An F styled Mandolin, the MF model has a nicely shaped body and cutaway with a Florentine styled headstock. Adirondack spruce top, maple back, sides and neck and an ebony fingerboard are the woods of choice for this Collings with the whole instrument coming in a lovely satin finish. Mother of pearl fret inlays, bone nut, ebony bridge, one piece nickel tailpiece and you get a slightly pared down offering from Collings that still hits the mark tonally without any of the little omissions making any difference to the playability. Coming in a snug plush lined TKL hard case you’re also covered for moving your mando around or taking it to gigs/rehearsals and the like.
Clear and open, the MF has a pleasant tone that seems well balanced. The V shaped neck is easy to get around and the intonation and action were spot on. Chords and single note lines rung out clearly and if you want to dig in for some more percussive rhythm you get a responsive attack and plenty of volume. After playing some cheaper low end brand mandos you really do get a sense of the body and sustain of an instrument like the MF which sounds full and rich and I’d imagine would also record a treat in the studio.
WHAT THE F?
Collings’ MF Mandolin is a serious instrument. A great looker, the satin finish is a nice contrast to a full gloss and perhaps adds a slightly worn and vintage vibe to the instrument. The neck, back and sides are beautifully gured and you can get a real sense of the effort and production that goes into a Collings instrument. On the playing front it was comfortable to whip around and felt fingered pickers will no doubt enjoy the V shaped neck profile. Yes it is quite expensive, but this still reasonable when it comes to high level mandos. With instruments in their line commanding a much higher price it’s a great instrument to get you into the Collings club.