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Thread: Collings MT Review

  1. #1
    Registered User Kevin Briggs's Avatar
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    Default Collings MT Review

    Hi, Everyone:

    I'm tickled silly to report that I have acquired Collings MT (#A3335). It is used and was for sale at Hill Country Guitars, where I paid $2,000 for it shipped. I know I probably could have done better on the price here on the Cafe, but the timing was right, so there you have it. Anyone know the year of this mandolin, based on the serial number?

    My first impression are WOW! I have played MTs over the years, either in a shop or because a friend had one, and I always liked them very much. I found them to be responsive, comfortable to play, and to have a smooth and loud tone. That's what what A3335 is for sure. This is my first time putting a few hours in on a MT though, and I have lots of observations. I picked it up yesterday at 1 p.m., was practicing with it with my band by 2, gigging with it on the radio by 5, playing another gig by 7, jamming with a friend by 9:30, and picking on it at home util about 1 a.m. So, I got some good time on it for sure.

    First, it's very loud and without using much attack at all. The volume is built into the instrument. I was taken aback by the low end, as was my fiddle player buddy, who is also a mando-geek who has played a Summit F for years. It woofs like crazy. It also reaches a kind of sonic breaking point at times if I really focus on pulling the sound out in such a way. That can happen while playing chords or while playing single notes.

    I'm finding I have to modify my attack a bit because I'm used to driving a mandolin pretty hard. I attribute this to playing adirondack-topped mandolins for the past few years, but also playing mandolins that weren't made with the same amount of expertise. One exception is the Red Line A5 I am selling, which is a very well-made mandolin. Still, this MT has a combination of responsiveness, playability, tone, and volume that is special. I am going to enjoy getting to know how best to approach it.

    It's going to be great playing this mandolin over the next few weeks and months. I play again tonight and play a weekly gig every Wednesday (Zeno's in State College at 7 p.m.). My group, Crooked Line, also has a few festivals this summer, so between those, other gigs here and there, and the weekly gig this MT is going to get worked. I'll try to get on here and give updates as they seem necessary or of interest.

    Congrats, Coolings, for making a really great instrument that is still somewhat affordable. The MT is a great idea, and you're pulling it off!

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  3. #2
    Troy Shellhamer 9lbShellhamer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT Review

    Sweet. Enjoy it.
    *2002 Collings MT2
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  4. #3

    Default Re: Collings MT Review

    A friend of mine plays a Collings MF and it's and absolute killer axe. I'm sure your MT will do you right!

  5. #4
    Registered User Lane Pryce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT Review

    I've never played a bad Collings. Lp
    J.Lane Pryce

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Collings MT Review

    Nice! Every Collings MT I have played has been​ great. Some are exceptional. Sounds like you scored a fantastic mandolin! I've had my Collings MT Custom for several years, and though other mandolins have come and gone, the MT is a keeper.
    Enjoy!

  7. #6

    Default Re: Collings MT Review

    KEVIN I have #3408 nov 2015 . enjoy

  8. #7
    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT Review

    I have an MTO and I found the same thing with it re: not needing to drive it the way I had gotten used to doing with my A-jr. I'm amazed at what great tone it has with only a light touch needed. I actually had it posted here for sale extremely reluctantly due to financial reasons but have changed my mind because it just sounds so good. Congratulations, I'm sure you're going to enjoy putting the mileage on that MT!
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  10. #8

    Default Re: Collings MT Review

    I also play an MT and love it. Zeno's in State College is my favorite bar in the whole world! Wish I could hear you play there.

  11. #9
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    Default Re: Collings MT Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Jill McAuley View Post
    I have an MTO and I found the same thing with it re: not needing to drive it the way I had gotten used to doing with my A-jr. I'm amazed at what great tone it has with only a light touch needed. I actually had it posted here for sale extremely reluctantly due to financial reasons but have changed my mind because it just sounds so good. Congratulations, I'm sure you're going to enjoy putting the mileage on that MT!
    Jill, I am glad you changed your mind and are keeping the MT-0
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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  13. #10
    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT Review

    Collings makes some wonderful sounding instruments. That's for dang sure.
    New to mando? Click this link -->Newbies to join us at the Newbies Social Group.

    Just send an email to rob.meldrum@gmail.com with "mandolin setup" in the subject line and he will email you a copy of his ebook for free (free to all mandolincafe members).

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  14. #11
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT Review

    Hi Kevin - It's nice to hear that you have a really good sounding mandolin. Re. dating it,why not e-mail Bill Collings,i'm sure he'd tell you. I e-mailed Tom Ellis as soon as i got my 'used' Ellis "A" style.

    Quote - "First, it's very loud and without using much attack at all.". Exactly as i found with my Ellis. Some mandolins are amazingly responsive,& you need to back off a bit on the 'power pickin'' side of things. Mandolins like that come into their own on really subtle melodies,putting in harmony lines behind a vocalist,something i love to do - enjoy it !!,
    Ivan
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  15. #12
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    Default Re: Collings MT Review

    Wow what a great first date! Good timing too, you got to really put it through the paces.
    I'm glad you're loving it. Enjoy your journey together!

    Dem

  16. #13
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT Review

    I got mine last month or so, and loving it! #920
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  17. #14

    Default Re: Collings MT Review

    Hello old thread. Thanks Mr. Ken. Closest thing to a date I've found so far for my #3527. Might check with Collings some day, but ball park is fine for now.

  18. #15
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT Review

    Collings Mandolin serial numbers - chart near bottom of page.

    Mine is from 2005.
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  19. #16

    Default Re: Collings MT Review

    I've had A3279 for about a year and a half, and it's just a joy to play. The action is low with no buzz and each note pops like a crisp grape in your mouth.

    I agree with your assessment about the low end response and the volume of the MT's. I was second-in-line to acquire this MT from Tejon Street Music. The person before me passed on it because he wasn't a fan of its "modern" tone. Some like it, some don't (my Eastman MD-815V definitely has more of a trebly "vintage" tone). I'm glad I had to opportunity to snag it!

    I play mostly classical on the MT and it's very responsive and articulate. Glad to hear you're enjoying yours.

  20. #17
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    Default Re: Collings MT Review

    I love mine also - a joy to play, when I bought it I thought it would be nice, and it exceeded my expectations! A definite keeper!

  21. #18

    Default Re: Collings MT Review

    The more MTs I play, the more I'm impressed with them. It took a while for me to come around, but for anyone on the upgrade path, it is worth a serious look. So are a bunch of others.
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  22. #19

    Default Re: Collings MT Review

    I played a collings mt for the first time today along with a weber bitteroot and a few brands and holy crap the collings blew them all away. I am so thoroughly impressed.

  23. #20

    Default Re: Collings MT Review

    I understand. I had an MT years ago and I made a big mistake by selling it. Then I picked up an MT2-O, which I like, but I missed the MT sound. So I bought an MT again, and it is my favorite sound for some reason. (And the MT2-O is in the classifieds).

    I think everyone has their own taste. I wish the MT had the binding of the MT2, but there is something about that MT that is best for me.

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