This Collings I-30 LC in Aged Jet Black with a rare combination of gold hardware and a Ron Ellis P90s might qualify as best in class for the heralded hollowbody thinline electric model to date.
Why We Love This
Anyone that knows us knows we simply love ES-330s. While ES-335s are obviously amazing, the totally hollow ES-330 has an overall musicality that makes them really appealing. Players as diverse as Grant Green to John Lennon (who used the Epiphone Casino, which is essentially the same model) have called upon this model, and for good reason - they're able to cover a surprisingly wide range of tones while delivering an acoustic-meets-electric feel. Quick footnote - these are really fun and rewarding guitars to play even without an amp, making them perfect for couch sessions or late night playing.
We can't applaud Collings enough for their consistency in fit, finish, and setup. But sometimes there are some standouts like this I-30 LC that have that little extra bit of mojo or vibe that's impossible to ignore. Is it the killer aged Jet Black finish? Maybe the rare gold-plated hardware throughout? Or how about the first I-30 we've had in the shop to be outfitted with the sonically unmatched Ron Ellis P90 pickups!? Let's just say 'all of the above' then...
Right out of the case, this very special I-30 LC gives off some of the mid 50s Gibson Black Beauty LP Custom vibes that launched that high-class "tuxedo" look that's just as captivating today as it was 70 years ago.
The bonus here is that it's about 60% of the weight of an LP Custom, all while delivering on some truly mind-blowing tonal capabilities. These Ron Ellis P90 pickups capture the essence of a great vintage P90 pickup coupled with an explosive amount of harmonic content and a level of touch-sensitivity that can only be appreciated when plugged into your favorite amp.
The experience of taking a 6lb electric thinline from an acoustic couch session at home or in the studio to electric euphoria on stage is tough to find in one guitar - dare we say it, this Collings I-30 LC might be best in class.