Welcome to James Collins Guitars.

We currently offer 5 ‘GT’ models all hand made at our workshops in East Sussex.

Traditional styling combined with individual detailing & innovation. Made by hand, preferring the use of pencil lines, saws, planers, sanders & routers over the more modern CNC machining. We use a spoke shave for the necks which come in 3 different thicknesses although every neck can be shaped to order, then shoe shined to final thickness with body & neck hand sanded to final finish.

We take great pleasure in hand selecting all our wood from a few local suppliers as well as some top woods internationally. The bodies & necks are made from Honduras Mahogany, either a 1 piece body for the GTA & GTB or 2 piece for the carved GT models. The necks are 1 piece cut in 2 then rejoined with internal stringers for strengthening as well as for aesthetics with the stringer usually matching the fretboard wood. All models have a hand set neck with a glued mortice & tenon fitting for superior resonance & sustain.

For the tops we use a choice of exotic woods from around the world including Cocobolo, Ebony, Maple (Flame & Quilt) Sequoia Redwood & Walnut. Our fretboards can be either Cocobolo, Ebony, Indian Rosewood or Ziricote which feature a Maple wave cut into both the fretboard and matching head veneer. We make the Bindings usually from the fretboard wood or from the cap, detailed usually with maple veneers between the woods. The woods are always sourced from reputable dealers in exotic timber and all original paperwork and permits are obtained for shipping our guitars overseas.

There’s 2 Flat top models, the GTA & GTB and 3 carved top models, the GT, GTS & GTO.

All our guitars are fitted with Bare Knuckle Pickups quality hand wound pickups made in the UK. We have carefully selected a few pickups from their range that work great with the tone woods we use. The benchmark for the carved tops is the Mule pickup which is a vintage voiced PAF with Alnico IV magnets, beautifully articulate tones, clarity across the strings, spits really well and works great with either a Maple Cap or Redwood, the Black Dogs work particularly well with the Ebony or Walnut capped guitars, gives them that little extra that the cap tends to round out tonally. For the flat tops, the single pickup preferred choice would be the Black Dog which has a higher output than the Mule, gives it more bite, splits great too. The GTB features a HS-P90 in the neck with a humbucker in the bridge position which we have spent time getting the right balance and have 2 distinctive options, either a vintage voiced Blue Note & Stormy Monday mix, or for more heavier vintage vibe the Nantucket & Riff Raff.

With quality CTS pots and Jensen Capacitors the volume & tone controls give a great workable range of tone on all models. All hum buckers are splittable off the Volume and or Tone push-push pots for quick splitting and versatility. All models feature either a 3 or 5 Way Switchcraft & Switchcraft output Jacks.

We use Grover machine heads with Keystone buttons & Grover strap locks, Nashville Tune O Matic Bridges, Gotoh tailpieces and genuine USA BIgsby’s. All hardware is available in Nickel, Gold or Black.

The guitars are finished at one of the best instrument finishers in the UK, with over 25 years of experience. The finished guitars have a thin durable Polyester clear coat, polished & buffed to a high gloss finish.

Once the guitars are assembled at the workshop they are meticulously setup and tested before being put in the JCG branded Hiscox Hard case.

We build & exhibit stock guitars and take commissions, where we choose which model suits best as well as wood choices and electrics. If you’re able to get to us then you get to select the woods and see the build at different points throughout the process. If you are unable to get to us then we will email photos of wood choices and keep a photo log of the build process for you once all choices are made.

The Holy Grail Guitar Show

Electric guitars hand built in the United Kingdom