This past month Master Luthier, and close friend of the store, Bill Collings passed away after a battle with cancer. We thought we’d take this month’s staff picks and turn it into a tribute, showcasing some of the fine instruments Bill and his team have crafted over the years. Feel free to share any of your favorite Collings instruments or stories in the comments below.
Josh Baldridge – Collings Acoustic Guitars – 2007 D2H Brazilian Baaa A
I have had two guitars that I wish I had bought before they left the store. One came back and I bought it the same day, the other was a 2007 Collings D2H BaaaA. It had all of the best traits of a Brazilian Dread, a full low end, bell like highs and a present midrange to match. Around the store we refer to a few guitars as being “piano-like”, and this was one of those guitars. It might not be for everyone, but I still wish it had been for me. Bill Collings’ dedication to building fine instruments for players will be appreciated by us all for as long as guitars like this continue on…thanks Bill.
This Brazilian D2H that we have in-stock is almost the exact same build as the one that got away, even down to the year! Check it out
Jim Baggett – Collings Acoustic Guitars – D-45 Custom Brazilian Serial# 1000
When Jim placed the order for the 1000th Collings he told Bill and the guys in the shop to trick it out with every appointment possible. With inlays all over and some gorgeous Brazilian back and sides, this custom dreadnought is every bit a testament to the quality, and craftsmanship that Collings has always delivered. It’s fitting that the case project is now in full swing production, and this dreadnought feels right at home in one of Bill’s traditional cases.
It’s hard to get more special than serial number 1000.
Eric Putnam – Collings Electric Guitars – 290 DC – Orange
This 290 is the perfect Rock n’ Roll guitar. Great feeling neck, and as always from Collings, the fit and finish is perfect. It is also the best looking 290 I have ever seen!
Check out our collection of Collings Electrics over the years!
Matt Pelsma – Waterloo by Collings – WL-S Deluxe
This guitar is right in the party line with how Collings can design a throw-back style guitar and expertly craft a new instrument that not only plays and sounds phenomenal, but looks newly individual and classic at the same time. I couldn’t believe it until I saw and played the WL-D Deluxe. It’s no wonder these things don’t hang around long. We have one on order that should be arriving soon!
Check out our current collection of Waterloo Guitars.
Brian Soden – Collings Acoustic Guitars – 1993 OM2H
This amazing OM2H belongs to my long-time band mate and great friend, Gary. He purchased this guitar brand new from Mass Street Music in 1993. I’ve been playing music with Gary for close to 20 years and this guitar continues to impress me in the studio as well as on stage. It sounds just as incredible as it looks and has a ton of stories it could tell!
This OM is serial# 1001! Next in line right after Jim’s D-45!
Mike Horan – Collings Acoustic Guitars – 1997 OM1AV
We purchased this OM1AV in 1997, so this is its 20th anniversary! For all those years it has been Jeanie’s only acoustic, surviving countless MAW performances and recording sessions (check them out on Facebook). One of the louder OMs I have ever played, this machine routinely holds its own in jam sessions against guitars twice its size. It marks a milestone in Bill Collings’ vision for his guitars, as it is one of the first vintage neck guitars to bear the letter “V” on its label. This era was really the first time he had tried to copy a 1930s-style neck shape.
Check out our current inventory of Collings Models
Matt Harmon – Collings Acoustic Guitars – D1
Thanks to Jim and Mike I had finally understood what made Collings guitars so special and this one just kind of showed up for me at just the right time. This is your basic no frills D1 with a 1 11/16 nut spacing.
Check out Gilly the shop dog with Matt’s D1!
Trey Durkin – Collings Acoustic Guitars – D1A Traditional
What a wonderful instrument. The most inspirational guitar I have ever owned. Every time I pick it up something new comes out. When I pull it out of the case and set it on my knee, it just feels right, everything about it. Huge, rich tone that could be described as “no-nonsense”, from the low E all the way through the last fret high C, with such great playability that I find myself up there fairly often! There’s not a bad note on the guitar. The extra thin finish with no sealer coat is beautifully done and will age gracefully. Add the tortoise trim and it makes for quite the looker. I purchased this guitar to have a companion for life, and it has already enriched mine greatly in the 4 months I’ve had it. Bill and the team really hit the nail on the head with this guitar, and the entire traditional line.
Check out our gallery of Collings Traditionals here in the shop!
Susan Willits – Collings Acoustic Guitars – 02H 12-String
It’s hard to imagine an acoustic music world without Bill Collings. He made a big mark on the hand-crafted guitar and mandolin scene. His drive and ambition will be missed. One of my favorite Collings guitars that we’ve had in the shop was this Collings 12-string. It was such a wonderful sounding small body guitar. It’s nice to have a 12-string that’s not huge, but still has a big sound! Another beautiful instrument from Collings!
Take a look through our Sold Collings Gallery to find the perfect model for you. We can special order just about anything!
Matt Kappenman – Collings Acoustic Guitars – D1VN
Around four years go, long before I even thought about working at the store, I attended one of Jim’s Vintage Guitar workshops. I love old things, whether it’s vintage saxophones or old houses or tools…I’ve always enjoyed things that were built to last. I was looking forward to hearing all about Jim’s passion for old guitars, but he threw me a curve ball when the discussion moved to modern guitars that he felt were well built. Collings kept coming up again and again, a brand I had never heard of, but I became a little bit obsessed with it. I started researching Bill and the company and my entire outlook on modern, vintage-inspired instruments changed. I knew one day I would have to have one…and the first would have to be a D1 – Mass Street style – with a wider vintage now neck, no tongue brace and Adirondack bracing. We play ALL sorts of expensive and amazing guitars every day here at the store, but when I go home to play this D1 there’s always something new to bring out of this combination of metal and wood.