The late Bill Collings’ story provides a classic example of what can be achieved with an engineer’s brain, a machinists’ hand and an experienced repairman’s eye for structural integrity and design. After dropping out of medical school in Ohio to work in a machine shop, Collings moved to Texas in the mid 1970’s where the experience he gained repairing guitars guided his design of the first Collings guitars.
His understanding of the flaws and shortcomings found in production guitars was instructive, and he set out to eliminate those shortcomings with the very first order he received from George Gruhn for two dozen guitars. By the mid-1980s, Bill was building flattop and archtop acoustic guitars in his own small shop. His reputation for outstanding quality and meticulous attention to detail quickly spread.
In the spring of 1992, Bill moved his guitar-making operation into a 3,200-square-foot feed store he purchased on the outskirts of Austin. By this time musicians such as Lyle Lovett, Pete Townshend, Joni Mitchell and Brian May were playing Collings instruments and demand continued to grow. The current list of acclaimed artists is long and diverse.
In 1999, he introduced the first Collings mandolins, which like his archtop and acoustic guitars, quickly set new standards for the industry. In 2006 his interest in carved top guitars led him to introduce a line of electric guitars that players quickly embraced because of the instruments’ exceptional craftsmanship and tone. Bill passed away several years ago but his legacy lives on in every Collings instrument.
Today, Collings has 70 full-time employees working in a state-of-the-art facility. As the business has grown, there is one thing that has not changed…Bill Collings’ commitment to building the finest handmade archtop and acoustic steel string instruments in the world. Collings Guitars are the choice of musicians who seek the finest handmade instruments available. You owe it to yourself to try a Collings.
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