Said I'd post some pics, so thought might be interesting to make a separate spot for the Epi version of John Lennon's Gibson. It's a nice guitar and in looks, very similar to his original model. Mine's a 2009/10 model and I confirmed a few things with Gibson in the US which might be of interest to others:
- the pickup is a proprietary Epiphone stacked humbucker (different to the gibson P-90 single coil). The pickup is passive, hence a lower signal.
- In electric mode, it's meant to be played through an electric guitar amp (as opposed to acoustic amp). I've used a pre-amp into a Vox amp and it sounds nice.
- to use the pickup properly, you need to use nickel strings (passive pickup magnet) to get the pickup working to optimum. Gibson tech advises to use pure nickel strings. (for me, I like to play mine acoustically as well so I've fitted Zebra strings which are a hybrid wound string, a bit of a half-way option, but I'm happy with the sound. If I was going to do full-on beatles stuff I'd fit nickel strings).
I got my one set up by James at Cargill Custom Guitars, who also adjusted the poles on the pickup and balanced them perfectly - see the photo. Also, I found a 'Lennon' logo for the headstock so that's my little personal mod which replaced the Epi logo one.
As a teenager in the 60s I was brought up on the Beatles, I've got a memory of seeing John Lennon with that beautiful sunburst guitar either in a magazine or poster in a shop, maybe even on the telly, but it was B&W in those days. Anyway, here are some pics of mine, look forward to seeing others. All the best, Mike
There's a trade-off with this guitar when it comes to strings. The pickup is not active so you have to use nickel-wound strings. Bronze-wound covers up the steel core & the magnets in the pickup cannot "hear" the strings. I neither like nor use the pickup so I string mine with D'Addario 80/20 lights.
I totally agree...I play mostly amplified acoustic guitar, but I always wanted the look of the J160E...When I ordered my j160E, I ordered it with a solid top and "X" bracing...it also has a P100 stacked humbucker pickup , but still needs the electric guitar strings to sound balanced. I loved the acoustic sound of it, so I had a Fishman Matrix Infinity installed in it. This Fishman model is an under the saddle type with a tiny volume and tone control fitted on the underside of the sound hole, like the Baggs models. So now I can get the look of the original with an amplified acoustic sound that does the "X" braced solid top justice. And I can always string it with electric strings whenever I want to! Kinda the best of both worlds. I use Martin Bluegrass medium/lights on mine. I am not a bluegrass player and I like light gauge strings on my acoustics. But the Martin lights buzzed when I dug in to the low D and A strings...these "Bluegrass" strings give me light tops and medium bottom strings! To me that means I can really dig in when strumming and still be able to bend the higher strings.
I got the Lennon truss rod cover for my J160E! Love it! Edward
cool! it's nice 'icing' on the cake 'so to speak', glad you got it allright. Mike :-)
I had an original I got new in 66 . I have to say not intending to bust anyones bubble here. But there is no way the new EPI Lennon acoustic/electric sounds as good or is made as well as the old original ones. I tried out a few new ones and they are not even close . Oh yea EPI wants one to believe this . The originals had an all ply constructon too as were the casino's but they are NOT even close .
Of course that's all there is left unless you want to pay a lot more for the Gibson Lennon model remake and even they are not the same thing. Lets be honest . Gibson is using Lennons name on bothe the EPI and Gibson acoustic /electic and the Casino to attract people which are many . who liked Lennon. I happen to be one as well . But to sell their guitars as the Lennon model is a con job . He had nothing to say about this . The Casino and the acoustic electric when I got mine in 67 and 66 were around $400 each , now if you watna real or as close to real Casino as you can get today it's $14,000 for the casino and what $5,000 for the acoustic .
I'll live with the Music He wrote and the effect it had on me , not because some company has the desire to profit off his name. He would still have had the same effect no matter what guitar he decided to use. I knew a few people who had bought the originals back in the day simply because they were great guitars and not expensive guitars either. The casion was the only thin body that had single coil pickups on it and the acoustic electric was the only acoustic at the time that had a pickup so it could be amplified . That was the attraction since I didn;t like humbuckers if so you went with an Es335 or miced an acoustic.
Lennon as well as the other Beatles used other guitars and they still sounded like the Beatles. Lennon had the money but he never seemed to buy the most expensive models and he didn't seem to have that many guitars . They used what they liked and what worked .