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Samba Skills: A Collings CJA Acoustic Guitar Review

As avid readers of our blog probably realize, we’re pretty crazy about Collings for their impeccable taste and skill in constructing acoustic guitars. But every once in awhile, Collings really gets it right. Our Collings CJA is a rarity both for its individual selection of materials and as a sum of its parts.

Rich, Expressive Tones

The Collings CJA is objectively the best sounding Collings acoustic guitar. Such a bold statement can be backed up by this bold of a guitar. The combination of everything this acoustic guitar embodies—from the mix of Brazilian and Adirondack to the choice of varnish—is engineered so perfectly that only a handful of Martins are in the same league.

While dreadnoughts give more horsepower by default, this particular Collings jumbo actually growls when you dig into it. This intensity is partially thanks to the non-standard varnish, which opens up the bottom end. The extra breathing room rounds off the higher notes for a thicker and more substantial treble. In the end, there’s no shrillness at all. Just good, rich sustain.

A Tasteful & Elegant Presence

Collings acoustic guitars are seldom gaudy instruments, and the Collings CJA is no exception. This Gibson-inspired slope shoulder dreadnought’s main goal is to showcase the beautiful piece of Brazilian rosewood with simple, natural lines and finishes.

The sunburst Adirondack top pairs well with the warm-colored Brazilian back and sides. Not a lot of Collings use that tone wood because they’re very particular about the piece’s quality; they never use stump wood. In addition, the Collings CJA’s dense Brazilian wood gives it physical heft to match its heavy tones.

Our Verdict

While dreadnoughts are commonly coupled with bluegrass music, the Collings CJA is surprisingly versatile. It doesn’t discriminate between finger stylists or pick musicians, country music or jazz. The jumbo’s volume makes it a good performance piece and while it’s not our first pick for recording, there’s a lot of good 60’s recordings with this style of guitar to latch onto.

All in all, the Collings CJA is easily in our Top 5 guitars on the market, but if it’s out of your price range you may want to consider a more basic CJ for a third of the price. However, if you’re interested in getting your hands on this perfect acoustic, you’ll want to act fast. Once this baby’s gone, we may not get as decked out of a guitar again.

Start Playing Your Collings CJA Today

Contact Eddie’s Guitars at 314-781-7500 for More Information

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