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Gibson J160E?????

#1 User is offline   GibsonBob 

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 11:12 PM

Hi guys.

Thought someone on here may be able to help.

I've been offered this guitar by someone who is perfectly honest and has said that he isn't sure himself if the guitar is a genuine Gibson.

He bought it second hand off ebay, and on receiving it noticed quite a few differences to the usual J160E.

here we go......

It has a 2004 serial number. It has a Gibson case and the Gibson paperwork; the orange Gibson label inside the body says Model J-160E, and I confirmed with Gibson that the serial number is for a J-160E. That said, it is definitely not a "Vintage Sunburst" as the documentation states. Besides the spruce top, it has these other anomalous (i.e., not standard for a J-160E) features:
(1) the bridge is a more intricately inlaid style;
(2) the top body binding is herringbone style, not w/b/w, and it, as well as the back binding is wider on the side;
(3) the back and sides are a darker brown;
(4) the pickguard is different;
(5) the control knobs are different;
(6) the inlays are a bit brighter (whiter);
(7) the TRC is a plain bell-shaped piece of black plastic, not w/b layered plastic.

There is a tooling mark on the top of the neck joint (neck side) that I thought was odd, but I saw one just like it on another Gibson acoustic at the Gibson booth at the NAMM show, so I now don't think it's anomalous. Likewise, I thought that the headstock has something odd about it, but after looking at it again more closely, the oddness comes from just the way the nut was installed and a ding at the top of the headstock.

As far as sound, it is close to the reference J-160E, but the spruce top seems to mellow out the sound a little. The construction, based on what I can see, appears to be identical to the reference.

I'd like to believe that this was a one-off custom order based on the J-160E Natural edition. Who knows?!?

I wonder if any of you can shed some light on this one?

It's such a gorgeous guitar, even if it isn't genuine, If the price is right I might buy it anyway, as I know the seller to be completely trustworthy.

Thanks.

Bob.

http://i250.photobuc...0ESpruceTop.jpg

#2 User is offline   retrorod 

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 11:26 PM

I have never seen another like it! I would have to look closer and in person to make a judgement. But, something seems quite un-Gibson-like about the guitar. Nice inlay work on the bridge!
I have been thinking about putting my '69 up for sale/trade.
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#3 User is offline   Jinder 

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 12:06 AM

From the pic you linked to, and your description of the back and sides being a darker brown, I'd say that the guitar in question may well have Rosewood back'n'sides, which would also explain the extra mellowness to the sound.

She sure is a looker. I'd like to think it was a custom order guitar, but I couldn't be sure. Why not drop an e-mail with the above info and the serial number to Gibson Customer Services and see if they can look it up in their records. Good luck!
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#4 User is offline   GibsonBob 

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 12:34 AM

The response back from Gibson was that their records show that the serial number belongs to a 2004 J160E Vintage Sunburst!

#5 User is offline   Johnt 

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 04:15 PM

Quote

The response back from Gibson was that their records show that the serial number belongs to a 2004 J160E Vintage Sunburst!


Hi Bob

If you and the guitar are anywhere near Suffolk, I know a guy who would tell you for sure.
But my two penneth is that's its a copy.

That pickguard is not good and I have a bit of a problem imagining that someone would commssion such a specifi guitar and sell it 3/4 years later. Perhaps it's the credit crunch.

Having said that if you like it then it has value to you. Don't forget where the seller bought it though, you may trsut the guy completely but Evilbay has been known to have a dud or 2 in it's time>


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#6 User is offline   Red 333 

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 04:51 PM

Quote

Hi guys.

Thought someone on here may be able to help.

I've been offered this guitar by someone who is perfectly honest and has said that he isn't sure himself if the guitar is a genuine Gibson.

It's such a gorgeous guitar, even if it isn't genuine, If the price is right I might buy it anyway, as I know the seller to be completely trustworthy.

Thanks.

Bob.

http://i250.photobuc...0ESpruceTop.jpg



It is beautiful.

The shape seems right. Most copy guitars don't get the waist tight--they're too thick. From I can tell from the photo, the workmanship and quality of materials seems very high--that's a good looking top. It's hard to tell from one photo, but it looks like a laquer patina on that top, which would also rule out 99% of recent Asian production. Are the fret ends covered? I don't think anyone making a copy for some illicit reason would go to the trouble.

You emailed Gibson Customer Service about the serial number, correct? Try emailing LaVonne at Gibson Montanna directly. She or someone else there may be able to shed some light on this guitar if you describe it, provide the serial, and even a link to the picture. I've always found them super helpful.

By the way, although unusual, Gibson does sometimes use herring bone binding. I saw an early 90's, natural topped Advanced Jumbo with it.

Red 333

#7 User is offline   rscott4079 

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 04:39 AM

It looks real to me, and I agree with Red, it's beautiful. If it's copy, it's one heck of a copy.

I wouldn't necessarily worry that Gibson says the serial number belongs to a vintage sunburst. Gibson's serial numbers have been goofy since the company began. The fact that they say it belongs to a J-160e sounds pretty close anyway.

#8 User is offline   GibsonBob 

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 10:18 AM

More pictures here.....

http://i250.photobuc...ob/P5050503.jpg

http://i250.photobuc...ob/P5050507.jpg

http://i250.photobuc...ob/P5050508.jpg

http://i250.photobuc...ob/P5050511.jpg

#9 User is offline   Guest 

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 11:38 AM

Can you try sticking your digital camera inside the guitar's body and take a snap or two of the inside of the top, between the sound hole and the neck? Maybe there'll be someone's inscription or initials or something like that in there.

Fred

#10 User is offline   GottaBeGibson 

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 11:53 AM

The more pics I see, the more it seems off:

The serial number seems to be printed and not stamped, and there's a gap in the middle.
The tuners seem too far apart, they should almost be touching - this implies the headstock is too long.
The dimple in the middle of the headstock doesn't look deep enough.
The binding on the neck doesn't appear to go over the fret ends (though I don't know if they did this on J-160E's back in 2004 or not).

#11 User is offline   retrorod 

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 12:32 PM

Upon seeing the additional pics, I would say it is definitely a fake! Not Gibson..
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#12 User is offline   skipm 

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 01:32 PM

It's definitely a poser. I thought the neck at first might have been genuine, but the serial #'s are stamped into the wood on genuine Gibson's and not inked. The volume and tone knobs are cheap. A bridge like that on a Gibson would only be available on a one-off custom and Ren would do a much better job anyway :-). If it was a one-off custom, it would come with some kind of certificate too, attesting to it's authenticiity. The pickup is actually the only part that looks like it may be legit. Any pics of the label inside?
Jeff

Skipm

#13 User is offline   rscott4079 

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 01:34 PM

I disagree - I don't see anything that sets off any alarms. I can't tell if the serial number is printed or stamped, but the "Made in USA" is definitely stamped - you can see the shadow. From what I can see it looks like either a top notch Gibson custom job or a very nice after-market job.

How bout pics of the back, front of the headstock and label?

#14 User is offline   TWilson 

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 02:14 PM

Send those pics to someone in Bozeman. They could probably tell you in two seconds whether it's an imposter or not. My opinion is that I smell a rat on this one. Ren Fergeson could possibly have made that bridge, on crack, that is!! lol I think it's fake. 2 cents worth.
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#15 User is offline   skipm 

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 02:18 PM

The serial # in the pic is only 7 digit too!
Jeff

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#16 User is offline   rscott4079 

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 02:26 PM

Quote

The serial # in the pic is only 7 digit too!


He said Gibson had already verified it as an actual J-160 serial number.

#17 User is offline   skipm 

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 03:12 PM

Quote


He said Gibson had already verified it as an actual J-160 serial number.


You can think whatever you like...that is NOT a 2004 serial # and if it was a 2004 model the # would be stamped into the wood on the back of the headstock, not inked onto the surface.
Jeff

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#18 User is offline   retrorod 

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 12:29 AM

They verified it as a SUNBURST J160E ! The serial # on this guitar could have been made up? Does not look like Gibson style stamping.
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#19 User is offline   GottaBeGibson 

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 09:47 AM

I'd still like to see pics of the front of the headstock, the neck, the interior (to see the bracing and construction), the back, and sides. So far, the evidence points to it NOT being a real Gibson.

Emailing the pics to Montana Customer Service would also be a good idea.

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