Played a Collings I-35

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by lv, Feb 11, 2008.


  1. lv

    lv Supporting Member

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    This weekend my friend Steve (Jato) brought over his Collings I-35 (amongst some other very cool gear) for me to try out.

    The build quality of this guitar was beyond anything I've ever experienced - I mean perfect. The burst was also very nicely done, warm hues, nice gradation. Lightweight, and very easy to play.

    To my ears, it had elements of a 335 and a Les Paul, maybe 65% 335, 35% Les Paul. Really gorgeous clean tones as well as overdrive tones. Both the bridge and neck pickup settings had this hollow thing going on, but not in any way thin.

    The real magic though was the tightness of the low end - I could play a full open G chord through my Glaswerks (which has lots of low end) and it stayed tight - almost as if there was a compressor on there keeping the lows tight/right - It didn't feel like there was a compressor, but seemed to have some of the nice qualities of a compressor without any of the bad ones.

    Outstanding guitar - really the nicest looking, playing, and sounding guitar I've ever come across.

    Here are some pics:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    here's a clip: http://soundclick.com/share?songid=6254374

    I also have a clean clip that I need to upload.
     
  2. Tramp

    Tramp Gold Supporting Member

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    Thanks for posting, Lou (and Steve). I think you've nailed the magic of this guitar: its ability to do nice woody cleans, then transition seamlessly to meaty but articulate OD tones. I use a light compressor (FX Mirage) a lot with other guitars, but don't feel the need to use it with the I-35. And the fit and finish is indeed flawless. But, d$%n, now I think I need a Glaswerks. :worried
    Peter
     
  3. lv

    lv Supporting Member

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  4. frostbitefalls

    frostbitefalls Member

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    -noticed your buddy's is a Standard, not the Deluxe. I'm hot for one of these, and kind of prefer the Std on looks (sort of a tossup, really). It's nice to hear the Std sounded good.
     
  5. Tramp

    Tramp Gold Supporting Member

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    I was leaning toward the Standard, but got dissuaded by the argument that the uptick on the Deluxe was worth what it got you.

    Frankly, I can take or leave the ivoroid knobs, the quilt top, etc.. But there are two things about the Deluxe I really like: the sweet Brazilian board and the neck binding. Also, and this is why I ended up with a Deluxe, you have a good chance of finding a clean one used for less than the price of a new Standard. My seat of the pants sense from trolling websites is that Collings sells 4-5 Deluxes for every 1 Standard.

    Either way, it's an amazing guitar!
     
  6. GAT

    GAT Gold Supporting Member

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    The I 35 is a GREAT guitar. Mine is an amazing instrument. Detailed high end, tight bass, great mids and lots of sustain. It plays great too. I dug my City Limits, but I like the I 35 more.
     
  7. TNJ

    TNJ Gold Supporting Member

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    Love this guitar.
    Period.
    The looks, the feel, the neck, the pickups, the pots.
    It has everything one needs to play well. Oh...and Lou's Glaswerks rig did NOT hurt a bit either! :D
    Nice pix too. Lou.
    For an 'on the fly' kinda thing...I think we captured the essence of this great axe.

    I just love the way they nailed the finish, and the binding is very sweet.
    And, IMO, no pickguard needed!

    :cool:

    S.
    j
     
  8. lv

    lv Supporting Member

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    I talked to Stu about an I35 when they first came out - you can order the upscale one with the Braz board but have them do dots (for those of you that like the classic 335 look), flame maple and also have them put on the regular gold knobs, which imo looks much better than the ivoroid ones. Though he suggested getting the knobs and swapping them out so you'd still have them.

    Though Steve's doesn't appear to have the Braz board, it had very distinctive figuring and looked liek Brazilian to me.

    Great guitar and thanks again for bringing it over.
     
  9. bearbike137

    bearbike137 Member

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    As I have posted way too much -- I love my I-35. However, I didn't feel, as you do Jeff, that it sounded anything like the CLs I have played. Frankly, I didn't like the CLs -- but the I-35 was a dream come true. Maybe the Lollars are somewhat similar -- but they just seem to match up so well with the I-35. You comment on hearing the wire on the low strings -- I know what you mean. The I-35 just seems to amplify everything in such a cool way. Even my pick becomes part of the tone equation with that guitar!
     
  10. JeffD

    JeffD Very slow but persistent Supporting Member

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    It may well be that (if it's true that tone is in the hands), my playing prevents some of the more distinctive aspects of the two. IOW, they are reduced to a lowest common denominator. (read hobbyist hack!) If there's time in the next several days, I'll try to record a clip with each and see how distinctive they are on a recording.
     
  11. bearbike137

    bearbike137 Member

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    Guys -- this might surprise you -- but I just put my 2006 Collings I-35 Deluxe for sale in the classified section:

    http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=354423

    It's a long story, but as you know, there has no been no greater advocate of I-35s on this forum than me -- and it is all due to the guitar that is now up for sale...
     

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