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Collings MF5 Deluxe Varnish Mandolin Review

IMG_2961As any old school virtuoso will tell you, a mandolin is essential to any true bluegrass band. While some bluegrass or country musicians may be satisfied with any mandolin, Collings Guitars has never been a brand for just any musician. The Collings brand serves the performer or collector who craves a rare, high quality product with impeccable design, craftsmanship, and playability.

Collings Guitars has been crafting incredible mandolins for years, building their reputation among bluegrass musicians as the best mandolin maker today. In particular, the Collings MF5 Deluxe Varnish Mandolin stands out as a beautiful instrument both visually and musically due to its:

  • Superior woods and radiant finish
  • Classic design with a Collings twist
  • Complex timbre perfect for Bluegrass music

A Mandolin for Exceptional Bluegrass Performers or Collectors

First of all, the Collings MF5 Deluxe Varnish is just plain gorgeous. Collings has used an Adirondack top and maple back, sides, and neck. In addition, the quilted maple back seamlessly catches the light in one single piece, even more of a tribute to Collings Guitars’s mastery of mandolins.

The Collings Guitars Take on a Classic Design

The Collings MF5 Deluxe Varnish is modeled after the Gibson F5 mandolin built back in the 1920s. In my experience, Collings Guitars are usually more expensive than the Gibson designs they’re modeled after due to superior craftsmanship and the finest materials. However, the Collings MF5 Deluxe Varnish is a steal compared to the original vintage Gibson F5 collectible, whose market price is somewhere around $125,000. This mandolin has the same quality features as the vintage Gibson F5 at a fraction of the price, including:

  • An adaptation of Lloyd Loar’s popular “F5” mandolin design, which are more ornate and have more depth than their “A” design alternatives
  • Distinguished, rare woods known for their exceptional affect on acoustic guitars and mandolins

Complex Character is Perfect for Bluegrass Music

An “old school sound” doesn’t mean tired or outdated. It means getting back to your roots. Remembering the lessons you’ve learned from past trials and embracing them with  fervor and a hint of nostalgia. The Collings MF5 Deluxe Varnish has just the right amount of bark and chunk to give your music the rootsy edge it needs while the size and varnish provide a brightness akin to pleasant reminiscence.

My Verdict

A mandolin is not a guitar, which makes it more than a simple switch for the average guitarist. Most likely, only mandolin players and collectors will appreciate this instrument. When you’re willing to make the investment, you don’t get much better in the mandolin world than a Collings MF5 Deluxe Varnish. If you care more about sustain than depth, you may want to consider an A design mandolin; however, the F design’s more apparent bottom end does make the MF5 Deluxe a superior choice for any bluegrass musician.

Discover More Collings Mandolins at Eddie’s Guitars Today

Call us at (314)781-7500 for more information