My experience with short scales has been confined to smaller bodied guitars.Could those with experience commemt on SS configuration on the CJ. Does it give this larger body a smaller "feel" in addition to easier reaches with left hand? Does lower sting tension lend itself to any particular use,ie fingerstyle? Thanks, Duck
Three months ago I brought my CJ (mahogany/Adi) into to A/B with Pioneer Music's SS Mahogany/Sitka. I felt the SS was a little easier to play. The sound was similar but the volume was noticeably louder on mine. I'm guessing better for fingerstyle and bends but I did not hear a marked enough difference in tone to make me want to add it.
Posts: 126 | Location: Portland, OR | Registered: January 21, 2005
Duck, I only play short scale: the main reason being is my smaller hands and affinity towards complicated chords. Way less left hand fatigue. If your right hand is extremely heavy, you might notice a difference a split second before you break the guitar in half. Otherwise it's the same. You could bend the strings a bit more easily than on a full scale guitar and I'm talking 2nd, 3rd fret or so. Plus, between snappy and sweet, the sound is just a bit more towards the sweet. Sweet!
One more thing: if your playing style includes more chords than single notes, I would pair short scale with Mahogany, Maple and other brighter and dryer sounding woods, especially if you're going for anything bigger than a regular (not deep body) OM. On a big bodied Rosewood guitar, like the CJ, the balance between the fundamental, the overtones and the natural reverb of the guitar, may shift too much towards the overtones and the reverb. It could be a beautiful thing or a complete disaster - depending on your specific playing style.
Nothing to worry about, they are fantastic. There is a sweet CJ adi/mahog sunburst in a short scale at Hill Country Guitars. If you can, try that one out - it's a great combination and it will answer all your concerns. Very Gibson like.
I own a CJ ss and it is one of my favorite guitars. I love Gibson J-45's but the Collings CJ short scale is just a better guitar.
On the other hand, I find the CJ is a bit stiff with the full scale and I actually prefer playing a Gibson AJ. Go figure!
Hope this helps.
Posts: 260 | Location: NJ | Registered: June 27, 2004
Since you asked specifically about fingerstyle, I can tell you that the SS at Hill Country is the best-sounding / most responsive fingerstyle CJ I've ever played. I played it a couple of weeks ago. Very nice. It could open up a little more with a pick, but it's already incredible with bare fingers. Definitely a guitar I wouldn't mind growing old with.
Posts: 1392 | Location: Texas | Registered: May 16, 2007
Well, Michael, I'm twenty years downstream from you, so that's why I'm trying to put together a deal to get a varnish SS CJ mahogany. I haven't the luxury of waiting decades for some barn door to open up. It's gotta be open day one. Gotta sell some stuff first, but...... who knows? thanks tom
In my humble opinion, Collings CJ SS Mh V (short scale, mahogany, varnish) is the single, most complete and most versatile acoustic guitar there is. (One day, mine will come with round Ivoroid Waverlys just to pay homage to Gibson J-45/50). The only downside is the price but it would be the money well spent.
Thanks for validating my prejudice, Ivan. That's my theory, and I'm on the verge of parting with at least one, and perhaps two splendid guitars so I can get to 6 grand plus, which is where such a guitar lives. I'm not certain if it's validation or enabling, but it works either way. I've got five months to raise 6 grand.
duck: my favorite guitar (since i purchased it in july) is a gibson J-35 replica made by rockbridge. in collings lingo: a CJ-1 A Mah SS. sonoman once wrote here that the SS is great for us old guys who are getting kinda lazy on guitar. i agree. i can play the thing for hours. i also can use medium gauge strings when finger picking, and since i do a lot with standard tuning, it makes those stretches easier. the adi top makes it a great flatpicker. it does it all. sonoman: good luck getting that varnish model; it's the dream guitar.
Posts: 690 | Location: colorado | Registered: February 02, 2007
Kenny:: Never say never and all that lot, but,man, that's one steep mountain to climb. Himalayan. Mid-winter. In tennis shoes. Bear in mind, however, that only a few months ago my wife convinced me not to take 9500 for the A word. Of course, there are only two such guitars in this country, and five in the world. Nothing's irreplaceable, but it's close. But, yeah, if the mythical CJ slays the alien, so be it. Holdeth not thy breath.
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