2008 Collings MF Carved-Top F-Style Mandolin

A Collings f-style mandolin -- even their base MF model in satin -- is a serious, incredibly well-made instrument. This one is a cut above a "regular" MF, with a gloss top and headstock, custom darker-toned "honey" finish throughout (more like a pumpkin-gold), and floating, tortoise-bound ebony pickguard. It screams high-class while remaining understated.

It was made in 2008 and only has the lightest of wear -- some rubbing at the headstock's top point and one of the points on the body, the most minor of fretwear (not enough for a level/dress by any stretch), and some light marking from string-changes at the headstock. It's otherwise as near to "as new" as you can get.

A consignor sent this in and is moving it on simply because he realized that mandolin is not going to be his thing, despite his efforts with trying one or two or a dozen over the past few years (wink, nudge). Thus, a shark of a mandolin enters the market. It really does sound tops and projects like crazy in a bluegrassy, forceful way. It's wearing flatwounds at the moment which blunts some of the poppy jangle you might otherwise hear on the G&D, but even so it's got a ton of reserve power.

The build is impeccable and it's setup perfectly -- a hair under 1/16" action at the 12th fret -- and with a straight neck. The board has a radius to it and the neck profile is typical for Collings mandos -- a vintage-ish V-shape which is neither soft nor hard. It's fast and comfy and very classic.

The top is solid, carved spruce and the back, sides, and neck are gloriously-flamed solid maple.

It's 9 7/8" on the widest portion of the body and has a "Gibson" 13 7/8" scale length with a 1 1/8" nut width.

The headstock veneer, truss cover, fretboard, and bridge are all quality ebony.

The gloss top really shows off the details.

Check out the tortoise binding at the edge of the ebony pickguard. That's class!

The tailpiece plating shows some wear.

If the back and sides don't conjure up instrument lust, I dunno what will.

I love the look of the tortoise binding against the aged/pumpkin-honey-gold tone of the finish. Maybe this should be called "Amber Rich" -- like the old maple syrup grade!

The original, Collings case comes with it.

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