If you have any vintage gibson guitars that are posted on this site ,you are always welcome to post a review,comment or detailed features ,im sure other guitar players who visit us would love to know ... Domenic

Important Note : Due to the overwhelming amount of comments on this blog i cannot answer all the questions although id love to . You can still post questions hopefully some of our viewers can help you out ... Thank You

Gibson J-160e

Gibson J-160e ( 1954 - 1979 )

gibson j-160 john lennonIn 1954 gibson introduced a flat top jumbo acoustic - electric guitar and called it the gibson j-160e , the guitar gained popularity in 1962 when George Harrison & John Lennon from the beatles made it their standard acoustic guitar until 1968.

Although the gibson j-160e was made famous by the beatles it does not have that distinguished full tone sound of a jumbo guitar , they had laminated tops and ladder bracings to cut feedback hence giving it less sustain and a flatter acoustic tone .

the newer models of today ( Gibson J-160e Standard ) are considered superior in sound because of their solid top, back and sides which gives the guitar more sustain and an overall bigger and brighter tone compared to their vintage cousins.

vintage gibson j-160The vintage j-160e guitars paved the way for their new models of today which are very competitive to the martin d-28 and in my opinion sounds brighter & better.

Despite its poor quality tone the vintage j-160e's are still collectible and sought after due to their history . Was also the first gibson flat top with an adjustable bridge .

In 1954 the j-160e had a 16" wide body , was round shouldered , adjustable bridge , trapezoid inlays on rosewood fingerboard , solid spruce top , had a mahogany back and laminated mahogany sides , ladder bracing , adjustable pole pickups , had 19 frets, teardrop pre war style pickguards , crown peghead inlays and were made in sunburst finishes .

In 1955 gibson started making j-160e guitars with laminated spruce tops and 20 frets .

Small changes were made throughout the 60s until 1969 when the j-160e was a square shouldered dreadnought guitar and had non adjustable saddles .

In 1972 the j-160e was fitted with a three point pickguard and featured small block inlays . The guitar was discontinued in 1979 .

Gibson J-160 Reissue ( 1991 - 1997 )

In 1991 gibson reintroduced the gibson j-160 with a solid spruce top and mahogany back/sides , a p-100 stacked coil humbucking pickup , upper belly on the bridge with no adjustable saddles , were made in vintage sunburst colors and were discontinued in 1997 .

Vintage Price Value For 2007 :
1954 - 1961 > $4 500 to $6 500
1962 - 1964 > $5 500 to $8 000 ( Beatles Era )
1965 - 1968 > $3 500 to $4 500
1969 - 1970 > $2 100 to $2 500 ( square shoulders )
1971 - 1979 > $1 400 to $1 900
1991 - 1997 > $1 700 to $2 000 ( j-160 reissue )

guitar price guide1954 - 1979 > Avg Upward Trend Of 9% A Year Since 2000

Note : Prices are according to 4 different vintage guitar price guides and rounded off to the nearest dollar.


  1. Anonymous12:41 PM

    Whatever happened to the Gibson that Lennon got stolen, could they not trace it by serial number?

  2. Anonymous3:03 PM

    no Idea .

  3. Anonymous11:24 AM

    Hello...hope you can help. I have a Gibson J-160-E acoustic guitar, serial #947588. How can I find out what year it is and how much it is worth? Thanks so much for your help. - Dale

  4. "Whatever happened to the Gibson that Lennon got stolen, could they not trace it by serial number?"

    I dont know about the gibson that someone stole from Lennon but my buddy's uncle in Toronto Ontario has the "Gretsch Country Gentlement" that was stolen from Harrison :)

  5. Anonymous1:45 PM

    I would like to know if his had a serial number...being that it was made for him(Lennon). My grandma bought one for $500 at a pawn shop in the mid to late 60's in LA. It has no serial number. Still in the family.

  6. banjerinepickinjerry3:13 PM

    I may be able to supply a serial number for this guitar

  7. banjerinepickinjerry3:25 PM

    I, like most people wonder what happened to Johns guitar. The thief couldn't enjoy it because he had to hoard that secret with himself. What a HELL! Even more mystic than the disappearance of Johns guitar to me, is how George Martin got THAT sound out of Johns guitar. I have a book, "Beatles Gear" that lists every piece of equipment ever used by the Beatles throughout their careers. It also states that Johns J-160E was never miked acoustically. My ears must be deceiving me then, because the sounds of "Honey Don't", "everybodys Trying to be my baby", "Run for your life", "I don't want to spoil the party", etc are pure wood and strings, not electronics. I have played a few J-160E's, many other slope-shouldered Gibsons and have never come across one that was even close to that tone. I would love to talk to Sir George Martin and ask him how he did it.

  8. Anonymous8:46 AM

    the ser# of John's guitar was 73161

  9. Anonymous11:59 AM

    the gibsons are worth 900$ if you are selling one email me at kkubiak@cinci.rr.com

  10. Actually the serial # of John Lennons guitar is 188975. Boy I would love to have this.

  11. Anonymous3:53 AM

    Hello All -

    I have a '54 J-160. I can't get a decent sound out of it when "plugged in" to save my life. Does anyone have any tips or ideas ??

  12. Anonymous11:15 AM

    Can any of you knowledgable music people tell me how can I find out when a specific J160E guitar was manufactured if I provide the Serial number?

    THANKS in advance for your reponse to LarrySkee@yahoo.com

  13. Anonymous5:38 AM

    I think i have a J-160 but it has not a rounded top. It has a cutway top and 1 non adjustable neck pickup (very small). Besides that it looks like the j-160 portrayed in the picture
    It has been with me since 1977. The gentlemen who sold it to me passed away so I can not get any info from the original owner.

    I can send a picture of the guitar to anyone interested.

    Any help would be truly appreciated. You can contact me frichard21@hotmail.com.

    Thanks in advance


  14. Anonymous7:38 PM

    I have a J-160e, serial #964979.
    1962 Beatles Era.
    Will sell to best offer.
    Contact me if you are seriously interested in buying it.
    September 2009
    Knoxville, TN.


  15. I have a Gibson J-160E According to the Serial # It ia a 1966 vintage. It is in good shape for an old Senior citizen. some scrapes and age cracking of the paint. Pick up works good... According to my research it was valued at $3500 to $ 4500 in 2007. I am looking to sell it. Make a bid. Joe Peters joep2@bellsouth.net Phone 1 352 688 6573

  16. Anonymous5:12 PM

    Possibly Here:


  17. Anonymous8:22 PM

    I am a ,71 year old senior , I purchased my , Gibson J160E , brand new in , late ,1962 , or early 1963, It is in , near , mint condition, The serial number is , 188983, a poster on this site , states , that , John Lennon,s , Guitar , was, 188975. , I purchased, my guitar in , Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, I may , consider , selling , it , E-Mail , me at , bobyjames@telus.net

  18. Anonymous5:30 AM

    HI I AM LOOKING FOR A good J160E or a j45 with electrics
    Mike 18-jan 2010 email mail@byecross.com

  19. Does anyone know where to get a replacement pickup for a J 160-e?


  20. Does anyone know to where to get a replacement pickup for my J160-e


  21. thekevhead@hotmail.com6:17 PM

    As for a replacement pickup for a j160e it's just a regular p90.
    I have a 64 j160e that I have been told was johns or george's that got trampled at the boston coliseum in 1964 and only has a 5 digit serial # anyone know about it?

  22. i have a j-160E from 1956 for sell for the right price if any one is interested email me at gainesboro2000@yahoo.com thanks

  23. Anonymous6:16 PM

    I have a 1967 J160E guitar. Excellant instrument.

  24. Anonymous1:46 PM

    I have a J-160 serial 125246. Have trouble figuring out year. Ive narrowed it down to 55'-61'. Its in near mint condition. Email is maro_984@yahoo.com if anyone can help.

  25. Anonymous11:12 AM

    These will always sound like an electric guitar with the P90 pickup. Consider a soundhole pickup or under saddle pickup. My '54 has a Fishman soundhole pickup and the stock pickup which can be blended or used separately.

  26. Anonymous7:57 PM

    What year is a J160E serial number 905785-painted number. Has II6 stamped inside.
    Should be before 63 but not sure what year?

  27. Here it is late 2010 and I am still lusting for a Gibson acoustic. Just had an offer on a new EJ-160CE but I want a more authentic guitar, some of the latter-day Epiphones are kind of chintzy. Anyone with a vintage (pre-1980) J-160E at a reasonable price, please contact me : Danelectro67@gmail.com

  28. Anonymous8:21 PM

    I know of a "Custom" J160E. Strange instrument. Has "Custom" truss rod cover, same neck as a Birdland, Southern Jumbo or ES350, also "Stinger" on the back of the neck. Has a "Union Made" label in the sound hole that says "SJ". Has FON # that dates to "58. Also has double factory SJ pick guards and ladder bracing. Has 2 color yellow/red sunburst finish and 'cherry' color on the back, back of neck and sides.
    Any idea's??

  29. Anonymous8:38 PM

    The article mentions that the Gibson J160E was the first Gibson flat-top to have an adjustable bridge, and that is true. But the J160E Standard does NOT have an adjustable bridge--no screws for raising or lowering the action. The Historic Custom Shop addition, does, however, have this very important feature. I've played the Standard. The action doesn't come close to the original or the Custom Historic. Far too high off the fret board.

  30. Anonymous7:51 AM

    Hi, I've been looking for a Gibson J 160E for a while now, if you're selling it please contact me!


  31. Anonymous6:28 PM

    I have a 1967 Gibson J160E for sale Searial # 062979 don`t know exactly what it is worth, but was told it is wort about 3500 - 4000 I was interested in hearing some feedback, if anybody has any idea what it is worth, It is in great condition, no scratches or bumps,whith original case,

  32. Anonymous1:07 PM

    I am interested in the worth of my precious Gibson J160E with an adjustable bridge I purchased in CA from a famous Bluegrass group around 1963. The former owner bought it in San Francisco at a pawn shop, probably a few years before. Any info on this? melodyandtwo@hotmail.com

  33. I have a J160E, stock number 631017. It has the original pickup plus a Paasac. I think it is made in 1963, but cannot find conclusive evidence. Any tips. It's in very good condition, plays well. Any ideas of value?

  34. I have a Gibson J160E, very good condition, headstock number 631017. Any tips on manufacture date. I cannot work it out.

  35. Anonymous10:32 PM

    I have a 1967 J160E that my father purchased new. He played it gently(jazz) till about 1978. It is in excellant condition with a few minor scratches where the amp cable plugs in. I would be interested in selling to a serious buyer for a fair price. Leave email address. 4/16/12

  36. Anonymous8:45 PM

    how do you know john's j160e that was stolen had serial #188975? where can i find this information? i have an excellent j160e with # 188950 thanks

  37. I would like to find the value of a Gibson J160e with the number v6303-12 located near the tuning area. I don't know the year, is there a way to find out?

  38. Lennon's stolen J-160E, serial #73157, has been found and authenticated by Beatles gear expert Andy Babiuk. It has been owned by a man in San Diego, CA. for the last 45 years. The owner saw a recent article about the stolen guitar and realized that it might be the one he owned. He then contacted Babiuk. The guitar will be up for auction soon, proceeds go to the Spirit Foundation Charities.

    1. 73157 was George Harrison's. 73161 would be Lennon's. The J-160E currently up for auction was the one registered to Harrison.

    2. Anybody know what kind of strings they are on the guitar???

  39. Anybody know what kind of strings they are with the red ends????