A great vintage-style OM built with torrefied Sitka spruce and Honduran mahogany and delivered in Collings’ new custom case.
by Teja Gerken
December 15, 2016
Bill Collings has always found inspiration in vintage American instruments, but while creating the new T Series of guitars that Collings Guitars’ introduced earlier this year, Collings took a new look at vintage guitars, studying their construction in detail and getting input from players about what they valued in their favorite vintage instruments. The resulting guitars include modified bracing patterns, animal-protein glue construction, and a new, ultrathin nitrocellulose finish. Wood selection is also a factor for these guitars. “We select the woods and voice them to produce a stronger fundamental tone with a warmer, rounder front-end attack and a pronounced midrange response that is characteristic of vintage guitars,” says Collings’ Alex Rueb. The instruments also come with Collings’ new custom cases.
The T Series includes a few dreadnought and OM models, and we had a chance to check out a beautiful mahogany-and-spruce OM1 T generously provided to us by Gryphon Stringed Instruments in Palo Alto, California. Collings has a well-deserved reputation for exceptional craftsmanship, and with its perfect fit and finish and superb materials throughout, this guitar demonstrated why. The OM1 T we looked at differs from a standard Collings OM1 T in that it has a torrefied Sitka spruce top instead of regular Sitka. The torrefied top has a beautiful, slightly brown look to it, and the Honduran mahogany used for the back and sides is rich in color. The OM1 T’s neck has a full, rounded profile with a significant taper from the nut to the heel. It is a great sounding, versatile guitar with a wonderfully complex tone, excellent volume, refined balance, and pleasing sustain, and it’s well-suited to a variety of playing styles, as you would expect from a high-quality OM.
The T-series also includes Collings’ new custom cases, which the company started manufacturing earlier this year. Featuring extremely rigid plywood construction, the cases are form-fitted to each guitar model, offering the look and functionality of the best vintage cases from the 1920s and ’30s.
SPECS: 14-fret 000 body. Solid torrefied Sitka spruce top with scalloped X-bracing. Solid Honduran mahogany back and sides. Bolt-on mahogany neck. Ebony fingerboard and bridge. 25.5-inch scale. 1¾-inch nut width. 2⁵/₁₆-inch string spacing at saddle. Waverly tuning machines. Made in USA. $5,100 list as shown. Collingsguitars.com
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