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Collings Guitars & Mandolins
 

MF 5 CollingsBill Collings moved from Ohio to Houston, Texas in the mid-1970s. More interested in guitars and engineering than in medical school, he took a job at a machine shop and began building guitars on his kitchen table with just a few hand tools. Coming from a family of engineers, Bill’s experience as a craftsman and his natural curiosity equipped him to experiment and quickly improve his craft. Before long his instruments were in the hands of local talents Rick Gordon and Lyle Lovett, which led more Texas players to seek out Bill for custom guitars. After building about fifty guitars and a few banjos in Houston, he headed west to pursue lutherie in southern California. Along the way, he befriended Austin luthiers Tom Ellis and Mike Stevens. Having found like-minded instrument makers, Bill decided to stay and share space in Tom’s shop. By the mid-1980s, Bill was building flattop and archtop acoustic guitars in his own small shop. His reputation for outstanding quality and meticulous attention to detail quickly spread. In 1989, he rented a 1,000-square-foot space and hired two helpers.

That same year, George Gruhn, the acclaimed collector and purveyor of vintage fretted instruments and owner of Gruhn Guitars in Nashville, asked Bill to make 24 custom “Gruhn” guitars, giving the Austin luthier national exposure. In the spring of 1992, Bill moved his guitar-making operation into a 3,200-square-foot feed store he purchased on the outskirts of Austin. By this time musicians such as Pete Townshend, Joni Mitchell and Brian May were playing Collings instruments and demand conCollings C10 Deluxetinued to grow. The existing shop tripled in size and its staff increased to 50 full-time employees. By 2005, Bill broke ground for a new 27,000-square-foot shop featuring CNC technology that modernized machining processes and made parts production more consistent, accurate and safe. As the business grew and processes were refined, one thing remained the same: Bill Collings’ commitment to build the finest stringed instruments available.

Fueled by his fascination with the construction and design of a variety of instruments, Bill soon began crafting more than just acoustic guitars. In 1999, he introduced the first Collings mandolins, which like his guitars, quickly set new standards for the industry. In 2006 his interest in carved top instruments led him to introduce a line of electric  guitars that players quickly embraced because of the instruments’ exceptional craftsmanship and tone.In 2009, with a nod to the tradition of some other high-end acoustic guitar makers, Bill created a line of concert and tenor ukuleles that have been hugely popular with professional and hobbyist players alike.

In late 2014, Collings started production of Waterloo Guitars, a stand-alone line of vintage-inspired guitars designed to capture the tone and character of some of the best depression era instruments.

For the past 40 years, Collings Guitars have been the choice of musicians who seek the finest handmade instruments available. You owe it to yourself to try a Collings.

Visit us at CollingsGuitars.com

Collings Guitars & Mandolins's Blog
 

Collings 02H 12-String

A small-body 12-string with easy playability and a big sound.

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Read/McQueen Duo | Collings Guitars

The Austin-based acoustic guitar duo performs their original "So Long."

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Lydia Luce: “Occasionally” | L.R. Baggs

The singer-songwriter performs a stripped-down version of a song from her album Dark River.

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Julian Lage, “Ryland” | Collings Guitars

The jazz guitar star plays an original tune on his Collings 470 JL signature model.

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Bob Minner | Collings Guitars

Flatpicker Bob Minner plays his composition "VanWart" on a new Collings CJ-45 T.

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CJ-45 T | Collings Guitars

Collings adds a slope shouldered dreadnought to its Traditional series.

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“Mirri Sairastaa” | Collings Guitars

Collings and Waterloo artists Charlie Rauh and Benjamin Guillet are joined by Peghead Nation's Teja Gerken for a trio arrangement of the Finnish lullaby.

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Collings Shop Tour | Collings Guitars

A great video visit produced by TexasMonthly.

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Kenny and Amanda Smith | Collings Guitars

A duo performance of Gillian Welch's "Winter's Come and Gone"

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Steve McCreary | Collings Guitars

Collings Guitars' general manager discusses the company's instruments and his own background on the Fretboard Journal podcast.

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Charlie Rauh and Mark Goldenberg | Collings Guitars

Fingerstyle jazz guitarist Charlie Rauh performs an improvisation with Peghead Nation instructor Mark Goldenberg.

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John Fullbright: “When You’re Here” | Collings D1 ATS

The songwriter plays one of his original compositions at the Collings Guitar and Mandolin shop.

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Kruger Brothers: “Beautiful Nothing”| Collings D1 T

The roots trio plays a one of their original compositions at the Collings Guitar and Mandolin shop.

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Kenny Smith: “Over the Waterfall” | Collings

The guitar master plays his arrangement of a traditional classic on a Collings 002H 14-Fret.

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The Evolution of the Collings T-Series

Collings Guitars’ Steve McCreary, guitarist Chris Eldridge, and other team members talk about how they developed the popular Traditional Series.

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Kenny Smith: “Forked Deer” | Collings

The guitar master plays his arrangement of a bluegrass classic on a Collings D1 A T S.

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Chris “Critter” Eldridge: “Fair to Partly Cloudy” | Collings D2H A T S

The flatpicking master plays an original composition on a new Traditional series dreadnought.

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Kenny Smith: “Angeline the Baker” | Collings

The guitar master plays his arrangement of a bluegrass classic on a Collings 001 14-Fret.

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David Howley and Seth Taylor: “Blackberry Blossom” | Collings

The guitarist from We Banjo 3 and the guitarist from Mountain Heart play a bluegrass favorite.

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Shawn Colvin: “Trouble”| Collings C100 Custom

The songwriter performs one of her originals on her new custom Collings guitar.

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Kruger Brothers: “People Get Ready”| Collings D1 T

The roots trio plays a joyful version of the Curtis Mayfield classic live at the Collings Guitar and Mandolin shop.

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Waterloo WL-M

A flattop mandolin inspired by budget instruments of the 1930s and ’40s.

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Waterloo WL-AT

A fully acoustic, carved-top archtop guitar inspired by budget archtops of the 1930s and ’40s.

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Andrea Mele: “Rose”| Collings OM2H

The Italian fingerstyle guitarist plays an original composition from his latest album, “Dream,” on a Collings OM2H.

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Waterloo WL-JK

A powerful slope-shoulder jumbo with a big sound and vintage feel.

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Diego Garcia: “El Camino” | Collings

The Spanish guitarist known as “El Twanguero” plays an original composition on a Collings OM1.

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Collings MT2 Quilted Maple Mandolin

A great A-style mandolin built with premium woods.

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Darrell Scott: “Full Light” | Collings

The multi-instrumentalist and songwriter plays an original song on his Collings C100 at the Collings shop in Austin, Texas.

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David Howley and Ross Holmes: “St. Anne’s Reel” | Collings

The guitarist from We Banjo 3 and the fiddle player from Cadillac Sky, Mumford and Sons, and others play an Irish music favorite at Collings headquarters in Austin, Texas.

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Collings MF O

A great oval soundhole F-style mandolin.

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Chris Eldridge: ”Church Street Blues” | Collings Guitar

Critter plays a solo version of the Norman Blake classic, live at the Collings Guitars’ IBMA Bluegrass Ramble showcase in Raleigh, North Carolina.

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Waterloo WL-14 Mh

All-mahogany small-body inspired by prewar budget guitars.

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Collings MT Torrefied | “Cherokee Shuffle”

Alex Rueb plays a rendition of the traditional favorite on a Collings MT featuring a torrefied Sitka spruce top.

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Waterloo WL-S Deluxe | Carl Miner

Guitarist Carl Miner plays an original composition on the new all-mahogany WL-S Deluxe.

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In Memory of Bill Collings | We Are Collings

This short film pays homage to Bill Collings, who set out to raise the bar in our industry and impacted so many lives in the process.

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Collings OM1A JL

A mahogany and spruce OM designed in collaboration with jazz guitar virtuoso Julian Lage.

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Julian Lage & Chris Eldridge: “Stone Cross” | Collings Guitars

Two guitar masters perform an original tune from their 2014 album, “Avalon.”

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Collings OMH2 and 001MH

Mark Goldenberg demonstrates his pair of Collings flattop guitars.

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Collings Guitars D1 A T | Bob Minner

Guitarist Bob Minner plays his original composition “Liam’s Lullaby” on his Collings D1 A T (Traditional Series).

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Collings OM1 T

A great vintage-style OM built with torrefied Sitka spruce and Honduran mahogany and delivered in Collings’ custom case.

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Collings Guitars OM1 A T | Carl Miner

Guitarist Carl Miner plays an original composition on a Collings OM1 A T (Traditional Series).

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Collings Guitars | Julian Lage Signature OM1

Julian Lage introduces his Collings OM1 JL signature model and explains how the development of the T-Series paved the way for its creation.

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Julian Lage & Chris Eldridge: “Broadcast” | Collings Guitars

Two guitar masters perform perform an original tune from their latest album “Mount Royal.”

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Collings Parlor 2H T

A vintage-style parlor guitar with a big sound.

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Kym Warner | “After The Victory” | Collings MT2 V

Multi-instrumentalist Kym Warner of The Greencards plays his original composition “After The Victory” on his Collings MT2 V mandolin.

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The Sound of an Era | Waterloo by Collings

Bill Collings, Jeff Tweedy, Rodney Crowell, and other guitar experts talk about Waterloo Guitars, inspired by historic guitars of the 1920’s and 1930’s.

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Julian Lage, “Woodside Waltz” | Collings OM 1 A JL

Julian Lage performs his original composition on his prototype Collings signature model featuring an optional Adirondack spruce top.

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Collings Original Vintage-Style Cases

This short film examines Bill Collings’ new line of custom hand-made, vintage-inspired guitar and mandolin cases.

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Inside Collings Mandolins

Mini-documentary provides a view of the Collings workshop.

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Mark Goldenberg: “Winter Song”

Peghead Nation Guitar Theory instructor plays an original fingerstyle piece.

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Jim D’Addario and Bill Collings

Jim D'Addario flew to Austin, Texas to meet with old friend Bill Collings, tour the Collings Guitars factory, and talk instruments and music.

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Collings Guitars: There Are No Shortcuts

This short film examines acoustic guitar building at Collings Guitars and the focus on quality that has come to define the company culture.

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Collings Mandolins: Inspiration by Design

Take an inside look at the art of crafting fine mandolins at Collings Guitars in Austin, Texas.

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Collings Introduces Waterloo Guitars

Founded by Bill Collings and built exclusively in Austin, Texas, Waterloo Guitars is a new line of vintage-inspired instruments designed to capture the voice and character of some of the very best depression-era guitars. www.waterlooguitars.com

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Inside Collings Guitars: Instrumental

Filmmaker Tim Edwards takes an inside look at Collings Guitars with his documentary "Instrumental."

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2007 Collings MT2 Mandolin

Peghead Nation's Dan Gabel demos his 2007 Collings mandolin

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© Copyright 2020 PegheadNation.com
 
 
    ● Courses
    ● Live Workshops
    ● Instructors
    ● Sample Lessons
    ● Notation Guide
    ● For Beginners
 
 
    ● Vintage Vault
    ● New Gear
    ● Fine Lutherie
 
 
    ● Workshops
    ● Advice
    ● Repertoire
 
 
    ● Recordings
    ● Events
    ● Breaking News
 
 
    ● In The Studio
    ● Live Onstage
    ● Backroom
 
 
    ● New Products
    ● Inside Look
    ● Performances
    ● Partner Pages
 
 
© Copyright 2020 PegheadNation.com