Comparing Our Three New Collings OM-1 Models
We've recently been fortunate to receive a trio of Collings OM-1s in various iterations, including the standard OM-1, the OM-1A Traditional, and the OM-1A JL (the Julian Lage Signature Model). Having these three incredible Collings OM offerings in our showroom has allowed us to experience the varying nuances between them and to hear each of these guitars' distinct voices.
Collings hit the nail on the head from the start with their standard OM-1 model. With its hand-selected and hand-voiced, premium tonewoods, accompanied by a meticulously hand-sanded nitrocellulose lacquer measuring just between .005"-.007", this guitar delivers a balanced tone and an immediate response. Its tonality, paired with its inherently comfortable body shape, makes the OM-1 an obvious choice for the fingerstyle player and flatpicker alike.
See Carl Miner showcasing the OM-1 in the following video:
Collings OM-1A Traditional Acoustic Guitar, Honduran Mahogany & Torrefied Adirondack Spruce - $6,450
The OM-1A Traditional embodies the spirit and defining characteristics of coveted pre-war instruments while retaining the playability and response that one would expect from a Collings OM-style guitar. Collings achieves a vintage-inspired tonal variation with the OM-1A Traditional by carefully hand- selecting and acclimating tonewoods, which in this case are Honduran Mahogany and Adirondack Spruce. These woods are voiced to facilitate the warm, rounded highs, and present low mids, that characterize the sound of their traditional series. With an even thinner nitrocellulose lacquer finish than the standard OM-1, the woods' natural qualities can shine.
To emulate a truly vintage feel, Collings developed their Traditional neck profile. It has a distinct taper and rounded fingerboard edges, providing a played-in feel. In addition to its construction, the OM-1A Traditional offers an array of vintage appointments. From its amber lacquer toner, wood purfling, wood rosettes, and wooden bridge pins, the OM-1A Traditional guitar embodies the sound and aesthetics of a pre-war guitar.
See the OM-1A Traditional in action:
With a similar vintage spirit in mind, the Julian Lage Signature OM-1A (also known as the OM-1A JL) is the culmination of years of collaboration between Bill Collings and the virtuosic jazz guitar player, Julian Lage. While this guitar shares the same foundational specs as the OM-1A Traditional, the neck is like that of no other Collings instrument.
The neck profile is carefully modeled after the distinctive taper of Lage's beloved 1939 Martin 000-18, which has a uniquely worn profile after decades of wear. Through careful analysis and digitization of its dimensions, Collings precisely recreated the worn-in, asymmetrical feel of this pre-war neck while pairing it with their standard 25-1/2" scale length to achieve a more substantial presence and note definition. To bring it all together, Collings outfitted the OM-1AJL with a custom satin nitrocellulose lacquer. This custom finish lends to the guitar's uninhibited response while offering the softened sheen of a cherished vintage guitar.
Here's Carl Miner on the Julian Lage:
The inherent versatility of an OM-style guitar, along with Collings' thoughtful variations throughout these three models, offers us a selection of Collings OM-1s that can meet any player's needs. While similar in design, these three guitars emanate their own identity, feel, and voice. Whether you're looking for a pre-war style strummer, or a fingerstyle instrument with a quick, modern response, you can find it within our lineup of Collings OM-1 guitars.
To see our full range of Collings acoustic guitars and mandolins, please click here. For more information, please call us on +1 615-383-8947 or +44 (0) 207 835 5597. Alternatively you can email us here.