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The Collings Fretless Bass Mandolin

By Mandolin Cafe
April 1, 2011 - 6:00 am

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Collings Fretless Bass Mandolin

Collings Fretless Bass Mandolin

Austin, Texas — Collings Guitars and Mandolins has announced the addition of a new member to their mandolin family of instruments, the Collings Fretless Bass Mandolin (Model BMF) with the prototype to be on display at the Summer NAMM show in Nashville, Tenn., July 21-23, 2011.

Following their A and F mandolins and newer A model mandolas, the BMF targets mandolin orchestras as well as cutting edge performers and bands looking to stand apart from the crowd with a one-of-a-kind instrument that delivers world class tone and projection the Collings family of products is known for.

"This is simply a natural progression in our mandolin family line," said Bill Collings. "Right now the plan is to turn out 2-3 of these a month until we can gauge the demand. Already word has leaked out and we've received calls for orders. However, those requests won't be addressed until after the Summer NAMM Show at which time the prototype will go to one of our prominent dealers who has expressed an interest in it.

"Some will question why we skipped from mandola to bass without covering mandocellos or octaves. The reason is that there's an immediate demand and larger market for a bass, even a bass mandolin, than say a mandocello.

"This model presented unique challenges and required a lot of research. Finding the proper wood source in the sizes needed while meeting our rigorous standards proved more difficult than anticipated, and we really wanted it to look like a big mandolin. In researching bass mandolins we felt the early builders departed too far from the basic mandolin shape and just didn't hit the mark visually. Our aim was to fix that. And yes, that is a custom mandolin styled adjustable bridge you see on the bass, crafted right here in our shop."

The Collings Fretless Bass Mandolin will retail for $15,900 including custom Collings branded soft shell insulated case manufactured by Colorado Case Company.

Englemann spruce top
Flame Maple back, sides and neck
Satin nitrocellulose lacquer finish
Tortoise-style top binding
Tortoise Rosette and Bound Soundhole
Fretless fingerboard
Mother-of-pearl Collings logo
Bone nut
Bass violin styled radiused fingerboard
Collings original one-piece tailpiece
Custom Nickel tuners
Strings: D'Addario J79 Mandobass Copper: .049 - .130
Case: Collings branded insulated soft shell by Colorado Case Company
Optional: Collings branded Reid Hudson bass bow (contact for quote)

Additional information:
Collings web site


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Reader Comments

April 01, 2011 07:28 AM
If it weren't April 1st, my hopes would be up....dang, a fretless mandolin, can you conceive how fun that would be?
April 01, 2011 08:08 AM
Fretless _BASS_ mandolin. Thrummy!
Tom C
April 01, 2011 08:19 AM
Why give it up so early? Should have let it go longer.
Matt DeBlass
April 01, 2011 08:20 AM
"and we really wanted it to look like a big mandolin" it sure would be one BMF
Payit Forward
April 01, 2011 08:35 AM
When is Collings going to start building banjos?

That's all that would be needed now to have an all Collings band. Guitar, Mandolin, Bass, Banjo. How cool would that be?

David Miller
April 01, 2011 09:05 AM
I would have thought that a 'cello would have been next up, but still, the idea of having a modern company making mandobasses is pretty cool!
April 01, 2011 09:10 AM
I now think I know what BMF means.... :O
Mike Bromley
April 01, 2011 09:59 AM
TeeHee...nut width? 5 inches? What a HOSS!
Andrew DeMarco
April 01, 2011 10:04 AM
Hilariously, if you search for Fretless mandolin in google today (hey, I was curious!) the new Collings BFM comes up as big news, even before bona fide search results!smile
April 01, 2011 10:29 AM
Well he got me, even if I was half asleep when i read it. I was thinking "when did we make a soft case for Collings?"
April 01, 2011 12:48 PM
Weber might beat them to market on this one

Right after I win the Weber Sweepstakes,,,,,,,,

John Flynn
April 01, 2011 12:58 PM
Were this real, it would be perfect application for a poster I did a while ago:

Con Dowd
April 01, 2011 03:39 PM
I had my eye out for something like this today. But you would have to go pretty far to top your effort of last year (the Cabbella/ Mad collaboration). Pretty funny though. Looking forward to next year. Corny
Dave Greenspoon
April 01, 2011 03:49 PM
I was expecting to see either a Schyrtler-thru-the-tailpin pickup or even some on-board Fishman active electronics--with perhaps auto-tuners--on this. Instead, the constraint makes it even more well done.
John Flynn
April 01, 2011 04:07 PM
It would be great to get a candid answer from the Collings folks to see if anyone called and tried to pre-order one!
April 01, 2011 04:24 PM
Wait, so the Thile doing Old Time thing was true?
April 01, 2011 06:28 PM
Quote from Mandoviol: I now think I know what BMF means.... :O End Quote

"Bass Mandolin Fretless" ; easy!
John Flynn
April 01, 2011 08:27 PM
"Wait, so the Thile doing Old Time thing was true?" - delsbrother

Now, that's funny!
John Flynn
April 01, 2011 08:33 PM
BTW, I have to opine that the "NewsFetcher: I just fetch news" thing is now busted! I've long thought that thing was rigged. This proves it!
April 01, 2011 09:09 PM
i seriously once called and asked weber about building me an upright bass mandolin...they said the guys in the shop were wanting to but it would be strictly a cash up front deal...
Bob Knysz
April 03, 2011 10:00 AM
Does anyone know the Over All Dimensions if the BMF?
Is it meant to be played with a plectrum?
Does it have an End Pin and Side Pin like the old Gibson Mando Basses?
April 02, 2013 08:37 PM
Now that's sweet!!! I'd love to own this bass.
Jim Garber
April 03, 2013 08:11 PM
Quote from Londy: Now that's sweet!!! I'd love to own this bass. End Quote

You realize that this was an April fools day posting from 2011? I suppose you could contact Collings Custom shop it you were truly interested...
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