(NEW) We have a very, very special electric guitar in our midst! This is the first I-30 LC that we've ordered with humbuckers, and to commemorate the occasion, we asked Collings to recommend a really killer pickup for us. On that recommendation, we went with the fantastic ThroBak SLE101 Plus, voiced individually for the neck and bridge positions. We were not disappointed!
Of course, the first thing that everyone experiences with the I-30 LC has nothing to do with the pickups... the first thing players tend to notice is the lively (and loud) sound of the instrument unplugged! Being a hollow guitar with trestle bracing, it puts off a fair bit more acoustic information than other thinline designs (semi-hollow etc) and we have a few happy players that tell us that often they will just sit on the couch or walk around their house playing their I-30 LC acoustically! An electric that sounds that compelling unplugged has to really turn up the heat when plugged in, and this guitar definitely does that. These pickups have a beefy sound with big round low notes but also highly articulate in the mids and trebles. There is a level of sonic detail that is hard to describe in words, but simply put, you hear EVERYTHING, even at high levels of overdrive. The trestle braced construction lends itself to a healthy amount of sustain, but we don't find the guitar particularly feedback prone. Compared to 330 and 335 style guitars from the past, this one is probably going to feel like a revelation. Clean tones are thick and creamy, dirty tones have an exquisite mix of grown and detail. It's a versatile beast, to be sure!
This guitar has laminated maple construction (LC) and we decided to opt for the rich Oxblood finish, a distinctive and brooding color that splits the difference nicely between burgundy and walnut stain. It's basically the color of a nice, oaky Cabernet. This short scale guitar features the 60s neck carve, which is slimmer and faster than the standard '59 C shape. It isn't dainty by any means, but it doesn't fill up the hand as much as that carve, and makes the overall structure more balanced. 1 11/16" nut. Other standard features include bound rosewood fingerboard, black pickup rings and knobs, tune-o-matic style bridge with trapeze tailpiece, and Gotoh tuners with the Collings logo. This guitar weighs in at 5 lbs 6 oz, plays like absolute BUTTER and includes its original Ameritage hard case.
18 months in the making, this I-30 LC was worth the wait!
Note: protective plastic is still on the pick guard and the humbuckers in these photos.
AMW Price: $5,975 (Online checkout, Collings MAP price)
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