While this Collings Jumbo is as immaculately detailed and finished as the current Collings models, it was a very different guitar company when this guitar was built. Maybe there were ten guys actually building, but probably no more than that. Collings mandolins weren't even on the horizon, except for a few archtops, built by Bill himself, it was an acoustic flattops workshop, period. When I would visit the Collings shop after attending a vintage guitar show in Arlington I'd take the whole crew to the Salt Lick for a BBQ lunch and Gryphon would foot the bill, but we all fit around two tables. Today such a lunch outing would cost over a thousand bucks and the Salt Lick's banquet facilities would be needed.

This CJ from early 1995 has been in the same hands since it was new. Don't be fooled by the almost-perfect frets, this has seen a lot of playing time and was refretted by Brian here at Gryphon a couple of years ago. But while a very active picker, the owner has always been very careful so a few light finish dings to the top around the pickguard and end of the fingerboard are the only signs of use. No cracks, not even any serious dings, and the finish on the back is nearly perfect. The case shown is the original, as this is from before TKL was offering the Vintage Series cases that Collings adopted as standard shortly after they were introduced.

This CJ is from before the slope-shouldered dreadnought had made a thorough comeback. Gibson was making them in Bozeman, of course, but not many other builders had caught on to the charms of the "other dreadnought." Bill Collings, of course, had been building this shape for years as a version of the late '30s Gibson Advanced Jumbo was one of the first flattops George Gruhn had asked Bill to make.

stock no. 56065

ModelCJ Sitka/Indian
Back and sidesIndian rosewood
Frets to body14
Nut width1 11/16"
Scale length25.5"
Bridge materialebony
Fretboard Materialebony
Neck materialMahogany
Neck profileC/D
Total frets20
CaseOrig. Hard
Serial No1739
Bracingscalloped X