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Collings SJ Acoustic Guitar Review

Collings SJEveryone knows that bigger guitars give you more volume, but the quest to find an acoustic guitar that is both loud and well-balanced is far more difficult. Despite the SJ’s paradoxical name, “Small Jumbo” guitars give many musicians the big, boomy sound they need without being too bass-heavy. The Collings SJ acoustic guitar offers all this and more with:

  • A short scale inspired by the Gibson J185 that is easier to play
  • A quality flame maple body and ebony fingerboard
  • Boutique accessories like mother of pearl diamond inlays

Small Jumbo Body Still Versatile

Volume and projection are some of the Collings SJ’s best features, making it the perfect guitar for playing solo, supporting a soloist as an accompaniment, or jamming with a larger band. This guitar will blend better than jumbo guitars because the high end is just as loud as the low end, so you can still support bands made up of higher instruments like banjos or violins.

Inspired By 1960s Gibson Series

Many Collings acoustic guitars are inspired by Gibson models, and the Collings SJ is no exception. This small jumbo was heavily influenced by the Gibson J185, part of a guitar series made popular by the Everly Brothers. Like the Gibson J185, the Collings SJ is 16 ¼ inches across the bottom with a 24 ¾ inch scale. Since Collings scales tend to be almost an inch longer, this model is easier to play than other jumbo Collings guitars.

Quality Materials Set Model Apart

One of the first things you notice about this Collings SJ is the natural finish on the flame maple body and neck. This brighter tone wood makes this deeper model sound less heavy than if it were made from a darker tone wood like mahogany. Since maple is commonly found on Gibson jumbo guitars, Collings sets itself apart by incorporating:

  • A mother of pearl diamond inlay on fingerboard and headstock
  • Bound ebony fingerboard
  • Ebony bridge
  • Waverly tuners

My Verdict

The Collings SJ is definitely a country man’s guitar, but it can also work well for folk, rock, blues, and jazz musicians. Finger stylists would probably be better off with a smaller guitar like the C10 Deluxe because like many larger guitars, the Collings SJ is designed for pick guitarists.

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