Luthier

Collings Acoustic Guitars & Mandolins

Founder
Bill Collings
Location
Austin, Texas
Founded
1973

Bill Collings came from a family of engineers, who inspired his meticulous attention to detail and boundless curiosity. 

Working alongside luthiers Tom Ellis and Mike Stevens in Austin, TX in the mid-70s, Bill started out crafting acoustic guitars for local musicians and studying older instruments through repair work. By the late 80s, his guitars found a national audience thanks to George Gruhn. Over the 90s and early 2000s, he expanded his workshop and team, added CNC machines, and developed new lines of instruments like mandolins, electric guitars, ukuleles, and eventually the vintage-inspired acoustic Traditional Series line, and the off-shoot brand Waterloo Guitars. Bill passed away in 2017, but the inspiring team at Collings carry on his legacy, producing some of the most responsive, robust, and playable guitars around by combining traditional build techniques with modern technology.

“When the guitar is new, it's not the sound it's going to have as it ages. So you have to build the guitar for its life, not for its first day.”

Never content to rest on their laurels, Collings has always been about refining, improving, and introducing new models to their lineup. They're as well-loved for the clear, powerful tone and consistency of their guitars as they are for their reliability and commitment to players.

Collings' standard builds most commonly feature a Sitka spruce top, pre-war scalloped X-bracing also in Sitka spruce, a modified V neck shape (with notable exceptions in the CJ, C100 and C10 series), and a high gloss nitrocellulose finish. The 1, 2, and 3 models are distinguished not just by back and side wood, but by appointments as well:

  • 1-style: Mahogany back and sides, tortoise binding, b/w/b/w purfling, b/w purfling rosette, walnut backstrip, nickel Waverly tuners
  • 2-style: Indian rosewood back and sides, ivoroid binding, herringbone purfling, ivory/tortoise/ivory rosette, zipper backstrip, nickel Waverly tuners
  • 3-style: Indian rosewood back and sides, ivoroid binding, b/w/b/w purfling, abalone rosette, chevron backstrip, gold Waverly tuners

Their more recent Traditional Series guitars, which "represent an exciting vintage-inspired tonal variation on the distinctive Collings sound", are set apart by a more rounded Traditional neck profile, woods that have been voiced to replicate the sound of vintage guitars, a lack of tongue brace, and an even thinner nitro finish. All these choices are aimed at further capturing the character and quality of beloved pre-war guitars. Collings' dreadnoughts, OMs, 12- and 14-fret 00s and 0s, and parlor guitars are all available with Traditional Series specs.

Bespoke orders can be customized with a wide variety of tonewoods, aesthetic appointments, and specifications like nut width, scale length, cutaways, finish, and more.

Our guitars are very traditional in most aspects, but there are still elements that he [Bill] adds to it that make them far more interesting than just a traditional old guitar. There's always something added.

Steve McCreary

The Guitars

From 3/4-size travel guitars to dreadnoughts, Collings offers the full spectrum of guitar builds with both their standard and Traditional Series models.

Models

D Series

Powerful, commanding, and classic, the Collings 14-fret square-shouldered dreadnought builds on the legacy of the great Martin dreadnoughts that came before it.

Collings' base model dreadnoughts feature a Sitka spruce top, with mahogany back and sides on the D1 and Indian rosewood on the D2H and D3.

The D1 and D2H are both available in the Traditional Series. Additional tonewoods and customization options are available on bespoke orders.

Dimensions
Body length
20"
Depth
4-7/8"
Lower bout
15-5/8"
Total length
40-1/4"
Standard specifications
Top
Sitka spruce
Back and sides
Hondurdan mahogany or Indian rosewood
Brace pattern
Pre-war scalloped X-brace
Bracing material
Sitka spruce
Neck
Honduran mahogany
Neck profile
Modified V or Traditional
Fingerboard
Ebony
Bridge
Ebony belly-style
Scale length
25-1/2"
Nut width
1-11/16" or 1-3/4"
String spacing
2-3/16"
Collings' Notes

"The square-shouldered 14-fret dreadnought is the most popular steel-string acoustic guitar body shape in the world. While Collings is certainly not the only company to build them, we bring a new tonal clarity to the depth and warmth usually associated with such a large, deep-bodied guitar."

DS Series

Collings is bringing the 12-fret slope-shouldered dreadnought, originally designed for Hawaiian music in the early 20th century, back into fashion. With a big, unique voice all its own, it's an excellent choice for versatile players who want a large-bodied guitar that's equally suited to strumming, fingerpicking and flatpicking.

Collings' base model slope dreads feature a Sitka spruce top, with mahogany back and sides on the DS1 and Indian rosewood on the DS2H and DS3.

Additional tonewoods and customization options are available on bespoke orders. (Note: The DS is not available with Traditional Series specs.)

Dimensions
Body length
20-7/8"
Depth
4-7/8"
Lower bout
15-5/8"
Total length
40-1/8"
Standard specifications
Top
Sitka spruce
Back and sides
Hondurdan mahogany or Indian rosewood
Brace pattern
Pre-war scalloped X-brace
Bracing material
Sitka spruce
Neck
Honduran mahogany
Neck profile
Modified V
Fingerboard
Ebony
Bridge
Ebony belly-style
Scale length
25-1/2"
Nut width
1-13/16"
String spacing
2-3/8"
Collings' Notes

"The longer body, with the bridge closer to the center of the lower bout, delivers an open, airy tone with smoothness and warmth not typically found in modern, 14-fret dreadnoughts."

CW Series

Whether you think of CW as standing for Clarence White or Collings Winfield (named for the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, KS), one thing is for sure: this is a a bluegrass flatpicker's dream dreadnought. With an enlarged soundhole, an Adirondack spruce top supported by a vintage-inspired bracing pattern, and the sweet spot nut width of 1-23/32", this hoss is meant for aggressive, articulate playing.

The CW is available with either mahogany (CW Mh A) or Indian rosewood (CW Indian A) back and sides.

Dimensions
Body length
20"
Depth
4-7/8"
Lower bout
15-5/8"
Total length
40-1/4"
Standard specifications
Top
Adirondack spruce
Back and sides
Hondurdan mahogany or Indian rosewood
Brace pattern
Pre-war scalloped X-brace (no tongue brace)
Bracing material
Adirondack spruce
Neck
Honduran mahogany
Neck profile
Modified V
Fingerboard
Ebony
Bridge
Ebony belly-style
Scale length
25-1/2"
Nut width
1-23/32"
String spacing
2-1/4"
Pickguard
Dalmatian
Collings' Notes

"Everything about this model is designed to provide plenty of headroom and projection for aggressive playing, but not at the expense of good tone."

CJ Series

The slope-shouldered dreadnought shape of the Collings Jumbo, or CJ for short, has seen some renewed popularity as of late. It's almost always dressed up in a sunburst finish, and is well-suited to shorter scale lengths, which results in a tighter bass response that's perfect for acoustic blues and fingerpicking. The standard CJ has a 25-1/2" scale, C-shape neck, Sitka spruce top, and either Indian rosewood or mahogany back and sides. 

The vintage-inspired CJ-35 and CJ-45 T are both 24-7/8" short-scale and 1-3/4" nut width guitars that sport unique characteristics, distinct from the standard CJs and from each other. The mahogany CJ-35 sports a wenge neck with a Vintage Now profile, straight wenge bridge, non-scalloped bracing with three tone bars, and 1-style appointments. Meanwhile, the Indian rosewood CJ-45 T combines the best elements of the CJ with Collings' Traditional Series characteristics and a proprietary CJ-45 neck shape.

Like all of Collings' guitars, the CJ is available with a variety of custom options on bespoke orders. The dimensions and specs outlined below reflect the base models.

Dimensions
Body length
20-1/8"
Depth
4-7/8"
Lower bout
16"
Total length
41"
Standard specifications
Top
Sitka spruce
Back and sides
Indian rosewood or mahogany
Brace pattern
Pre-war scalloped X-brace
Brace material
Sitka spruce
Neck
Honduran mahogany
Neck profile
C-shape
Fingerboard
Ebony
Bridge
Ebony belly-style
Nut width
1-11/16" or 1-3/4"
Scale length
25-1/2" or 24-7/8"
String spacing
2-3/16" or 2-5/16"
Collings' Notes

"While the CJ is similar in width and depth to the traditional dreadnought, it has a distinctly different tone. Despite its large size this model works well with the optional shorter string scale, resulting in a somewhat percussive bottom end ideal for acoustic blues or other styles that benefit from a more controlled bass response."

SJ Series

The maple back and sides of the Collings Small Jumbo give this uniquely curvaceous, large-bodied guitar an even more distinctive voice all its own, with bright trebles and a powerful midrange. Standard model SJs are also available with Indian rosewood or mahogany back and sides, and as with all Collings guitars, can be crafted with additional upgraded tonewood options and specs on bespoke orders.

Please note: SJs are not available with Traditional Series specs.

Dimensions
Body length
20-1/8"
Depth
4-1/2"
Lower bout
16"
Total length
41"
Standard specifications
Top
Sitka spruce
Back and sides
European maple, mahogany or Indian rosewood
Brace pattern
Pre-war scalloped X-brace
Brace material
Sitka spruce
Neck
European maple or mahogany
Neck profile
C-shape
Fingerboard
Ebony
Bridge
Ebony modern-style
Nut width
1-11/16"
Scale length
25-1/2"
String spacing
2-3/16"
Backstrip
Maple mosaic
Collings' Notes

"Players looking for the bass and overall volume of a large guitar, but with lots of treble clarity and midrange crunch, often find just what they need in the curvaceous SJ."

C100 Series

Sitting somewhere between the small jumbo and the OM, the C100 is one of Collings' most recent innovations. With parlor-style curves and a versatile voice, its got the sensitivity for fingerstyle, the headroom for flatpicking, and everything in between. The standard C100 features mahogany back and sides, while the Deluxe features Indian rosewood.

Please note: C100s are not available with Traditional Series specs.

Dimensions
Body length
19-3/4"
Depth
4-3/4"
Lower bout
15-7/8"
Total length
41-1/4"
Standard specifications
Top
Sitka spruce
Back and sides
Honduran mahogany or Indian rosewood
Brace pattern
Pre-war non-scalloped X-brace
Brace material
Sitka spruce
Neck
Honduran mahogany
Neck profile
C-shape
Fingerboard
Ebony
Bridge
Ebony belly-style
Nut width
1-11/16"
Scale length
25-1/2"
String spacing
2-3/16"
Binding
Ivoroid
Purfling
Rope or b/w/b/w
Collings' Notes

"With a nearly 16" lower bout, the C100 offers a solid and punchy low end response with plenty of headroom to dig in for more aggressive playing styles."

C10 Series

A leaner alternative to the OM, the vintage-inspired C10 has a narrow waist and smaller upper bout, making for a comfortable but punchy playing experience. Its focused, fundamental voice would perform well as a secondary guitar in an ensemble, or as a vocal accompaniment instrument.

Mahogany is the back and side wood on the standard C10, while the C10 Deluxe sports Indian rosewood. C10s can be customized with a wide variety of tonewoods and specs, such as cutaway, bracing alternatives, and deep body options. C10s are not available with Traditional Series specs.

The limited run, ultra-lightweight mahogany C10-35 has a number of unique appointments, such as non-scalloped Adirondack spruce bracing with two tone bars, a Vintage Now neck profile, shorter scale, and wenge bridge and fingerboard, giving it a dry, "snarly attack".

Dimensions
Body length
19-1/4"
Depth
4-1/4"
Lower bout
14-3/4"
Total length
40"
Standard specifications
Top
Sitka spruce
Back and sides
Honduran mahogany or Indian rosewood
Neck
Honduran mahogany
Neck profile
C-shape or Vintage Now
Fingerboard
Ebony
Bridge
Ebony straight-style
Nut width
1-11/16" or 1-3/4"
Scale length
25-1/2" or 24-7/8"
String spacing
2-3/16" or 2-5/16"
Binding
Ivoroid
Collings' Notes

"Of all our acoustic models, the C10 is perhaps the easiest for electric guitarists to adapt to, thanks in part to the more rounded neck profile."

OM Series

The 14-fret OM ("Orchestra Model") steel-string has long been a favorite of fingerstyle players, but you'll find this versatile guitar in the hands of many a flatpicker and strummer, as well.

Collings' base model OMs feature a Sitka spruce top, with mahogany back and sides on the OM1 and Indian rosewood on the OM2H and OM3.

The OM1 and OM2H are both available in the Traditional Series. Additional tonewoods and customization options are available on bespoke orders.

Dimensions
Body length
19-1/4"
Depth
4"
Lower bout
15"
Total length
39-3/4"
Standard specifications
Top
Sitka spruce
Back and sides
Hondurdan mahogany or Indian rosewood
Brace pattern
Pre-war scalloped X-brace
Bracing material
Sitka spruce
Neck
Honduran mahogany
Neck profile
Modified V or Traditional
Fingerboard
Ebony
Bridge
Ebony belly-style
Scale length
25-1/2"
Nut width
1-11/16" or 1-3/4"
String spacing
2-3/16"
Collings' Notes

"The compact shape makes the Collings OM equally easy to handle onstage or when sitting on the couch, and the relatively shallow body (barely over 4 inches deep) results in balanced tone and an immediate response."

OM Julian Lage

The OM 1 JL is the result of a very fruitful collaboration and friendship between Bill Collings and virtuoso guitarist Julian Lage. Similar in many ways to the OM1-T that came later, the OM1-JL is unique in the Collings line, as it's modeled after Julian's beloved 1939 Martin 000-18. Julian not only loves the played-in, warm tone of vintage instruments, but also deeply appreciates guitars that are honest, fundamental, and reveal the quality of your playing. Defining features like the custom satin lacquer finish, a neck carve modeled after Julian's worn-in 000-18, and a bracing pattern that later informed the Traditional Series models, set this guitar apart as much visually as they do tonally and in its playability.

The standard Julian OM has a Sitka spruce top and a 1-11/16" nut width and 2-3/16" string spacing, but custom options include an Adirondack spruce top, sunburst finish, and Traditional Series Neck & Bridge (1-3/4" to 2-5/16").

Dimensions
Body length
19-1/4"
Depth
4-1/8"
Lower bout
15"
Total length
39-1/2"
Standard specifications
Top
Sitka spruce or Adirondack spruce
Back and sides
Honduran mahogany
Construction
Traditional Series build and voicing
Bracing pattern
Custom Traditional Series pre-war scalloped X-brace (no tongue brace)
Bracing material
Sitka spruce
Neck
Honduran mahogany
Neck profile
Custom JL carve
Binding
Tortoise
Bridge
Ebony belly-style
Fingerboard
Ebony
Scale length
25-1/2"
Nut width
1-11/16" or 1-3/4"
String spacing
2-3/16" or 2-5/16"
Tuners
Relic nickel Waverly
Finish
Custom satin nitrocellulose lacquer
Collings' Notes

"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."

000 Series

Standard scale length and a longer body pair together on the Collings 12-fret 000 for an OM alternative that brings a little more bass presence and dynamic range. A slightly wider 1-13/16" nut width makes for easy fingerstyle playing, and the longer upper bout leaves plenty of room for adding an optional cutaway.

The base model 12-fret 000s feature a Sitka spruce top, with mahogany back and sides on the 0001 and Indian rosewood on the 0002H and 0003. Collings' full spectrum of customization options are available for bespoke orders. 

Please note: 000s are not available with Traditional Series specs.

Dimensions
Body length
20-1/4"
Depth
4"
Lower bout
15"
Total length
39-1/2"
Standard specifications
Top
Sitka spruce
Back and sides
Hondurdan mahogany or Indian rosewood
Brace pattern
Pre-war scalloped X-brace
Bracing material
Sitka spruce
Neck
Honduran mahogany
Neck profile
Modified V
Fingerboard
Ebony
Bridge
Ebony pyramid-style
Scale length
25-1/2"
Nut width
1-13/16"
String spacing
2-5/16"
Collings' Notes

"The 12-fret 000 has the same general appearance as the Collings 00, but in a larger size with longer string scale. Although it's the same width and depth as the OM, the longer body typically produces more bass and overall volume."

00 14-Fret Series

The perfect middle ground between a small and mid-sized guitar, Collings' 00 14-fret has an articulate midrange voice, with a surprising dose of low end and a clean, punchy attack.

Collings' base model 14-fret 00s feature a Sitka spruce top, with mahogany back and sides on the 001 and Indian rosewood on the 002H.

The 001 and 002H are both available in the Traditional Series. Additional tonewoods and customization options are available on bespoke orders.

Dimensions
Body length
18-7/16"
Depth
4"
Lower bout
14-1/2"
Total length
39"
Standard specifications
Top
Sitka spruce
Back and sides
Hondurdan mahogany or Indian rosewood
Brace pattern
Pre-war scalloped X-brace
Bracing material
Sitka spruce
Neck
Honduran mahogany
Neck profile
Modified V
Fingerboard
Ebony
Bridge
Ebony belly-style
Scale length
24-7/8"
Nut width
1-11/16" or 1-3/4"
String spacing
2-3/16"
Collings' Notes

"The shorter 24-7/8” scale length combined with a relatively broad waist allows for a more delicate top-voicing, producing an openness that’s equally suited for accentuating subtle nuances as it is for digging in on single-note runs."

00 12-Fret Series

Collings' went extra vintage with their 12-fret 00, modeling it after guitars of the mid to late 1800s. The small, classical-size body is paired with a slotted headstock, pyramid bridge and wide 1-13/16" nut width. Old-time aesthetics and tone meet modern playability.

Collings' base model 12-fret 00s feature a Sitka spruce top, with mahogany back and sides on the 001 and Indian rosewood on the 002H and 003.

The 001 and 002H are both available in the Traditional Series. Additional tonewoods and customization options are available on bespoke orders.

Dimensions
Body length
19-3/8"
Depth
4"
Lower bout
14-1/4"
Total length
38"
Standard specifications
Top
Sitka spruce
Back and sides
Hondurdan mahogany or Indian rosewood
Brace pattern
Pre-war scalloped X-brace
Bracing material
Sitka spruce
Neck
Honduran mahogany
Neck profile
Modified V
Fingerboard
Ebony
Bridge
Ebony belly-style
Scale length
24-7/8"
Nut width
1-13/16"
String spacing
2-5/16"
Collings' Notes

"The tone is typically balanced and precise, and we've seen it adopted for a wide range of playing styles from simple vocal accompaniment to ragtime solos."

0 14-Fret Series

If you know Collings, you know that even their smallest guitars are going to command your attention and hold their own. The 0 is an excellent travel and songwriting companion that won't fail you in a jam.

Collings' base model 14-fret 0s feature a Sitka spruce top, with mahogany back and sides on the 01 and Indian rosewood on the 02H and 03.

The 01 and 02H are both available in the Traditional Series. Additional tonewoods and customization options are available on bespoke orders.

Dimensions
Body length
18-3/16"
Depth
4"
Lower bout
13-7/16"
Total length
38"
Standard specifications
Top
Sitka spruce
Back and sides
Hondurdan mahogany or Indian rosewood
Brace pattern
Pre-war scalloped X-brace
Bracing material
Sitka spruce
Neck
Honduran mahogany
Neck profile
Modified V
Fingerboard
Ebony
Bridge
Ebony belly-style
Scale length
24-7/8"
Nut width
1-11/16" or 1-3/4"
String spacing
2-3/16"
Collings' Notes

"Although measuring only 13.5 inches in width (smaller than a typical classical guitar), the Collings 0 has tone and volume that belies its first impression as being less than full-sized."

0 12-Fret Series

Collings' replica of the early mid-1800s style 12-fret 0 is as excellent a performing guitar as it is a travel guitar. The 12-fret design maximizes tonal output, the short scale length is slinky and comfortable, and vintage aesthetics like the slotted headstock complete the package.

Collings' base model 12-fret 0s feature a Sitka spruce top, with mahogany back and sides on the 01 and Indian rosewood on the 02H and 03.

The 01 and 02H are both available in the Traditional Series. Additional tonewoods and customization options are available on bespoke orders.

Dimensions
Body length
19"
Depth
4"
Lower bout
13-3/4"
Total length
37-3/4"
Standard specifications
Top
Sitka spruce
Back and sides
Hondurdan mahogany or Indian rosewood
Brace pattern
Pre-war scalloped X-brace
Bracing material
Sitka spruce
Neck
Honduran mahogany
Neck profile
Modified V
Fingerboard
Ebony
Bridge
Ebony pyramid-style
Scale length
24-7/8"
Nut width
1-13/16"
String spacing
2-5/16"
Collings' Notes

"With softer contours and a longer body dimension than our 0 14-Fret model, the 0 12-Fret has a balanced and full tone with slightly more bass and overall volume."

Baby Series

Based on sound alone, the Collings Baby had us mistaking it for a larger guitar, and we're willing to bet it'd fool you, too. At roughly 3/4 the size of their standard OM, it's comfortable, travel-ready, and - save for a little bass presence - remarkably well-balanced.

Collings' Baby models sport a Sitka spruce top, with mahogany back and sides on the Baby 1, and Indian rosewood on the Baby 2 and soon-to-debut Baby 3. Additional tonewoods and customization options are available on bespoke orders.

Dimensions
Body length
17-1/8"
Depth
3-15/16"
Lower bout
12-1/2"
Total length
36-1/2"
Standard specifications
Top
Sitka spruce
Back and sides
Hondurdan mahogany or Indian rosewood
Brace pattern
Pre-war scalloped X-brace
Bracing material
Sitka spruce
Neck
Honduran mahogany
Neck profile
Modified V
Neck joint
14th fret
Fingerboard radius
14"-26" compound
Body binding
Tortoise or ivoroid
Fingerboard
Ebony
Peghead veneer
Ebony
Bridge
Ebony belly-style
Bridge pins
Ebony
Saddle
Drop-in (bone)
Scale length
24-1/8"
Nut width
1-11/16" or 1-3/4" (upgrade)
String spacing
2-3/16"
Truss rod
Fully adjustable
Tuners
Waverly nickel or gold
Finish
High gloss nitrocellulose lacquer
Rosette
B/w purfling or ivory/tortoise/ivory
Backstrip
1-style (walnut) or 2-style (zipper)
Purfling
B/w/b/w or herringbone
Case
Deluxe TKL hardshell
Collings' Notes

"The Baby model features a short 24-1/8" scale that creates a warm note attack and a lower tension string feel that lends itself well to a variety of playing styles."

Parlor Series

So often overlooked in favor of its louder and larger descendants, the parlor guitar is coming back, no doubt in part due to Collings' exquisite recreations of this late 19th century design. With a long body and a short scale, it's slinky and easy-playing. While it may never compete with the dreadnought in terms of volume, its clarity and richness of tone make it a deeply satisfying guitar for intimate jams and solo playing at home.

Both of Collings' base model Parlors are Traditional Series builds, with the Parlor 1 T sporting mahogany back and sides, and the Parlor 2H T Indian rosewood. A limited selection of tonewoods, including an all mahogany construction, and customization options are available on bespoke orders.

Dimensions
Body length
18-5/16"
Depth
4"
Lower bout
12-1/4"
Total length
37-1/4"
Standard specifications
Top
Sitka spruce
Back and sides
Hondurdan mahogany or Indian rosewood
Construction
Traditional Series build and voicing
Brace pattern
Custom Traditional Series pre-war X-brace (no tongue brace)
Bracing material
Sitka spruce
Neck
Honduran mahogany
Neck profile
Modified V
Fingerboard
Ebony
Bridge
Ebony pyramid-style
Scale length
24-7/16"
Nut width
1-3/4"
String spacing
2-5/16"
Finish
High gloss ultra-thin nitrocellulose lacquer
Collings' Notes

"The long and narrow body shape of the new Collings Parlor is inspired by some of the earliest steel string guitar designs that form the roots of the modern acoustic guitar family tree."

Explore Collings Acoustic Guitars & Mandolins

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