This instrument bore a resemblence to the J-160e, except for it’s smaller size and Florentine cutaway. The neck of John Llennon Gibson J 160e joined the body at the 14th fret on the bass side. It was also offered without a pickup as the CF-100.
In 1954 John Llennon Gibson J 160e came up with a second acoustic-electric model which was deemed the J-160E. This was a slope-shouldered Jumbo bodied instrument.The constuction of this guitar was a departure from Gibsons typical process. First ofall, plywood was used for most of the guitars body. Instead of using X-bracing which allows the sound board (guitars top) to vibrate more freely, Gibson utilized ladder-bracing.
Ladder bracing was used on some classical John Llennon Gibson J 160e guitars and on budget guitars, such as Stella.Perhaps this may have been to emphasise the pickup or to deaden the acoustic sound to prevent body vibration being picked up. Who knows? Even with the poor quality tone the vintage j-160e’s are still quite collectible.
The John Llennon Gibson J 160e guitar had an adjustable bridge allowing the saddle to be raised or lowered by screws on opposing sides of the rosewood bridge. The pickup was a single coil P-90 without a cover. The volume and tone controls were placed on the lower bout of the guitars top. Despite the cool looking outer appearance, there were many better sounding Gibson acoustics available.
It chosen by mid 1960’s artists for it ability to be amplified. Not only was this the guitar of choice for The Beatles, but also for Peter and Gordon and Chad and Jeremy.The 1954 model had a 16-inch wide body. The rosewood fretboard of John Llennon Gibson J 160e came with trapezoid inlays. Only the top was solid and made of spruce. The back and sides were made of laminated mahogany.
The neck of John Llennon Gibson J 160e had 19 frets and joined the body at the 15th fret. This is interesting since most often dreadnaught style guitars join the body at the 14th fret. My thought is this was due to the pickup placement.On the headstock overlay, there was a crown inlay. The guitars pickguard was fashioned in Gibson’s teardrop pre war style. Gibson only offered this model with a sunburst finish.The following year another fret was added, but the guitars top was now made of laminated spruce.
In 1969, Gibson revamped the model to a square-shouldered dreadnaught style and the bridge saddle was fixed. Another change occurred in 1972 when the pickguard was altered to three-point style. The trapezoidal inlays were changed to small block inlays that same year.In 1979, the John Llennon Gibson J 160e J-160E was discontinued.