Gibson J-160E
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Gibson J-160E
Gibson J-160E
John Lennon's missing 1962 Gibson J-160E guitar in the exhibit (clip3) - Ladies and Gentlemen... the Beatles! exhibit at LBJ Presidential Library, Austin, TX, 2015-06-12 11.37.55.jpg
Lennon's 1962 Gibson J-160E
Body typeRound-shoulder dreadnought
Neck jointDovetail
BodySitka Spruce top
Mahogany back and sides
Pickup(s)uncovered P-90[1]
Colors available
Natural, Heritage Cherry Sunburst, Vintage Sunburst

The Gibson J-160E is one of the first acoustic-electric guitars produced by the Gibson Guitar Corporation.

The J-160E was Gibson's second attempt at creating an acoustic-electric guitar (the first being the small-body CF-100E[2]). The basic concept behind the guitar was to fit a single-pickup into a normal-size dreadnought acoustic guitar. The J-160E used plywood for most of the guitar's body, and was ladder-braced, whereas other acoustic Gibsons were X-braced. The rosewood fingerboard had trapezoid inlays, and the guitar had an adjustable bridge. For amplification, a single-coil pickup (an uncovered P-90 pickup)[1] was installed under the top of the body with the pole screws protruding through the top at the end of the fingerboard, with a volume and a tone knob.

John Lennon and George Harrison frequently used one with The Beatles, both on-stage and in the studio. Gibson produces a standard J-160E and a John Lennon J-160E Peace model, based on the J-160E he used during the Bed-In days of 1969. Epiphone makes an EJ-160E John Lennon replica signature model.

Notable J-160E users

  • Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees plays a J-160E, and can be seen in several live performances of the band from 1967 to 1968.
  • Sam Lightnin' Hopkins played a J-160E which is on display at the Rock Hall of Fame.
  • Richard Barone plays a J-160E as his primary acoustic guitar on solo and band performances and with The Bongos.
  • Pete Doherty of the Libertines/babyshambles plays a J-160E during most of his solo appearances.
  • Chad Stuart and Jeremy Clyde of Chad and Jeremy played J-160E guitars from 1964 to 1968.
  • Peter Asher and Gordon Waller of Peter and Gordon played J-160E guitars, and can be seen in live acts in US during the 2000s.
  • Steve Marriott of Small Faces used a J-160E as the main acoustic guitar for the 1967 album Small Faces.
  • Mike Viola of Mike Viola and The Candy Butchers uses a J-160E with a Fishman blend Pickup.
  • Elvis Costello uses a J-160E.
  • Aimee Mann used a vintage J-160E as her primary stage guitar from the early 1990s through 2008, when the guitar was damaged in an auto accident[3]
  • John McClung of Weekend State uses a J-160E.
  • Dan Healy uses a 2005 Gibson Historic Collection J-160E with a P-100 pickup, solid spruce top with X bracing and solid mahogany back and sides. The guitar can be heard in tracks 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9 and 10 on the Ronan Keating 2016 album Time of My Life.
  • George Harrison's Official Facebook Page posted this note on June 4, 2015: "George used his J-160E live, on television, and it's the only instrument used on every Beatles album from Please Please Me to Abbey Road."


  1. ^ a b "70th Anniversary John Lennon J-160E: Features". Gibson Guitar Corp. Retrieved 2015.
    "The 70th Anniversary John Lennon J-160E is built in the exacting image of the groundbreaking original J-160E of the 1950s and '60s. ... Gibson applied a great deal of forward-looking, out-of-the-box thinking to the design of the J-160E in 1954. ... To build one of the world's first truly successful electro-acoustic guitars, Gibson re-drew the blueprint: it crafted a three-layer laminated Sitka spruce top with ladder bracing specifically to resist feedback, used a mahogany back and sides for added warmth and richness, added an adjustable bridge, and installed a P-90 pickup (without traditional cover) beneath the top at the end of the fingerboard, along with a single volume and tone control and a 1/4" output jack. In addition, the guitar's solid mahogany neck was attached at the 15th fret to give performers plenty of access to the highest of the instrument's jumbo frets."
  2. ^ Duchossoir, A. R. (1998). "CF-100E". Gibson Electrics - The Classic Years. Musical Instruments Series. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 165. ISBN 978-0-7935-9210-4.
    "As implied by its designation, the CF-100E is the electric version of the CF-100 Florentine cutaway acoustic introduced by Gibson in 1950. First marketed in 1951, the model was discontinued in 1959 owing to its flagging sales. ... / NECK o 24 3/4" scale length ... o 19-fret bound rosewood fingerboard ... / Structurally, the CF-100E was a fancier off-shoot of the traditional LG series built with a sharp Florentine cutaway. The main evolution during the 50s was the inception of a 20-fret fingerboard in 1955. / SHIPPING TOTALS - A total of 1,257 CF-100Es were shipped between 1951 and 1959 with a peak of 250 instruments in 1952."
  3. ^

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