2012 Casino sounds flat

panzerChris760

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I recently received a 2012 Casino that is in excellent condition, the protective shipping film was still on the pick ups and guard. I took it to a local guitar shop for new strings and a set up, I had noticed excessive buzz from the low E up and down the entire neck and also buzzing from the A string for about half the board. When I got the guitar back I wasn't pleased with the sound and I still was experiencing buzzing from the low E and A string. I then took the guitar to a different shop who then told me he had adjusted the truss rod to the maximum relaxed position and still had some back bow. He recommended thicker strings so I had him put 12s on it. Buzzing has almost completely been eliminated save for the most aggressive of pick attacks, however I am still not pleased with the tones and sounds I get from the guitar. It just sounds flat. I've checked the intonation myself and it's all right on the money. The question is- what is my next step? Do I throw pick ups on it? I can't get rid of it as it was my sister's in laws husband who passed away and I've become the Stewart of this guitar. I've got a Gretsch that I play threw the same amp and pedals which sounds fine. I've also played a squire HSS strat threw the same amp straight up and also sounds fine. I play an acoustic fender dread which sounds fine so I don't think it's my ears or playing. Thoughts? Ideas?
 

Noodling Guitars

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Now that the buzzing has been eliminated and intonation/tuning is stable, what do you mean by it sounds "flat"? Are you not getting enough sustain? Are you not getting enough treble frequencies? Is this based on the guitar being plugged in or unplugged?

There are things that you can change to improve the feel and sound of the guitar, but there's also just certain types of guitars don't really speak to you - and no matter what hardware or electronics you throw at it, it might not do all that much. but let's see if you can find some ideas:

1. strings - do you usually play 12s? because going up to a thicker gauge like that means a lot more tension and that might kill the way it sounds for you. If anything, strings and pickups are really the bulk of your sound.

2. action - is the action set too high? sure, there's no buzzing anymore, but if it's uncomfortable to play, that's going to affect how you sound too.

3. tailpiece - maybe check that it's secure and tight. IMHO, the trapeze tailpiece sometimes gives a feeling that the whole assembly is capable of moving (it actually doesn't) but is more like a strat when trying to bend. It's more of a feel thing and most likely in my head, but this could also contribute to the "flat" feeling you're getting.. maybe.

4. pickups - do you like p90s? it's part of that casino sound (but it could be you don't like the way a casino sounds to begin with).

At the end of the day - you can always take care of the guitar for sentimental reasons, leave it as a wall hanger and play your other ones :D
 

Norton

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is flat anything like "dull". or a "muted treble response" ??

metal pickup covers on p90's can have a pretty massive effect on dulling down the treble.
 

Keefoman

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If the trussrod is at its max relief already, it's not a good sign. You could try even heavier string gauge and leave it for a good amount of time (weeks or months) tuned to pitch to try to manipulate the neck to bend the other way, before putting on lighter strings again. Or you could try tuning up a step (or more?) with the strings you already have to increase string tension. Either way, I think it's wise to take it little by little. Don't stress the neck by adding too much tension at once.
Another option would be to take it to a luthier to sand the fretboard even, but that would mean replacing the frets, and probably be too costly.
Heavier string gauge can make the tone "duller" on some guitars.
 

soulman969

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I recently received a 2012 Casino that is in excellent condition, the protective shipping film was still on the pick ups and guard. I took it to a local guitar shop for new strings and a set up, I had noticed excessive buzz from the low E up and down the entire neck and also buzzing from the A string for about half the board. When I got the guitar back I wasn't pleased with the sound and I still was experiencing buzzing from the low E and A string. I then took the guitar to a different shop who then told me he had adjusted the truss rod to the maximum relaxed position and still had some back bow. He recommended thicker strings so I had him put 12s on it. Buzzing has almost completely been eliminated save for the most aggressive of pick attacks, however I am still not pleased with the tones and sounds I get from the guitar. It just sounds flat. I've checked the intonation myself and it's all right on the money. The question is- what is my next step? Do I throw pick ups on it? I can't get rid of it as it was my sister's in laws husband who passed away and I've become the Stewart of this guitar. I've got a Gretsch that I play threw the same amp and pedals which sounds fine. I've also played a squire HSS strat threw the same amp straight up and also sounds fine. I play an acoustic fender dread which sounds fine so I don't think it's my ears or playing. Thoughts? Ideas?
If it's like my 2012 it's gonna be quite a project so plan on having a tech or luthier do it but one of the first things I'd suggest is replacing the stock chromed pickup covers with those made of nickel silver.

The pickups themselves are fine but the crappy medal covers suppress highs and create muddying eddy current. Replace those and the guitar should open up tonally for you very nicely.
 
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My Casino comes through my amp more bassy than my other guitars. I have to turn down the bass on my amp to get it balanced. It's just the nature of the guitar. I also added a Lollar P90 shim on the bridge pickup to raise it up a bit. That helped balance the output between the two pickups.
 


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