A great oval soundhole F-style mandolin.
by Teja Gerken
July 02, 2018
Collings Guitars began building mandolins in 1999, and though it started out as a side project the company’s mandolin production has grown to be a significant part of its business. Collings now offers A- and F-style instruments, each available with either f-holes or oval soundholes and with a variety of appointments. We recently had a chance to check out an MF O model, generously provided to us by Gryphon Stringed Instruments in Palo Alto, California.
The MF O, which is modeled on the classic oval-soundhole F-style mandolin, has a carved Adirondack spruce top and flamed maple back and sides. While vintage F-style mandolins typically had a single horizontal brace across the top, the MF O is built with X-bracing, which Collings feels gives the instrument a warmer sound with more sustain. A satin finish and simple appointments help make the MF O one of the more affordable F-style Collings mandolins, while the instrument’s craftsmanship and quality of materials conform to Collings’ extremely high standards.
The MF O we checked out has a big sound with great balance and a lovely bottom end. Peghead Nation’s Irish Mandolin instructor Marla Fibish, who plays the Irish reel “The Cameronian” on the MF O in this video, noted how much more comfortable the V-shaped neck is than the one on her 1922 Gibson A, and she liked the instrument’s even tone and lively response.
Overall, the Collings MF O is a great mandolin for anyone looking for a contemporary take on a classic style.
SPECS: F-style mandolin with oval soundhole. Carved Adirondack spruce top with X-bracing. Solid Eastern flamed maple back and sides. Maple neck. Ebony fingerboard. Adjustable ebony bridge. 13⅞-inch scale. 1³/₁₆-inch nut width. Nickel Gotoh tuning machines with black buttons. Made in USA. $4,725 street. Collingsguitars.com
Comments and Discussion
Leave a Reply
Please enter your email address and name to join the conversation on Peghead Nation.
Start Learning Today
One Course: $20/month or $200/year
Two Courses: $30/month or $300/year
Access to All Courses: $100/month
Peghead Nation’s String School is your source for roots music instruction, bringing you full courses in guitar, mandolin, banjo, ukulele, fiddle, and Dobro, featuring talented instructors, high-quality video instruction, accurate notation and tab, and fun songs to play right from the beginning. Enroll and become a Peghead today!