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Thread: Gloss finish on Collings - am I deceiving myself?

  1. #1

    Default Gloss finish on Collings - am I deceiving myself?

    I just tried a few Collings MF: one standard and one gloss top. Everything I read says these mandolins should be pretty similar, but something about the gloss top really spoke to me and stood out. The characteristic of the mandolin seemed different and, for me, was more appealing.

    Is this my imagination? Would the gloss really make that much a difference? Or is it more likely that the way the mandolin was constructed and the variability in a build was more what caused the sound difference?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Gloss finish on Collings - am I deceiving myself?

    Yes, its your imagination. Why trust your own ears when so many others, even if they didn't hear the instruments, can advise you.
    Play it like you mean it.

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  4. #3
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gloss finish on Collings - am I deceiving myself?



    Trust your instincts. It has nothing to do with the finish and everything to do with an instrument speaking to you. The day I bought my Gibson I played 20 or so mandolins on the wall at Mandolin Brothers. I just kept going back to that same one.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  5. #4

    Default Re: Gloss finish on Collings - am I deceiving myself?

    Why do you attribute the differences to the glossy top? Why not the woods used, which we know can vary dramatically from one piece to the next, even in the same tree? Add to that the fact that even a highly refined build process like Collings' has a lot of hand work involved, which cannot be identical from one instrument to the next. Sum of the parts. Buy the one you like the best! :-)

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  7. #5

    Default Re: Gloss finish on Collings - am I deceiving myself?

    Two identical mandolins, one with a gloss top. The gloss top will sound better. Why? It's the one I want to take home.
    Silverangel A
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  9. #6

    Default Re: Gloss finish on Collings - am I deceiving myself?

    I once bought two (otherwise identical) Eastmans. The one with the gloss finish didn't sound as good. I suspected the finish at first. Sent the gloss one out for a refret and setup, on return it was dramatically better and sounded as good as the other one, so it wasn't the finish. Then I sent another one out for a refret and setup (hoping to get the same dramatic improvement). But no, it opened up slightly due (likely) to the slightly higher action, but nothing dramatic at all.
    Trinity College TM325 Octave Mandolin (converted to 4-string tenor guitar).
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    Eastwood 4 string electric mandostang, Fender Mando-Strat, Godin A8. Tin Guitar travel mando.
    DSP's: Helix HX Stomp, Pocket POD (Express).
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  10. #7
    Dan Brooks lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gloss finish on Collings - am I deceiving myself?

    I have a Collings MT gloss top and it has a round, warm, punchy tone with sustain that really spoke to me. Best sounding and playing mandolin I have owned. I am contrasting with Gibson, Flatiron, Collings, Weber and others. I agree that you should trust your ears and the feel of your hands on the instrument.

  11. #8
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    Default Re: Gloss finish on Collings - am I deceiving myself?

    Gloss top should be easier to take care of. If it's the better sounding one - win win

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