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14-Fret
12-Fret
Solid-Body
Semi-Hollow
Standard
AT 18
Electric
A-Style
F-Style
Concert
Tenor
 
Frequently Asked Questions
Acoustics Electrics Mandolins Ukuleles General
Acoustics

What type of pickups do you recommend for your acoustic guitars?
There are a number of pickup options available for acoustic guitars, and the best choice really depends on the individual player's needs and preferences. We generally recommend L.R. Baggs products and have had good results with the Anthem, I-Mix, Dual Source, and I-Beam pickup systems. Fishman is another company that makes excellent products and offers a full range of amplification solutions. We've been very impressed with their Aura system combined with the Matrix pickup. Another popular option is the Pure Mini pickup system from K&K Sound. Your dealer should be able to offer further advice in selecting the best pickup to suit your individual needs and can generally help with the pickup installation.

Note: The L.R. Baggs I-Mix is not compatible with our 0, 00, and C10 size guitars due to their smaller bridge plate.

What type of polish should I use?
Any high grade, commercially available polish should be fine. There is some question about silicone and the effect it has on guitar finishes. We do not believe that silicone will cause any direct damage to our finish. However, if you ever need finish work done later, there may be trouble with adhesion over any area that has been treated with a silicone product.

Can I order an instrument directly from Collings?
Unfortunately, we do not sell instruments direct from our shop. All custom orders must be placed through an authorized Collings dealer. Please visit our dealer page For a complete listing of dealers.

What type of strings do you use?
We use D’Addario phosphor bronze strings and have for many years.

For small bodied guitars (Baby, OM*, 0, 00, 000, C10), we use
J16s - light gauge (.012, .016, .024, .032, .042, .053).

For large bodied guitars (D, CJ, DS, SJ, Archtop), we use
J17s - medium gauge (.013, .017, .026, .035, .045, .056).

*An OM should be fine with medium gauge strings. Due to the footprint of
the "belly" bridge, there should be plenty of glue surface. For the Baby, C10, 00 and 000 models, we strongly recommend the use of light gauge strings. The small bridges simply do not allow enough glue surface for the increased tension of medium gauge strings.

Do you offer different sunburst types?
Yes. We offer a few different sunburst types to suit the various body sizes and woods. We generally like the color of the edge of the burst to match the sides of the guitar. The standard sunburst for each model is determined by the wood combination and body size:

D, OM, Baby, DS, 000, 00, and 0 Series:
Sunburst guitars with mahogany back and sides will receive a 1-style sunburst as a standard. Sunburst rosewood guitars will receive a darker 2-style sunburst as a standard. We can also offer a 2-style sunburst on Mahogany guitars by request, although this option requires changing the stain color of the back and sides from the standard reddish mahogany stain to a darker walnut color. Koa guitars will receive a light amber sunburst that matches the back/sides, similar to a 1-style sunburst. The full body sunburst option is available for guitars with maple back/sides and all mahogany guitars.

CJ, SJ, and C10 Series:
These models will receive a darker pear-shaped sunburst with a more closed in upper bout. Sunburst mahogany models will receive the darker walnut stain color as a standard. The full body sunburst option is available for guitars with maple back/sides and all mahogany guitars.

Custom Sunbursts:
In a custom order situation (placed through an authorized Collings dealer), we can usually match the sunburst to a provided reference photo. While we do this on a regular basis with good results, it's important to understand that a number of variables can come into play when dealing with photos of sunbursts. Monitor color settings, camera flash, light temperature, and contrast settings can all alter the way a sunburst appears in a photo. When ordering a custom sunburst, we can generally get very close to matching color and shading, but you must be willing to accept reasonable variations to the provided reference color. Reference photos can be submitted through your dealer by email or mail for physical prints.

What is covered under my instrument's warranty?
Collings instruments are warranted to be free from defects in materials and workmanship, to the original purchaser, for as long as he/she owns the instrument. This limited warranty constitutes the entire warranty of Collings with regards to its instruments. No representation or warranty by any Collings salesperson, dealer, agent, representative or employee shall be binding upon Collings Guitars, Inc. other than as expressly set forth herein.

The Collings Limited Warranty does not cover the following: wear and tear from normal use and any damage that is the result of misuse, abuse, or unauthorized modifications, damages from unauthorized or self-made repairs, improper maintenance, accidents, exposure to adverse temperature and/or humidity, and other careless action, which by its nature results in damage to the instrument or to components not manufactured by Collings.

What neck profile and bridge options are available for the acoustic guitars?
Please view the following diagram for neck profile drawings, measurements and additional specifications.

How do the Vintage and "Vintage Now" neck profiles compare to the standard neck profile?
We offer three different neck options for our 14-fret guitars that vary in size and shape.  The easiest way to understand the differences between our neck profiles is by looking at the saddle spacing.  With wider saddle spacing, the neck gets larger as you move up towards the body.  Our standard (non-vintage) neck has 2 3/16” spacing at the saddle. This neck has a modified V shape and is available with a 1 11/16”, 1 23/32”, or 1 ¾” nut width.  The neck depth (including the fingerboard) is typically .840” at the 1st fret and .930” at the 9th fret.  The fingerboard width measures 2.195” at the 12th fret. 

The next size up is the profile called "Vintage Now" which has slightly wider spacing at the saddle (2 5/16”) with 1 3/4” at the nut.  This neck is slightly larger than our standard (non-vintage) profile, but is not quite as large as some of the chunkiest vintage Martin necks.  This neck has more of a vintage feel, but is more palatable than our standard Vintage neck (see below) to a lot of players.  The neck shape is slightly rounder (less V) in the lower position and moves towards a modified V shape as you go up the neck.  The neck depth (including the fingerboard) is typically .845” at the 1st fret and .960” at the 9th fret.   The fingerboard width measures 2.195” at the 12th fret. 

The chunkiest neck option is the standard Vintage neck profile, which has 2 3/8” spacing at the saddle with 1 ¾” at the nut.  This neck profile was modeled after several pre-war Martin's and is a noticeably larger neck.  Like the “Vintage Now” neck, the neck shape is slightly rounder (less V) in the lower position and moves towards a modified V shape as you go up the neck.  The neck depth (including the fingerboard) is typically .845” at the 1st fret and 1.020” at the 9th fret.  The fingerboard width measures 2.240” at the 12th fret. 

Please view the following diagram for neck profile drawings, measurements and additional specifications. Aside from the neck and saddle spacing, there is no difference between a "vintage" and "non-vintage" model.

How is the varnish finish option different from the standard lacquer finish?
Varnish is a softer and therefore more flexible finish material. While there are subtle tonal advantages to the varnish finish, this option is not for everyone. Unlike lacquer, the process for applying varnish is not conducive to "finish touch-ups", meaning that we cannot repair some minor imperfections such as small pinholes, bubbles, or sinks. While we've always taken pride in our high standard for fit and finish, we cannot produce varnish instruments to the level of cosmetic "perfection" as we can with our lacquer finish instruments. The varnish finish has a beautiful, rich luster, but may include very small imperfections when put under close examination.

Additionally, the softer finish is not as protective as the harder lacquer finish. The alkyd resin-based varnish finish is very slow to cure and can be relatively soft on new instruments. The finish will continue to harden as the instrument ages, but new varnish instruments can be vulnerable to scratches, dings, and imprinting. By its very nature, varnish can shrink, wrinkle, and/or dull over time and is not likely to maintain a "new" appearance as well as lacquer instruments. With that said, the varnish finish allows the instrument to vibrate more freely and can produce a more responsive instrument with a greater depth of tone.

Can I supply my own wood for an instrument I'm planning to order?
Unfortunately, we are unable to accept customer supplied woods. While you may have a wonderful set of wood, we go to great lengths to source the highest quality materials for our instruments and prefer to use our own wood. This way we can ensure that the wood is properly cut, seasoned, and structurally sound.

What size fret wire do you use?
Our standard fretwire dimensions are as follows:
crown width: 2 mm
crown height: 1.10 mm
Total height 2.60 mm
Tang width: 0.80 mm

How long does it take to place a special order?
The lead time for new orders can vary depending on the wood combination, features, and existing backlog of orders. Most standard models can be delivered within 4-5 months. If you are considering placing a custom order, your dealer will be able to provide you with a price quote and time frame for delivery. All custom orders must be placed through an authorized Collings dealer.

Where can I find my instrument's serial number?
Acoustic guitar serial numbers are stamped into the mahogany neck block inside the body of the guitar. The 3-5 digit serial number can be seen by looking through the soundhole toward the neck. Serial numbers can be difficult to read in poor lighting, so a small flashlight may be helpful in accurately reading the number.

How can I tell if I need to humidify my instrument?
Our guitars are built in a controlled environment with constant 49% relative humidity. In order to keep your instrument in proper playing condition and prevent cracking or other structural problems, it is very important that you maintain a similar level of humidity where you store your instrument. In many climates, it can be difficult to achieve an adequate humidity level without help from a soundhole humidifier. We strongly recommend investing in an inexpensive hygrometer to monitor the environment where you store your instrument. A hygrometer can help you gauge whether your instrument is in danger of becoming dried out or over-hydrated. We also recommend familiarizing yourself with the symptoms of a dry guitar, so you can identify potential problems before they cause any real damage. This is an extremely important topic, so please visit our care and feeding page for additional information.

What type of humidifier do you recommend?
There are a wide variety of products out there that can help you keep your instrument properly humidified (see care and feeding). Most of these products work in a similar fashion, but we've been especially impressed with the Oasis line of humidification products. It's also a good idea to invest in an inexpensive hygrometer to help you monitor the environment where you store the guitar. A hygrometer will help take the guess-work out of knowing when and when not to humidify.

How can I prevent my guitar from developing cracks?
The overwhelming majority of cracks (and lifting bridges) are caused by inadequate humidity. Exposing your instrument to a low humidity environment can cause the woods to contract and change shape, which can lead to cracking and a host of other problems. It's extremely important to be aware of the humidity where you store your instrument. This is an extremely important topic, so please visit our care and feeding page for more information.

I would like to have a strap button installed in my guitar. What location do you recommend for the installation?
Please view the following diagram.

How is my guitar's neck attached?
Please view the following diagram.

How do I adjust my truss rod?
All of our acoustic guitar necks can be adjusted with a 5/32" ball-end allen wrench. The "ball-end" part is important, as this is needed to access the truss rod nut at an angle. Be sure to use the correct wrench to avoid stripping the truss rod nut. Please view the following diagram.

My instrument is in need of repair. Where can I take my instrument for service?
Your local Collings dealer is usually the best place to start. Many repair issues can be resolved by simple adjustments to the nut, saddle, or truss rod. Your dealer can most often help in this area and can also rule out the causes of common problems. Alternatively, we offer warranty repair services at our shop. Your dealer can usually assist you in packaging and shipping your guitar to our shop if needed. please visit our repairs page for more detailed information.

I love my guitar, but would like a different neck profile. Can you build a new neck for my guitar?
It sounds relatively simple to build a new neck for a guitar, but it actually requires a great deal of time and effort to remove, build, finish, and replace a neck. Replacement necks start at $1500, so in most cases it makes more sense to trade/sell the guitar for a different model that was built with a neck profile that suits you better.

What are your factory specifications for acoustic guitar setup?
String Height (measures top of fret to bottom of string):
Bass-side string height at 12th fret: 3/32"
Treble-side string height at 12th fret: 2/32"

Relief (measures distance from top of fret to bottom of string while fretting the 1st and 15th fret):
Relief at 5th Fret: .005" (a post-it note folded in half is about .005")

We consider these measurements to be a "medium" action height. You should have some room to lower the action from these measurements, but keep in mind that an ultra-low action usually requires lighter playing or adjusted technique to prevent buzzing. Feel free to give us a call if we can be of any help.

How can I determine the age of a particular acoustic guitar?
Acoustic guitars built after 1991 have a 3-5 digit serial number (stamped into the mahogany neck block) that can be used to date the instrument. The table below lists serial number ranges issued into production by year. Serial numbers are assigned at the beginning of the build process, so some guitars would have been completed and shipped in subsequent year(s). Most guitars spend 3-6 months in production, but build time can vary from instrument to instrument.

Year
Serial Number Range
2012
19437
to
21052
2011
18054
to
19436
2010
16784
to
18053
2009
15809
to
16783
2008
14249
to
15808
2007
13002
to
14248
2006
11730
to
13001
2005
10626
to
11729
2004
9447
to
10625
2003
8389
to
9446
2002
7561
to
8388
2001
6530
to
7560
2000
5644
to
6529
1999
4766
to
5643
1998
3941
to
4765
1997
3031
to
3940
1996
2352
to
3030
1995
1679
to
2351
1994
1197
to
1678
1993
555
to
1203
1992
332
to
554
1991 or older
 
to
331

What is a tongue brace and why would I want to leave it out?
The tongue brace is a flat, thin brace that runs across a guitar's upper bout underneath the tongue of the fingerboard. String tension is always pulling the neck and fingerboard towards the body of an acoustic guitar and a tongue brace helps to reinforce this area to prevent the top from cracking along side of the fingerboard tongue. This cracking is only a potential problem and one that most likely wouldn't be an issue for 40 or 50 years. The tongue brace was originally developed in the late 1940's after cracking occurred on some popular pre-war instruments.

There are a few reasons why people order guitars without tongue braces or remove them:

1) Some players believe that the absence of the tongue brace allows the top to vibrate more freely, and therefore produce a subtly more open sound.
2) Some players like to try and duplicate pre-war bracing designs as much as possible.
3) Clarence White's 1935 D28 didn't have a tongue brace. Many builders offer "Clarence White-style guitars" like our CW model in which we leave out the tongue brace.

In the past 20 years that we've been building the CW model, we've never had a problem with the top cracking along the edges of the tongue. In the long run, a tongue brace is a good safeguard against tension cracks, however if you would prefer to have it left out it should not appreciably effect the structural integrity of the guitar for many years.

What is the difference between sitka and adirondack spruce for bracing?
Sitka spruce is the standard brace material in most of our guitars and it is both strong and responsive. Generally sitka has a less rigid structure than adirondack which makes it more responsive to a light touch or finger-style playing techniques. Adirondack is both light and rigid which gives it a subtly quicker and clearer response, however it sometimes requires more picking effort to achieve full volume and tone. The tonal advantage of adirondack's extra stiffness is increased "headroom", the guitar will retain more tonal clarity as it is strummed harder. In either case the tonal difference of brace material will be subtle, but we offer the option to use adirondack or sitka spruce for bracing as another way to tailor your instrument to your personal playing style and tastes.

Electrics

What type of strings do you use?
All of our electric models are strung with D'Addario EXL-115 strings (.011", .014", .018", .028", .038", .049").

What size fret wire do you use?
Our electric models are built with 18% nickel-silver fret wire that measures .104” wide by .047” tall.

What type of pots and caps are used in the electrics?
We use CTS 500k pots and Xicon caps rated at .022 microfarad (part number 1432-1223) in a 50's style wiring scheme.

How do I adjust my truss rod?
All of our electric guitar necks can be adjusted with a 5/16" box wrench. Please be sure to use the correct wrench to avoid stripping the truss rod nut.

How long does it take to place a special order?
The lead time for new orders can vary depending on the model and the existing backlog of orders. Most new orders can be built within 3-4 months. Your dealer will be able to provide you with a price quote and estimated delivery timeframe. All custom orders must be placed through an authorized Collings dealer.

Is there a tonal difference between the I-35 and SoCo models?
It's always a challenge to articulate the subtle nuances of tone, but in general we find that there is relatively little tonal difference between the SoCo Deluxe and I-35 Deluxe models. Both guitars have semi-hollow body construction and use the same light-wind Imperial humbuckers from Jason Lollar. The biggest difference is that the single-cutaway design of the SoCo Deluxe adds mass to the body and also increases the contact area of the neck joint. This seems to give the SoCo Deluxe a slightly more focused sound with greater low end definition (less airiness/overtones compared to the I-35 Deluxe). Again, this is a very subtle tonal difference. Wood selection (flame vs. quilt) and fingerboard material are other factors that play into the overall tonality of the instrument.

Is there a tonal difference between flame and quilted maple caps?
Aside from the cosmetic aspect, the biggest difference between flame and quilted maple is in the weight of the wood. Flame maple tends to be harder and heavier than quilted maple, which can translate to a slightly more focused attack with fewer overtones. Lighter weight quilted maple tends to bring out more of the acoustic qualities of the guitar, which can create more complex overtones. This is a subtle difference that may not be true 100% of the time. Like most statements about wood, there can always be an exception to the rule. The weight of the mahogany body will also affect the tone of the instrument.

What type of neck profile do the electric models have?
All of our electric models have a 1 11/16" nut width and a classic medium depth C-shape neck profile.  The depth from the back of the neck to the top of the fingerboard (not including the fret) is typically as follows:

1st fret: 0.860"
9th fret: 0.960"
12th fret: 1.010"

Where can I find my instrument's serial number?
Electric models with a cover plate on the back of the guitar have serial numbers stamped into the mahogany inside the control cavity. The semi-hollow models (I-35 and SoCo Series) have serial numbers stamped into the alder center block. The serial can be seen by looking through the treble side f-hole toward the center of the guitar. A small flashlight may help to spot the serial number through the f-hole.

What is covered under my instrument's warranty?
Collings instruments are warranted to be free from defects in materials and workmanship, to the original purchaser, for as long as he/she owns the instrument. This limited warranty constitutes the entire warranty of Collings with regards to its instruments. No representation or warranty by any Collings salesperson, dealer, agent, representative or employee shall be binding upon Collings Guitars, Inc. other than as expressly set forth herein.

The Collings Limited Warranty does not cover the following: wear and tear from normal use and any damage that is the result of misuse, abuse, or unauthorized modifications, damages from unauthorized or self-made repairs, improper maintenance, accidents, exposure to adverse temperature and/or humidity, and other careless action, which by its nature results in damage to the instrument or to components not manufactured by Collings.

My instrument is in need of repair. Where can I take my instrument for service?
Your local Collings dealer is usually the best place to start. Many repair issues can be resolved by simple adjustments to the nut, bridge, or truss rod. Your dealer can most often help in this area and can also rule out common causes of problems. Alternatively, we offer warranty repair services at our shop. Your dealer can usually assist you in packaging and shipping your instrument to our shop if needed. please visit our repairs page for more detailed information.

Mandolins

What type of strings do you use?
All of our mandolin models are strung with D'Addario phosphor bronze strings.
J74 – Bluegrass Gauge (.011, .015, .026, .040)

What type of mandolin pickup do you recommend?
We generally recommend the McIntyre MF-200 Feather System as a good pickup option for most applications. The system consists of a thin transducer strip that mounts to the inside of the top, which can be wired to either a standard end pin jack or an external carpenter-style jack. Another possibility is the Schertler DYN-M Mandolin Pickup, although this is a more expensive option. With either pickup system, a high quality pre-amp such as the L.R. Baggs Para Acoustic D.I. is essential for good tone.

I would like to have a pickguard installed on my mandolin. How can I go about this?
We install pickguards on Collings mandolins for $150 including installation. Our pickguards are designed to be attached using threaded inserts that are installed into the fingerboard extension, which allows the pickguard to be easily removed/replaced. Since the installation procedure can be tricky and requires a specially made fixture, we require that the mandolin be sent in to our shop for installation. We do not sell pickguards separately, unfortunately. All Collings pickguards are built to match the binding/purflings of your instrument.

What neck options are avaiable for mandolins?
All of our f-hole instruments have a 1 1/8" nut width as a standard. We also offer a 1 3/16" nut option, which allows for a more rounded neck shape. The standard nut width is the most popular choice, although the wider nut width may be a better fit for players with larger hands or those who prefer necks with less "V" shape. All oval hole models come standard with the wider 1 3/16" nut width. If you have a specific neck profile request, let us know and we'll do our best to accomodate.

What size fret wire do you use?
Our standard fretwire dimensions are as follows:
crown width: 2 mm
crown height: 1.10 mm
Total height 2.60 mm
Tang width: 0.80 mm

How does a varnish finish compare to a lacquer finish?
Varnish is a softer and therefore more flexible finish material. While there are subtle tonal advantages to the varnish finish, this option is not for everyone. Unlike lacquer, the process for applying varnish is not conducive to "finish touch-ups", meaning that we cannot repair some minor imperfections such as small pinholes, bubbles, or sinks. While we've always taken pride in our high standard for fit and finish, we cannot produce varnish instruments to the level of cosmetic "perfection" as we can with our lacquer finish instruments. The varnish finish has a beautiful, rich luster, but may include very small imperfections when put under close examination.

Additionally, the softer finish is not as protective as the harder lacquer finish. The alkyd resin-based varnish finish is very slow to cure and can be relatively soft on new instruments. The finish will continue to harden as the instrument ages, but new varnish instruments can be vulnerable to scratches, dings, and imprinting. By its very nature, varnish can shrink, wrinkle, and/or dull over time and is not likely to maintain a "new" apperance as well as lacquer instruments. With that said, the varnish finish allows the instrument to vibrate more freely and can produce a more responsive instrument with a greater depth of tone.

How long does it take to place a special order?
The lead time for new orders can vary depending on the model and the existing backlog of orders. Most lacquer finish models can be delivered within 3-4 months. Varnish instruments may take 4-6 months. If you are considering placing a custom order, your dealer will be able to provide you with a price quote and time estimate for delivery. All custom orders must be placed through an authorized Collings dealer.

Where can I find my mandolin's serial number?
Serial numbers are printed on the Collings label inside the instrument, which can be seen through the bass-side f-hole (or oval hole).

What is covered under my instrument's warranty?
Collings instruments are warranted to be free from defects in materials and workmanship, to the original purchaser, for as long as he/she owns the instrument. This limited warranty constitutes the entire warranty of Collings with regards to its instruments. No representation or warranty by any Collings salesperson, dealer, agent, representative or employee shall be binding upon Collings Guitars, Inc. other than as expressly set forth herein.

The Collings Limited Warranty does not cover the following: wear and tear from normal use and any damage that is the result of misuse, abuse, or unauthorized modifications, damages from unauthorized or self-made repairs, improper maintenance, accidents, exposure to adverse temperature and/or humidity, and other careless action, which by its nature results in damage to the instrument or to components not manufactured by Collings.

How can I tell if I need to humidify my mandolin?
Our mandolins are built in a controlled environment with constant 49% relative humidity. In order to keep your instrument in proper playing condition and prevent cracking or other structural problems, it is very important that you maintain a similar level of humidity where you store your instrument. In many climates, it can be difficult to achieve an adequate humidity level without help from a soundhole humidifier. We strongly recommend investing in an inexpensive hygrometer to monitor the environment where you store your instrument. A hygrometer can help you gauge whether your instrument is in danger of becoming dried out or over-hydrated. We also recommend familiarizing yourself with the symptoms of a dry instrument, so you can identify potential problems before they cause any real damage. This is an extremely important topic, so please visit our care and feeding page for additional information.

What type of humidifier do you recommend?
There are a wide variety of products out there that can help you keep your instrument properly humidified (see care and feeding). The most common humidifier used for mandolins is a DAMPIT. It's also a good idea to invest in an inexpensive hygrometer to help you monitor the enviroment where you store the instrument. A hygrometer will help take the guess-work out of knowing when and when not to humidify. Keep in mind that it is possible to over-humidify your instrument, which can also lead to problems.

How can I prevent my mandolin from developing cracks?
The overwhelming majority of cracks are caused by inadequate humidity. Exposing your instrument to a low humidity environment can cause the woods to contract and change shape, which can lead to cracking and a host of other structural and finish problems. It's important to be aware of the humidity where you store your mandolin. If you find that your instrument is being exposed to conditions with less than 40% relative humidity for any length of time, you should consider humidifying. In very dry conditions, a mandolin can dry out to the point of cracking in a matter of days. This is an extremely important topic, so please visit our care and feeding page for more information.

My instrument is in need of repair. Where can I take my instrument for service?
Your local Collings dealer is usually the best place to start. Many repair issues can be resolved by simple adjustments to the nut, bridge, or truss rod. Your dealer can most often help in this area and can also rule out the causes of common problems. Alternatively, we offer warranty repair services at our shop. Your dealer can usually assist you in packaging and shipping your mandolin to our shop if needed. please visit our repairs page for more detailed information.

How can I determine the age of a particular mandolin or mandola?

Collings mandolins have a hand-written serial number on the label inside the body. The table below lists serial number ranges issued into production by year. Serial numbers are assigned at the beginning of the build process, so some mandolins would have been completed and shipped in subsequent year(s). Most mandolins spend 3-6 months in production, but build time can vary from instrument to instrument.

A-Style Models   F-Style Models
Year
Serial Number Range
 
Year
Serial Number Range
2011
A2216
to
A2486
 
2011
F1223
to
F1323
2010
A2002
to
A2215
 
2010
F1137
to
F1222
2009
A1865
to
A2001
 
2009
F1054
to
F1136
2008
A1568
to
A1864
 
2008
F924
to
F1053
2007
A1333
to
A1567
 
2007
F779
to
F923
2006
A1037
to
A1332
 
2006
F630
to
F778
2005
A738
to
A1036
 
2005
F446
to
F629
2004
A344
to
A737
 
2004
F231
to
F445
2003
A236
to
A343
 
2003
F080
to
F230
2002
A130
to
A235
 
2002
F001
to
F079
2001
A066
to
A129
         
2000
A040
to
A065
         
1999
A001
to
A039
         

 

Ukuleles

What strings do you recommend for concert and tenor ukuleles?
All of our ukulele models are strung at the factory with Savarez ukulele strings-

Concert ukuleles (.62mm, .74mm, .86mm, .62mm)
Tenor ukuleles (.57mm, .69mm, .81mm, .57mm)

What are the factory setup specifications for ukuleles?
String Height (measured from top of fret to bottom of string):

Bass-side string height at 12th fret: 3/32”
Treble-side string height at 12th fret: 5/64”

We consider these measurements to be a “medium” action height. You should have some room to lower the action from these measurements, but keep in mind that an ultra-low action usually requires lighter playing or adjusted technique to prevent buzzing. Feel free to contact our service department if you need assistance.

How do I re-string my ukulele?

Please view this PDF Guide for properly re-stringing your ukulele.

What tuners do you use on ukuleles? How do they work?
Collings ukuleles feature geared tuners made by Pegheds that combine the appearance of traditional friction mount type tuning pegs with the convenience and tuning stability of a geared tuning machine.

Please see this diagram for a cross section of Peghed tuner construction.

Pegheds feature a push/pull locking mechanism that is designed so that the tuner can be pulled out (it only travels about 1/16th of an inch) for large tuning adjustments and then pushed back in to lock the threads and keep slippage from occurring.

When making a tuning adjustment, first pull the knob of the tuner backwards from the headstock. Once it has been unlocked you can make large tuning adjustments until the string is tuned to pitch. When the string is properly tuned you can push the knob in towards the shaft and it will stiffen the rotation to prevent slippage. You will still be able to make small tuning adjustments when it is locked.

Pegheds tuners are designed to always operate smoothly and never slip or stick, if you have any questions about using them please feel free to contact our service department.

What is the difference between the Concert and Tenor ukuleles?
Our Concert size ukulele is 24" long and has a lower bout width of 7 1/2" inches. Although smaller than the tenor by about 2 1/2" in total length, the Concert size allows for a rich full sound and has a comfortable 1 3/8 nut width with an 18 fret fingerboard. With a 15" scale length, this model has comfortable playability, a warm note attack and balanced tone.

Our Tenor ukuleles are 26 1/2" long and have an 8 5/8" lower bout width. This larger size enables increased bass response and a 17" scale length allows for more overall volume. With 19 frets the tenor uke is a versatile model well suited to new players who may be more accustomed to larger instruments or players who are seeking a more full bodied ukulele tone.

Can I add a low "G" string to my ukulele?
Yes, using a wound bottom "G" string tuned an octave lower is a common alteration and as long as the string diameter remains below .70mm this can be done without needing to adjust the nut slot.

Where do you recommend installing a strap button on my ukulele?

Please see this diagram for the strap button location we recommend on our ukuleles.

What type of ukulele pickup do you recommend?
There are a number of pickup options available for ukuleles, and the best choice really depends on the individual player's needs and preferences. We have been impressed with the tone of the Mcintyre UF-07 ukulele feather system which features a thin film transducer. This pickup is very lightweight so it doesn't color the response of the uke and has a very natural tone. Due to its is low output level the feather pickup is recommended for use with a preamp. The feather can also be combined with Mcintyre's disc soundboard transducer which is higher gain for a full range pickup system. We do not recommend the use of under-saddle pickups on our ukuleles. Due to the "cutthrough" style saddle that we use and the degree to which under-saddle pickups can alter the tonal and structural coupling of the saddle to the bridge, we recommend using internally mounted soundboard transducer pickups only. Your dealer should be able to offer further advice in selecting the best pickup to suit your individual needs and can generally help with the pickup installation.

What type of fret wire do you use?
Each of our ukuleles is equipped with 18% nickel-silver fret wire that measures .051” wide by .039” tall.

How does the satin finish compare to a full gloss nitrocellulose lacquer finish?
Our satin finish provides a natural "scuffed" finish texture that is popular among some players who find it feels smoother and creates less friction on the back of the neck while playing. It is also a finish that requires less time to produce so it is a lower cost option than a traditional high gloss nitrocellulose lacquer finish. Gloss lacquer provides a clear "mirror-like" finish that will provide a bit more protection and have a more consistent appearance over the life of the instrument.

How long does it take to place a special order?
The lead time for new orders can vary depending on the model and the existing backlog of orders. Most models can be delivered within 4-6 months. Our various customizable options can increase that lead time. If you are considering placing a custom order, your dealer will be able to provide you with a price quote and time estimate for delivery. All custom orders must be placed through an authorized Collings dealer.

Where can I find my ukulele's serial number?
Serial numbers are printed on the Collings label inside the instrument which can be seen through the soundhole.

What is covered under my instrument's warranty?
Collings instruments are warranted to be free from defects in materials and workmanship, to the original purchaser, for as long as he/she owns the instrument. This limited warranty constitutes the entire warranty of Collings with regards to its instruments. No representation or warranty by any Collings salesperson, dealer, agent, representative or employee shall be binding upon Collings Guitars, Inc. other than as expressly set forth herein.

The Collings Limited Warranty does not cover the following: wear and tear from normal use and any damage that is the result of misuse, abuse, or unauthorized modifications, damages from unauthorized or self-made repairs, improper maintenance, accidents, exposure to adverse temperature and/or humidity, and other careless action, which by its nature results in damage to the instrument or to components not manufactured by Collings.

How can I tell if my ukulele needs to be humidified?
Our ukuleles are built in a controlled environment with constant 49% relative humidity. In order to keep your instrument in proper playing condition and prevent cracking or other structural problems, it is very important that you maintain a similar level of humidity where you store your instrument. In many climates, it can be difficult to achieve an adequate humidity level without help from a soundhole humidifier. We strongly recommend investing in an inexpensive hygrometer to monitor the environment where you store your instrument. A hygrometer can help you gauge whether your instrument is in danger of becoming dried out or over-hydrated. We also recommend familiarizing yourself with the symptoms of a dry instrument, so you can identify potential problems before they cause any real damage. This is an extremely important topic, so please visit our care and feeding page for additional information.

What type of humidifier do you recommend?
There are a wide variety of products out there that can help you keep your instrument properly humidified (see care and feeding). A great humidifer for ukuleles is the Oasis OH18. It's also a good idea to invest in an inexpensive hygrometer to help you monitor the environment where you store the instrument. These are available from Oasis in a special slim size that allows you to measure humidity on the soundboard of the instrument while it is in the case. A hygrometer will help take the guess-work out of knowing when and when not to humidify. Keep in mind that it is possible to over-humidify your instrument, which can also lead to problems.

How can I prevent my instrument from developing cracks?
The overwhelming majority of cracks are caused by inadequate humidity. Exposing your instrument to a low humidity environment can cause the woods to contract and change shape, which can lead to cracking and a host of other structural and finish problems. It's important to be aware of the humidity where you store your ukulele. If you find that your instrument is being exposed to conditions with less than 40% relative humidity for any length of time, you should consider humidifying. In very dry conditions, a mandolin can dry out to the point of cracking in a matter of days. This is an extremely important topic, so please visit our care and feeding page for more information.

My instrument is in need of repair. Where can I take it for service?
Your local Collings dealer is usually the best place to start. Many repair issues can be resolved by simple adjustments to the nut or bridge. Your dealer can most often help in this area and can also rule out the causes of common problems. Alternatively, we offer warranty repair services at our shop. Your dealer can usually assist you in packaging and shipping your mandolin to our shop if needed. please visit our repairs page for more detailed information.

How do I determine the age of a particular ukulele?

Collings ukuleles have a hand-written serial number on the label inside the body. The table below lists serial number ranges issued into production by year. Serial numbers are assigned at the beginning of the build process, so some ukuleles would have been completed and shipped in subsequent year(s). Most ukuleles spend 3-6 months in production, but build time can vary from instrument to instrument.

Concert Models   Tenor Models
Year
Serial Number Range
 
Year
Serial Number Range
2012
U806
to
U1011
 
2012
U805
to
U1020
2011
U523
to
U804
 
2011
U527
to
U803
2010
U266
to
U520
 
2010
U241
to
U525
2009
U004-P
to
U265
 
2009
U130
to
U232

 

General

Do you offer factory tours?
We offer shop tours most Fridays starting at 3:30pm. The tour generally lasts 60 - 90 minutes, depending on the size of the group. Space is limited, so we ask that you please call in advance to reserve your tour.

Click here for a map and directions to our shop.

Collings Guitars
11210 W. Hwy 290
Austin, TX 78737
(512) 288-7776

My instrument is in need of repair. Where can I take it for service?
Your local Collings dealer is usually the best place to start. Many repair issues can be resolved by simple adjustments to the nut, saddle, or truss rod. Your dealer can most often help in this area and can also rule out the causes of common problems. Alternatively, we offer warranty repair services at our shop. Your dealer can usually assist you in packaging and shipping your guitar to our shop if needed. please visit our repairs page for more detailed information.

Can I order direct from Collings?
Unfortunately, we do not sell instruments directly from our shop. We're happy to assist you in any way we can, but all orders need to be placed through an authrozied Collings dealer. For a list of dealers, please visit our dealers page.

How can I enroll to receive Collings news, product releases, featured instruments, events, maintenence tips and more?
The best way to stay connected is to join our Email Mailing List. We value your privacy and will absolutely not sell or distribute your email address to anyone. The mailing list is free and you have the option to unsubscribe at any time via a link at the bottom of any email communication. You can also limit the communications you'll receive by choosing specific areas of interest.

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