Top Navigation

J-160E, ’55

Sunburst, Serial # 172722.

While Gibson had been making electric arch-top and steel guitars since the 1930’s, it wasn’t until the early ‘50s that a flat-top was electrified.  The first electric flat-top produced by Gibson was the CF-100E debuting in 1951. This guitar was based on the small 14 and 1/8” cutaway flat-top introduced the year before.  Although cutaway flat-top electrics would become popular decades later, this innovative guitar was discontinued in by 1959, due in part to the more impressive sales figures of its descendant the J-160E.

 

The J-160E was introduced in 1954 and had the more conventional look of the popular J-45 and Southern Jumbo guitars. To function as a usable electric guitar, the J-160E had to be very different structurally from a regular flat-top.  While the J-45 (or even the CF-100E) had a solid spruce X-braced top, J-160E needed a 3-ply laminated spruce top with ladder bracing to make it more rigid and less prone to feedback. The neck joined the body at the 15th fret (instead of the 14th) to allow room for a P-90 pickup between the end of the fingerboard and the sound-hole.

 

This early J-160E can be distinguished from later versions by its odd looking adjustable bridge. The bridge could be adjusted up or down by turning the large screws on either side of the bridge (replaced with more conventional looking smaller adjustment screws by the late 1950’s). It also has straight sided “speed knobs” for volume and tone controls (replaced by “bonnet knobs’ in 1956).

Recent News

1937 Martin D-28 Vintage Demo
March 31, 2017 by Justin Zeman

Carl has been busy back in repair lately! He spent some time on one of Dave’s old Martin acoustics. Here we have Alex Meine (Carl’s brother) playing on the 1937… READ MORE

Blog

  • J-MOD100 Now Available for Pre-Order
    January 31, 2017 by Tylor

    No compromise amp designed with John Mayer. The J-MOD 100 amplifier was intimately designed by Paul Reed Smith, Doug Sewell, and John Mayer to not only handle Mayer’s live work… READ MORE

  • Goodbye 2016!
    December 31, 2016 by Justin Zeman

    We would like to thank all of our customers for an amazing 2016. We wouldn’t exist without such a solid customer base. Happy New Years from Dave’s Guitar Shop! We… READ MORE

  • Shop Talk in Guitar World
    December 30, 2016 by Tylor

    We are excited to be featured in the newest issue of Guitar World in “Shop Talk” featuring the coolest guitar shops in the nation! Check it out: