This Collings MF5 O has an Adirondack spruce top with an oval sound hole, a building technique that gives the mandolin a warm, mellow tone. Most of you are probably more familiar with mandolins with f-holes, which tend to have a much brighter, crisper tone and a little more volume. (Think of Bill Monroe's powerful tone and just about every bluegrass band ever.) The sweeter tone of the MF5 O is perhaps a little light for bluegrass, but it sounds great for jazz, old-time string band music, Celtic music and playing fiddle tunes.
As with all of the instruments Collings makes, the craftsmanship on this MF5 O is meticulous. The sunburst has a rich color that, even in the darker portions, is translucent enough to show the maple's dramatic figure. The body, neck and headstock are bound in grained ivoroid as is the sound hole. At first glance, this looks like a fairly plain instrument but the closer you get, the more you can see the detail and care that have earned Collinegs the reputation for crafting some of the finest mandolins being made today.
Check out the Collings YouTube mandolin documentary here: