Collings CJ35 Slope Shoulder Dreadnought Acoustic 24046


Extremely powerful, Extremely defined. Every note's in its own postal code!

What we think:

I was staying late this past Wednesday finishing up some e-mails when my co-worker Corey called and asked me a question about the specs on the "new CJ35". We let them sit for a day before opening them up in the winter, so although I'd signed for it on Tuesday, I'd suppressed my excitement to the degree that I'd totally forgotten it was here! I slammed my computer shut and hustled over to the photo room to pick it.

I LOVE THE CJ35. It's bold and forward. Woody and sweet. It's your big, rugged buddy that you can always count on to tell it like it is. I dig the tiger guard and the two subtle bear claws in the top. Combine that all with a lion's roar (oh my!) and you've got one mighty beast of a guitar. Check out the elegant streaks in the African Rosewood board, too. 

All in all, there's not much that DOESN'T sound good on this guitar. It's versatile while always sounding unique. I personally like playing it with a thumb pick because it allows me to combine styles on the fly. It's just so balanced and strong. Must be the straight braces and the extra particular care they take in selecting the Stika for this model.  This is a guitar that's always gonna' have your back. 

Manufacturer Description:

The pre-war era of American flattop guitar making has come to be known as "golden" for a reason. Lauded for its short but brilliant periods of construction innovation, the years from 1930-1942 were filled with new instrument runs that featured bracing, fret access and body dimension changes that would define the features and sounds of the modern acoustic guitar. Emerging out of our fascination with this era of guitar making history, Collings is proud to introduce the CJ35. Available with a mahogany back and slope-shouldered body, this new variation of our CJ model incorporates a non-scalloped bracing configuration featuring three tone bars and a short 24 7/8" scale length. This new design provides the CJ35 with a beautiful balance of deep piano-like bass and powerful full-bodied highs, complimented by a focused dynamic range for exceptionally even note projection. As a result, the CJ35 is one of our most versatile large-bodied guitars, well suited to both fingerstyle and strumming techniques.


Bill Collings moved from Ohio to Houston, Texas in the mid-1970s.  More interested in guitars and engineering than in medical school, he took a job at a machine shop and began building guitars on his kitchen table with just a few hand tools.  Coming from a family of engineers, Bill’s experience as a craftsman and his natural curiosity equipped him to experiment and quickly improve his craft.  Before long his instruments were in the hands of local talents Rick Gordon and Lyle Lovett, which led more Texas players to seek out Bill for custom guitars. After building about fifty guitars and a few banjos in Houston, he headed west to pursue lutherie in southern California. Along the way, he befriended Austin luthiers Tom Ellis and Mike Stevens.  Having found like-minded instrument makers, Bill decided to stay and share space in Tom’s shop.  By the mid-1980s, Bill was building flattop and archtop acoustic guitars in his own small shop. His reputation for outstanding quality and meticulous attention to detail quickly spread.  In 1989, he rented a 1,000-square-foot space and hired two helpers.That same year, George Gruhn, the acclaimed collector and purveyor of vintage fretted instruments and owner of Gruhn Guitars in Nashville, asked Bill to make 24 custom “Gruhn” guitars, giving the Austin luthier national exposure.  In the spring of 1992, Bill moved his guitar-making operation into a 3,200-square-foot feed store he purchased on the outskirts of Austin.  By this time musicians such as Pete Townshend, Joni Mitchell and Brian May were playing Collings instruments and demand continued to grow. The existing shop tripled in size and its staff increased to 50 full-time employees. By 2005, Bill broke ground for a new 27,000-square-foot shop featuring CNC technology that modernized machining processes and made parts production more consistent, accurate and safe. As the business grew and processes were refined, one thing remained the same: Bill Collings’ commitment to build the finest stringed instruments available.

Fueled by his fascination with the construction and design of a variety of instruments, Bill soon began crafting more than just acoustic guitars.  In 1999, he introduced the first Collings mandolins, which like his guitars, quickly set new standards for the industry.  In 2006 his interest in carved top instruments led him to introduce a line of electric guitars that players quickly embraced because of the instruments’ exceptional craftsmanship and tone.  In 2009, with a nod to the tradition of some other high-end acoustic guitar makers, Bill created a line of concert and tenor ukuleles that have been hugely popular with professional and hobbyist players alike.

For the past 30 years, Collings Guitars have been the choice of musicians who seek the finest handmade instruments available.  You owe it to yourself to try a Collings.


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