Last month, I reviewed our Collings I35 Deluxe electric guitar. Much like this model, the Collings I35 LC Deluxe is an extremely versatile electric guitar. However, don’t let the similar model names fool you: this instrument is a completely different animal from its non-LC counterpart. With the Collings I35 LC Deluxe, you get:
- Unique aesthetic choices for the Collings Electric Guitars brand
- A salute to Gibson 335 that goes beyond the semi-hollow body to include quality accessories
- Laminate construction that provides cost and tonal differences
Unique Aesthetic Choices for Collings Guitars
While the Collings I35 LC Deluxe shares basic visual features with the Collings I35 Deluxe such as slim contour F-holes and a set neck, aesthetically they have noticeable aesthetic differences
First of all, the jet black body is an unusual color for I35 models. Many Collings I35 guitars have a wooden top that shows the grain, such as dark cherry sunburst, faded cherry, or amber sunburst. Contrasting nicely with the jet black body is a pearloid pick guard, which catches the light—and the audience’s eye—while you’re on stage.
A Collings Salute to Gibson 335 Guitars
While smaller and more comfortable than the Gibson 335, the Collings I35 LC Deluxe takes several tips from the Gibson handbook, including:
- A Bigsby vibrato
- ThrōBak pick up
The Bigsby vibrato is a classic tail piece that gives you a smooth vibrato Bigsby has been Gibson’s go-to vibrato and now Collings has incorporated it into one of its I35 models.
Pick ups are a relatively new accessory for Collings Guitars. This model is provided by ThrōBak and is an imitation of the highly sought after Old Gibson PAF’s pickup. These pick ups avoid super high or low output, giving you a well-balanced sound.
Not only does the Collings I35 LC Deluxe have many of the same perks as a Gibson 335, but musicians typically receive a better quality guitar when they pay over a certain price.
Gibson is a quality brand. However, once the Gibson guitar’s cost rises above $5000, the quality stays consistent. Collings, on the other hand, is progressively better in quality, detail, and design as the retail price goes up.
Laminate Construction Leads to Cost & Tonal Differences
As a guitar with an LC maple top and body, the Collings I35 LC Deluxe is a brighter, louder, and more-acoustic sounding guitar than the non-LC I35 Deluxe counterpart.
This guitar is the perfect instrument for a wide variety of musical styles, including:
- Classic rock ‘n roll and blues, especially Chuck Berry fans
- Chet Atkins enthusiasts
Like other Collings electric guitars, the I35 LC Deluxe is not ideal for heavy metal musicians. While the semi-hollow produces a responsive guitar with good sustain, it is not as good for high gain music as a Strat or Les Paul guitar. In addition, it’s possible to get a good jazz sound out of a Collings I35 LC Deluxe, but you may be better off with a jazz-centric guitar like the Collings East Side LC Deluxe.
While the differences listed above do make the Collings I35 LC Deluxe stand out among the Collings guitars, The Collings I35 LC Deluxe is consistent with other I35 Collings electric guitars where it counts. You’ll still get the same great brand no matter which Collings model you choose.