While the earliest origins of the tenor guitar may be unclear, we know that by the 1920s these four-stringed guitar variants were manufactured by a variety of makers. In those days, tenor guitars provided a familiar neck and tuning for plectrum banjo players who were hired for guitar gigs. After a burst of popularity during the folk revival of the '60s, tenor guitars became less and less common for decades (although some brands continued to build them). Nowadays, they have found a home in bluegrass, Americana, folk, Celtic, and many other genres where a resonant, articulate tone is desired. While they are traditionally tuned in 5ths (C-G-D-A), tenor guitars can fill a lot of territory with various tunings.
It's hard to imagine a better tenor guitar than those hand-built by Collings in Austin, Texas. The Collings Tenor 1 features Collings' adaptation of the traditional "0" body with a solid Sitka spruce top and solid Honduran Mahogany back and sides. Its small body is extremely comfortable on your lap, and combined with the short 23" tenor scale and its slim "V" neck profile, this tenor is an excellent alternative for players looking to get away from a full-size instrument. But don't be deceived by its small size. The Tenor 1 may employ a small-body design, but its top is reinforced by lightweight prewar-style scalloped X-bracing. As a result, the Tenor 1 projects loudly and resonates beautifully. Its tone is warm, rich, and thick for a tenor. We are consistently impressed by the clarity Collings gets out of mahogany guitars.
- Top: Sitka Spruce
- Back & Sides: Honduran Mahogany
- Brace Pattern: Prewar scalloped X-brace
- Bridge: Ebony small belly-style
- Bridge Pins: Ebony with Mother of Pearl Dots
- Saddle: Bone drop-in w/ 1-11/32" string spacing
- Scale Length: 23"
- Neck: Honduran Mahogany
- Neck Profile: Modified V
- Fingerboard: Ebony w/ 14-26" compound radius
- Frets: Medium 18% nickel-silver
- Nut: Bone, 1-9/32" wide
- Neck Joint: Modified V
- Case: Deluxe hardshell case by TKL
There is a reason why Collings guitars are so highly revered in the industry, and this Collings Tenor 1 will show you why. Built with an unparalleled commitment to quality and meticulous attention to detail, the Tenor 1 is a reflection of what a top-level builder can produce at the top of their game.