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Collings once again raises the stakes; this time with an archtop ukulele. Another NAMM show special, this uke is unlike anything preceding it. Bill Collings shows off his skill as an archtop builder with this exquisitely carved red spruce top and carved flamed maple back and sides. The maple has some of the most striking three dimensional flame figure that we've seen. Some very elegant appointments highlight this beauty, such as tortoise binding on the top and back (with a single strip of ivoroid) and tortoise heel cap and rosette, while the head stock veneer, archtop bridge and finger board are solid ebony.
The sound is as one might expect from a tiny nylon string L5; punchy, crisp, bright and articulate, with a subtle warmth that is bound to grow with time. To say the folks at Collings have outdone themselves with this one is quite the understatement. Maccaferri would be proud.