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Has the Collings I-35LC stuck with you?

infiniteposse

Member
Messages
1,752
Hi all-

I'm just curious to hear from folks who've bought and kept their I-35 LC's well beyond the GAS period and into the "this is totally the right guitar for me." Months? Years? Do tell.

If you fall into this category, do you have a Gibson 335 as well? Is there a lot of overlap or is it apples and oranges? I'm not looking for a debate about modern Gibson build quality. Let's just assume you've got a good 335 that's an example of how good they can be when Gibson gets it right.

I played a really lovely 2014 I-35LC Deluxe today that was great, but it had to be a relative short session and I also didn't have my 335 on-hand. There's a good bit of travel to get back over that way, so any opinions you guys could offer would be appreciated.

Thanks!
 

cocobolo

Member
Messages
345
If you can find one, try one of the 16" Soco LC. I have one that is a keeper. Very sweet, responsive, deep voice. You could probably tell from your brief time with it that they make guitars that feel like top notch instruments...kinda hard to pull off in my experience.
 

The bear

Member
Messages
10,620
My honey-moon period with my Soco Deluxe that I have had since 2008 is still ongoing. I still remember the the first one I tried, a blonde I-35 deluxe at Umanov guitars in 2007, it blew me away. I am up to 4 now, and have an acoustic coming in(C10).
I don't own an I-35lc, but the ones I have tried has been amazing.It seems like the owner is really happy with them.
I say trust your first instinct, it worked for me. The first one I played was so good that I knew I had to have a Collings.
If anything they only get better and better with more playing time and they are extremely reliable and stable guitar, also the customers service at Collings is as good as it gets.
 

Rex Anderson

Member
Messages
5,079
I had 3 Grosh guitars before I bought an I-35LC.

I still have and like them all, but the Collings is a keeper for sure.

I had a very good sounding 335 before the Collings. I could not get used to the size of the 335 and sold it. The I-35 is perfect for me. Sound wise, I can get all the tones out of the I-35 I want. Great neck, fretwork and build quality.

I have read the new I-35LC are differenet than the older ones. The changed the laminate design and, you can get Throback pickups.
 
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Bradleyonmic

Member
Messages
1,196
I'm glad you opened this thread. I have had these on the next guitar radar. I was pretty well decided that I wanted a '63 VOS es335, then I started seeing these. I've had experience with Collings acoustics, and wouldn't hesitate to buy from them, given their quality of craftsmanship. I guess in the back of my mind I'm afraid I might still want that particular 335 because I just loved the one I played so much. But then you have to think about Gibson quality, and that you may have to go through a few to find a good one, and there aren't many of the VOS ones for sale, and the Collings quality is a given as far as I've seen.
 

derekd

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
43,718
I really like the Collings, but the 3 I've played, the necks were too thin for me.

Amazing instruments though.
 

GAT

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
18,976
I've had a I35, an I35LC and a Soco. All are gone. I LOVE my Gibson Rusty Anderson ES335. It just seems to have "it" for me. The Collings were all really good, just not great for me. Obviously, all guitars are different.
 

Powderfinger

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
11,380
I didn't bond with the neck. Nothing to do with the quality or sound of the guitar. Also, I think I'm just not a semi-hollow kind of guy. I like a plank.
 

voodoochili12

Member
Messages
683
I really like the Collings, but the 3 I've played, the necks were too thin for me.
What models did you play? I beleive the standard neck carve on the I-35s, 290s, etc. measure .860" @ first and 1.05" @ 12. Pretty thick to me! I am debating whether to have my guy shave re-carve the neck down to .850 to .950.
 

derekd

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
43,718
^^^

All three were I-35s because I like the smaller body than a 335. They all had what felt like a slim 60s style neck. :dunno

Love Collings guitars. As good as anything out there.
 

Yossi

Member
Messages
3,505
I started with the Collings I35 Deluxe and when I read this article of ToneQuest: http://www.collingsguitars.com/Images/reviews/I35LC_tonequest.pdf I started GASing to try the LC.
That's when I got this one with the pretty back side. Close to perfection in build and quality. Plays and sounds great. I still have it and have had it for several years.





When Gibson Memphis came out with this Rusty Anderson 59, the GAS got me again and I bought this. It is related to the I35LC in many ways, yet it has it's own thing and feel. An old vibe and classic vintage tone and character, which I really enjoy. It is not as refined as the Collings in build quality, although it is nevertheless well built. One of these days, I'll do a comparison video, but I don't know if the camera and mic will truly capture the subtle differences. Both are great guitars. One is an old time classic, and the other is a wonderful specimen of a semi hollow.


 

dukeh62

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,424
I loved mine to start, but in the end I just couldn't get bond with the smaller body and the way the guitar hung on a strap — it just dug into my ribs at my preferred strap height.
 

joesnewmatch

Music Is My Soul Food
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,514
Still love mine, almost a year and a half later. Neck is perfect for me. Great for blues, rock, jazz, and I find it extremely comfortable to play when sitting. And quality control-nothing tops it. YMMV
 

soulmap

Member
Messages
671
Collings I-35 LC with Throbak PG-102 MXV here -- found it used at CR Guitars...a year ago, or so. There was a little getting-used-to period (more common, for me, than a 'honeymoon' period) -- worked out the set up; went from .011s to .010s which made this particular guitar more of a rocker (what I wanted it for). At first the cutaways felt a bit tight when I got up high there...haven't thought of that in a while so I guess I got used to it - no problem. And I play it alot.
I love the sound! It still surprises me with the range, the places it will go with different touch, subtle tone and volume adjustments...
It fit right in at the top as one of my favorite guitars -- ever -- and I expect it to stay there.

I had a dot neck re-issue Gibson ES335 15 years ago, or so -- beautiful instrument! sounded great...never felt quite right to me tho'...I seem to remember tuning issues and not feeling real versatile with it -- could've been me, it was a lot of years ago. That 335 is not still with me and I don't miss it.
 

infiniteposse

Member
Messages
1,752
Thanks for the replies.

I just had a nice little session with my 335 and I think it'd be quite different from the I-35lc in many respects. The Gibson's got some good "funk" to it, for lack of a better word. Just some nice, unrefined grit. In my person experience, many nicer, boutique guitars sometime strike me as too polite and clean. The Collings might fall into that realm, but I didn't quite get another play time with it to be sure. It felt quite hi-fi to me through the vintage BF Deluxe I was going through, but I feel like I'd need my pedal board to get a better handle on how well it can get impolite.

Re: neck size, I liked the extra girth on the I-35 quite a bit. It's actually one of the things I keep coming back to in my mind.

Anyhow, thanks again for the feedback. Appreciated.
 

Spoonful

Member
Messages
206
I've have I-35LC and an I-35 Deluxe. Had them both for a while. I really like the LC. Actually, I like them both but the Deluxe seems to take a bit more tweaking to get the tone I want. With the LC, I'm able to dial that in right away with whichever amp I'm plugged into at the time.

I also own a 335 '59 Reissue. Only thing about it from a fit and finish perspective is that it has that sticky neck nitro thing going on. Otherwise, its on par with the Collings quality. It's an amazing guitar. Great tonal possibilities, special order finish in sparkling merlot and the fattest neck I have ever played. Sounds great in all my amps without having to work at it. It cost a good bit more than the I-35LC.

I also used to have a 335 Dot Reissue that sounded great too. I moved it along because the neck was a little too small for my tastes, but it sounded good. I think I had to do the maple flame mod to this one because the bridge started leaning toward the neck.

I'm keeping both the LC and the 335. I'm thinking I may need to swap pickups in the I-35 Deluxe. I'm been wanting a semi hollow with P-90s anyway and it probably makes sense to use the Deluxe for this than to sell it, take the hit to buy semi with P-90s in it.

I will say this about the I-35s compared to the 335s - they are more comfortable for me to play either standing or seated. I like the slightly smaller body size and the balance is better. They weight a bit less at least compared to my 335, but that probably varies a bit.

Tone wise, I think the LC comes pretty close to what a lot of people think of as the 335 tone. Both can do things that the other can't do so it's not like total overlap.

Collings wasn't make the LC Deluxe when I bought mine. Not sure if I would have gone that direction if they had. I'm used to having neck binding on my Gibsons but Collings knows how to make necks. I don't miss the binding at all.
 

pinner

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,688
I love mine. Great playing and sounding guitar for sure!!!! IMO very close to an es 335. Main difference to me is the i35lc's base resonance is higher then a es335s. Some may say it is a little warmer. Still close. Now I recently was able to compare the newer 4ply design with my older 5 ply and the new one is closer to what I remember the es355 being. Definitely a lower base resonance. Both where great. Mine with more treble and chirp and the other with more lower mids and warmth. You hear this acoustically too, not just plugged in.

Here is a clip I did comparing mine (older 5 ply) to an es355. Hope this helps.

[SOUNDCLOUD]
0:00 es335 neck
1:00 es335 bridge

1:20 i35lc Middle
1:36 i35lc Neck
2:26 i35lc Middle
2:50 i35lc Bridge
3:44 i35lc Neck
 
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