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The J-160E was Gibson's second attempt at creating an acoustic-electric guitar (the first being the small-body CF-100E). The basic concept behind the guitar was to fit a single-pickup (and associated electronics) 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) was installed on the top of the body at the edge of the fingerboard (similar to "floating" pickups on some arch-top acoustic guitars), 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
Sam Lightnin' Hopkins played a J-160E which is on display at the Rock Hall of Fame.
Pete Doherty of the Libertines/babyshambles plays a J-160E during most of his solo appearances.
Steven Head, singer/songwriter of Acoustic Revolution, Soldier Boy, etc., also uses a Gibson J-160E. He has performed frequently at various venues, including Earles Court London, and as a Licensed London underground Busker, along with many other celebrities noted for their London underground Busking performances.
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 2000s.
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