A word from one of our owners, Jim Baggett, on three spectacular Collings CJ Custom guitars – prototypes of Collings’ upcoming CJ35 acoustics that he’s been working on with Bill Collings. (NOTE: ALL of the prototype CJ35/CJ Customs we received prior to Collings release of the new CJ35 model have been added at the end of this article – check ’em out!):
The Collings Custom CJs at Mass Street Music were inspired by my late 30s Gibson J-35. These are different than most modern guitars – with a short scale (24 7/8″ on two of them) and three non-scalloped tone bars (on all three). These sound very different from a typical Martin or traditional Collings. We intentionally tightened these guitars up. The sound is compressed significantly and the short scale makes me feel like a real guitar player. It’s really amazing what a fraction of an inch can do, giving you easier reach and less tension. We collaborated on three variations of these.
The CJ MH SS SB Custom is a short scale with Sitka Spruce/Mahogany, the CJ MhA SS SB Custom is a short scale Adirondack Spruce/Mahogany, and the CJ G Maple SB Custom is a standard scale (25.4″) German Spruce/Maple. The fact that every player in our store seems to prefer a different guitar is very encouraging. I have tried to block out the opinions of others and make my own decision. The Sitka/Mahogany sent me home with tired fingers – I just couldn’t put it down.
My old fav, the J-35, is still at Collings right now, but if my memory serves me, this Sitka/Mahogany is the Alpha pup. Not the loudest like the Adirondack, nor the prettiest like the German Spruce/Maple, but the one that continues to surprise and tickle my curiosity.
JUNE 2012 – We just received a few more of these incredible Collings CJ35 Prototypes/Colling CJ Customs based on Boss Jim’s vintage Gibson J-35. Here they are:
The Collings CJ MhA SS Custom with an Adirondack top –
And this gorgeous Collings CJ Mh SS SB Custom – with a Sitka top and 2 tone bar, non-scalloped bracing –