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Michael Collins guitars?

mcgroup53mcgroup53 Bloomington, IN USA✭✭✭✭ 1951 Ep Broadway
Anyone have experience with Michael Collins guitars from Canada? I know he built quite a few and wrote a book on Selmer-style guitarmaking. But I've never seen or played one, so I don't know what they sound and feel like. Is he more like Dunn and Park, or more European in sound? Thanks!


  • Andrew UlleAndrew Ulle Cleveland, OH✭✭✭ Antoine DiMauro modele Django
    Posts: 514
    there's a used one (D-hole) for sale in Toronto at The 12th Fret

    I checked it out in June; it seemed heavy and dull, but it could have been the old grimy strings that were on it. I wanted to like it, but it didn't have any Wow factor to me.
  • manushemanushe South Louisiana✭✭✭ Lulo's Gitane
    Posts: 28
    I don't know much about Michael Collins guitars or any GJ guitars besides mine. I did want to ask about the difference between Dunn and Park guitars vs the European guitars. Is there a notable difference?
  • Russell LetsonRussell Letson Prodigy
    Posts: 306
    I have played and listened to range of guitars by both builders (and own a Dunn) and would happily add another by either--though, as with any builder, it would depend on the individual instrument. Dunn's guitars tend to be less dry and barky than what is preferred by many lead players, and a Park is likely to have a voice that is a bit closer to that dry bark, though still (to my ear) sweet rather than brash.

    Another builder whose work I admire is Bernie Lehmann, who also makes an impressive archtop (among other styles and models). Lehmann, like Dunn, is an adventurous designer. (And Park worked with Dunn before setting up her own shop.)
  • StringswingerStringswinger Santa Cruz and San Francisco, CA✭✭✭✭ 1993 Dupont MD-20, Shelley Park Encore
    Posts: 456
    I have owned a Park, a Dunn and 4 European Gypsy Guitars (3 Duponts and a Favino). I have played countless others. My observations are as follows:

    Every acoustic guitar is different. There is no one "tone" or quality from any individual maker that is present in every one of their guitars. It is best to try before you buy or deal with a reputable dealer like Michael Horowitz who will offer you an approval period.

    Dupont and Favino somehow capture the Selmer guitar sound that we hear on the Django recordings. The Canadian luthiers do not. That is not to say that their guitars are not worthy. Shelley Park's guitars have better fit and finish (and playability) than any Euro guitar that I have ever played. And her guitars have a sweet tone that makes them suitable for many genres of music. Michael Dunn's guitars are unique works of art that each have their own individual voice. And other than Busato, Favino (father and son) and Dupont, none of the other Euro makers whose guitars that I have played capture that authentic Selmer guitar sound. And nor do the American makers of Gypsy guitars that I have played (Michael Collins, Bernard Lehman or John Kinnard of Dell Arte).

    I would characterize Michael Collins' guitars (I have played a few) as being more like a Dell Arte than the Canadian or Euro makers. Excellent fit and finish, but the tone and volume is more akin to an American flattop than a Euro Gypsy guitar.

    Hope that helps.
    "When the chord changes, you should change" Joe Pass
  • klaatuklaatu Nova ScotiaProdigy Rodrigo Shopis D'Artagnan, 1950s Jacques Castelluccia
    Posts: 1,665
    I have found Michael Collins guitars to vary greatly - some were OK, some not. IMHO there are many better and more consistent builders.

    "It's a great feeling to be dealing with material which is better than yourself, that you know you can never live up to."
    -- Orson Welles
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