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Or is it a J160E

 

Hey guys, Anyone own one of these J160 or is it j160E Lennons I think they came out with in 2008? Do they still make the J160 or was is a re-issue for Lennon in 2008 as a tribute..

 

I got a sweet Lennon poster where he is sitting Indian style playing his J160 and I know the story where Brian Epstien co-signed for George and John buying each one back in the early 60's because they couldnt afford it.

 

Feeling a little Nostalgic, Old and a little sad. But his music lives on.

 

Purpose of my post,/... I know every single Gibson has its own sound. Can someone who has played one, give me their general feedback, and compare it to the J-45, and Dove?

 

Overall thoughts? I have been watching You tube videos and overall everyone seems pleased with it.

 

Two of my favorite Musicians Gone ( George and John). Thank God we still have Dylan and Keef.

 

thanks in advance.

 

T

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Or is it a J160E

 

Hey guys, Anyone own one of these J160 or is it j160E Lennons I think they came out with in 2008? Do they still make the J160 or was is a re-issue for Lennon in 2008 as a tribute..

 

I got a sweet Lennon poster where he is sitting Indian style playing his J160 and I know the story where Brian Epstien co-signed for George and John buying each one back in the early 60's because they couldnt afford it.

 

Feeling a little Nostalgic, Old and a little sad. But his music lives on.

 

Purpose of my post,/... I know every single Gibson has its own sound. Can someone who has played one, give me their general feedback, and compare it to the J-45, and Dove?

 

Overall thoughts? I have been watching You tube videos and overall everyone seems pleased with it.

 

Two of my favorite Musicians Gone ( George and John). Thank God we still have Dylan and Keef.

 

thanks in advance.

 

T

 

 

They still make a solid top version of the J160e , daves guitars has one in stock :

 

http://davesguitar.com/products/gibson-montana/j-160e/

 

 

Lennon's original and the reissues had a laminated top

 

 

They could do a laminated top version again in the future.

 

Edit :

 

Here's one of the reissues at a beatles displsy in Japan. The color is " Imagine White " :IMG_1936619921924_zps04b6719b.jpeg

 

 

 

 

JC

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They still make a solid top version of the J160e , daves guitars has one in stock :

 

http://davesguitar.com/products/gibson-montana/j-160e/

 

 

Lennon's original and the reissues had a laminated top

 

 

They could do a laminated top version again in the future.

 

Edit :

 

Here's one of the reissues at a beatles displsy in Japan. The color is " Imagine White " :IMG_1936619921924_zps04b6719b.jpeg

 

 

 

 

JC

 

 

Thanks for the info. Do you or anyone happen to know the difference in Sound between the laminated top and the Solid Top Version ?

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A laminate top will have a more muted sound a solid top will project more.There's a great video where Robi Johns (Director of sales for gibson montana) talks about the history of Lennon's guitar and the replicas ... let me see if I can find it and ill post iy in an edit

 

 

 

 

Edit 1 :

 

 

Edit 2:

Another video with Robi in japan :

 

 

JC

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It sounds quite nice in what little you can hear in the video, but why was a 1963 Gibson a laminate top? (Assuming then the entire guitar is laminates.)

 

What percentage of J-160e are solid top vs. laminate? Is a solid top a better sounding J-160e? And what is the price difference?

 

If the laminate J-160e is such a desirable guitar, wouldn't it stand to reason that laminate guitars done right are a worthy competitor to solid guitars?

 

What laminate guitars then are worth checking out?

 

(I'm always interested in finding ways to get around the humidity issues of the fine solid guitars I own.)

 

I should hope Milod will chime in, along with the rest of you fine folks.

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When the J-160E premiered in 1954, it had a solid top. It was also the first Gibson with the adjustable bridge. In 1955, Gibson changed the specs to a 3-ply top with ladder bracing to minimize feedback. It remained this way (and sometimes had a laminated back) until it was discontinued in 1979.

 

The combination of the 3-ply top, ladder bracing, adjustable saddle all contribute to its unique sound. So does the position of the bridge, which is closer to the narrow waist of the soundboard and away from the wider part (due to the 15-fret neck). I would describe it as very percussive, quick decaying, with a tight dynamic range, and not very loud relative to other acoustics. I think these qualities (which may not be ideal in other circumstances) made it a very good guitar when miced for recording. You can hear it to good effect on Beatles, Chad and Jeremy, BeeGees, Elvis Costello, Aimee Mann, Small Faces, Peter and Gordon, Lightin' Hopkins, and many other recordings.

 

When Gibson Montana revived the model in 1991, they focused on improving its acoustic performance. Named the J-160E Standard, they gave the guitar a solid top, x-bracing, and a fixed bridge. This guitar is still in production. It's more lively than the laminate-top J-160E, but the position of the bridge on the soundboard makes it a noticeably less warm and resonant compared to a guitar with the same body and a neck joined at the 14th fret, like a J-45.

 

At some point, Gibson was allowed to measure John Lennon's J-160E so they could produce a series of replicas (I can't remember the year). Ren Ferguson described it as sounding like it was stuffed with socks.

 

Various Lennon-signature J-160E's have been issued since then, and some non-signature runs with the same '60s specs (laminated top, ladder bracing, adjustable bridge) have been built from time to time for 5-Star dealers like Fuller's. Musician's Friend just had a batch of them recently, but must have sold the last one this week or so, as I don't see it on the website today.

 

Red 333

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Thanks, Red.

 

That's a ton of good information right there. I must admit I'm now more intrigued than ever to try the various models out. In the past, I stayed away from them, since I figured the price to value ratio was likely out of whack due to the Lennon connection (like some artist models out there, but not all).

 

Laminate top, adjustable saddle, ladder bracing, and the soundhole moved away from the meat of the guitar...it sounds like a guitar succeeded in spite of itself. Or, like a high-end Ovation or a properly EQ's Chet Atkins model, made for the stage and not the parlor.

 

Anyone else have experience with these models?

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At some point, Gibson was allowed to measure John Lennon's J-160E so they could produce a series of replicas (I can't remember the year). Ren Ferguson described it as sounding like it was filled with socks.

That's exactly how I'd describe a vintage J-160E

(one that really sticks out in my memory)

I had the opportunity to play many years ago.

 

Very thick laminated top, and a terribly tubby tone!

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P.S. What does this mean in comparison to an Epiphone J-160e? If the originals were laminated, ladder braced, how is that different from the modern Epiphones?

The Epiphone EJ-160e has a solid spruce top,

and has been produced overseas for many years.

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Nice to see the 160 get a mention - it's been a while! Apologies but being a john lennon beatles nut since chilbirth i may be biased but the 160 takes a lot of stick on a lot of forums.

 

I have a 2012 sunburst solid spruce x braced. Before this i had the epi version and a Gibson J45 Standard.

 

I swapped the J45 for the 160 cause i heard they were similar apart from the electrics and i wanted it to go with my Rickenbacker 325.

 

With acoustic strings on it sounds like a J45 but u have to drive it harder (which makes it a good rhythm guitar). When plugged in with acoustic strings it's a no-hoper. Dreadful.

 

After getting a new J45 Custom a few months back i decided to put electric strings on the 160. This is the sound i was looking for. Unplugged it's bright, light not loud but has those beatles jingles n jangles. Plugged into my vox now....it's early beatles. Fab!

 

If you want a nice acoustic to be an acoustic - don't get the j160.

 

If you want to play early beatles and rock n roll - get a 160 - and enjoy! :-)

 

P.s the epiphone version is not even comparable even to the laminate gibson version.

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I had a 1955 J-160E in the house last year for a test drive. This one still had a solid top and was no different than one made the previous year (I have run into several made in 1955 that retained the earlier specs). I did not much care for the sound unplugged so passed on it. For what it is worth, I still think you would be better off buying a J-45 and slapping a single coil Dearmond 210 pickup across the soundhole.

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Quote: "Can someone who has played one, give me their general feedback"

 

 

 

 

Well here in the Video below.

 

You will you will receive feedback from "The Beatles" themselves.

 

Directly from the Gibson 160E, as they used its innate susceptibility to feedback in the Intro to "I Feel Fine".

 

That is a Recording of the Low Frequency Noise, from that Acoustic Electric Instrument which you are listening to at the opening of that Track.

 

Live in Concert Sir Paul McCartney would create a Fast Tremolo Sensation, with his Pick on the Hofner Bass to re-create a form of simulation, of that Low Frequency Feedback Effect.

 

 

 

 

Have a Listen.

 

http://vimeo.com/70914746

 

 

 

 

Please understand.

 

That in Life, it's not what you've got that counts.

 

In reality, it's how you use it, that truly makes the difference, that matters.

 

All the deeply negative, things that are wrong, and reasons why one person could not use an Instrument.

 

Suddenly, with Inspiration can become a Strongly Positive, Defining Differential, in the Hands of a Distinctively Creative, Artistic Talent.

 

 

 

 

 

It's being a Distinct, Creative, Talented Artist that Really Counts.

 

One that can Communicate Emotively, and Elicit an Emotional Response, from an Audience who have been Profoundly Moved, by what they have Heard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quote: "There's a great video where Robi Johns (Director of sales for gibson montana) talks about the history of Lennon's guitar"

 

 

 

 

 

With genuine respect to the good gentleman.

 

There are indeed, glaring factual errors, in that Video.

 

Again with respect, History, is not Gibson Guitars, Strongest Suit.

 

In truth, that is largely left to Independent Journalists, Enthusiasts and Luthiers.

 

These are the people that have written by far the best, most Authoritative Books, on this Subject.

 

 

 

 

 

Quote: "Apologies but being a john lennon beatles nut since chilbirth i may be biased but the 160 takes a lot of stick on a lot of forums."

 

- Snipped for Shortness -

 

Quote: "With acoustic strings on it sounds like a J45 but u have to drive it harder (which makes it a good rhythm guitar). When plugged in with acoustic strings it's a no-hoper. Dreadful."

 

- Snipped for Shortness -

 

Quote: "After getting a new J45 Custom a few months back i decided to put electric strings on the 160. This is the sound i was looking for. Unplugged it's bright, light not loud but has those beatles jingles n jangles."

 

 

 

 

 

As discussed elsewhere on the Gibson Fora.

 

And more than adequately demonstrated earlier in this Post.

 

The 160E is an Instrument that is neither a Great Acoustic or Acoustic Electric Guitar.

 

But despite the Shortcomings of Ladder Bracing, Problematical Tops, Metal Adjustable Bridge and P90 "Acoustic" Pickup.

 

 

 

 

Talented Musicians can use its Distinct Tonal Differential to Support their own Unique Voice.

 

 

 

 

With the assistance of Sir George Martin and the Engineering Expertise at Abbey Road it is clear that "The Beatles" pulled this off.

 

Many people are Able and Competent Singers and or Guitarists, but will never "Make it" because they have never Developed and Do Not Possess, A Unique and Instantly Identifiable Voice.

 

A Hallmark Characteristic, a "Sonic Signature" Emotionally Compellingly to the Human Ear. Something Different, often both Visual and Aural, that Marks Them Out as Distinct and Different from Everybody Else, Publicly Performing.

 

 

 

 

In regard to Strings.

 

It's extremely unlikely, though not impossible.

 

Especially outside the Capital and in just the Very Largest Cities, that John Lennon would have been readily able to obtain very easy access to today's typical type of Gibson Acoustic Guitar Strings you appear to allude to, in order to be able to Readily Change Strings as Needed, to a Favourite String of Choice.

 

Certainly not the Types and Range of Choice we would be familiar with and expect to use today. For sure, Gibson made the Bronze Strings available during that Era. But as a point put broadly, in the U.K. other String Brands predominated, and were most commonly available across the Country as a whole. Normally, Dealers mainly or indeed only stocked the better selling Gibson Strings, known as Mona Steel, as well as other Gibson Acoustic Strings later on, such as the "Hand Made" that looked very similar to what would be considered today, as Heavier Electric Guitar Strings.

 

Certain of these, because of the material used in their construction, would have demonstrated a significant degree of Magnetic Property, and made them suitable for the 160E Guitar. When you consider the 160E's popularity, people cite "The Beatles" use of this Instrument as an example. But it's worth reflecting (if you are too young to remember) that apart from fitting an Aftermarket Magnetic Pickup to your Rare and Expensive Acoustic Guitar, (rarely with a Jack Socket fitted), there was little alternative that was an attractive aesthetic choice, for users of Acoustic Guitars in an Amplified Live Concert Situation.

 

For example. People tend to think the 175 Archtop Guitar must be the Greatest Archtop Jazz Guitar, because there were so many of them about years ago. Whereas, the real reason they were prevalent, was their far more affordable cost. Ovations didn't exist. So the 160 E was in essence, at the time a neat Problem Solver, for a few lucky Artists able to afford them. Top Performers were Playing ever bigger Venues, rather than the small Assembly Rooms with a few hundred people in them, as "The Beatles" Performed to here in my Home City, where they jammed with Local Supporting Act Musicians before the Gig. Many Artists needed to Beef Up their Projected Sound, and having a Purpose Built, Acoustic Electric Instrument, from a Name Brand would have seemed to them to be the Ideal Solution, for the very few with the means to purchase them.

 

http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/2049611.fans_recall_beatles_lone_city_gig/

 

 

 

 

They would not have been in a position to actively try this Instrument, before they ordered it.

 

So when it finally arrived, simply got on with using it in Performance.

 

Without questioning its Competence of Design.

 

It helped to Solve a Problem.

 

That's the Point!

 

 

 

 

It's worth considering the Middle Range Characteristics of this Instrument.

 

The Mahogany Back and Sides albeit that Lamination, especially in the Top was involved, will tend to emphasise Fundamentals of Notes and give pre-eminence to a Mid Frequency Weighted, Tonal Quality.

 

In an earlier Post, someone mentioned that Ace Gibson Luthier Ren Ferguson commented that "the Guitar sounded like it was Full of Socks". It would involve uncharacteristic conjecture on my part to reflect as to why Ren Ferguson would fill Guitars with Socks, in order to be able to Authoritatively State this. But I believe he is alluding to the Acoustical Issues, previously highlighted, in other Related Threads.

 

Even so, for those who appear to be enthusiasts of "The Beatles". It's worth considering that this Mid Frequency Emphasis is a Hallmark Quality of many of the Backing Tracks of their Recordings, and the Unique Characteristics of particular Acoustic Guitars, and the Strings fitted to them, are a definite part of the Overall Tonal Quality that this Group Projected both in Live Concert and on their Recordings. Never the less, even the Electric Guitar in some Recordings could be fairly considered to be somewhat "Honky".

 

While I'm on the subject of their Recordings, it's worth remembering that the various REDD Large Format Recording Consoles that were used on their Early Recordings, (and they utilised more than one iteration of the Design) offered Strictly Limited Equalisation Characteristics. Today, some misguided people would consider them to be completely laughable in their Limitations. Far, Far, Far, more Limited than say the later EMI TG Series Consoles. Indeed, as their REDD Consoles evolved, EMI Specifically Manufactured Additional Equalisation Boxes for their Consoles. The EMI RS127 and RS135 EQ units were Designed and Built early in the 60's to Provide Additional Equalisation and Tonal Characteristics. These were used at Abbey Road on almost every Album by "The Beatles", rather like Electric Guitarists would have additional Effect Pedals, to add Extra Emphasis, to what we today, would consider to be " Mid and Upper Mid Range Frequencies".

 

 

 

 

 

 

I keep typing "Mud" Frequencies, because nearly all the letters have mysteriously disappeared from my keyboard, but I'm wondering whether there is a "Freudian Slip" involved?

 

Further in regard to Strings. Out of the Box, Phosphorus Bronze Strings, Sound Deep and Tonally Complex, with more Harmonic Overtones. 80/20 Bronze Strings can seem Overly Bright and Harsh by Comparison.

 

Personally, I have well over 50 Sets of Spare Strings available for my Guitars at any one time, aside from the Strings Fitted to the Instruments. But the fundamental, salient point is, I think Gibson Strings are Ideal Partners for their Instruments to my Ear, and I do have Both Phosphorus Bronze and 80/20 Bronze Strings, ready to go on different Instruments. Aside from all the other choices, available. This is the Most Important Acoustic String Dichotomy.

 

However, in the days of "The Beatles" people did not Change their Strings anything like as often as they appear to do today. This is a Critical Factor. Once Bronze 80/20 Strings lose their Initial Brightness, they tend to become very Mid Range in Tone, by direct comparison to the relevant alternatives. In this situation, these Strings can Project a Tonal Quality that is very "Beatle Sounding" in that without any Additional Equalisation, in Recording, the Instrument Sits Neatly in the Mix, occupying a Readily Available Tonal Area, in a small Group Ensemble. Phosphorus Bronze Strings appeared later on.

 

Although there is an enormous amount of Electronic Equalisation available in a Major Recording Studio. It has been my experience that the Greatest Recording Engineers and Producers, Primarily, Get the Sound They Want, Straight From the Artist or Instrument Themselves. They are not looking to add this or that, they are Getting The Ideal Sound, Straight From the Source. Beyond that, Judicious Mic Choice for the Sound Source, and Mic Position are the Critical Success Factors. In this Ideal Situation, No Equalisation at all may be Required at all During Tracking. Later, in Mixing it might be necessary, for the sake of Overall Balance, but here Subtracting Equalisation can be as Important as Adding Equalisation, and that can Shape a Sound into a More Mid-Range Tonal Version of Itself. Alternately, if it is definitely thought that High or Upper Mid Frequencies may need significant boosting later on, it can be Better to Boost them during Tracking, as Adding High Frequency later on, would tend to Boost Tape Hiss, at the Same Time. Resulting in a Worse Recording Overall.

 

 

 

 

What's the point of writing this?

 

Get the Sound you really want At Source.

 

Use the Right Choice of Strings and Instrument.

 

Those that will Naturally, "Sit in the Mix" of a Recording.

 

 

http://www.cleartonestrings.com/phosphor-bronze-vs-8020-guitar-string-comparison/

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Lots of good information here guys to my post.

 

All this great info aside...... In a month , after my saving account recovers from my last J45 purchase, I may consider pulling the trigger on a laminated 160E. For stupid reasons.... I will never be John Lennon ( who will?) I will never be able to pick up a telecaster stand next to Ronnie Wood and "weave" Like Keef, But in my dreams I will.

 

So I may pick up that 160, Light a candle , sit indian style under the large poster of Lennon sitting Indian style playing his. Sounds stupid , and just for a few brief hours a day. I will channel a hero of mine.

 

thanks again all. Great info!!!

 

T.

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Splake,

 

That's a beautiful thing, isn't it? Not every purchase is based on months to years of searching for the perfect 'tone', but in achieving an experience. Surely, Gibson offers their guitars to the famous either at discounts or pro bono in exchange for the sales that surely follow seeing someone whose music you love playing that instrument.

 

What is life if we all can't dream a little?

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Lots of good information here guys to my post.

 

All this great info aside...... In a month , after my saving account recovers from my last J45 purchase, I may consider pulling the trigger on a laminated 160E. For stupid reasons.... I will never be John Lennon ( who will?) I will never be able to pick up a telecaster stand next to Ronnie Wood and "weave" Like Keef, But in my dreams I will.

 

So I may pick up that 160, Light a candle , sit indian style under the large poster of Lennon sitting Indian style playing his. Sounds stupid , and just for a few brief hours a day. I will channel a hero of mine.

 

thanks again all. Great info!!!

 

T.

 

It's not stupid. Go for it.

 

The guitar comes with (or used to come with) Gibson L5 Pure Nickel strings. Put or keep them on and all the songs you play will sound just like your Beatle records! Plus, these strings are very compliant, and make the guitar very easy to play.

 

I forgot to mention: of all Gibson acoustics, the laminate-top, ladder-braced J-160E is the one that exhibits the most "Gibson thunk." There will be times when it will sound as if someone is accompanying you on an anvil.

 

This thread motivated me to take mine out this week. Love it.

 

Red 333

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Lots of good information here guys to my post.

 

All this great info aside...... In a month , after my saving account recovers from my last J45 purchase, I may consider pulling the trigger on a laminated 160E. For stupid reasons.... I will never be John Lennon ( who will?) I will never be able to pick up a telecaster stand next to Ronnie Wood and "weave" Like Keef, But in my dreams I will.

 

So I may pick up that 160, Light a candle , sit indian style under the large poster of Lennon sitting Indian style playing his. Sounds stupid , and just for a few brief hours a day. I will channel a hero of mine.

 

thanks again all. Great info!!!

 

T.

 

Splake,

 

I guess many people play the guitars their musical heroes played.

So if anything I'll encourage you to go for it.

 

Enjoy

 

 

I would love a lefty laminate J160e John Lennon Peace model.

But I think my next purchase will me one of the USA Epiphone Paul McCartney lefty texans.

 

 

 

JC

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I have a 2005 J160-E solid-top and it is my main acoustic. I have always used Elixir .11's on it.

 

It is a great guitar and a wonderful feel to it. I have a LR Baggs element under saddle pickup in addition to the P100.

 

It is not the loudest guitar around but you can really lay into it !!!!

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