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Thread: Collings MT2 Review

  1. #1
    Registered User Kevin Briggs's Avatar
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    Default Collings MT2 (torrefied) Review w/video

    Hi, Everyone:

    I got into my Collings MT2 and can say this is one heck of a mandolin.

    Initially, it was pure butter, smooth, and kind of delicate. I raised the action a bit to match my current mandolin (a MT) and boom, it turned into a canon. It has some serious bark, highs, and overall mojo. I am more than impressed, and am obviously very happy with this instrument. Thanks to Dennis and Brian at The Mandolin Store for hooking me up.

    This instrument is a visual and sonic work of art. Seriously, and it plays great. Iíve owned other mandolins that sounded great, but there seemed to always be a trade off, such as tough playability, even after multiple setups. Not with this. Itís awesome.

    Iíve only put a few hours on it, but hereís an initial video review. I intend to record more to showcase this great, loud instrument:

    Last edited by Kevin Briggs; Aug-28-2019 at 11:01am. Reason: Changed title.

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    Registered User geoffa's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT2 Review

    Sounds great! Thanks for taking the time to put that together. Look forward to more of these. You seem quite elated!

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  5. #3
    Registered User Kevin Briggs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT2 Review

    Thanks geoffa:

    Man, I'll tell you what. I forgot what it's like to own a new instrument, as the last new one I owned was I think my Weber Fern back in 2009 or so. Each time I pick it up it's a bit of a different instrument. First and foremost, it feels more solid each time I play it. I attribute this to playing it a heck of a lot, and also to the strings settling in, as they were brand new and pretty jangly. After a few hours of being played, this mandolin is anything but jangly. It is a throaty, loud, oddly sweet, instrument. I couldn't be happier.

    I'll spare you all of my blind gushing and my over-zealousness, at least in one email. No, I intend to trickle it out over weeks, months, and maybe years, haha. A little bit here, a little bit there. Once my fingers get used to playing so much again I'm sure that will impact my perspective as well.

  6. #4

    Default Re: Collings MT2 Review

    Thanks for your review. I also own an MT2 (with some upgrades) and love the tone, playability and exquisite build. It's a bluegrass cannon and also has the mellow tone needed to play celtic tunes. It gets better all the time. You'll love your MT2 for a long time.

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    Registered User Kevin Briggs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT2 Review

    H, Rdeane:

    Thanks for your reply. Yes, it's been a delight thus far, and I'm looking forward to what the future holds, seeing as I've had it in my possession for less than 24 hours. At first, I raised the action to get some more bark and depth out of it, which worked, but now I'm thinking I may lower it down again because it is really, substantially loud and otherwise strong. A real powerhouse.

  9. #6
    Registered User mtucker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT2 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Briggs View Post
    At first, I raised the action to get some more bark and depth out of it, which worked, but now I'm thinking I may lower it down again because it is really, substantially loud and otherwise strong. A real powerhouse.
    I would agree with your conclusion. The greatest noticeable changes I’ve experienced with early playtime is increased depth and roundness in the lower and mid register.

    I’m a huge fan of Collings. It’s a beauty for sure!

  10. #7
    Isolated enthusiast Caleb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT2 Review

    Beautiful instrument! I've always thought the natural MTs were the prettiest (mine is a burst but I love it). Play it in good health, Kevin.
    "The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly
    that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavourable.
    Favourable conditions never come."
    -C.S. Lewis, Learning in Wartime

  11. #8
    Registered User Kevin Briggs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT2 Review

    mtucker... it’s fascinating how I have been fiddling with the bridge height, by millimeters at most, and there are such significant changes. It appears to have settled into the current height, but I’ve only been playing solo so far. Tomorrow morning, I play with a guitar player and will be interesting to see how this very loud instrument holds up next to the softness if a guitar. I may be tweaking again....

    Caleb... thanks a bunch. The finish is really special. I love bursts too though, and would have been mighty pleased with a darker, smokier looking mando. :-)

  12. #9

    Default Re: Collings MT2 (torrefied) Review w/video

    Hey Kevin. thx for the review. What ard you doing with your MT? Have you sold it?
    My dream Mandolin is a Collings and Im having a hard time finding a used one.
    Thx and enjoy you new toy.
    Susan.

  13. #10
    Registered User Kevin Briggs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT2 Review

    Hey, Susan!

    I used it as a trade at The Mandolin Store: www.themandolinstore.com. I know Dennis and Brian would love to sell it to you, and I can vouch for the fact that it’s a great sounding mandolin. It’s been played a bunch, so shows some use, but it sounds and plays great. The only reason I traded it is I own one mandolin at a time and had been lusting after the MT2. I say give them a call. :-)

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    Default Re: Collings MT2 Review

    That is a GREAT sounding MT2!

    Really beautiful.....it's a Collings.... of course it's beautiful...and dig that it has a James tailpiece.

    Congrats and enjoy!

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    Default Re: Collings MT2 Review

    Sounds very good !
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain------supposedly !

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    Registered User Kevin Briggs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT2 Review

    Ahh, thanks everyone. There will be more vids coming. I’m thinking Dixie Hoedown tomorrow. :-)

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    Default Re: Collings MT2 Review

    I'm so happy for you and you genuinely have that look of excitement in your eyes. Congrats on a beautiful new mandolin...

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    Default Re: Collings MT2 Review

    The Collins sounds nice. I seriously thought about getting one like yours

    PS and I know you gonna love and enjoy playing that beauty, congrats
    Last edited by CBFrench; Aug-29-2019 at 9:26pm.

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    Registered User lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT2 Review

    I love it Kevin! Those MT2's are just simply fantastic. I hope you enjoy it for several years.
    2017 Collings MT (Gloss Top, Wide Nut)
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  26. #17
    Registered User Kevin Briggs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT2 Review

    Hi, Everyone:

    Here's a little update for you. So, I've had this MT2 since Tuesday and have been playing it a few hours a day since opening the box. I'm now getting ready to put on a new set of strings for the first time. :-)

    The evolution of this mandolin has gone from new and jangly, to stiff and robust, to extremely well-balanced. I have been playing through the first section of tunes on Steve Kauffman's Bluegrass Workout, which is about an hour of slower and faster versions of fiddle tunes, and I am really impressed with how easy it is to play. As much as I loved my Weber Fern, it was never easy to play, even after hundreds of hours of practicing, drills, jams, and playing gigs. My hand would cramp and I struggled with increasing my speed. Right away I am able to work my way around the MT2's neck and the fretboard without concern. It is markedly easier to play, has a more comfortable neck for my hand and an extremely responsive top.

    Tonally, I am digging the throatiness of the chop and the seemingly endless volume. Everything above about how a MT2 cuts to the top of the sonic register is true. I played with a friend yesterday, playing songs we've been doing for years, and I recorded the session. Simply put, I have never heard such exceptional mandolin tone on those songs, and I've played them with him using five or six different instruments. It was remarkable. It's a very bright instrument, which I'm happy about because the maturation process can lead to depth and perhaps a developing bottom end, and the single notes are strong, but not overbearing. Very well-balanced.

    I know there is a line of thinking about torrefied instruments that the maturation process has been accelerated, or that they won't evolve as much over time, and I suppose that remains to be seen on this instrument. What I can say is it has changed quite a bit since I strummed the first chord the other day. Even this morning, I flew downstairs to play it ASAP, and it started out sounding just as great as the day before, but after 30 minutes I was compelled to share with my wife how warmed up and crystalline it sounded. I know there's a difference between arming up and breaking in, but within a half hour that mandolin went through a significant change, from awesome to awesomer. :-)

    Anyway, I intend to post a video of me playing an easy paced fiddle tune with it today or tomorrow. Thanks so much for your response to this thread and being part of my mandolin fiesta!

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    Registered User Kevin Briggs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT2 Review

    Hi, Everyone:

    Another day, another couple hours on the instrument, bluegrass workout stuff and just random jamming.

    Again, I can't say enough about the current state and the potential of this instruments' tone. I pick it up, it's sounds as awesome as the day before. I play it for a hour, it sounds more crystaline and throatier. I'd say it takes about 20-30 minutes to really wake up, and once it does I'm still nehotiating just how to attack it to hit the sweet spot, balancing a combination of volume, an increasing stiffness in the strings which I think is due to them maybe wearing out, but also to the highs and mids bursting out.

    Tomorrow I jam with two friends, so I may take a video of that to share with ya'.

    Sweetness!

  29. #19

    Default Re: Collings MT2 Review

    The trait that IMHO makes a Collings desirable is they hit a spot that is bright enough to cut through in a jam, yet resonant when playing alone. It has been a tone that has taken me a while to appreciate, unlike the build quality which is immediate. They also have a pretty high quality of wood, with even the MT and MF containing a lot of figuring in the maple. Yes, you pay a lot , but I'm betting that is forgotten soon after purchase. Enjoy your exploration.
    Silverangel A
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    1913 Gibson A-1

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  31. #20
    Registered User Kevin Briggs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT2 Review

    Thanks so much, Brick! I agree for sure. I like that Collings manages to achieve its own slums in the mando world, while still maintaining exceptional volume.

  32. #21
    Registered User Kevin Briggs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT2 Review

    Here’s another. I’m still feeling my way around this MT2, so the play and improv is evolving, but it sounds sweet and plays like butta’!

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    Default Re: Collings MT2 Review

    Awesome mandolin! Congratulations, Kevin!
    Chuck

  35. #23
    Registered User Kevin Briggs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT2 Review

    Thanks, Chuck! I got more playing time on it today, second set of strings since Iíve owned it, and the journey continues. :-)

  36. #24

    Default Re: Collings MT2 Review

    Sounds great!!!! It will only get better and better. It even sounds good on my cheap laptop speakers!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Briggs View Post
    Hereís another. Iím still feeling my way around this MT2, so the play and improv is evolving, but it sounds sweet and plays like buttaí!

  37. #25
    Registered User Kevin Briggs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT2 Review

    Ahh, thanks, AB. Another day, another thrill with this mandolin. I'll be posting a version of "Roanoke" soon, and asking for feedback from y'all!

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