View Full Version : New Collings MT
Practically every Collings dealer I've talked to has said these are absolute killer mandolins. They back up their statement saying every MT we get has sold within a few days if not the same day they arrive. Today, I was unable to find a dealer from the long list of dealers in the Collings web site that has one in stock. Are any of you folks buying them and if so what do ya think of the sound for $ 1755. ? http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/cool.gif
Best Bang for your buck, and not just because I own one. Compare for yourself, you will be impressed.
Hey sonnyjammer, # I posted here a few days ago asking the same question about the MF, since I ordered one this week. #Lots of encouragement, but only one player reported in. #Mine should be here Friday or so. #
The deal Greg Boyd made me is when I get the MF, if it isn't significantly better sounding than the MT, I'll take the MT instead. #Pretty good deal, I think. #Besides that, if neither is significantly better than my Prucha A--and that will take a fine mandolin IMHO--I'm keeping the Prucha. #
Then again, I might get the MT and keep the Prucha....
I'll be reporting in here this weekend with news if this MF is half as good as it looks. #
I have a Collings guitar (OM1-A) and I marvel at it daily.
My MF is only three weeks old.
The day I ended up buying mine, I spoke to the folks at Collings. They were only turning out about 12 a month.
I wish I could be more helpful, but I don't have an adequate "tone vocabulary".
The instrument sounds gorgeous and I really like the simple look. The finish is extremely nice.
I've been playing it quite a lot (as you might expect) and I'm very happy with it.
Last week I stopped into the Hill Country Guitar shop in Wimberley, TX. Kevin told me that he had just received his first one (an MT), and sold it just as fast. He barely had it long enough to examine it and play it a little. I think its going to be a hot one.
A customer came to my shop last week with an MT he'd just bought, and wanted to compare to the Janish A5 here (not quite a fair comparison, since the Janish was $400 more). The MT had beautiful tone, was loud, and had a wonderful played-in feel to it, despite being new. It's clearly a big step up for mandolins in this price range, and I see why the dealers are so excited about it!
After playing the Janish however, the customer and I agreed his MT lacked the superior playability and wide dynamic range of high-end mandolins -- but those are not characteristics one expects or often sees below $2k. At this price point, the MT is a very impressive instrument.
For 1700, when I accidentaly drop a mando or hit it against a table, I'd want the protection of a real finish.
I have one on order and it should arrive Monday or Tuesday. I will post after I've had some time to fondle, er, I mean play it.
For 1700, when I accidentaly drop a mando or hit it against a table, I'd want the protection of a real finish.
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but a satin finish isn't necessarily thinner or weaker, is it? #A friend of mine has a Weber Bridger that came with satin finish and it has held up for two years much better than his varnished Brentrup. # In fact, where there is some wear on the Bridger, the finish #begins to shine just like a glossy lacquer would. # I don't think durability is an issue with satin....
Can someone who knows something speak to this?
If the satin finish is thick enough, you can hand buff it to a gloss. As MikeB was saying,you can tell if it glosses where your arm lays on it etc.. I buffed out a 1994 Martin D16H & it turned out wonderfully.
I own a Yellowstone and am looking forward to play a MT.
Oh- By the way. Satin IS a real finnish!
I had the privilege of playing an MT A model at Gruhn's Guitars in Nashville on February 21st. #If I would have had the cash on hand then and there, I'd have bought it. #I love my Weber Aspen #1 for its sustain and brightness. #This Collings MT model had everything I've been looking at in an f-holed model mando. #I loved the satin finish, as it really let the beautiful wood come through. #Somewhere down the line, Collings will be getting my money!
Well, I got a call from Greg Boyd today--my MF has arrived there. Right now the boys in the shop are passing it around, making wild noises in the phone when I call--seems sort of obscene to me ;-)
Greg said there was a guy standing there who would have taken it home if I hadn't already paid for it.
He also said that a satin finish IS thinner than glossy. I have to take his word for it, but this is not a drawback to me, anyway. I like to see the wood. It IS about the wood, afterall.
More next week....
As promised, my Collings MF arrived today. #I said I'd report in, so here I am....
Trouble is, I'm slightly at a loss for words. # Let me just register some first impressions (keep in mind this is my first F model. #I've played some others, but not extensively).
The bass (if you call the lower register of a mandolin "bass") is MUCH beefier than my Prucha A model, and I always thought it had nice bass. #
The overall workmanship is, like my Collings guitar, FLAWLESS. #This is an understated F, if that is not an oxymoron. #(I always used to think the F was a bit gaudy, but I'm getting over that #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif ).
It is LOUD. #Clear, clean, and loud. #I'm expecting a little more sweetness--or darkness, if that's a better word--as it, and the new strings--settle in.
VERY playable, as far as I can get my fingers up the neck. #
Give me a day or two, and I'll see if I can be more eloquent....
MikeB congrats on the new mandolin. Collings makes a great mando. One thing i have noticed with the couple(A styles) i have owned is just how quickly the tightness/bright zingy tone melts into this sweet, rich tone. It always amazed me how much the Collings tone sweetens up. Again...congrats sounds like you will be having alot of fun.
Pavel Sucek Mandolins
Thanks, Dennis. I've been sitting here for an hour or so, letting this mandolin sink in on me. #I bought it from Greg Boyd on approval. #I just sent him a letter...I #thought you all might enjoy it. #I hope Greg gets my point...I'm falling in love http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif
Stay back! **** Do not approach this mandolin.***** #Keep your hands where I can see them. #Move slowly. #Maybe everyone should lie down...yeah, EVERYBODY DOWN! #DO NOT TRY TO REMOVE THE MANDOLIN FROM MY HANDS! #
I will slowly pack up my Prucha and put it in the mail to you. #Do NOT try to talk me out of this! #Say NOTHING to me. #In fact, be quiet, and leave me ALONE...I'm playing like I've never played before. #Everyone just go home. #Now.
I mean it!
Ahh....love at first sight.
Ditto Sparechange, I received my MT from Morgan Music in Missouri last Friday, took her to the first jam last night and it was "SSSWWWEEETT". AS the night grew late the tone just kept getting better and better. This is really gonna be a good one. Don't think I'll be missing my Gibson A-9 very long at all. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif
I thought I told you guys to lie down or go home or something....me and this Collings are trying to make some MUSIC, if you get my point (hint, hint).... http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif
Ok, Ok, I was kidding. Really, though, on my first post today, I was trying to be calm, objective. I really had reservations about this mando. Sitting here all afternoon plunking away and just have this dreamy feeling come over me is so delicious, partly because I really didn't see it coming. I thought I was prepared to send it back. Hah!
Ain't that just the way true love goes?
"Once I was rich man,
Now I am so poor.
But, never in this sweet short life
Have I felt like this before...."
Well, maybe once or twice....but not for a long time.
I played three Collings a few weeks back at Dusty Strings (Seattle). I picked up an A style (not sure which model, I think it was the fancy one, the price was about 3500 or so) and I was really impressed. I had played some new collings before that had a metallic new mandolin sound but this one was nice and sounded broken in. Then I picked up the F style (again, don't know which model but I think it was the fancy one) and it was even better (though not $4000 better...). There was also an F style that looked like a Gibson F9 with the chocolate finish that was nice but not near as good as the others. I'm not sure if any of these are still there (I'd think that the A would get snatched up as soon as someone with a thick enough wallet walked in).
Can somebody speak to the difference between the MT and the MT2? #Are you just paying more for binding? #Is it worth the extra $1500? #How do the satin finish and the laquer finish differ in tone or volume? #Thanks...
mandowood, I'm asking myself the same question about the MF vs the MT. #If that MT is anywhere near the mandolin that this MF is, it would be the best buy on the planet! #
From where I am sitting (in my living room, loving this MF), I can't see how the MF-5--the deluxe version of mine--can be $4K better than this thing. #I've played a fair number of F-5s over the years and the only one that does what this one does for #me was one of the first Nuggets (#100) I played about 20 years ago. #THAT was one fantastic instrument!
But, for $3800, this has to be one of the best buys out there, if not one of the best mandolins made today. #Just my $.02, of course...
I think the whole point of the "plainer" instruments was to offer the "important" aspect of the instrument (ie: the tone) in the least expensive "package".
I suspect that the matte finish is less expensive to apply and be done with. On the Collings, you also don't get the peghead inlay on the MT/MF instruments nor the peghead or neck binding.
I'm not saying that those differences add up to the difference in the selling price.
I do know that appointments matter a lot to some folks and the aesthetics of various appointments can ruin the desireability of an otherwise spectacular instrument.
I'm still very pleased with the MF that followed me home on 2/20.
My .02 from playing one of the new A styles last weekend is that it had alot of the same great qualities of the two more expensive ones i previously had owned myself. I don't think there is much drop off at all if any with the tone. I remember a conversation I had w/Steve from the Collings plant a 1 1/2 ago when he told me that instead of the Collings prices increasing Bill and he felt strongly about finding better ways to decrease production time. Perhaps this is just that....same great sound, and quality in a less ornate package that allows the good folks at Collings to offer their mandolins at a aprice that doesn't increase everytime you turn around. Thanks Bill. Great mandos.
I am a proud owne or a 2002 MT2H - Collings A-style. I purchased it soon before the release of the M2 (lower appointed model) and was a bit frustrated at the amount of $ I could have saved if the same tone was there.
I finally got a chance to play a (new) M2 at Wintergrass (Boyd's stand) and while it was that sweet Collings tone, I had to admit that mine sounded a bit more "warmer" and louder. Now, mine IS two years older with quite a bit of playing time, but it made me feel better about having the more expensive model. Mine is also made of hard maple on the back which evidently changes the tone - a fellow MT2 owner and i compared ours and we both thought that mine was louder than his (Sugar ? maple back).
Gotta love Collings Mandos.
Has anyone had the opportunity to play more than one Collings MT? I'm close to making a decision to purchase and I'd like to know if there seems to be solid consistency between models.
Any input would be appreciated.
The consistency Collings has with these mandos has me absolutely floored! #In February, I visited Nashville, TN and stopped by both Gruhn's Guitars (http://www.gruhn.com) and the Gibson Showcase at Opry Mills (http://www.gibsonshowcase.com/bluegrass/index.html). #Had I known about Cotten Music (http://www.cottenmusic.com), I'd have stopped there too. #
Anyways, Gruhn's had a Collings MT. #I loved absolutely everything about that instrument; the satin finish really let the wood shine through, it had a great tone, and I found the v-neck and radiused fret-board to be comfortable. #I played all sorts of mandolins on both ends of the price spectrum, but that MT was my favorite of the weekend, bar none. #I wrote down the serial number just in case I'd have a chance to track it down some day.
In March, I drove to Elderly (http://www.elderly.com) in Lansing, MI to check out their stock. #Unfortunately, they didn't have any MT/MF models in. #I did play the higher end Collings (the MF-5), I believe, and while the fit and finish was certainly there, it didn't have the same tone that grabbed me as did the MT.
Just this past Saturday, I stopped by at a local store, who I won't name for soon to be stated reasons. #They had just gotten in their first MT model from Collings. #I had a friend who was guitar shopping, and as he'd switch back and forth between different guitars, I just held onto that MT for dear life. #Same great tone, feel, and awesome low frills finish I'd seen on the one at Gruhn's in Nashville. #
I didn't name the store, because I'm hoping to scrounge up enough cash to put it on lay-away by the end of the week #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif If someone else makes it into the store with $1700 and picks that puppy up, I'm sure it'll be gone.
I completely dig my Weber Aspen #1 for it's warmth and sustain. #I couldn't ask for a better "oval-hole" (really a "D" sound hole)'d instrument. #But as I've posted on here before, Collings has struck gold with those MT models, all factors considered. #Sooner or later, I'm coming home with one.
If you find someone local, or a retailer with a trial period, and have the cash, I'd try it out. #The MTs are remarkable mandolins.
" Mine is also made of hard maple on the back which evidently changes the tone - a fellow MT2 owner and i compared ours and we both thought that mine was louder than his (Sugar ? maple back). "
FYI, hard maple and sugar maple are common names for the same tree, Acer saccharum.
Some other common names are rock maple and white maple. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/coffee.gif
If the satin finish is thick enough, you can hand buff it to a gloss.
A satin lacquer finish is basically the same as any lacquer finish. The difference is the addition af a flatner to the lacquer.
If all coats of lacquer have the flatner, you cannot buff it to a gloss. Martin, so I've read, adds a flattner to the last coats on their satin guitars, so to buff to a gloss you would have to buff through all the flatner down to the gloss lacquer.
A way to achieve a similar look is to use gloss lacquer and leave the surface un-buffed. This type of finish will quickly wear to a gloss if handled. Martin guitar necks do this. So do Martin's like D-16s. Makes me wonder how thick the flattened coats are.
I would bet that there is no tone difference between satin and gloss. I would also bet there is no difference in protection. There is, however, a significant time saving if the finish does not have to be buffed. I suspect there is less time in the finish process in general for most manufacturers if they use a satin or flat finish as opposed to gloss. It's no suprise that satin shows up on the less expensive instruments from manufacturers.
The Brentrup mando mentioned earlier would have a spirit varnish finish. This is a very fragile surface compared to lacquer, gloss or satin, so naturally it would show damage and wear quicker than lacquer. The comparason is sort of like apples and oranges.
The "satin" on the top of my MF is going quite glossy where my pinky rests after only (what?) ten weeks now?
I should be getting my collings MT
in a week or so.... what type of
strings come with it?? What difference
would upgrading to the Thomastik strings
make as far as sound?? Would a tone-gard
make a lot of difference as far as the
I have an MT-A with a tone gard and it made a big differance in the instrument's tone and volume. Whoever, I saw a mando player at a jam try the tone gard and it didn't change his sound at all, but he pulls the mando away from his body when he plays so it doesn't rest on his stomach.
I also have a shiny spot on the top where my pinky rests and the back of the neck turned glossy after the second week. (As the finish was being polished by my hands it did get sticky but that went away in a couple of days)
The TI's will get a sweeter more developed tone out of your Collings but as we all know you'll lose a little of the whoomph or bark or whatever you want to call it. If you're not straight bluegrass or aren't one to beat on your mando when you play bluegrass, but like dynamics, etc. go with TI's. Great strings.
Definately get a Tone Gard if you like to play the mandolin more like a guitar (flat against your stomache standing up). If you are more accustomed to slinging it over your shoulder or hold it away from you naturally you might not need it. But it will also help protect the back of the mando from dings that come from buttons, belts, etc.
I played an MT this weekend. It was really nice. I liked the understated looks, and it was certainly well built. I considered buying it but decided better of it for now.
I also played an MF-5, and I was pretty unimpressed. It was nice and all, but for $7,200 I couldn't find anything about it that I personally like that much better than my Breedlove KF. I played it for about 15 minutes, hoping that it would warm up and start blowing my mind, but it never did. This is a good thing, though, since I don't have anywhere close to $7,200 to spend. I didn't think it sounded any better than the MT.
I played an MT for the first time at a store this weekend and I was blown away. I thought it sounded better than a MT2 that was on the wall next to it. The tone was loud, clear, woody and dry. Fit and finish were excellent and I really liked the "no-frills" look. It was the first around-$2000 mando that I would consider trading my Rigel for.
Brought my MT home this weekend; I'll have to change my user name! I traded in my Ratliff RA5, and I couldn't be happier! There were a few things that kept me and the Ratliff from bonding, that the MT nailed.
First, the MT is beautiful. Sheer unembellished beauty. Subtle, perfect, sublime.
Second, the feel was perfect. The extra size of the neck fits my hand as if custom made. The fretboard radius is really a joy, and I never expected to like a radius. So much easier to play; A nice suprise!
Finally , the sound is wonderful. I am not an expert, an audiophile, nor particularly experienced. But the Collings nails it for me. The Collings has a great dynamic range, has a great woof to the chop that the Ratliff just didn't have (nor did most F's I have tried), and the sound quality is well balanced across the strings. While (to me) the Ratliff was a bit shrill (?) in the treble, my Collings ...well, ... just nails it. Like hearing the Marine Corps choir after listening to the London boys choir. Both good, but I know which I prefer!
Last night after my fingers were too sore to play anymore, I sat in the dark holding my new baby and listened to the rain outside. Yep, we are bonding!
I'm stuck between two names.
No MAS, or ContentMT.
Hope this helps. BTW, I believer all Collings come with
In anyones humble opinion, would it be a fact that the MT that I have been thinking of purchasing,would seem any less of a fine bluegrass instrument without fairly comparing it to a MF?I own an F-9 and I love it but, this MT is just as loud and has a more comfortable neck and fretboard to my liking.I have been playing my F-9 for almost two years and wanted a change of pace.I'm wondering if the $2000 more spent on an MF as to the MT is worth it in the long run.I also wonder if I should keep the F-9 after the purchase.Any suggestion from the gallery?
The $2000 dollars more might or might not be worth it. Each instrument will sound a little different and once in a while you might run into one that is exceptional. My guess is you have as good of a chance finding an exceptional MT as MF.
To whom it may concern,(by the way, thanx 250sc)I just went and purchased one fine MT.I think that I've got just about all the mando that I can handle(for now....).She's a beaut.Never thought an A could be so loud and then be as sweet as this one is.I have got to say that the Collings people really have it down.My F-9 is one of the first that came out when they switched over the Flatiron line, and I love it because it was one of the first mandos that I owned that gave me a chance to see if I could really play one of these things, it made me want to learn.This MT though, is a monster and it really makes me love to play and it takes me to another level of desire to learn and play!I finally have an instrument that helps me.I did not compare it to the MF but, up against my F-9 it held its own and allows my fingers to do things that I struggled with on that Gibson.I hope that others will give these new Collings a try.Most folks will not be disappointed.To the Folks at Collings, Thanx, for a well built machine!Keep it up!
I too credit the Collings design in enabling me to advance in playing. The instrument is very easy to fret, and is responsive, with many tone colors that can be had if searched for. Having started out on a Gibson F5G, I'm sure I'd be still struggling with some chord and fingering positions, if I had not switched to the Collings. It's a great piece of lutherie.
You both have talked about the improved playability of the MT, but for those of you having both an F9 and an MT, how does the tone compare (I don't have the ability to play a Collings nearby)? I like the woody chop of an F9, but do need something fairly versatile, as I don't just play BG. Thanks!
# # # #My MT is sweeter than a hooker's language in church.I really think it can chop & woof with my F-9 too.It seems to be a very versatile weapon.I am going to enjoy learning how to do things I was not able to do on that Gibson.I am convinced that any style of music that one might play will be impressed by what the MT can put out.I am a big Tim O'Brien fan and love to learn his style and songs.I think he would convey that this mando is worthy enough to do the job.It is one of those instruments that is capable of pleasing one's earbone and also can shatter it if'n one was so minded.But, again it is just one man's opinion.
If anyone is interested. I just purchased a Collings MF.
All I can say is that I can't believe what I have in my hands for that price. Sure it's loud, but more importantly, it has an incredible range of clear tone. I was in the market for something much cheaper but could not resist the warmth and playability of this thing. I compared it to a few other f style mandos that were $1000 less and nothing came close to this baby. #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif
I just ordered my MF from Greg Boyd. I can't wait. I have played the whole line of Gibsons (not the Master) and Collings in L.A. and the MF seems to be a best mandolin on the market for ME from those ewo builders for price,quility and tone,
Hello all, got a call from Greg Boyd thursday and he was holding my Collings MF and shipped it to me on friday.
I should be holding this new born on monday or tuesday here in Ontario Canada. Now the minutes are like days waiting for my MF. Greg said it looked and sounded great and strummed the string so that I could get hint of what it sounded like. I liked what I could hear of it over a digital cell phone. I will post more when I receive this MF.
In my opinion, Colling is making the finest mandolins today. Beautiful, full of voice and at a great price. A person I play with regularly plays a Gilcrest worth many more dollars then my Collings. He regularly grabs my Collings out of my hands and shoves his Gilcrest in mine. I tell him only for one song then he's got to give my Collings back! And that is that!