REVIEW: 70th Anniversary John Lennon J-160E Museum

70th Anniversary John Lennon J-160E Museum

GIBSON GUITARS

The Gibson Guitar Corporation is an American manufacturer of guitars. Gibson also builds: Epiphone, Kramer, Valley Arts, Tobias, Steinberger, and Kalamazoo guitars.

Company founder Orville Gibson made mandolins in Kalamazoo, Michigan, in the late 1890s. He invented arch top guitars by using the same type of carved, arched tops found on violins. By the 1930s, the company was also making flattop acoustic guitars, as well as one of the first commercially available hollow-body electric guitars.  In the early 1950s, Gibson introduced its first solid-body electric guitar and its most popular guitar to date—the Les Paul. After being purchased by the Norlin corporation in the late 1960s Gibson’s quality and fortunes took a steep decline until early 1986, when the company was rescued by its present owners.

Out of the Glass Case and Escorted by Security

The first thing I noticed about this axe is the insane amount of resonance it unleashes! Unplugged, the J-160E Museum acoustic is loud and proud with a balanced bright tone. The low’s are deep, but not over powering, and the mid’s are smooth and crisp. The highs are in a class of its own with a bright smooth tone that will have the kitties purring. The body felt bulky and slightly more round then other Gibson acoustics. When plugged in, you get a nice tight responsive tone with excellent presence and very little feed back. The neck of the 70th Anniversary John Lennon model is made from one solid piece of lightweight mahogany. The neck is smooth and semi fast with just a slight powdery feel. The sustain on the 70th Anniversary model is exquisite, unlike anything I have heard from an acoustic… and as you know, I’m a huge Taylor fanatic. One thing I love about Gibson acoustics are the adjustable truss rods. This allows you to personalize the string action to your liking. The 70th Anniversary John Lennon model comes equipped with a P-90 single-coil magnetic pickup installed beneath the top of the guitar at the end of the fingerboard, with its adjustable pole pieces extending through the wood. Very cool feature for an acoustic.

The Specs

Body

  • Body Type: Round Shoulder
  • Top: Laminated Sitka Spruce Top
  • Back and Sides: Mahogany
  • Binding: Multi-ply Top Binding, Single Ply Back Binding, Traditional Rosette

Neck

  • Species: 1-piece Mahogany
  • Profile: Round Neck
  • Thickness: 1.725″ at Nut
  • Truss Rod: Single Action
  • Frets: 21 Historic Jumbo Frets
  • Scale Length: 24 3/4″
  • Radius: 12″
  • Fret Wire: Nickel Alloy
  • Inlays: Mother of Pearl Trapezoids with John Lennon’s birth date engraved on 12th Fret

Nut

  • Material: Bone
  • Width: 1.725″
  • Inlay: Mother of Pearl “Gibson” logo inlay with “John Lennon” script signature on the 70th Museum Model.

Pickups

  • Model: P-90 Single Coil at end of fingerboard
  • Volume eControl: 1 Volume Control, 1 Tone Control

The Low Down

The 70th Anniversary Lennon acoustic has everything I want in an acoustic. Truly amazing quality and craftsmanship. Now at just under $11,000.00… this axe might not be in every guitar players budget, however if you are fortunate enough to purchase one of these special order guitars, I highly recommend it. It carries the spirit of great musicians and holds a classic feel that few guitars have. All I can say is well done Gibson, you have definitely made a mark in history with this axe.

Pros – Everything about this guitar scores an A+

Cons – Hefty price tag.

MSRP – $10,800 – $12,500

Till next week, thanks for reading and keep on shredding. Happy Holidays.

Nick Arrietta is a staff writer at SMG. Nick is a professional Music teacher from California and has been playing the Guitar for 24 years. Along with teaching music he is a touring guitarist, studio musician and songwriter. Email: nick@sharemyguitar.com

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  • that’s a cool guitar nick! wish it was in my price range.

  • You guys should have a contest and give up that guitar, to me preferably!

  • RichardS

    I own one of these Museum Lennon models and it is the jewel of my extensive Beatle related guitar collection, which includes the #2 J-160 prototype Lennon Sunburst model released in 1999. I also own 3 others from that series of 250 total guitars. I have a “Peace” model from the run of 750. This one beats them all. It joins my #4 pair of Lennon Casinos, (as well as 3 other Casinos from the run of 1,965) and several Ricks that were Lennon or Harrison inspired.(And there are others!) What a great guitar to top off my collection.

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