FT-160N Review

manufacturer: Epiphone date: 07/04/2007 category: Acoustic Guitars
Epiphone: FT-160N
Early 1970's model, made in Japan at the start of the Norlin years. It's in very nice condition (just some minor scuffs), good frets/nut/saddle; no warping, cracks or repairs; tuners work fine; and it plays very well. The woods have aged nicely, and the guitar has a nice tone.
 Sound: 7
 Overall Impression: 8
 Reliability & Durability: 10
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8
 Features: 8
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
review (1) pictures (2) 20 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.2
FT-160N Reviewed by: UG Team, on july 04, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 120

Purchased from: Henri's Music

Features: The Epiphone FT-160N is a twelve-string acoustic guitar with an adjustable bridge and twenty frets. I'm not quite sure what year it is (I bought it used) but I do know that it was built in Japan. I've owned it for almost a year now, and haven't had many problems with it. I don't have the slightest clue of what brand the tuners are, but I can say this: They're not that great. Some of them turn too easily and become out of tune quickly. Some of them are far too tight, so when tuning time comes I can hardly move them. They do look good though. The bridge is adjustable, which I think is a huge plus. Although, there is a crack near one of the screws (see pictures) so I've been too afraid to mess with it. I don't know if this is from the previous owner, or from faulty factory work, but either way I won't hold it against this guitar because I haven't needed to adjust it at all. The truss rod is at the top of the neck, like it is in electric guitars. At first I thought this was a plus, because you wouldn't have to go through the soundhole to get to it. After thinking about this for a while, I realized that you'd have to take off a few of the strings to get the screws off (see pictures). I haven't needed to adjust it yet, but if I need to someday I'm going to have to buy new strings. // 8

Sound: The sound of this guitar is alright. It's very tinny. I'm not sure what Epiphone could've done to make it less harsh, but I think they could've thought of something. It seems like it would fit a country-style of music, rather than the stuff that I play. You can reduce the tinniness of the sound if you move your picking hand up closer to the neck, but I don't think you should have to adjust your playing style to get a good sound out of a guitar. On the bright side, it's very loud. Microphones can pick up it's sound very well, as well as the acoustic pickup that I use to plug it in. The large body of this guitar resonates the sound very well and the sustain of this guitar is very impressive, considering that it's an acoustic guitar. The octaves of each string are easily heard, and sound lovely together. Overall the sound is fine, but I think it could be better. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: Another feature I love about this guitar is the neck. The neck is put on differently than most acoustics that I've played (see pictures). I allows more access to the higher frets, which is a big plus for me. The action is at a good hight, but you need to push down quite a bit to get a good sound out of the note which takes a toll on your fingers. I haven't played this guitar for more than an hour at a time because of this fact. Like I said before, the bridge has a crack in it, but I'm not sure where it came from. The finish is beautiful and hasn't suffered at all from the humidity in my room (I have a fish tank in my room). Surprisingly enough, even with all the humidity, the wood hasn't warped at all. Kudos to Epiphone! // 8

Reliability & Durability: This guitar is extremely reliable. It has taken a beating, trust me on this. It's been slammed against doorknobs (on accident of course), dropped on the ground, etc. While I don't recommend doing any of those to this guitar, I can safely say that it can take it. With the exception of a few knicks on the back, the finish looks beautiful and has stayed intact throughout all of the beatings. The strap buttons are very solid, I'd bet my life on them. This guitar could probably stand up to Pete Townshend, and leave without a scratch. The pickguard has a lot of scratches, but without it there, the guitar would have a huge hole in it. On reliability, the guitar gets a 10/10. The only thing I wouldn't rely on about this guitar is whether the roadie remembers to bring it or not! Disclaimer: I am not responsible for what anyone does with this guitar. // 10

Overall Impression: Overall, I think this guitar is great for beginners. I've definitely got my money's worth out of this guitar. I've been playing for three years, and this is my first (and only) twelve string. For what it's gone through I can probably say that I won't be needing a new one any time soon. If it was ever stolen, or if I'd ever get drunk and burn it, I'd buy a new one as soon as I had the money. But, if I played it more than I do, I'd save up and get a better quality one. If you're new to the world of twelve strings, or even if this is your second or third one, I recommend this one. If you're experienced in twelve strings I recommend that you save up and get a better quality one. But, since I'm just a beginner and it suits my needs, it gets an 8. // 8

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