James Collins Guitars is based in East Sussex, UK, hand-building a few different models using traditional methods, beautiful tone-woods, hand-wound pickups and quality components. Run by James and a small team who are all guitarists, the passion is to make exquisite playable guitars with many details that cannot be mass-produced.
James studied lutherie in America, an enlightening formal teaching of electric and acoustic guitar building, and once back in the UK James started his own company. 12th Fret was launched at the start of 2008, committed to offering a professional setup & repair service for all levels of guitarist. James’ belief was that the high volume of traffic that a successful repair shop brought in presented a great opportunity to really build on his knowledge. After years of this valuable experience, James formed James Collins Guitars Ltd to develop and hand build his own designs in 2015, passing the repair work oevr to guitar-techs trained at 12th Fret.
The flat top & carved top models all feature 1 or 2 piece mahogany bodies and mahogany necks with a choice of different book-matched caps: flame maple, quilt maple, English walnut, cocobolo, ziricote, redwood & ebony. All guitars feature various meticulous forms of detailing; grain-matched mahogany back plate, matching fretboard wood stringers joined with maple veneers, a cut maple wave through the headstock veneer & fretboard, matched binding with pearl inlays, as well as a matched truss rod cover.
Loaded with Bare Knuckle pickups, the 3 carved top double humbucker versions are fitted with either a 3 way toggle or 5 way rotary switch with inlayed mother of pearl dot position markers. Recessed volume & tone controls are all push-push, splitting neck & bridge pickups, and when combined with the 5 way rotary switch 13 different tones are avilable including out of phase & outer coils as well as standard configuration for 2 humbuckers. This enables the guitars to cover a lot of ground, from classic blues, hard rock to country & jazz.
All guitars come with a laser engraved numbered coin, set into the back of the headstock as well as a Certificate of Authenticity booklet, signed by James.
Once the guitars are complete they are always given a few days to settle and the setup fine-tuned before being sent on their way in a custom James Collins Hiscox case, perfectly protecting the guitar in transit.