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J45 vs. J160E

Joe M

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Is a J-160E just a J-45 with a sound hole pickup installed (above the sound hole' date=' of course)? One of the guys in a local shop tried to tell me that they're the same guitar....[/quote']




First, there are two J160E variants produced currently--one with a lamintaed, ladder braced top (the original '50s/'60s spec), and the J160E standard, which like a J45, has a solid top that is x-braced. This is probably the model the salesman said was the same as a J45, as this is a widely held assumption.


The J160E Standard and the J45 differ in a very important way, though. The J160E has 15 frets clear of the body, to the J45's 14. To maintain something like the same scale, the J160E Standard's bridge is shifted more toward the sound hole than on a J45, and away from the fattest part of the top. The x brace is also moved forward in compensation. The result is a drier, punchier, more quickly decaying tone than a J45's.


Point the bridge location out to your salesman on your next visit. Have him feel the location of the x braces intersection on both guitars with his finger. Some future customer will thank you for educating him.


Red 333

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