The Collings DS1 is an impressive modern recreation of the earliest dreadnought guitars, which were first designed as oversized Hawaiian-style guitars nearly a century ago. While its slotted headstock and graceful sloped shoulders might evoke guitars of yesteryear, the 12-fret design also produces a different tone from 14-fret dreadnoughts. Its longer body and 12-fret neck joint push the bridge closer to the center of the lower bout, so the DS1 delivers an open, airy sound that is smooth and warm. Whether flatpicked or played fingerstyle, these guitars have lots of headroom and the wide dynamic range invites everything from mellow accompaniment to biting leads.
We ordered this Collings DS1 (serial #30403) with Adirondack Spruce braces, a slimmer 1-3/4" nut width, and an eye-catching Dalmation pickguard. It features a Sitka Spruce top, and the upgraded Adirondack braces definitely help the guitar respond quickly and sound more broken-in. True to the model—and thanks to the braces—it has almost endless headroom, but it still sounds sweet when you play softly. Although the standard 1-13/16" nut width may provide a more period-appropriate prewar feel, we decided to go with 1-3/4" so this guitar would be more playable for modern players. And we're glad we did, too, because the string spacing and neck width is familiar and suitable for a variety of modern playing styles. But we couldn't stop there! Collings' classy Dalmation pickguard ensures this is a guitar that looks the part, too.
- Top: Sitka Spruce
- Back & Sides: Honduran Mahogany
- Braces: Adirondack Spruce
- Brace Pattern: Prewar Scalloped X-Brace
- Neck: Honduran Mahogany
- Neck Profile: Modified V
- Scale Length: 25-1/2"
- Nut: Bone, 1-3/4"
- Bridge: Ebony Belly
- Saddle: Drop-In Bone, 2-1/4" string spacing
- Fingerboard: Ebony
- Fingerboard Radius: 14" - 26" Compound
- Case: Deluxe Hardshell by TKL