Museum: Collings

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Collings Custom Short Scale CJ

In designing this very custom Collings CJ, we attempted to recreate the sound and feel of the two-tonebar Gibson J-35s built in 1941 and '42, but with the attention to detail that Collings is famous for (and Gibson wasn't). Collings' recently introduced CJ-35 does an excellent job of paying homage to the earlier 3 tonebar versions of that iconic model; but, for many of us, the more lightly braced later J-35s are the ultimate in J-35 tone. And were very happy to report that this one-off Collings CJ nails it down!

The instrument features a German spruce top, South American mahogany back, sides, and neck, scalloped bracing with two tone-bars, small rectangular bridge, and a short scale neck with a 1-3/4" nutwidth and a gloriously round carve. To help make it look the part, we opted for grained celluloid body bindings, and deleted the headstock and neck bindings. We added a vintage sunburst finish, and round-button nickel Waverly tuners for good measure.

The guitar is a masterful creation and a thing of incredible beauty. But better still, it sounds right. The low end is warm, somewhat thumpy, and very robust; midrange is full and present; and the trebles are bold and round. An amazing strummer, great for backing up vocals or picking up rhythm duties in a jam, this guitar also has enough musical overtones and spring in its response to respond beautifully to a light touch just as well.

With deluxe hard shell case

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