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Mike Mullins reviews a Collings D-1A Sunburst Acoustic Guitar

Vintage Guitars

Mike Mullins reviews a Collings D-1A Sunburst Acoustic Guitar


Okay. Look what we have here? This is a Collings. Bill Collings is a maker from Austin, Texas who
has become a giant in a world of acoustic guitar, makes Arch Tops and Flattop guitars; many different
styles, Electrics also, builds great Mandolins. And this example here is a dreadnought. It’s called a D1A
and it has got this nice honey-colored Adirondack Spruce top with sunburst on it. And, I actually own
one similar to this. It’s from 1996.
Bill Collings had been building guitars since by 1975 and this is a brand new one, and they just
keep getting better and better. You know? It’s kind of modeled after the Martin Dreadnoughts of the
1930s, except Mr. Collings, you know, kind of has sharper angles on the corners and you know, the
bracing pattern is pretty much the same. He has done a couple of little things differently than Martin.
He has kind of brought them into a little sharper focus. He has definitely got his own style. But he is
also very faithful to the Martin construction. The D1 is, you know, the corresponding guitar to the D-
18. This one almost looks like it has a one-piece back, but I’m not sure about that, I don’t think so. It’s
just a very tight seam on the back. I can’t even see it. Anyway, this is like a D-18 basically and this D-2 is
what would be like a D-28, would be a rosewood guitar with white binding and Herringbone Marquetry
around the top. But this one has, like sort of a tortoise-shell binding, and these are just flawlessly
executed. I don’t think the video will do a justice. But Collings are probably my favorite guitars being
made today. My personal favorite, you know. There’re a lot of great builders out there. And this one is
a stunning example, and this is at Gryphon Stringed Instruments in Palo, Alto. And this has a nice black
piece of wood. It’s not ebony but I think it’s a stained piece of rosewood on the head stalk, really sets it
off nicely. But now, it’s just pretty much like a 30s D-18 as far as the overall construction. Well and they
(Strumming the guitar), they sound pretty darn good. (Strumming the guitar)
Anyway folks, this is the Collings D-1A. It’s the D2H for Herringbone and the Collings D-1A
meaning Adirondacks Spruce Top. And these are highly recommended. These cost around, this model
here, is $4700, so you got up a little bit of money in your pocket if you want one of these, guys. The
standard D-1 is probably around $3000, but this one has a premium price because of the Adirondack
Top and Sunburst finish, and it’s a knockout.
(Strumming the guitar)


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