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  1. I gave the guitar to my brother when he was visiting, he loves it! After a week playing it, he felt it sounded great acoustically and even better as an electric. Once he got home, several of his guitar buddies played it and loved the acoustic tone as well. I am certain that having a well coupled saddle makes a huge difference. When I was setting the saddle height, the bone Blisstone saddle was too short and did not fully fill the length of the slot. I temporarily shimmed the height with several plastic shims to get it to the proper playing height. Playing with this setup was uninspiring, a strummed chord would die out after about 3-4 seconds and the tone was lifeless and dull. I then thought I would try the plastic saddle that came with the All parts GB-0859 J24 bridge. I sanded it to height and once installed, it sounded totally different. Now a strummed chord sustains for 7 - 8 seconds and the tone is much fuller and richer. Maybe a proper bone saddle would be even better, but it sounds good enough with the plastic saddle so I am leaving it that way for now. My guess is that many of the complaints about the J-160e as an acoustic relate to the adjustable saddles and the lack of acoustic coupling to the body. I was shocked at how much difference there was between the temporary bone saddle plus shims and a properly sized plastic saddle. Too bad for owners of nice originals, where going with a fixed saddle would destroy the value. But they would end up with a much better sounding guitar!
  2. Larsongs, the original electronics were long gone when my dad picked this up in a North Carolina flea market about 40 years ago, otherwise I would have restored them as well. Ratherbwalkn, the metal plates were the top straightening jig. I was able to save the original bridge plate, you can see it in the underside pic. I added a small metal strip underneath to ground the strings to significantly reduce ground hum. I know the Epiphone reproduction does this, not sure how it was done in 1956 on the adjustable bridge. I made it similar to the Taylor ground https://www.taylorguitars.com/taylorware/string-ground-fuses/es-string-ground-fused I used a 40mA fuse rather than the Taylor 10mA, as I read that static electricity can blow the 10mA one.
  3. Thanks Dave great suggestion and maybe gives me a way to slightly lower the bridge. Thanks for the sanding block offer, but I think I'll just work down the problem fret without touching any others, as they are worn to start with. And it is interesting that car guys and guitar guys have a very different definition of "not worth saving"!
  4. Thanks to the forum for identifying this well worn 1956 J-160e This was a major mess, I wanted to get it in playing order to give to my brother for his birthday, but not put more into it than it was worth. I took it to a local respected luthier, he felt it needed a new bridge and neck work (high spot at the 15th fret, indicative of slight neck lifting) and it wasn't worth doing all of it. And he was concerned if he just did the bridge I wouldn't be happy. I was willing to pay for the bridge work, but he declined. So, faced with a wall ornament, I decided to give it a shot myself. Never touched a guitar repair, but have done high quality auto restorations. The good news is I did it all including fixing the belly bulge, replacing the bridge, saddle and nut, installing an eBay Epiphone EJ160e pickup set and knobs with new period correct aged Klusen tuners and Pyramid flat wounds for less than $200. I was able to work around the neck issue with slightly higher action (0.125" at 12th fret). Sounds great and I love the knocked about look. Here are the parts, minus the Blisstone bone nut, saddle and pins off Amazon, which I tea stained to age. The electronics and tuners were off eBay and particularly good finds. The tuners were realistically aged by the seller and the style is virtually identical for 1956. I was able to knock the belly bulge down substantially. I created a jig similar to a Bridge Doctor and used the existing adjustable bridge holes to clamp through. Dampened the bridge area and ladder braces, put the jigs and guitar in the sun until the metal registered close to 150F, guitar with neck covered just at 100F. Clamped it up and waited two days. The existing bridge was off in string length by more than 1/2 inch (!), the saddle was a disaster and the strings were not centered on the fretboard. The bridge pins holes were a mess. I filled all the holes and the adjustable bridge slot for top stability and added a string ground with fuse for safety. I used the bridge slot to locate the new bridge, the string lengths agreed closely with the StewMac fret calculator. The period correct aged tuners look much better than the 70s era Ibanez tuners. Overall a fun project and I was able to revive a guitar older than I am to be playable again. Looking forward to giving it to my brother in a few weeks.
  5. Thanks, no $$ in my eyes. I'm most interested in putting the bridge right and converting back to electric with a similar Chinese pickup kit. Anyone make a decent repro bridge for a J160E?
  6. Thanks for the help! My dad picked this up in a flea market in North Carolina 30+ years ago, paid $20 for it. If I decide to put it back to electric, are there recommended sources for parts? Pickup, knobs, bridge, tuners?
  7. New to the forum, looking to ID this very well worn Gibson acoustic. The body is 16" across. I struggled with photos, but here is a link: http://s1167.photobucket.com/user/Bobs69BB/library/Gibson Did a little research, only has a FON ink stamped on headstock, V5856-18 which I think says it is from 1956. Looks like was originally an electric model converted back to acoustic. The bridge orientation looks backwards to most of the era, with the flat facing towards the neck. The tuning pegs are all metal, which don't look period correct. Any help is appreciated. Thanks, Robert
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