"Every day we try to make a better guitar, every day. You're trying to reach for more, trying to do better, not trying to do the same. A lot of companies are trying to do the same, and that's okay - that's their deal. We're trying to stretch that. Our goal is a little more." - Bill Collings
This Quilt Topped I-35 Deluxe from Collings is a study in the elegant evolution of a classic - in this case, the legendary ES-335.
Collings manages to push the I-35 Deluxe well beyond your typical semi-hollow body guitar build quality-wise, tonally, and visually. There's an almost archtop like beauty and attention to detail with this guitar as evidenced by the black & white purfling, split parallelogram fingerboard inlays, and oh yeah, that quilted maple top (!!!). Stunning, no?
Sitting down for a quick playing session reveals just how elegant this style of guitar can be. The build quality is simply flawless, resulting in an effortless, very deluxe playing experience. The 11 gauge strings have an ever-so-slightly taut feel which brings out a gorgeous, percussive snap to both single notes and chords that you simply don't hear in other semi-hollow guitars. There's an airy, acoustic quality to the sound - as if you've pushed the EQ spectrum further in both top-end sparkle, midrange richness, and low-end punch and definition.
The bridge pickup has a killer bite and will push an amp into edge-of-breakup tones if you lay into it hard enough, while the bridge pickup can be mellow enough for jazzy chord soloing. Simply put, Collings has taken an already versatile design and made it more open and less compressed sounding - dynamic is the word of the day here.
If you're looking for the best-of-the-best when it comes to an ES-335 style guitar - flawless build quality, finish work, set-up, tones, and looks - look no further, you've arrived. As we're fond of saying in the shop, "What more do you want it to do?!" Priced with hardshell case by Ameritage.