.

    I grew up in Montgomery County and have been here doing business for about the last 18 months, also. I would love to know the name of your tech if you wouldn't mind sharing.

  27. #27
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    Re: gibson 330 reissues, vs. epiphone john lennon signatures

    Quote Originally Posted by mdubya View Post
    Thank you. I truly appreciate that reply.

    I grew up in Montgomery County and have been here doing business for about the last 18 months, also. I would love to know the name of your tech if you wouldn't mind sharing.
    Oh cool! I just take my stuff to the Drews at Chuck Levin's (they have 2 techs named Andrew who have been there I think since Paul Reed Smith worked there and one other guy who is also nice but isn't named Drew so I haven't learned his name lol). They're cool guys who have been at it a while and know what they're doing, although if you want things a certain way tell them because they'll turn an ABR-1 around the wrong way if they think it'll work better (which my OCD just can't handle lol). But they've worked on a lot of my guitars and done great work for little $, and they can handle vintage stuff and be trusted.

    I'm going to have them install a De Lisle varitone circuit in my "issues" '59 ES-345 (and I may ask them to turn around the magnet in one of the (non-original) early patent # sticker pickups so that my middle position isn't OOP. I'm hoping they can do a neater job than I would (the covers have never been touched).


  28. #28
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    Re: gibson 330 reissues, vs. epiphone john lennon signatures

    Quote Originally Posted by mdubya View Post
    Thank you. I truly appreciate that reply.

    I grew up in Montgomery County and have been here doing business for about the last 18 months, also. I would love to know the name of your tech if you wouldn't mind sharing.
    Oh cool! I just take my stuff to the Drews at Chuck Levin's (they have 2 techs named Andrew who have been there I think since Paul Reed Smith worked there and one other guy who is also nice but isn't named Drew so I haven't learned his name lol). They're cool guys who have been at it a while and know what they're doing, although if you want things a certain way tell them because they'll turn an ABR-1 around the wrong way if they think it'll work better (which my OCD just can't handle lol). But they've worked on a lot of my guitars and done great work for little $, and they can handle vintage stuff and be trusted.

    I'm going to have them install a De Lisle varitone circuit in my "issues" 1959 ES-345 (and I may ask them to turn around the magnet in one of the (non-original) early patent # sticker pickups so that my middle position isn't OOP. I'm hoping they can do a neater job than I would (the covers have never been touched).

  29. #29

    Re: gibson 330 reissues, vs. epiphone john lennon signatures

    Quote Originally Posted by mrfett View Post
    Oh cool! I just take my stuff to the Drews at Chuck Levin's (they have 2 techs named Andrew who have been there I think since Paul Reed Smith worked there and one other guy who is also nice but isn't named Drew so I haven't learned his name lol). They're cool guys who have been at it a while and know what they're doing, although if you want things a certain way tell them because they'll turn an ABR-1 around the wrong way if they think it'll work better (which my OCD just can't handle lol). But they've worked on a lot of my guitars and done great work for little $, and they can handle vintage stuff and be trusted.

    I'm going to have them install a De Lisle varitone circuit in my "issues" 1959 ES-345 (and I may ask them to turn around the magnet in one of the (non-original) early patent # sticker pickups so that my middle position isn't OOP. I'm hoping they can do a neater job than I would (the covers have never been touched).
    Haven't been to Chuck's in years. I guess I need to pay them a visit.

  30. #30
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    Re: gibson 330 reissues, vs. epiphone john lennon signatures

    Quote Originally Posted by jb_abides View Post
    Yes, thanks for the clarity; I was being sloppy above. My intent in using 'USA Lennons' (1999, plus the 2004/5 holdbacks) was to distinguish those built in Nashville from subsequent Lennon Casinos (which I believe originate totally built in Indonesia or China, made with US electronics).

    To your point, isn't it also correct the necks were carved and definitely glued/set in Nashville? Then the HW and finishing. I think this was termed "Assembled in USA" by Epiphone...
    My understanding is that the USA series (Lennon Casino & JLH Sheraton) bodies were fully assembled & nitro finished by Terada in Japan, and then shipped to Nashville for installation of hardware & final assembly.

    I have one of the JLH Sheratons, and the build quality is extremely high. I also have the Terada-made Elitist Casino, as well as a 2010 ES-330L in Beale St Blue, and a 2012 ES-330 VOS in natural finish.

    As good as the Terada-made guitars are, the two recent 330s would be my keepers if forced to choose, and the 330-VOS would make the final cut if banished to a desert island with only one in hand.

  31. #31

    Re: gibson 330 reissues, vs. epiphone john lennon signatures

    error
    Last edited by handwerk; 03-20-17 at 07:11 AM. Reason: mistake

  32. #32

    Re: gibson 330 reissues, vs. epiphone john lennon signatures

    Quote Originally Posted by marshall1987 View Post
    ??? Is there some text here?
    sorry for posting for what is possibly a tired subject.
    i would be interested in comparisons of overall quality in construction and sound, playability, between the 2; gibson reissues, vs. epiphone john lennon, signature casinos.
    my experience is with the epiphone.

    thinking of selling a gibson to finance a 330. in nyc, hard to believe there is not a store where they are plentiful. they do have a vintage 65, and 61 in one store. and also a reissue, out in long island, (with a bigsby).
    i will check that out but vintage is not what i am desiring.

    i keep reading the gibson 330 in general is constructed better, and sounds better, in general. i can believe this for obvious reasons, though i am certain you can find a casino which would out do a 330. i also like the idea of the 3 ply vs. 5 for added resonance. also, i honestly just prefer a gibson.

    i have had a johnny a custom for 10 years and it is an excellent guitar, however i find i only use it for recording, and tho the value has doubled in that time, and will probably continue to do so i find my tastes have changed and i would rather have a guitar which also lends itself to creating music, (basically i write songs). have 2 casinos. one, too low volume/resonance. (i typically play unamplified), and the other, great acoustically, but somewhat harsh for my tastes, (the revolution model). I am also put off a bit purchasing on eBay for this guitar as guitars can vary so much, the chance of getting one that fits would be somewhat rare possibly.

  33. #33
    Les Paul Forum Member Elliot Easton's Avatar
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    Re: gibson 330 reissues, vs. epiphone john lennon signatures

    It has been said on the forum that there is a major diff twixt a 330 and a Casino. It has been said that a 330 is 3-ply and the Casino 5-ply, somehow making the Casino more feedback resistant at higher volumes, which might explain how The Beatles could play them thru the Vox Super Beatles.
    "A little bit of knowledge can be a very dangerous thing."

  34. #34
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: gibson 330 reissues, vs. epiphone john lennon signatures

    Quote Originally Posted by Elliot Easton View Post
    It has been said on the forum that there is a major diff twixt a 330 and a Casino. It has been said that a 330 is 3-ply and the Casino 5-ply, somehow making the Casino more feedback resistant at higher volumes, which might explain how The Beatles could play them thru the Vox Super Beatles.
    I am not certain about vintage ones, but that's definitely true for the re-issues. Gibson Memphis ES-330s are 3-ply maple-poplar-maple and most models of Epiphone Casinos (including the John Lennon models) are 5-play maple.

  35. #35

    Re: gibson 330 reissues, vs. epiphone john lennon signatures

    Quote Originally Posted by indravayu View Post
    I am not certain about vintage ones, but that's definitely true for the re-issues. Gibson Memphis ES-330s are 3-ply maple-poplar-maple and most models of Epiphone Casinos (including the John Lennon models) are 5-play maple.
    have read the wood is better. oddly tho i have book a gibson book which the vintage 330's they used the leftover wood from other models to save, and it was a budget guitar.

  36. #36
    Les Paul Forum Member StSpider's Avatar
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    Re: gibson 330 reissues, vs. epiphone john lennon signatures

    I can't say I have tried all hollowbodies Gibson and Epiphone make or have made in the past but I can say this: my 2012 330 VOS is my best sounding and playing guitar. It's just a terrific instrument, better than the vintage pieces I put her up against (take this with a grain of salt because they weren't many tbh) and better than anything I own really. Feedback is very manageable too and keep in mind that I do play hard rock with it and gig it regularly. Only time I had problems was when I was gigging with my kemper and I only had frontal monitors to hear me so the sound guy had to cut some frequencies to prevent feedback. Still sounds fantastic in the recording tho.

    It's my #1 and will likely ever be. My only gripe with it is the upper fret access but you can't have it all apparently.

    A friend of mine was so in love with it that I gifted him a Casino. And let me tell you, it's a GREAT sounding guitar (Korean made IIRC) without even changing the pickups. But not as good as my 330.
    - 2006 Les Paul Historic R4 Oxblood
    - 2012 ES-330TDVB
    - 1995 Les Paul Studio Ebony with B7 Bigsby

    There is NO substitute for Loudness.

  37. #37

    Re: gibson 330 reissues, vs. epiphone john lennon signatures

    Quote Originally Posted by StSpider View Post
    I can't say I have tried all hollowbodies Gibson and Epiphone make or have made in the past but I can say this: my 2012 330 VOS is my best sounding and playing guitar. It's just a terrific instrument, better than the vintage pieces I put her up against (take this with a grain of salt because they weren't many tbh) and better than anything I own really. Feedback is very manageable too and keep in mind that I do play hard rock with it and gig it regularly. Only time I had problems was when I was gigging with my kemper and I only had frontal monitors to hear me so the sound guy had to cut some frequencies to prevent feedback. Still sounds fantastic in the recording tho.

    It's my #1 and will likely ever be. My only gripe with it is the upper fret access but you can't have it all apparently.

    A friend of mine was so in love with it that I gifted him a Casino. And let me tell you, it's a GREAT sounding guitar (Korean made IIRC) without even changing the pickups. But not as good as my 330.
    I have only been able to try 2. one a 59 dos, and 2nd, a 61 vintage. the 59 had 3 year old strings, and the action was atrocious. really bad. made me question whether the neck was good. the vintage was unremarkable. the problem with 330s is, in nyc that there are not any to be sampled. i know it can take awhile to find one which fits. i am interested in purchasing one but, especially eBay is a risk given the possibility of getting one which is not in complete working order, etc. i always have had a guitar set up of course. with some, replacing nut and bridge, but with this guitar being a reissue i'd rather not do this. a set up of course. this guitar i speak of may have needed fret leveling as well. not sure, but it was really quite bad.

  38. #38

    Re: gibson 330 reissues, vs. epiphone john lennon signatures

    Quote Originally Posted by Elliot Easton View Post
    It has been said on the forum that there is a major diff twixt a 330 and a Casino. It has been said that a 330 is 3-ply and the Casino 5-ply, somehow making the Casino more feedback resistant at higher volumes, which might explain how The Beatles could play them thru the Vox Super Beatles.
    well i read that the laminate on 330 is thicker, and after playing one yesterday i can state that on the 2 i played the laminate tho only 3ply was as thick as my lennon casino.

  39. #39
    Les Paul Forum Member g6120's Avatar
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    Re: gibson 330 reissues, vs. epiphone john lennon signatures

    I've had a bunch of the Epiphones the original limited edition Lennon and the inspired as well as the stock version and found the Gibson Es 330 to have much more output and crunch just a mature sound in general the pickups are great . I prefer the 59 reissue very comfortable neck . Probably one of the best reissues that Gibson has made . Two different guitars that play and sound different in my estimation and saying this the Casino is a great instrument yes but the ES 330 is the one for me .


  40. #40
    Les Paul Forum Member renderit's Avatar
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    Re: gibson 330 reissues, vs. epiphone john lennon signatures

    ^^ NICE ^^

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