Welcome To The Collings mandolin Group

  1. mandopete

    Welcome to the Collings mandolin group here on the Mandolin Cafe. I'll kick it off....

    Proud owner of MF-5R #39 which I purchased in 2003. A little bit of a Mandolin Cafe tie in on this mandolin....

    This mandolin was on the front page here on the Cafe after Scott played it a bit when it was at Mass Street Music. My understanding was this instrument was commissioned from Collings with a flat fingerboard (Collings standard is a radius). Story goes the person who originally ordered it backed out after finding a Lloyd-Loar, so it went up for sale. I just happened to be looking at the Cafe (like I never do that!) just after Scott posted it. I had really wanted to go back to the flat fingerboard, so this worked out great.
  2. mandomania7923
    Do you have the Collings Fern?
  3. Andrew DeMarco
    Andrew DeMarco
    So, I'm not sure how this works, despite being of the computer generation.

    Is the "Collings group" one big thread? Or is it a whole board?

    I'm one of the many happy owners of a blacktop MT))
  4. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    A new group to join! Our own discussions! How fun! I am a new Collings owner, having just (unexpectedly) bought a brand new Honey Blonde MT2-O in Austin at Fiddler's Green Music Store last month. I just love it! Was wondering about what strings to put on it when it comes time to change.... according to their website, it came with D'Addario J-74's.

  5. fredfrank
    Barbara, I don't know about the MT2-O, but my MT2V sounds the best with the J-74's. Whenever I have tried heavier strings like the J-75's they seem to stifle the sound a bit. Maybe the mandolin just doesn't want to vibrate the way it's supposed to. I know my Red Diamond is particularly susceptible to this. Oops, didn't mean to mention a different brand from Collings!
  6. Mike Bunting
    What is a Collings Fern, that's a new one to me. I have an MF5 # 101 from '03.
  7. mandomania7923
    There were only one or two collings ferns made. I don't think they were prototypes, just custom instruments.
  8. mandopete
    Yeah, I'm not sure how these "social groups" are any different than the threads we already have. Perhaps Scott will chime in here.

    I think the reference to a Collings "Fern" may be due to the fact that I had a photo of a Collings headstock that I used as the the logo for this group. It's not my mandolin.

    Let's see what else...strings? I use D'Addario EXP-75's on my MF-5.
  9. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    I *think* that these social groups are similar to the existing message board, just more *social*, haha! Right now, we are just chatting away as replies to the first post, but at some point, one of us will start another conversation.

    I think that the reason for the specialized social groups, is so that we can chat about specific things (the type of group we're in) without cluttering up the main message boards.

  10. Mike Bunting
    How do you describe the difference in the sound of the Collings bottom end as compared to say, Daley, Red Diamond or Gibson?
  11. mandopete
    You might ping Fred Frank on that as he's owned both a Collings and a Red Diamond mandolin. As for the tone of the Collings mandolins I've heard it described as a 'modern" tone as opposed to the dryer, bluegrassy tone asociated with Gibson mandolins. Bear in mind this is all pretty subjective.

    Hey, anyone else hear the Jesse Cobb on the Infamous Strindusters has switched to Collings? There's a neat video (linked elsewhere on the Cafe) of him playing an MF-5 over on UTOOB. Lemme see if I can link it here...

  12. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Thanks! That was an awesome video!
  13. Scott Tichenor
    Scott Tichenor
    These groups really allow users to segment by interest in a more intimate way so that you aren't mingling with the entire forum at large. To really make these work I think you (subscribers) can do several things to ensure this:

    1) put a link to the group in your board signature
    2) subscribe to a weekly or daily notice so that when new messages are posted you'll know about it.
    3) use the add an image feature. Right now appears those images need to be stored elsewhere on the forum like in a user's personal image album.
    4) invite those with an interest to join. There's a feature that allows you to extend invitations through the board software.
  14. Scott Tichenor
    Scott Tichenor
    Also, note that you can subscribe to email notifications for the entire group, or just a particular discussion. This might allow users (by example) that just want to discuss the Nugget/Collings collaboration into one separate thread.
  15. mandopete

    Thanks Mr. Tichenor, I'll try to refrain from starting a cowbell group.

  16. Paul Statman
    Paul Statman
    I was using J75 (for the heavier E and A), but I recently switched to GHS Silk and Bronze 11-16-26-40 (I make .012" from music wire for the E's) in pursuit of a drier tone. I'm trying out a set of John Pearse 80/20 Bronze 12-15-26-40, which I'd never used before, and they're okay, too - except that I have to make the .016" A's to replace the floppy .015" that come in the set!
    What's everyone else using on their Collings?
  17. Mike Bunting
    I've been using the sam Bush Monels, substituting 16's for the wimpy 14's on the As, and basically the same reasons as Mandopixie. So far so good, I may try out the GHS Silk and Steels.
  18. Paul Statman
    Paul Statman
    Mike: You should be aware that the Silk and Steel (wound pairs) are strung to a lower tension, so be prepared for a difference resulting from this, too.
  19. Mike Bunting
    Yes, but I always experiment so I'm prepared to not like a string. What gauges on the bottom end do you find drive the top the best?
  20. Paul Statman
    Paul Statman
    Many years ago I switched to GHS Bobby Osborne 11-16-24-38, which were very balanced on my then Vanden F5 (gosh, that really was a long time ago)! I don't remember when or why I came back to the standard-bottomed sets, but I do like the 26-40 with my 12-16. The best sounding A (but also the floppiest) is the FT74 with a .015" wound string. I realized my MF5 needed a fret dressing as soon as I put them on! I replaced them (the A's) with plain wire, but I haven't tried them again since..They're a little expensive to like too much, as I'd like to get them as separates (I doubt they're even available that way)!
  21. Scott Holt
    Scott Holt
    Hello all,
    I recently purchased a new MF last month. I am incredibly pleased with the quality of instrument, and it just keeps getting better. Every time I go play with friends, they keep remarking how it sounds better and better. Despite having been somewhat of a passive observer of the Cafe for 3+yrs, I felt it was time to start chiming in on posts, etc. Just wanted to say, hello y'all.
  22. Paul Statman
    Paul Statman
    Welcome, Scott! Congratulations on your Collings purchase, and happy posting (when you're not playing your MF)!
  23. Mike Bunting
    In the interest of good music, I think that we should only post once for every 6 hours playing time!
  24. Paul Statman
    Paul Statman
    It's getting late, and past your bed-time, Mike!
  25. Mike Bunting
    You may be right!
  26. Rick Schmidlin
    Rick Schmidlin
    WOW is my MF5 happy that I joined!
  27. mandopete
    How 'bout yer cat?
  28. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    Howdy. My main mando de jour is an MT2. It fairly roars. I'm mulling a serious F purchase, probably after Christmas, and rasslin' with whether to get a Collings (couldn't possibly go wrong) or something recent in the Gibson line -- a Fern, a Biby or a Benson (just missed buying one of those) or a Bush or an I dunno... Not enough cash for a Master. Wish I had the dinero for a Gilchrist!
  29. mandopete
    As you pointed out, you can't go wrong with a Collings. Can't say the same for Gibson IMHO.
  30. Paul Statman
    Paul Statman
    I'm glad you said that, Pete. I didn't want to have to do it. I part-chopped my second "Master" model abortion for my current MF5 (the first one was sent back so many times, that in the end I insisted that a replacement be built)..
  31. jessboo
    had a freind who had a TOB for a short time. it was one of the best mandolins I've ever played(Yes mike it was the frydaddie guy). It was the main reason i brought the MT this afternoon. I'll stick with J74s they sound great on it .
  32. mandopete
    What is a "TOB" ?

    Around my parts it's a Terry O'Brien, but that's another story for another day.

  33. Paul Statman
    Paul Statman
    A Ton Of Bricks? I met and played a really sweet MF5 varnish at Topanga yesterday!
  34. DougC
    I bought a MT with a gloss top and matt finish on the back and sides, not because I liked the look but because it sounded better than the F5's ! (The best of four or five Collings mandolins). I play Irish and Klezmer music and not much bluegrass so I've ended up with GHS bronze 250 strings and use a Jazz mando pick. Don't think I could find a better sound for that kind of money anywhere. I have played some Gibsons, Webbers, not much impressed. I have played Brian Dean's baroque mando and that was better in some respects. It was a monster on chords, yikes! He liked my Collings though. Now I need to get over to H. Bentrup across town and really have some fun, but I doubt I'll have the interest in an instrument three times the price. I'm a happy camper. A good place to be, huh?
  35. Paul Statman
    Paul Statman
    Welcome, Doug. I'm an MF5'er expecting a Brentrup PML next month!
  36. DougC
    Mandopixie, I'll want a full report on the comparison!
  37. Mark Rauch
    Mark Rauch
    Just found this forum site. I check the Cafe a lot to check out the classifieds (habit I guess) but got to looking around the site and found the "groups" section. Nice. I have MF-5 No.4. I understand it was one of 5 in the first batch of F-5's Collings made. I just bought it about 6 months ago from a guy in Denver (on the Cafe ads). It's in great condition and like all Collings it's a dream to play. I also have a Mowry F-5 (which I am half-heartedly trying to sell). Hard to say which I like best. They are both super mandolins. I have only been playing four years so I obviously have way more tied up in mandoilns than I should, but my wife is a great sport about it. And unlike some toys, they do hold their value. Anyway, I'll look forward to checking in on this great site.
  38. Paul Statman
    Paul Statman
    Hey DougC ~ Brentrup vs Collings there's no comparison sound-wise. The PML wins 'out of the box'. Nine months later, using a Tone Rite and the gap only continues to widen..
    *The MF5 is now out on loan to a fellow musician on hard times.
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