My guitar collection - Acoustics


Another great instrument from the Collings shop in Austin, TX. Compared to the UC1, this UT1 has an increased scale length of 17”. And compared to the UT1K, this more understated style 1 ukulele has an all Honduran mahogany construction with a satin nitrocellulose lacquer finish. It still has a similar tortoise with black and white purfling rosette, East-Indian rosewood bridge with bone saddle using a 1¹¹⁄₁₆” string spacing, a neck with C-shaped profile, 12” radiused East-Indian rosewood fingerboard with ivoroid dot position markers, 1⅜” wide bone nut, “Single-Point” headstock with Collings logo inlaid in the East-Indian rosewood veneer, and Pegheds planetary gear tuning machines. As an added bonus, this ukulele is old enough that Bill’s signature still graces the sound hole sticker. The case is made by Ameritage and has a tan interior. A 2016 snapshot of the relevant page on the old Collings website can be found here.


Collings UT1

The story behind this ukulele


Serial number:


This is my second ukulele. But why? The simple answer can be found in the string set used on this one. Yes, it has a wound low-G just to compliment my more traditional UT1K. And here came the pleasant surprise. I thought I would be the one to have to make the potential slight slot modification to seat a wound low-G. But no. When I opened the case, this beauty already happened to be setup with my desired set. The Collings Ukulele FAQ webpage states no modification is needed as long as the wound low-G has a diameter of .70mm or less. The Aquila Nylgut 15U set (G-C-E-A: .70mm-1.00mm-.84mm-.67mm) meets that requirement. The table of serial numbers on the same FAQ unfortunately is limited to tenors built in 2012 or before. But extrapolating the rate of production leads me to believe this beauty is from 2015, about a year before regular production of ukuleles ceased. Clearly it is from well before July 2017 with Bill’s signature present on the sticker. Unfortunately, Collings ukuleles are rather rare with regular production only between 2009-2016, even though there was an additional run of UC1K and UT1K ukuleles built in 2021. The Southern Ukulele Store in Southbourne, England has a YouTube channel I can highly recommend. I do not exactly recall what episode it was, but I do remember the host mentioning, almost as an aside, how great that one Collings uke passing through the store was. And I have to concur though fully realizing I landed on this brand for a very particular reason. Still, there is not much else to say about these instruments than that they are just amazingly well built which in turn reflects itself in their playability and the richness of their sound.

The story behind this guitar



Aquila 15U Tenor Ukulele with wound low-G