Collings MF F-style mandolin with optional gloss top ($315) and tortoise binding ($0).
This MF is very rich and complex but still has that nice, forceful chop Collings is known for.
About the MF
The MF is a simplified version of Collings' more ornate MF5 and MF Deluxe models.
By omitting certain cosmetic elements, Collings is able to offer the MF at more budget-friendly price point without compromising their legendary craftsmanship, playability, and tone.
The standard appointments of an MF include:
Adirondack top with flame maple back/sides
Satin finish on body, neck, and headstock
Top bound body
Plain headstock with no inlay except for the Collings logo
We order many of our MF mandolins with upgrades such as a high-gloss top finish or ivoroid binding. These upgrades will always be noted in the description and price breakdown.
Adirondack Spruce Top
Compared to other species of spruce, Adirondack is relatively stiff. This helps produce a tone that tends to be more crisp, bright, and powerful than the softer spruce varieties.
Adirondack also has plenty of "headroom," meaning it will maintain clarity and single note definition even when played aggresively. This makes it it popular among bluegrass and country players who need lots of power and "cut" to avoid getting buried by the rest of the band.
As the heart and soul of an instrument's tone, the top is arguably the most crucial component of a Collings mandolin. That's why each top is carefully hand selected and carved to the optimal thickness.
Every Collings mandolins is built with the finest tonewoods available. Even their more affordable models like the MT or MF are made using beautiful, high grade wood.
Like the tops, the back and sides are chosen individually and carefully mated with tops in an effort to create the best tone possible.
Collings employs a combination of PLEK'ing and hand dressing to ensure a flawless factory setup. Collings mandolins play beautifully right out of the box, but their tight tolerances make adjusting them to your play style a breeze.
A compound 5-1/2" to 11-5/8" fingerboard radius, V-shaped neck profile, and 1-9/16" inch string spacing creates an exceptional playability that is versatile for a wide range of styles.
Bridges and pickguards are handmade of solid ebony in-house by Collings.
Their cast tailpieces offer convenient top loading and are made of bronze to enhance string resonance. Gotoh or Waverly tuners provide a smooth tuning feel and reliable operation.
Collings' nitrocellulose lacquer satin finish provides an excellent combination of flexibility, protection and affordability.
While less labor intensive than their full gloss finishes, the satin finish allows the rich, full tone of the instrument to come through and creates a unique patina.
Back & Sides
D'Addario Medium EJ74 (11 - 40)
Collings TKL Deluxe Geib-Style Case
Founded by Bill Collings in 1973, Collings Guitars has grown to become one of the most respected names in acoustic music.
Avenue Guitars is proud to be a Collings Premier Dealer. This status is only given to the top 10 dealers out of nearly 150 Collings distributors worldwide
There are few builders who can match Collings when it comes to fit and finish.
Their instruments have clean, sharp lines and mirror-like finishes. Even small details like the meticulously polished saddle and the crisp inlay work demonstrate Collings' uncompromising devotion to quality.
This fanatical attention to detail results in instruments that look as beautiful they sound.
Every Collings acoustic guitar, from their most affordable model to the highest end, are built with the finest tonewoods available. Each wood is acquired, acclimated, and hand-picked by Collings' master luthiers who choose each component with the whole tonality of the end instrument in mind.
Rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach, Collings hand-voices each acoustic guitar top by sanding and carving it to the optimal thickness. This means that the character of the wood is shaped by a human ear and not an arbitrary number on a drum sander.
While tone is a subjective topic, we feel Collings instruments tend to have a complex, focused voice with excellent clarity and single note definition.
They're extremely responsive, so you don't need to work very hard to produce great tone. That said, when you dig in you'll find that Collings guitars are some of the loudest, most powerful acoustic instruments around.
Every instrument naturally has its own unique personality depending on body size and tonewoods, but Collings' meticulous voicing and exacting construction techniques ensure that each guitar sounds as good as it possibly can.
Collings guitars and mandolins play exceptionally well right out of the box thanks to a combination of PLEK machine fret leveling and the skilled work of a Collings setup tech.
Most players love the factory setup, but we're always happy to set up your new instrument to your exact preferences. The precision engineering of a Collings product means that we can work at tighter tolerances and make your guitar play EXACTLY the way you want.
One aspect of a Collings instrument that is difficult to capture in photos is the flat, glassy quality of their finish. It really has to be seen to be appreciated!
Collings' standard nitrocellulose lacquer finishes measure between .005" and .007" in thickness, maximizing acoustical response while providing excellent protection and aesthetics.
With the exception of certain hardware items, Collings makes nearly all components in house. Even simple parts like bridge pins and pickguards are fabricated in the Colling shop.
Collings also takes advantage of the latest technology in CNC and laser cutting to eliminate variance and ensure that each instrument meets Bill's incredibly high standards
This tight control over every facet of production means that Collings instruments are incredibly consistent in terms of build quality, playability, and tone.
The big guys are making amazing instruments, but Collings' lower production levels mean that each guitar or mandolin gets a level of personal care and attention that's just not possible on a large production scale.
A few numbers to put things in perspective: Over the last several years, Collings produced around about 1,500 flat top guitars a year, or roughly four a day. The major US-based brands build 400 to 500 guitars a day.
Collings instruments have a lifetime warranty to the original owner.
In the 10+ years we've been a Collings dealers we can count the number of warranty issues we've had on one hand, but it's nice to know the protection is there if you need.