COLLINGS > SoCo Deluxe

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Videos by American Songwriter

Collings is a guitar company mostly known for building high-quality, handcrafted acoustic guitars and mandolins. Bill Collings, the Austin, Texas, company’s main man, recently decided to venture into electric land for the first time. LIST PRICE: $6,600
WEBSITE: COLLINGS GUITARS


Collings is a guitar company mostly known for building high-quality, handcrafted acoustic guitars and mandolins. Bill Collings, the Austin, Texas, company’s main man, recently decided to venture into electric land for the first time. The SoCo deluxe is aptly named after Austin’s hip South Congress Avenue neighborhood and was conceived as a hybrid design blending elements of Collings’ I-35 and CL models. This semi-hollowbody guitar sports a carved maple top, Mahogany body and neck, a rosewood fingerboard, and a mother of pearl Collings logo on the headstock. With these features and the mellow sunburst color it definitely has very uptown jazzy look to it. Even the headstock has a superb, grained finish.

I thought of the SoCo as a more of a high end jazz instrument. While it wasn’t one of the easiest electric guitars I’ve ever played, the feel was excellent in a very professional kind of way. There are separate volume and tone knobs for each pickup as per a Les Paul so you can dial in the sound you like easily. A standard three position switch chooses either pickup or both. The pickups are custom built humbuckers by Jason Lollar, a renowned pickup-maker who lives outside Seattle, and sound fantastic when combined with this beautiful body. The neck pickup had an unbelievable “sweet woman” tone when I pulled back the tone knob about half way. The bridge pickup barked without biting; it had that high-end cut without being shrill or piercing-the way so many mass produced bridge position humbuckers are. And the two pickups together were perfect with plenty of mid-range for chord overtones. The overall sound reminds me of a Paul Reed Smith, but far smoother.

I simply could not say anything bad about this guitar. The SoCo is first class quality all the way. It may be a little more for the jazz master than for edgier rock stuff and it is priced for the serious musician only. Those players who are willing to spend six grand on a boutique guitar will not be disappointed in the Collings SoCo deluxe.

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One Comment

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  1. Great review. I just purchased a Collings Soco two weeks ago, and it is by far the best guitar I have ever tried.
    I am a musician living in NYC and jazz is my main thing, but not only thing. The Soco is versatile and really shines in jazz, blues and R&B genres.
    The action was a little higher than I prefer, but I lowered it and it plays like butter.
    Highly recommended!

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