Collings Guitars Guide
Collings Guitars builds fine handcrafted acoustic and electric guitars in Austin Texas. These instruments appeal to anyone looking for one of the very best guitars built in the USA today. Acoustically Collings builds 14 fret acoustic guitars in the D-style, OM-style, 0 (single O), CJ (Jumbo) and SJ (Super Jumbo) and Baby body sizes and 12 fret models in the 00 (Double O), 000 (Triple O), and DS body shapes.
Collings 14-fret Guitar Shapes
Collings D-style Guitars
The square-shouldered 14-fret D-style (or dreadnought) steel-string flattop has been and continues to be the most popular acoustic guitar body size the world over. Collings Guitars take on this venerable body size brings a appealing clarity to the depth, volume and warmth usually found in the better large, deep-bodied guitar. The Collings D models are very popular within the Bluegrass community for the power and volume of the guitars. However, many players also use the Collings Guitars D models for vocal accompaniment. Although its bass response makes the dreadnought ideal for vocal accompaniment in the "singer-songwriter" genre.
Collings OM-style guitars:
The concept behind the Collings Guitars OM (or Orchestra Model) body style was to build a 14 fret guitar with a small body. Although originally most appealing to classical players, today the Collings Guitars OM is the most versatile body shape in that it can be used by fingerstyle, or flatpicking players. The OM shape is easy to play either while seated or standing on stage. The addition of a cutaway allows for easy access to all 20 frets. The thing that sets the Collings OM apart from most other OM builders is that although the body is somewhat shallow (a little over 4 inches deep) it produces a relatively loud voice that is very balanced in tone. The Collings C-10 also falls in to the body shape, however it does have a narrow waist, small upper bout paired with a oval neck profile which results in a guitar that is very to transition to for electric guitar players.
Collings Jumbo-style guitars:
Collings makes two guitar shapes that fall into the Jumbo category. The Collings CJ, and the SJ. First, the CJ: The Collings CJ (or Collings Jumbo) is a variation of the D shape only with sloped shoulders. These guitars started appearing around the 1930's and grew out a demand for a loud guitar that could also offer great tone and balance. The Collings CJ is the perfect guitar if you tend to strum with vigor in that it can stand up to hard playing. Although it big and can produce alot of volume it can also handle more subtle playing styles as well. The other large body guitar in the Collings Guitar stable is the SJ (or Small Jumbo). With a 16 inch lower bout, and a tight mid-section the Collings SJ has a unique sound box. Popular configurations for the Collings include an all maple model as well as a cutaway. The Collings SJ is the guitar of choice if your playing requires big bottom-end, midrange definition and clarity in the upper end.
The pre-war time-period of American flattop guitar making is known as the "golden era" for a reason. Praised for brilliant periods of construction innovation, the years from 1930-1942 were filled with new instrument runs that featured bracing, fret access and body dimension changes that would define the features and sounds of the modern acoustic guitar. Taking cues from this era of guitar making history, Collings is proud to introduce the CJ35. Available with a mahogany back and slope-shouldered body, this new variation of the "standard" CJ model incorporates a non-scalloped bracing configuration featuring three tone bars and a short 24 7/8" scale length. This new design provides the CJ35 with a beautiful balance of deep piano-like bass and powerful full-bodied highs, complimented by a focused dynamic range for exceptionally even note projection. As a result, the CJ35 is one of Collings most versatile large-bodied guitars, well suited to both finger style and strumming techniques. Be prepared to wait for this gem however because a special combination of tone woods are selected for these guitars and are subject to availability
Collings 0 (Single O) style guitars:
Believe it or not, when the 0 body size was introduced back in the 19th century it was considered "large". And with it measuring about 13½" at the lower bout, the Collings 0 is one of the smallest body shapes in production. Although the Collings 0 is small in stature it still can produce relatively loud volumes in intimate settings. If you require a small body guitar with a 14 fret configuration then the Collings 0 might be your best choice.
Collings 12-Fret Guitar Shapes
Collings DS-style guitars:
The largest of the Collings 12-fret guitars shapes the DS began life as the original 12-fret dreadnought shape. With its slotted headstock it retains some of the classic aspects of the design but this is a truly modern guitar. With the longer body and the bridge placed near the center of the lower bout the guitar is set up to deliver a smooth balanced tone. Equally at home with flatpickers or finger-stylists the Collings DS has a tonal range not usually found in the larger 14 fret D-style guitars.
Collings 000-style guitar:
The 000 body shape is very similar to the Collings 00 with two notable exceptions; the 000 has a longer body and the scale length is also longer. The result of this increased size and scale length produces greater balance between overall volume, bass response and playing comfort.