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Collings CJ35 Vintage Inspired

Collings CJ35 Vintage Inspired

Price: $--SOLD

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hard shell case included

Bill Collings would not use the term “vintage inspired” unless he really meant it. This model is almost impossible to get - it took a year for this one, and the CJ35 certainly lives up to anyone's high expectations. You should imagine this to be very close to the sound/ vibe of a brand new guitar made pre 1942. Mind you, it doesn’t have 70 plus years of time to break in. You, the player, have to provide that.

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The pre-war era of American flattop guitar making has come to be known as "golden" for a reason. Lauded for its short but 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. Emerging out of their fascination with 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 Collings' 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 fingerstyle and strumming techniques.


Bill Collings would not use the term “vintage inspired” unless he really meant it. This model is almost impossible to get - I had to wait a year for this one, and the CJ35 certainly lives up to my high expectations. I imagine this to be very close to the sound/ vibe of a brand new guitar made pre 1942. Mind you, it doesn’t have 70 plus years of time to break in, mellow out, brew, age, be played, abused, loved (or whatever can happen in a guitar's life time) built into to it yet. You, the player, have to provide that.

Its sound is deeply resonant and highly articulate with a vintage-like clarity. The German spruce top is enhanced with a deep rich sunburst finish of nitrocellulose lacquer. Like all Collings the fit and finish are of the highest level. The neck has a vintage inspired profile that matches well with the 2 5/16” bridge string spacing. That along with the 24 7/8” scale length make the geometry of the CJ35 just as it should be.

In my opinion this guitar would stand proud and tall in any style of music.

The guitar is best described by the folks at Collings themselves: “This guitar is a new vintage-inspired CJ model with mahogany back/sides, 24 7/8" scale length, and a unique "straight" bracing pattern with three tone bars.  As many of you know, this model was conceived through a collaboration with vintage guitar expert Jim Baggett of Mass Street Music and has been in the works for quite some time. After completing numerous prototypes and design modifications, we feel we've finally captured the voice and response of some of the very best vintage slope shoulder examples. Lyle Lovett, who owns a well-rounded collection of Collings instruments, is now using a CJ35 as one of two main touring guitars. To highlight a few other key specifications, the guitar features an African rosewood (Wenge) fingerboard and 2 5/16" straight-style bridge, cutthrough saddle, a brand new rounded "V" neck profile with haircut peghead, matching ivoroid appointments, and an optional sunburst finish.

"Production of this model is handled in a different manner than our other acoustic guitars. We build the CJ35 only when we have spruce that possesses the right weight, stiffness and tonal characteristics due to its unique bracing style. This makes availability a little hit or miss at times, but it is not something we can compromise on.”

Check out this review of the CJ35:

If you'd like to find out more about this item, just call or e-mail me. It would be my pleasure to talk to you about it.

Bill Collings moved from Ohio to Texas in the mid 1970’s. Spurred by a lack of interest in medical school, this move enabled him to combine lifelong interests in both guitars and tools into the challenge of stringed instrument building and repair. After a couple of years in Houston, several guitars and a few banjos later, he headed west to southern California. Making it only as far as Austin, where he shared shops with fellow luthiers Tom Ellis and Mike Stevens. From there, he set up his own small shop in a wooden "one car" garage. His reputation for outstanding quality and meticulous attention to detail quickly spread. In 1989, he rented a 1000 square foot space and hired two helpers. Fast forward to present day where Collings craftsmanship is respected by professional and amateur musicians alike…anyone on the quest for quality. Some of these include artists; Keith Richards, Lyle Lovett, Pete Townshend, Emmylou Harris, Andy Summers, David Crosby, Chris Hillman, Joni Mitchell, Don Felder, John Sebastian, Lou Reed, John Fogerty, Tim O'Brien, Pete Huttlinger, Kenny Smith, Brian May, Joan Baez, John Prine, Nigel Tufnel of Spinal Tap, and Steven Spielberg to name a few. You owe it to yourself to try one.

Serial #CJ35G5B
Top / backand sidesselect German spruce / mahogany
Rosette / top and back bindingsimple ivoroid / ivoroid
Backstrip1-style walnut
Bracingpre-war non-scalloped Adirondack with 3 tone bars and abbreviated tongue
Pickguardtigerstripe celluloid
Finishhigh gloss sunburst nitrocellulose lacquer
Headstockunbound "haircut", 15 degree angle
Peghead overlayebony with inlaid ivoroid Collings logo
FingerboardAfrican rosewood
Neck jointmortise and tenon hybrid
Frets20, neck joins the body at the 14th
Neck profilevintage-inspired with 2 5/16" string spacing
Fingerboard radius14"-26" compound
Nut / saddle1 3/4" bone / cutthough
Scale length24 7/8"
Fretwiremedium 18% nickel-silver
Fingerboard inlaysmother of pearl dot
Truss rodfully adjustable
Bridge pins / end pinivoroid / ebony
TunersNickel Waverly with ivoroid buttons & 16:1 ratio
CaseCollings deluxe hardshell by TKL
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