Gibson J-160E

The Gibson J-160E is one of the first acoustic-electric guitar models produced by the Gibson Guitar Corporation.

One of the main problems with playing an unamplified acoustic guitar is that when playing in live settings, it is often quite difficult to hear. Some guitarists have gotten around the problem by playing their acoustic guitars into a microphone; however, there are several drawbacks to this approach, such as the leaking of other (louder) instruments into the microphone, and restricted movement away from the microphone. Thus, many guitar manufacturers have tried to create acoustic-electric guitars as a solution to this problem.

The J-160E was Gibson's second attempt at creating an acoustic-electric guitar (the first being the small-body CF-100E). The basic concept behind the guitar was to fit a single-pickup (and associated electronics) into a normal-size dreadnought acoustic guitar. The J-160E used plywood for most of the guitar's body, and was ladder-braced, whereas other Gibson acoustic models were X-braced. The rosewood fingerboard featured crown inlays, and the guitar featured an adjustable bridge. For amplification, it featured a single-coil pickup (an uncovered P-90 pickup) on the top of the body at the edge of the fingerboard (similar to "floating" pickups on some archtop acoustic guitars), with one volume knob and one tone knob.

The J-160E was never particularly notable for its acoustic sound, and when amplified, it sounded more like a hollowbody electric guitar than an amplified acoustic guitar.

While the J-160E was not popular with all guitarists, John Lennon and George Harrison of The Beatles frequently used this model, both onstage and in the studio. Gibson currently produces a standard J-160E and a John Lennon J-160E Peace model, based on the J-160E he used during the Bed-In days of 1969. Epiphone currently produces an "EJ-160E" John Lennon replica signature model that is currently produced in Indonesia, but is a longer scale length, a different color, and of lower quality than the earlier Korean-made Epiphone EJ-160E.

Notable J-160E users


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