Ever since I picked up one of these guitars on Craigslist, I have been searching for another one to add to my collection. The Epiphone Casino with the Bigsby vibrato system has been probably one of the guitars that I have that I play most often so maybe I am about to give it a kind of biased review.
I guess the first time that I ever saw an Epiphone Casino was one that I saw in a picture of John Lennon playing. From what I know, the Casino started to really get noticed when members of the Beatles started using them on their recordings. In fact, if you even look at the guitar's wikipedia page you will see a picture of Paul McCartney playing a beautful one.
I'm not sure how I would describe the sound...how do you describe sound anyway? It has a very rich and warm sound and the body resonates very well with the vibrating of the strings. This makes it definitely among my favorites for rhythm guitar. I would have to say the the Gibson guitar company's choice of using the P90 soapbar pickups would account for that.
I know that a lot of people get these mixed up with their semi hollow bodied cousins like the ES-335. However, this is actually a fully hollow body and not a semi. There's nothing there to stop the resonation. Not good if you want to control feedback but if you know how to control that feedback, you can really get some great sounds out of it.
Right now, there are actually three versions of the Epiphone Casino. One that is the regular archtop version, and two others that are basically John Lennon signature models called the John Lennon 1965 Casino and the John Lennon Revolution Casino.
What is the most interesting about the two John Lennon modesls is that the first one was based off John's basic Casino that he played. Then the second one was based off of mods that he made to it during his recording of the White Album. Apparently, he did a number of things to it during that time like switching out the tuners, refinished the body, and removed the pickguard. Since the guitar was shown in the movie called Revolution, this is why it was called that.
As far as thinline hollow body guitars, Epiphone certainly hit a home run with the Casino model.