Epiphone Casino vs Epiphone Riviera

wildeman

I Bleed Orange
May 10, 2015
16,211
norcal
My Sheraton is getting new pickups! The stock Epi 57 Alnicos are damn good but the neck pickup has been a bit muddy lately, I've loved it for years but I guess tastes change, it's getting a 57 Classic plus and a Seth Lover, should be killer.
 

BCRatRod73

Synchromatic
Sep 1, 2020
783
Mississippi
I own a Gold top Riviera P93. If you take off the metal pickup covers it greatly improves the tone. Better upper fret access on the Riviera. Having three P90s the tonal variation is just about endless. I’d say it’s my most tonally versatile guitar. I want to like the Casino but my big hands do not get along well with the upper fret access.
 

Edison

Electromatic
Mar 27, 2022
25
Ottawa, Illinois
Next to Gretsches, I have mostly Epiphones, and lean toward the older Korean-made ones. I do own a newer Epi ES-335 Pro with a natural finish, which I do like, especially for the entry-level cost of $400. It was listed as a 'blemished' or a return on one of the online retailers sites (can't recall which; Music-Go-Round or Z-Sound). Anyway, the guitar itself was cosmetically fine on arrival, but had some minor fret buzz and sprouting, likely why it was a return. Once I had that easily sussed it became a great player and a sound investment.

As the 335 body style is about as iconic as the Les Paul, I have since acquired a Korean-made Sheraton in alpine white, and more recently an '01 Supernova. All 3 of those have the more classic PAF style humbuckers.

As of this writing I have an opportunity at a locally offered clean '03 Riviera fitted with the Mini-humbuckers, original HS case included. The only other guitar I own with mini-humbuckers is a '62 reissue Epi Sorrento, another great find. I had actually come close to pulling the trigger on one of the newer P93 Riviera models, as they are plentiful and cheap on the used market, even locally to me. But as much as I love P90s, I do have a Gretsch 5622t-cb, with cats-eye sound holes and fitted with 3 Super Hilo-trons. I also have 2 Epiphone Casinos, both Peerless models (one Cherry stain, one Vintage Sunburst). I felt the overlap of tones could be somewhat redundant.

Of course, big difference in sound partly because of the center-block construction. I've found Casinos to be more resonant than the 335, even more pronounced with the difference in PAF and P90s.



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blueruins

Country Gent
May 28, 2013
4,816
Savannah, GA
I’m really enjoying my Casino even more than I expected.
Considering I ordered it on the internet I feel very fortunate. Played two examples last week at the local guitar center, they were both kinda dead sounding. One of them was a worn series like mine so the lack of resonance couldn’t be completely attributed to the finish.
I guess I’m saying play a few if you’re in the market as there is some discrepancy.
 

Edison

Electromatic
Mar 27, 2022
25
Ottawa, Illinois
Next to Gretsches, I have mostly Epiphones, and lean toward the older Korean-made ones. I do own a newer Epi ES-335 Pro with a natural finish, which I do like, especially for the entry-level cost of $400. It was listed as a 'blemished' or a return on one of the online retailers sites (can't recall which; Music-Go-Round or Z-Sound). Anyway, the guitar itself was cosmetically fine on arrival, but had some minor fret buzz and sprouting, likely why it was a return. Once I had that easily sussed it became a great player and a sound investment.

As the 335 body style is about as iconic as the Les Paul, I have since acquired a Korean-made Sheraton in alpine white, and more recently an '01 Supernova. All 3 of those have the more classic PAF style humbuckers.

As of this writing I have an opportunity at a locally offered clean '03 Riviera fitted with the Mini-humbuckers, original HS case included. The only other guitar I own with mini-humbuckers is a '62 reissue Epi Sorrento, another great find. I had actually come close to pulling the trigger on one of the newer P93 Riviera models, as they are plentiful and cheap on the used market, even locally to me. But as much as I love P90s, I do have a Gretsch 5622t-cb, with cats-eye sound holes and fitted with 3 Super Hilo-trons. I also have 2 Epiphone Casinos, both Peerless models (one Cherry stain, one Vintage Sunburst). I felt the overlap of tones could be somewhat redundant.

Of course, big difference in sound partly because of the center-block construction. I've found Casinos to be more resonant than the 335, even more pronounced with the difference in PAF and P90s.



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.. UPDATE:

So, I picked up the aforementioned '03 Korea-made Riviera on Sunday.
And while that should have been enough to shut me up, yesterday I went and picked up another minty Peerless made Casino, with a natural finish. For $550 I couldn't say 'no'.

my GAS is running rampant lately, I do need to start thinning the herd here. I have enough gear to open a store.

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blueruins

Country Gent
May 28, 2013
4,816
Savannah, GA
.. UPDATE:

So, I picked up the aforementioned '03 Korea-made Riviera on Sunday.
And while that should have been enough to shut me up, yesterday I went and picked up another minty Peerless made Casino, with a natural finish. For $550 I couldn't say 'no'.

my GAS is running rampant lately, I do need to start thinning the herd here. I have enough gear to open a store.

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This is the way.
 

Ricochet

Senior Gretsch-Talker
Nov 13, 2009
22,303
Monkey Island
I’m really enjoying my Casino even more than I expected.
Considering I ordered it on the internet I feel very fortunate. Played two examples last week at the local guitar center, they were both kinda dead sounding. One of them was a worn series like mine so the lack of resonance couldn’t be completely attributed to the finish.
I guess I’m saying play a few if you’re in the market as there is some discrepancy.

I’ve had dead sounding guitars completely come alive after a simple recut of the nut. It’s absolutely bonkers one of the smallest and cheapest parts on a guitar has such a impact on the sound.
 

Falconetti

Gretschie
Sep 18, 2012
486
Bagsville, Oxford UK
Going to have to buy a Casino now. I recently acquired and fixed up an Epiphone ES 295 Scotty Moore tribute from 2005/6 and cannot believe the quality and playability of that guitar. It is my current Number 1. I have an Gibson ES 335 Memphis and today I re-acquired an Epiphone Dot 335 from a bad bout of buyers remorse. I am such a nice guy.

Clearly I have WAY too many guitars but just can't stop GASsing for a Casino. Resistance is futile.

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A jackplate for thunder58 on the ES295.
 

BuddyHollywood

Synchromatic
Sep 11, 2009
540
Venice, CA
Yeah my Elitist has a very slim neck. It actually isn't at all the best playing guitar I have, as it has the slim neck and low frets, but I also appreciate it as it forces me to think more about what I'm playing. I can't get away with any sort of hacky bits on that guitar. Which I feel makes it less fun to play but (hopefully) leads to me being a better musician by playing it.
Interesting because my 50th Anniversary Casino has a nice and thicker 50's style D shaped neck. It may be my best playing guitar. If you get a chance you may want to try one.
 

Seamus

Country Gent
Feb 25, 2011
1,039
New England
I got a Riviera in 1994 -- it was nearly new, but really cheap because it had a repaired neck. And before I got a Gretsch, I upgraded the Riviera with TV Jones pickups and a Bigsby. Holy Toledo, that was a guitar! I love my Phoenix, but that Riviera just absolutely sang for rock and rockabilly. Never heard anything with more responsive pickups, ever.

It was good with the original humbuckers, unbelievable with Filtertrons. Now it has Surf 90s in it, and it sounds great in a whole different way. I've been endlessly impressed with that guitar as a vehicle for modding. And now I think it's time to take it back to humbuckers -- just probably better ones!

That Riviera will never leave my stable. Incredible, if humble, guitar.
 

dlew919

Country Gent
Jul 18, 2016
1,204
Sydney, Australia
I’m a casino man. Bought my daughter but it needs a setup. McCartney’s favourite type of guitar is a casino. They’re like a telecaster or a gretsch - hugely versatile, yet with a unique sound that sets them apart.
 

Byron

Country Gent
Sep 4, 2009
1,212
uk
Well it's a sound I love. Compared to a lot of what is meant to classic tweed distortion, it has class, coming out it's azz
 


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