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Bill Collings Tribute AT 16

After Bill Collings”™ passing last July, we wanted to build an instrument to pay tribute to him and to show the world that we would be continuing on the trail that he”™d blazed for us over many years. One of the most rare and coveted instruments we offer is a carved acoustic archtop guitar, which Bill Collings built personally over much of his career. Whenever he completed one of these impeccable instruments, it was clear that he had accomplished a craftsman”™s dream; a perfect union of exquisite lines, colors, and proportions, equally inspiring to play or simply behold.

I’ve owned three Collings guitars and I still have two of them: one acoustic and one jazz. Exceptional craftsmanship and amazing tone.

Hard to believe that he is gone. Good to see his team still creating such terrific instruments like the AT 16.

Collings I-30 LC

The team at Collings Guitars is still bringing out some awesome guitars. They just announced the Collings I-30 LC. Great tone machine especially with the Lollar P90s.

Here is the guitar in action:

New Guitar Day

I traded in my Collings CL Deluxe for this Collings Eastside LC.

I plan to do a lot more jazz over the next five to ten years. The Collings CL Deluxe, although an incredibly well built guitar, was not one that I ever really enjoyed playing. It was simply too refined for my style of guitar playing and definitely not suited for my style of jazz playing.

Love the Eastside. Incredible tone, fit and finish.

Bill Collings passed away recently. Too soon.

Amazing man. Amazing guitar company.

Collings 360 LT M

 

Sure. Keep sending me emails about your new guitars. But really, Collings Guitars, I’d rather you stop sending me the emails and send me just the new guitars. Unfortunately I can only afford a couple of them.

I received an email update from Collings on the new 360 LT M. I almost bought the original model back in 2009 but opted for the CL Deluxe instead. Although a wonderfully made instrument, I never bonded with the polite character of the CL Deluxe. It just did not have much in the way of bite. The 360, on the other hand, had all sorts of bite thanks to the P90 pickups. It was the guitar that I should have purchased.

Here is a video of Anthony da Costa putting the new 360 through its paces. A great looking and a great sounding guitar.

Collings CL Jazz

My friends at Collings Guitars gave me a heads up on a special CL Jazz guitar that they had prepped for the 2017 NAMM show.

It is similar to the one pictured above although the guitar is described this way:

This special CL Jazz features some of the most beautiful and richly figured mahogany we have ever used on a guitar. Created for the 2017 NAMM show this CL Jazz illustrates the pinnacle of materials and craftsmanship available in a Collings electric archtop.

Here it is:

When it comes time for me to focus on just jazz, which I intend to do in a few years time, this would be my choice of guitar.

Without a doubt, Collings makes an incredible guitar. And this one really shines.

Collings Makes A Gretsch

CollingsStatesman

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. Most of Collings’ electrics are tribute guitars and they do make their guitars to a very high standard. This one, a tribute to Gretsch no doubt, is the Collings Statesman LC.

Here is a Gretsch:

Gretsch

They do look similar don’t they?

I have a beautiful Custom Shop Gretsch that was crafted by Master Builder Stephen Stern. The custom shop Gretsch is finished to the same high standard as a Collings and it looks like there is enough of a design difference with the Collings guitar to keep the two companies out of court. I would love to play a Statesman though. There is something about the way that Collings builds necks.

ThroBak Pro-90

ThrobakP90

Back in April last year, I was complaining about a stunning guitar that I have as part of my collection: a Collings CL Deluxe.

I hardly ever play it. Why? Because the instrument is simply too polite. I’m not sure what else to say about it. Flawlessly hand built, it is one of the most wonderfully crafted instruments I have ever played.

But the tone? Only so so.

My 76 Les Paul has more character than the Collings CL Deluxe.

Last year I thought about dropping in a different set of humbuckers. I did not get around to doing so for a variety of reasons. And I thought about selling the instrument. On the used market, these guitars are selling well over the $5,000 mark. Clearly collectible. Perhaps worth holding on to this particular guitar more as an investment.

That said, I am now debating pulling out the Lollar Imperials and dropping in a set of ThroBak Pro-90s.

The pickups are described this way:

The ThroBak PRO-90, humbucker sized P90, duplicates the construction, materials, and growl of a vintage P90 pickup by using ThroBak”™s proprietary Vintage Coreâ„¢ specifications. The ThroBak PRO-90 brings a new level of authentic tone and feel to players seeking 50”™s P-90 growl making these the best humbucker sized P90 in their class. 100% USA made.

I’m still a bit hesitant to try the change. The pickups are expensive and I really do not have an option to try before I buy. And I am still feeling very guilty about leaving this instrument in the case. I’d love to take it out and play it.

I have a major event coming up in December. Maybe I should just get the Pro-90s and get the Collings out for that event.

Collings CL Deluxe

 

CLDeluxe

It was December 2010. I had an opportunity to add another guitar to my stable and I made the trip up to Lauzon’s Music in Ottawa. They are a terrific shop and they usually have a great collection of high-end instruments from Fender, Gibson and Collings.

On that day in the shop, I really wrestled with the choice between a Collings 290 or the Collings CL Deluxe (pictured above). The 290 was a basic guitar and it had incredible tones. The CL Deluxe was quite nuanced by comparison however it had an incredible build quality and overall feel between the hands and the neck. Perhaps it was the extreme difference in tone between the two guitars that led me to favour a more conservative sound. After several hours at the shop, I walked away with the Collings CL Deluxe.

It is without question an exquisite instrument, crafted to the highest possible standard.

I have another Collings guitar, an acoustic 14-fret dreadnought, the D2H. An incredible instrument to play and I always use it whenever I am playing acoustic. This particular D2H is the finest sounding acoustic guitar that I have ever played and I have played quite a few over the years.

My CL Deluxe, on the other hand, is hardly ever played. And I know why. It has too refined a sound for me that doesn’t seem to fit any of the styles of music that I play. Or perhaps it just doesn’t respond to the way I play. And now, after almost 5 years, I am really troubled having it in a guitar case. Unplayed.

Oh I have taken it out of the case several times. I’ve marveled at the fit and finish. The incredible neck. Then I start playing. The sound for me is refined. Way too refined. It just doesn’t fit with me.

A lot of players have swapped out the Lollar Imperials on the CL Deluxe for pickups like the Throbak ER Custom MXV PAFs. They are apparently “a full sounding, punchy, mid dominant P.A.F. with a pleasing high end.

They also cost around $750 Canadian. Quite expensive to try out especially if the pickups won’t really change the conservative nature of the instrument.

I am at that point where I think I have to either trade or sell this instrument for another player to enjoy. It deserves to be played by someone. It does not deserve to be sitting in a guitar case.