|Comments||From the dawn of the banjo orchestra around the turn of the 20th century, every guitar company had to deal with the increasing need for volume. But with the invention of electric amplification, microphones – no matter how good they were – just weren’t versatile enough and were too expensive and delicate to rig out on stages. Plus, with a fixed mic, you can’t move around much! So, pickups started appearing on acoustic guitars, but that raises its own issues, particularly feedback and tone. Gibson’s first attempt to deal with this requirement was the early 1950’s CF-100E, based on the cutaway flat-top CF-100.. You can read our features on that instrument here, and here. Their second attempt, in 1954, was the J-160E. Based on the J-45 body style but with ladder bracing instead of the standard X, its construction shifted to a laminate top in 1955 for stiffness and feedback rejection, and it gained one more fret, to a total of 20. This 1967 Gibson J-160E has been played a lot and is in good playing condition. The back has been resprayed so it looks quite dark in the photos. The action benefits from the neck reset this instrument almost certainly had, some time ago – nearly every acoustic guitar of a certain age needs a neck reset. Tonally – If you have ever heard a tune by a British group, titled “I Should Have Known Better” (which also appeared on their feature film and soundtrack album titled “A Hard Day’s Night”) – this guitar has *exactly* the tone of the rhythm part played by one John Lennon.|
|Serial Number||845052, built during 1967 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA.|
|Pricing||$2,999.99 CAD with original fibre case.|
|Neck||Mahogany neck with unbound rosewood fingerboard. Faux mother of pearl trapezoidal position markers. Mother of pearl Gibson logo and leaf inlay on the peghead front. Finger wear in the low positions, matching the fret wear.|
|Frets||Original frets with noticeable wear, particularly frets one to five. Matching fingerboard wear.|
|Body||J-style, slope shoulder dreadnought body. Laminate spruce top for stiffness and feedback rejection, mahogany back and sides. Ladder bracing. Bound top and back, rosewood bridge with adjustable ceramic saddle. A crack in the back, about 3 inches long towards the lower treble bout where the output jack is located, was repaired long ago and this likely led to the back respray.|
|Finish||Original gloss, tobacco sunburst nitrocellulose lacquer finishin decent shape; a number of dings and scratches, natural since this instrument has been played as intended. The back has been resprayed. There is also some finish damage on the back of the headstock where a name or number was removed.|
|Hardware/electronics||Original hardware. Kluson Deluxe tuners with plastiuck keystone buttons. P-90 style pickup mounted under the fingerboard tag, volume and tone controls on the top, output jack on the lower treble bout, adjustable ceramic saddle. Faux Tortoise pickguard, strap pin installed on the heel.|
|Playability/Action||This guitar plays quite well, even with the fret wear. It’s very likely that some time ago it’s had the neck reset that so, so many guitars of a certain age require, and consequently the action is reasonable at 5/64ths treble and 6/64ths bass.|
|Case||Original fibre (cardboard) case included.|
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