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Vintage J-160e prices...


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I have a question that I've been thinking about lately, are the prices of vintage J-160e's (especially 64/65) based solely on the Beatles? I love the sound of them on recordings like "Act Naturally" but I know they are not really, spec-wise, anything special. Laminated tops, ladder bracing and all that. If John and George never got them, and (from what I've read) got ES-125s instead, would the prices still be where they are now, or would they be relegated to lower tier status and thus less desirable? Just a thought.

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4 hours ago, Dash_Starkiller said:

I have a question that I've been thinking about lately, are the prices of vintage J-160e's (especially 64/65) based solely on the Beatles? I love the sound of them on recordings like "Act Naturally" but I know they are not really, spec-wise, anything special. Laminated tops, ladder bracing and all that. If John and George never got them, and (from what I've read) got ES-125s instead, would the prices still be where they are now, or would they be relegated to lower tier status and thus less desirable? Just a thought.

Maybe - but look at vintage prices on guitars right now or non vintage used stuff.  People want a heap ton more money today, as compared to right before the world went to s-hit.

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It seems that if you wanted a factory built acoustic/electric in 1964/1965 the pickings were pretty slim.  Gibson had discontinued the CF-100E in 1959.  Martin pulled the plug on the D18E and D28E the same year while as far as I know the National 1155E was also out of production.  That would have left you with what looks like a choice between either a Harmony H55 or Gibson 160E at least when it came to U.S.-made guitars.   I do not have a clue though what may have been available in the way of MIJ acoustics.

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4 minutes ago, zombywoof said:

It seems that if you wanted a factory built acoustic/electric in 1964/1965 the pickings were pretty slim.  Gibson had discontinued the CF-100E in 1959.  Martin pulled the plug on the D18E and D28E the same year while as far as I know the National 1155E was also out of production.  That would have left you with what looks like a choice between either a Harmony H55 or Gibson 160E at least when it came to U.S.-made guitars.   I do not have a clue though what may have been available in the way of MIJ acoustics.

Yamaha had something like a j160 style.  
Ibanez had one except the pickup was in the end of the fingerboard. 
Mansfield, Mann, yamaki as well . .  

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2 hours ago, zombywoof said:

It seems that if you wanted a factory built acoustic/electric in 1964/1965 the pickings were pretty slim.  Gibson had discontinued the CF-100E in 1959.  Martin pulled the plug on the D18E and D28E the same year while as far as I know the National 1155E was also out of production.  That would have left you with what looks like a choice between either a Harmony H55 or Gibson 160E at least when it came to U.S.-made guitars.   I do not have a clue though what may have been available in the way of MIJ acoustics.

So with that being said, if the Beatles never used them, would the value still be high because of the uniqueness? 

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Certainly anything associated with the Beatles commands a "celebrity" price penalty, instruments played included...........if the Beatles had not used them I suspect the J-160 may have long ago been discontinued..............could be wrong as well.

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14 hours ago, slimt said:

Yamaha had something like a j160 style.  
Ibanez had one except the pickup was in the end of the fingerboard. 
Mansfield, Mann, yamaki as well . .  

That would make sense as companies like Kent were offering knock offs of the Dearmond 210 and Bug for acoustics.   

The thing about Gibson though is they clung to the P90 pickup like it was life itself.  Nobody else could get near them.  Harmony, which had a contract with Gibson to supply electronics (they did not make their own pickups or amps) got the P13 pickups.    Even the Nationals which up to a point were built by Gibson (probably because National had a distribution deal with CMI) got the P13.   As these were standard size pickups they had to be mounted underneath the fingerboard extension requiring the removal of the upper transverse brace.  I own a 1956 Harmony H40 with the P13 (these began production in 1954 so the same year as the J160E) and it took four bolts to hold it in place.  I believe Martin went with Dearmonds which were much slimmer so could be surface mounted.

Edited by zombywoof
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