(NEW) The square-shouldered 14-fret dreadnought is the most popular steel-string acoustic guitar body shape in the world. While Collings is certainly not the only company to build them, they bring a new tonal clarity to the depth and warmth usually associated with such a large, deep-bodied guitar. Although its bass response makes the dreadnought ideal for vocal accompaniment, Collings versions are also often employed by bluegrass flatpickers who must compete with inherently louder instruments such as banjos and fiddles. The wide range of woods and neck sizes offered by Collings allow dreadnought fans to find a Collings model ideally suited to their playing style and tonal preference.
And now, there is one more variety of Collings to choose from – the new TRADITIONAL models.
The Traditional or “T” Series guitars reflect Bill Collings’ return to his guitar making roots and offer a new tonal variation on the distinctive Collings sound. Each T Series guitar is built using animal protein glue and a very thin all nitrocellulose lacquer finish on the body, making them exceptionally dynamic and responsive. Bracing and tone woods are adjusted for weight and thickness to create a voicing characterized by warm, rounded highs and a present low midrange, while retaining a quick attack and strong projection. Each Traditional series guitar will come with a handmade lightweight Collings case designed and built in the Collings shop. The pairing of these new Traditional guitars and cases makes for a combination of old world quality and aesthetic that is unprecedented among instruments available today.
This guitar is one of the earliest prototypes for the new models. It has a BAKED Sitka spruce top, sitka braces, and this guitar has a tongue brace where the production models will not.
- Select BAKED sitka spruce top
- Mahogany back and sides
- Animal protein glue
- Custom wood nitrate strip rosette
- Tortoise style top/back body binding
- Custom Traditional Series pre-war scalloped bracing
- Tortoise-style celluloid pickguard
- Extra thin high gloss nitrocellulose lacquer finish
- Mahogany neck
- Square headstock
- 15 degree headstock angle
- Ebony peghead overlay with inlaid gold pearl Collings logo
- Ebony fingerboard with ebony belly-style bridge
- Mortise and tenon hybrid neck joint
- 20 Frets, neck joins the body at the 14th fret
- Traditional neck profile with 2 5/16″ string spacing
- 14″-26″ Compound fingerboard radius
- 1 3/4″ bone nut and cutthrough saddle
- 25 1/2″ Scale length
- Medium 18% nickel-silver fretwire
- Gold mother of pearl diamond and square fingerboard inlays
- Fully adjustable truss rod
- Ivoroid bridge pins and end pin with black dots
- Nickel Waverly tuners with 16:1 ratio
- Recommended string gauge – D’Addario EJ-17 (.013″-.056″)
- Collings handmade Traditional hardshell case
So…how does it sound? Simply put, it sounds great!
We’ve sold thousands of Collings guitars and hundreds of his mahogany dreadnoughts. So we speak with some authority when we say that the new Traditional model is not a radical departure from the clarity and articulation that Collings is known for. What we hear in the Collings Traditional is that sweetness, sustain and warmth that gradually develops in a well-played three or four year old Collings, when the guitar has gotten all comfortable with itself. For those looking for immediate gratification, well, this one sounds like that right out of the box! Certainly this one also benefits from having the baked Sitka top, but our overall sense is that the Traditional voicing is less bright, slightly less “hot” in the mid-range with a pleasant chord-enhancing blend and balance.
As we say, it is not a huge departure from the standard Collings’ voice (“if it ain’t broke…don’t fix it”) but we will say it sounds like a nicely broken-in five-year old version of a D1.
It’s new, it’s old, it’s “traditional!”
SN # 25828
AMW PRICE: $ 4,725 (with Collings case!)