Used but barely played Collings 290 from 2015 – I sold this guitar brand new and as such I know its full history, including the fact that it is just about in as new condition – Post Brexit and the same model would now cost in excess of £3700 – So exceptionally well priced at £1699 – sorry but I can’t take any part exchanges on this 290 at this crazy price – Must go this weekend at this price, otherwise I’ll remove the promotional offer
Hear are my original notes, so please read below for all the details regarding this Collings 290 – custom ordered with a Bigsby + an ultra cool dog hair finish – Over the last few years I’ve sold a few Collings 290 models, in a variety of colours and in both the single cut and double cut variations, yet always with more of a traditional vintage flavoured character – I’d often noticed on the Collings web site pictures of a 290, spec’d with a custom doghair finish and pearloid scratchplate, along with a Bigsby trem system, which looked ultra cool, so yes I had a soft spot for it – So yes I ordered one and yes it has now arrived into stock – It will cover the same styles as any other LP Special or 290 based guitar, but equally I feel with the Bigsby, the custom doghair finish and the pearloid scratchplate, it now has more individuality about it – I can imagine it been used in a good rock ‘n’ roll or country based combo, indie style band or a serious good pop/rock band like Tom Petty, where simplistic melodic licks are key – I’m glad I ordered it – It looks cool, lots of character and performs, feels and sounds every bit as good as it should
I love this quote that I borrowed from the Collings Guitars web site ‘There are lots of products created with no greater aspiration than to be sold to a consumer, but as consumers of expensive musical instruments, many of us value the subtle signs that tell us the builder cared more than he had to – that careful thought, superior materials and skilled hands have all contrived to create an instrument that transcends the ordinary and defines the extraordinary – This is the best reason, in our opinion, to consider buying a superior instrument like this Collings 290 in the first place – If you simply need a guitar, you can buy one that is reasonably playable and creates a reasonably good sound these days for under £200, but you won’t be buying an instrument that has been artfully crafted from the best materials, or one that is capable of producing an extraordinary playing experience and tone
Before I go into any product details, please click here to visit the Collings 290DC web site page, then click here for a 290 review – This should provide you with enough detailed info to wet your appetite
Collings 290 Spec/features :-
- South American one piece mahogany body (whole guitar weighs 7lbs and 14oz)
- High gloss nitro custom doghair finish
- Pearloid scratchplate
- Indian rosewood fingerboard
- Ebony headstock facia with mother of pearl Collings logo
- Grained ivory fingerboard inlays
- Custom wound Jason Lollar P90 pick-ups – neck measures 8.2K + bridge measures 9.2K
- 24 7/8″ scale length
- CTS pots and vintage wiring
- 12″ fingerboard radius
- 22 medium jumbo frets .104″ x .047″ (similar to Dunlop 6155)
- Tonepros vintage style bridge
- Bigsby trem system
- Deluxe Collings Ameritage case
As Collings will tell you, the 290 is a modern day tribute to the original working man’s rock ‘n’ roll guitar – As against having to reinvent the wheel, The Collings approach is to take the essence of the original model, add a few subtle yet effective tweaks, select the finest ingredients, coupled with impeccable workmanship and attention to detail, to ensure the 290 delivers the ultimate playing performance – The Collings method is to build one guitar at a time, hence all woods, pots, capacitors and pick-ups are hand selected, to ensure that all components match and compliment each other – Woods are tapped and evaluated to ensure different tonal qualities and densities work together in harmony – Appraise the 290, then you’ll fully appreciate that the knowledge, evaluation and attention to detail that Collings possess, pays dividend in the end
Playing a set of 11’s – most guitar players choose to play a guitar that is set-up with a set of 9 or 10’s, me included. so the thought of playing a set of 11’s may well put the fear of God into many players – Of course we are more than happy to supply the 290 with a set of 10’s, along with an appropriate check-up/set-up, but I do suggest you try it first with a set of 11’s – I believe that many guitarist will play the 290 and believe they are playing a guitar that is actually set-up with 10’s – Granted you may find string bending a touch more slow and/or stiff at first, but I think a short time of playing the 290 with a Collings set-up and a set of 11’s and you will be pleasantly surprised – The extra tension from the 11’s sure makes the neck vibrate and acoustically you can hear that this adds a depth of tone to the 290 – The overall playing performance of the 290DC with a set of 11’s is that of a guitar with an easy playing action, that allows you to dig in deep for some raw blues phrases, caress out a few cool jazz based chords, or delve into some tasty blues/jazz/fusion licks – Unlike an original Gibson LP Junior/Special, be it an original 50’s model or the current breed of Historic Collection replicas, the playing performance of the Collings 290 is slick and cultured where as Gibson’s can tend to feel far more basic and raw – On that basis the original spec’d Gibson can be somewhat of a one trick pony that is ideal for raw blues and punk based chord work ( think Ramones and Green Day) – Whilst the Collings 290 is more than will happy to get down and dirty working hard in a blues joint, equally it will perform with exceptional results in a more refined environment – Think jazz and blues and the laid back styles of Robben Ford, to the Carpenters and Steely Dan – In short it is not a one trick pony
The Collings 290 has a neck profile that might be tagged as full – The depth and girth of the 290 is there to enrich the tone, sustain and stability, but not to the point that it impedes the playing performance – Coupled with rolled fingerboard edges and a set of chunky frets ( .104″ x .047″ as per Dunlop 6155 frets) this guitar feels slick to play – I don’t have large hands and I can report that the 290 feels comfortable to play and equally allows you to dig in and play those moody blues licks, or live in the fast lane showing of a few party licks and tricks – The challenge is not ‘will it feel comfortable’, but can I put it down ?
Tonal quality – Let me quote you a couple of passages from Dave Burrluck’s review in Guitarist Magazine of a 290 from – capturing the look and feel of an original LP Special is relatively easy, but getting close to its sound and resonance can prove elusive – This correct weight 290, however gets closer than most – In fact it absorbs the original and spits out an expanded range of sounds that will satisfy even the most tone hungry players – the bridge pick-up appears to be a touch more spiky compared to an original 50’s LP Junior/Special, but trim down the tone pot a touch, which is beautifully graduated and doesn’t strangle the sound in any way, then the sound is uncannily accurate – The neck pick-up is voiced and wound to be a little under powered, which you’ll soon realise is to your advantage – as such, trim the volume pot down on the bridge pick-up to achieve a level of equilibrium, which will then leave you something in reserve when you need to go back to the bridge pick-up for a flat out solo – The neck pick-up is this guitars finest attribute – It’s expressive and beautifully rounded with enough articulation – The bridge pick-up has bite and sparkle a plenty which contrasts with the dark texture of the neck pick-up – So both pick-ups compliment each other whilst offering a distinctive contrast – With both pick-ups selected, whilst playing with volume and tone settings, you can create some wonderful and vibrant Tele/Strat based tones – The 290 will move all the way from a whisper to a roar as required
Recently I compared a Collings 290 with a Gibson Custom LP Special with emphasis on tonal character – I expected the posh character of the Collings to outshine the Gibson when played through a clean sounding amp – And it did not let me down – More refined, more warmth, smoother and more articulate – However for pure unadulterated raw filth, through an overdriven amp setting, I expected the Gibson to come into its own – Yet the Collings surprised me – It more than stood up for its self against the Gibson and matched it on a toe to tow brawl – This raw character has always been a major strength of the Gibson, so I did expect the LP to win on that score, so no shame on the Collings not beating the Gibson in this battle, but to match it was a major coup – To conclude the 290 is a professional work horse – Without getting into the silly prices of an original vintage model, the 290 is the modern guitar that gets close to the weight, look, feel, resonance and tone of an original guitar, without out any of the restrictive playing issues
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