The J-29 has amazing headroom. It’s a fantastically loud guitar if you want it to be—you can positively hammer the thing with a flatpick without generating confused harmonics. You get projection and raw horsepower that rivals any dread. The trade-off for all this volume—one many players will like—is brash, bright upper mids, which can get white-hot at times. These qualities remain pronounced through the otherwise agreeable and transparent L.R Baggs Element electronics. If you’re a rock strummer, you’ll probably love the J-29’s power and presence in a band mix. Meanwhile, that dynamic sensitivity means that you don’t have to strum too vigorously to get it. That said, it can be hard to back the J-29 down into those softer, smokier moods at which the mahogany J-45 excels.
Our J-29 was set up with slightly higher action than the J-15, presumably to highlight the guitar’s ample horsepower and definition when flatpicked. While the J-29 can excel at fingerstyle—especially high-harmonic detail in open tunings—it has a fast, excitable reactivity most at home in rock, bluegrass, and country.
The custom shop’s second and third renditions are limited to 70 guitars each, one for every year since John’s birth in 1940, and both include a special 70th Anniversary Certificate personally signed by Yoko Ono and sent to the final purchaser by Certified Mail. As for construction, each version is an accurate rendition of the J-160E of 1962, a guitar originally released in 1954 as one of the world’s first successful “electro-acoustic” guitars, with built-in pickup and electronics and ready to hit the stage for the professional performing musician. Beloved by Lennon, and kept close throughout his too-short life, the 70th Anniversary John Lennon J-160E is a guitar every Beatles fan will want to make their own.
I have bought a few other higher end Gibsons all with problems as well. This J160E had Scratches and imperfections in the finish. The bridge and nut height was way too high. The nut was cut with the high E too far out to edge so the string would slide off when used. The pick-up wiring was too long and picked up interference and was not grounded properly either. After I buffed out the finish, lowered the bridge by shaving the bottom of it off .002 inch, built a new nice BONE nut and leveled and crowned the frets and fixed the grounding problem, this is one fine guitar.
This means that the wood material was good and that it was assembled well. But the quality of the employees workmanship on the finishing line was sad to say the least and bad overall, this was not a scratch and dent either. Gibson should pay me back for the work I had to put into it to bring it’s finished quality in line. Gibson Just isn’t what they use to be.