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J-160e info needed

Joe B

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I have a 1955 Gibson J-160e.


Does anyone know a of good light gauge set of strings that work well with the J-160e P90 pickup?


Also should I need a replacement pickup, where can I find one?


Does Gibson send out the wireing diagram for this model?


Also the guitar has 19 frets, although it has a W to start the serial indicating it's a '55. Any info on that?





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All I'd say is that back in the olden days such guitars were played with "regular" steel strings even though in theory they're not for "electric" guitars - which anything with a P90 obviously qualifies as.


I think you may have good luck with Elixir 9-42 electric strings if you're fingerpickin' and consider that set of gauges appropriate. They'll likely work better than what the first owner used on the guitar.


OTOH, you may need to consider some pickup adjustments. As I said, those early A-E guitars with magnetic pickups didn't have the "push" one might expect today from using strings of the '50s. I'd guess that a prior owner already did some adjustments along those lines but... I wouldn't bet on it.


Technically speaking, think of this more as a magnetic sound hole pickup installed on a regular acoustic - which is what a lot of us actually did in the olden days. It ain't a piezo where some folks figure regular acoustic strings are best. In fact, there also were a lot of aftermarket magnetic pickups for non-electric archtops. I have no idea what happened to mine that likely is in a box somewhere I haven't opened the past five or six moves.


Then the piezos came along in the 70s and... a whole new game. Some of the stuff many of us tried to work with prior to that was a lot worse than a magnetic or piezo, believe me.



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