How good are Kieth Urban acoustic guitars

Collings D2H in the test

by Guido Lehmann,


"Honey, that's a Collings!", I explain my slightly stupid permanent grin. "Aha," she says with a shrug and pulls away. Sometimes you really feel misunderstood.



Well, at first glance the D2H looks like a normal dreadnought. But it is not - which is why people like Lyle Lovett, Emmylou Harris, Keith Urban, David Crosby, John Fogerty and many other grandmasters prefer this brand. Bill Collings presents his own interpretation of the classic acoustic model and we owe it to the commitment of Musik Produktiv that these guitars from Austin, Texas are finally available in this country.



Construction of the Collings D2H

The fact that this instrument really comes from Austin can be seen immediately after opening the luxury case - the headstock is "secured" with lots of crumpled newspaper, so I can find out what's in the "Austin American-Statesman" right away Capital of the Lone Star State is so busy 🙂 The guitar exudes its serious, original aura from the first moment, although it was basically made from normal dreadnought ingredients: The top is made of Sitka spruce and the sides and back are made of Indian Rosewood - everything massive, of course. Mahogany neck, fingerboard, bridge and string pins made of ebony.

The H in the name stands for the perfectly crafted herringbone ceiling edging. The headstock with its ebony support shows open, nickel-plated Waverly machine heads - the whole instrument is of course a homage to old Martin tradition. The top is also stabilized with scalloped bracing in the pre-war style and is protected from traces of use by a tortoise pickguard.

The D2H is completely and in impressive perfection with a high-gloss finish with a nitro lacquer finish. Yes, yes, you turn and turn the collings, concentrate on the details and slowly notice that special quality arises from the sum of the details. How perfectly the saddle and the saddle are made, how the transition from the neck to the back of the headstock is cut, how neatly the “Diamond and Square” inlays are placed in the ebony fingerboard - that makes an impression.



The Collings D2H in practice

Such crushes are probably unworthy of a tester, but whatever - playing the Collings is nothing short of a revelation. I can't stop anymore And now the wife understands too. A strong "That sounds good" comes from the living room. Such an address and such a finely detailed reproduction paired with impressive volume and dynamics amazes me. The instrument vibrates intensely right up to the headstock and the sound cannot be adequately described with adjectives such as serious, grown-up, hung, sonorous, radiant, sovereign, etc.

The objective of mastermind Bill Collings, to build a dreadnought that not only delivers the well-known bass power, but also ignites in all registers, has worked out completely. He wanted to give the soloists the dynamics to assert themselves with single notes, the fingerstylers the volume and response to survive in a bluegrass combo against banjo and mandolin and the singer / songwriter the full soundscape that he needs to create his own band be. Goal achieved with a guitar, because the D2H can do it all. The unbelievable precision with which the Collings implements any input is of course correspondingly relentless when it comes to playful weaknesses - but it is probably not intended as an entry-level instrument either. Just one example on the subject of addressing: I've really never had an acoustic on my lap where parameters such as pick strength, fingerpick or slide material, velocity and position are so clearly reflected in the sound.



The key point is quickly named: You have to be able to and want to afford a collings. The D2H is superb, but there is nothing to criticize, but it also costs twice as much as a Martin HD-28! On the other hand - when you've found the guitar for life ... I've probably already spent well over € 4000 on guitars that didn't really make it afterwards. Take a look from the side - and test a Collings guitar! E.g. this dreamlike D2H.


EXTRA: Collings Guitars

The career of Bill Collings is somehow typical of this kind of self-made Luthier: repaired guitars in Houston in the 1970s, just got to Austin on the way to California, first own small workshop in a garage, a large order from Georg Gruhn (Gruhn Guitars , Nashville, TN) puts it right on the track, then gradually enlarges it to the current status quo with 50 employees, CNC milling, worldwide reputation and an assortment with not only acoustics, but also highly valued mandolins, ukuleles and electric guitars.



Make: Collings

Model: D2H

Type: Dreadnought steel string

Country of origin: United States

Mechanics: Waverly, open nickel-plated, butterbean tuning pegs

Neck: Mahogany, adjustable truss rod

Saddle: bone

Fingerboard: Ebony, diamond and square inlays

Radius: 16″

Neck shape: V-profile, strong

Neck width: Saddle 43 mm; XII. 53.5 mm

Neck Thickness: I. 22.1 mm; V. 23.2 mm; X. 24.2 mm

Frets: 20

Scale length: 650 mm

Body: East Indian rosewood, solid

Blanket: Selected Sitka spruce, solid

Surfaces: Nitro lacquer high-gloss finish

Pickguard: Tortoise

Web: Ebony

Saddle: Bone, compensated

String attachment: Bridge pins, ebony, pearl-dot

String action: Perfect

String spacing bridge: E-1st - E-6th 57 mm

Weight: 2.16 kg

Lefthand option: on demand

Sale: Music productive

49479 Ibbenbueren

Equipment: very good shaped case from TKL with humidipak (humidity)

Price: approx. 4130



  • best materials and woods
  • flawless workmanship
  • Sound: Steelstring Heaven


  • Checking the account overdraft facility is essential

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