Julian Lage Signature OM1When Bill Collings first met the brilliant young jazz musician Julian Lage, in 2014, the two began a series of in-depth conversations about their respective crafts. Lage's profound insights as a guitarist would play a key role in the creation of Collings’ T (Traditional) Series guitars. This rare collaboration, which continued right up until Bill’s passing, in July, 2017, has yielded another exceptional new guitar with an old soul. We are proud to present a highly personal extension of the T Series: the Julian Lage Signature OM1.
Though Lage’s guitar shares the same foundational specs as the OM1 T, it is unique in some key ways. Its neck feels like no other Collings guitar. That’s because it’s modeled after Lage’s cherished 1939 Martin 000-18. This pre-war gem is heard on the guitarist’s 2015 solo album, “World’s Fair,” and was his main touring acoustic for years.
The 000-18’s neck—which was of course originally hand-shaped and sanded—has a distinctive taper altered by decades of wear. For Lage, this particular neck had come to feel like home. Through careful analysis and digitization of its unique dimensions, we were able to precisely recreate its worn-in, asymmetric feel on his signature model. While we maintained the relatively narrow 1 11/16" nut of the 000-18's neck, we extended the fretboard from the original short scale to our standard 25 ½" length for slightly greater presence and note definition.
Lage has an affinity both tonally and aesthetically for vintage guitars whose finishes have mellowed after years of playing. To recreate this effect we initially considered a varnish, but to achieve the ideal combination of a thin finish application and a vintage aesthetic, we landed on a custom satin lacquer. This new finish offering not only feels and looks right to Lage, he finds it has the same inherent openness of tone that is present in the best pre-war instruments.
With his typical descriptive eloquence, Lage characterizes his signature model as a “lovingly neutral” guitar. It has a remarkably even response between registers. It’s not an empty flatterer, but an instrument that rewards you when you’re playing your best. In this way, Lage, whose own education is unending, sees the guitar as a teacher.
Lage’s signature model incorporates a script peghead logo not seen on a new Collings instrument in decades. This is the inlay that Bill hand-cut some 30 years ago when he started out in a tiny shop in Austin, Texas. We see this as a loving tribute to our late leader, who in his final project was able to realize the perfect new steel-string for one of today’s most exacting guitarists.
As an extension of the T-Series, the OM1 JL is built with a traditional approach to voicing that emphasizes strong fundamental tone with warm, rounded highs, solid projection and a crisp attack.
Developed with both tonal and aesthetic qualities in mind, the OM1 JL is finished with a custom satin nitrocellulose lacquer that offers true and uninhibited response with the softened sheen of a time-worn vintage instrument.
Early Script Inlay
The OM1 JL incorporates an early script peghead logo that has not been seen on a new Collings instrument in decades and pays homage to Bill Collings' early roots as an aspiring guitar maker.
Modeled after Lage's 1939 Martin 000-18, the OM1 JL’s neck features a 1 11/16" nut and 2 3/16" saddle spacing. For those accustomed to wider necks, the guitar is optionally available with a 1 3/4" nut and 2 5/16" saddle spacing in the standard Traditional profile.
Featuring a rich amber lacquer toner, custom wood purflings and a matching rosette, the OM1 JL has traditional appointments to match its vintage-inspired voicing.
Nickel Waverly tuners with oval buttons and an authentic relic patina provide precise and reliable tuning while contributing to the guitar's vintage charm and feel.
Collings handmade cases are built in-house to the same exacting standards of craftsmanship as our instruments. In every way, this is a case that complements and adds to the experience of owning a fine Collings instrument, and will protect it with unparalleled style, ergonomics and grace.
|Back & Sides||Honduran mahogany|
|Construction||Animal protein glue|
|Body Binding||Tortoise with custom wood purflings|
|Bridge||Ebony belly-style with 2 3/16" spacing|
|Fingerboard||Ebony with gold MOP short dots|
|Bridge Pins/End Pin||Ebony with MOP dot|
|Nut||Bone, 1 11/16"|
|Neck Profile||Custom JL carve|
|Peghead Profile||Tapered square|
|Neck Joint||Mortise & tenon hybrid|
|Truss Rod||Fully adjustable|
|Frets||Medium 18% nickel-silver|
|Peghead Veneer||Ebony with gold MOP Collings script logo|
|Tuners||Relic nickel Waverly with vintage oval buttons (16:1 ratio)|
|Rosette||Custom wood rosette|
|Scale Length||25 1/2"|
|Brace Material||Sitka spruce|
|Brace Pattern||Custom Traditional Series pre-war scalloped X-brace (no tongue brace)|
|Fingerboard Radius||14" - 26" compound|
|Body Finish||Custom satin nitrocellulose lacquer|
|Neck Finish||Custom satin nitrocellulose lacquer|
|Strings||D'Addario NB1253 (.012"- .053")|
|Case||Collings Traditional handcrafted case|
Julian Lage – Collings OM1 A JL - “Woodside Waltz”
Julian Lage performs “Woodside Waltz” on his prototype OM1 A JL signature model featuring an Adirondack spruce top.
Introducing the Julian Lage Signature OM1
Julian Lage introduces his new OM1 JL signature model and explains how the development in the T-Series paved the way for its creation.
Julian Lage & Chris Eldridge - Collings Guitars - "Stone Cross"
Julian Lage and Chris Eldridge perform "Stone Cross" from their 2014 release Avalon on a Collings OM1 A JL and D1 A T Custom. Recorded with a Neumann U 89.
Julian Lage & Chris Eldridge - Collings Guitars – "Henry"
Julian Lage and Chris Eldridge perform "Henry" from their release Mount Royal on a Collings OM1 A JL and D1 A T Custom. Recorded with a Neumann U 89.
Julian Lage & Chris Eldridge - Collings Guitars – "Broadcast"
Julian Lage and Chris Eldridge perform "Broadcast" from their release Mount Royal on a Collings OM1 A JL and a D1 A T Custom. Recorded with a Neumann U 89.
Julian Lage – "233 Butler"
Julian Lage (with Chris Thile, Mike Elizondo, Ted Poor, and Gabe Witcher) plays "233 Butler" from the December 2, 2017 broadcast of Live From Here.
Charlie Sexton – Collings OM1 A JL
Our friend Charlie Sexton dropped by to check out the new Collings OM1 A JL featuring an Adirondack spruce top and Honduran mahogany back and sides.
JD Simo – Collings OM1 A JL
JD Simo plays some improvised bluegrass on the Collings OM1 A JL.