What do the model numbers mean?
For those unfamiliar with Collings acoustic guitars, what would seem an alphabet soup of acronyms is really quite simple, once you walk through the process. To start, it is worth mentioning there are three 'styles', referring to individual base model appointments.
To give you a better understanding of the basics, Collings has a specific model nomenclature that relates to Rosewood models (2-Style) vs. Mahogany models (1-Style). If you are familiar with Martin guitar models, you might use the parallel “28” vs. “18” model names.
These "1-Style, 2-Style, & 3-Style" appointments pretty much define any model that features a 'paddle style' headstock profile. More on this, later in the discussion.
1-Style vs. 2-Style Appointments
The 1-Style vs. 2-Style appointments are all in keeping with well thought out esthetics and tradition. It helps to understand how these “style appointments” are then applied to various models. Here are some definitions:
As examples of Rosewood 2-Style models, consider their D2H Dreadnought, whereby the top purfling (next to the body binding) is a wood mosaic Herringbone pattern. This holds true for other models as well (OM2H, 0002H, 02H, etc.).
Their Mahogany 1-Style appointments will instead feature what is sometimes called a ‘violin purfling’, which is a wood veneer strip made up of thin layers of Ebony and Maple. This notation may show up in various builders’ spec list as “B/W/B”, indicating a 3-ply (ebony / maple / ebony) wood purfle line inset next to the binding. Similar to models listed above, the 1-Style models would similarly be OM1, 0001, 01, etc..
These elemental esthetics are historically traditional and well thought out by the team at Collings over decades of designing and crafting bench-built acoustic guitars at a fairly sparse annual production.
Some of this is pretty basic, though there are so many different Collings models of acoustic guitars, the list can be confusing for those new to the brand. Here is a brief overview:
14-Fret 1-Style & 2-Style Models
- D1 or D2H are both square shouldered Dreadnought guitars
- OM1 or OM2H are both smaller bodied Orchestra Models
- DS or DS2 are a sloped shouldered Dreadnought
- Baby1 or Baby2 are a scaled down 14-fret version of their OM body shape
- 01 or 02H are also a small body 14-fret version of their OM body shape, just slightly larger than their Baby models
- 001 & 002H (their newest 14-fret models), were introduced in 2020
12-Fret 1-Style & 2-Style Models
- 01 or 02H, parlor shaped guitars with slotted headstock (peghead) profile, available in either 6-string or 12-string versions
- 001 or 002H, parlor shaped models with a slotted headstock profile
- 0001 or 0002H, full sized classical shaped models, slotted headstock profile
- Parlor 1 or Parlor 2H, small body similar in size to an 1800's era Martin size 2-1/2 parlor, with slotted headstock
Many of the base model appointments include a Sitka Spruce top, where this top species is assumed within the acronym for a model lacking a letter following the model that might denote an optional choice.
Soundboard "top" options can include German Spruce (designated by a "G"), Engelmann Spruce ("E") or Adirondack Red Spruce (where the model is followed by an "A"). An all-mahogany model would have "Mh" after the model name.
So... For their OM2H and a D1 reflecting the absence of an additional character, suggesting they have a base model soundboard, then you can assume those guitars have a master grade Sitka Spruce Top.
Here is a list of some option acronyms that would follow the model number:
- SS, Short Scale
- DD, Deep Body Option (C10 and OM only)
- SB, Sunburst
- H, Herringbone Top Purfling
- Cut, Cutaway
- 41 or 42, Abalone Top Purfling
- T, Traditional
- S, Satin Finish
Styles In Review...
1-Style Model Standard Features
- Tortoise Celluloid Body Bindings
- B/W/B/W Top Purfling
- No Neck Volute
- Mother of Pearl Dot Fingerboard Inlays
- Walnut Backstrip
- Ebony Peghead Veneer
2-Style Model Standard Features
- Grained Ivoroid Body Bindings
- Herringbone Top Purfling
- Neck Volute
- Abalone Diamonds & Squares Fingerboard Inlays
- Zipper Backstrip
- Exotic Ebony (Stained) Peghead Veneer
3-Style Model Features
Finally, there is also a "3-Style", which could be substituted for either the "1" or "2" in most any model number you may see. This designation refers to their most fully appointed base model.
- No fingerboard inlays
- Fully bound body, fret board, and headstock
- B/W/B/W/B Violin top purfling
- Abalone rosette
- Chevron (mosaic) backstrip
- Gold Finish Open Gear Waverly Tuners
(While the back & side woods for a 3-Style model are Indian Rosewood by default, other tone woods can be selected as options, just the same as on their 1 or 2-Style models).