BY PAT SMITH
Okay, it’s confession time. I am a guitar junkie. I love guitars and have played a whole bunch of ‘em over the years.
I am old enough to remember when guitar companies
made (basically) one model of each guitar, with maybe an
option for vibrato (before we called them whammy bars).
And now I feel sad at how many trees die to make junk
guitars that will end up as landfill. On the other hand, and
happily, today the art of guitar making has come a very
long way, and while there is a lot of junk at the bottom,
there are some stellar things at the top. This review looks
at the top of the heap with the new Collings 360.
A Modern Classic
Collings has been a high-quality acoustic guitar maker
for some years now, and whether or not you are a fan,
nobody can fault the flawless construction of their guitars. Now Collings is making electrics from jazz boxes
to rockin’ solidbodies. The new 360 (named for a Texas
highway) is at the low end of Collings’ line of solidbodies, but it is far from a low-end guitar. The body is sort
of a stretched Les Paul shape, which is pleasing to my
eye, though the 360 is thinner and lighter than an LP.
The vintage Tobacco Sunburst nitrocellulose lacquer finish is flawless, period. Collings offers some options here,
including parallelogram inlays, flame maple neck and
quilted maple top. Our sample 360 has a shimmering
curly maple carved top on a one-piece mahogany body,
with a 24-7/8" scale mahogany neck (with 1-11/16" nut
width), Indian rosewood fingerboard with dot inlays and
an ebony peghead overlay—it’s a fine looking geetar.
The old-style top hat knobs are inset in the top, which
is a classy looking detail, but may make the knob access
feel a bit different to some folks. Two standard Gibson-style volumes and two tones with a 3-way switch are all
you need to get some great tones from the Jason Lollar