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Thread: Thank You, Collings

  1. #1
    Registered User Kevin Briggs's Avatar
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    Default Thank You, Collings

    Big shout out to Collings for working very closely with me the past week to figure how to address a buzzing issue on my MT2. The folks there were polite and responsive, and I'm happy to say they recommended me to a repair shop here in Pennsylvania that has worked on Collings' instruments in the past.

    I'm headed to Wind Gap, PA tomorrow for a mando-evaluation, which I anticipate will resulting some nut work, some saddle work, and likely some fret work. Collings even offered to call the shop for me to set things up. I made the call myself, but it was a very nice gesture.

    Thanks, Collings!

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  3. #2
    Pittsburgh Bill
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    Default Re: Thank You, Collings

    I had a similar experience with defective tuners om an MT. They could not have been more helpful in getting me setup with new tuners.
    They obviously put customer service on par with building fine instruments.
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  5. #3
    Registered User Nick Gellie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thank You, Collings

    Well that is a huge bonus. Pays to buy an instrument under warranty it seems.
    Nic Gellie

    Collings MT 2012 mandolin signed by Bill Collings
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  6. #4

    Default Re: Thank You, Collings

    No, it isn’t the fact that it was bought new, it’s the fact that it’s a Collings. I have seen them make things right on any instrument they make, regardless if you are the original owner. If they think it’s something they are responsible for, they take accountability. Period. And in the last fifteen or so years that I’ve been buying Collings instruments I don’t think I’ve had one issue with workmanship.
    Good Advice: Play before you pay, and know your product and your market.

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  8. #5
    Registered User Mando Mort's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thank You, Collings

    If I am ever able to afford to upgrade my current mandolin, it will be to a Collings. They just kill me with the looks and the sound.
    "All of us contain Music & Truth, but most of us can't get it out." - Mark Twain

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  9. #6

    Default Re: Thank You, Collings

    I have a D2h acoustic and owned a D1T and they have always been great and quick with any questions. Customer service is worth something to me and Id happily pay extra knowing Id have it.

  10. #7
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    Default Re: Thank You, Collings

    They helped me with tuner replacements on my MT also.. as well as an issue with my case latch (they got the case replaced). In both cases, the items were not Collings manufactured, but they made sure the partner companies took care of me.
    -2012 Collings MT, Honey Amber Gloss with Tone Gard
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  11. #8
    Isolated enthusiast Caleb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thank You, Collings

    I’ll go ahead and praise Collings (again) too. The tuners on my MT were JUNK. The replacements from StewMac were JUNK. Collings ate the cost and sent me some Gotohs. Excellent service.
    ďDon't suck the fun out of your hobby by making it results-based." -Ryan Holiday via The Art of Manliness podcast.

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  13. #9
    Registered User archerscreek's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thank You, Collings

    Based on what I've read and seen, I'm a fan of their quality, company/history, and customer service. I just wish they brought a wee bit more bass and airiness to the table, ala a David Harvey Gibson. I was even considering doing a search for, or starting a thread on, ways to add more bass and airiness to a Collings MF such as moving up to a Medium Plus Monel set, finding one with an Engelmann top, or playing the heck out of it to "open up" the red spruce top.

    However, this MF played by Nate Lee sounds fantastic. It's one of my favorite YouTube mando videos. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3K1qmT_BhfI

  14. #10
    Registered User Kevin Briggs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thank You, Collings

    Quote Originally Posted by archerscreek View Post
    Based on what I've read and seen, I'm a fan of their quality, company/history, and customer service. I just wish they brought a wee bit more bass and airiness to the table, ala a David Harvey Gibson. I was even considering doing a search for, or starting a thread on, ways to add more bass and airiness to a Collings MF such as moving up to a Medium Plus Monel set, finding one with an Engelmann top, or playing the heck out of it to "open up" the red spruce top.

    However, this MF played by Nate Lee sounds fantastic. It's one of my favorite YouTube mando videos. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3K1qmT_BhfI
    Thanks for sharing, man. I agree they have a unique tone. Iím using J75s and donít find mine lacks bottom-end. It also handled higher action and quite straight neck very well, which stiffened things up tonally and in terms of feel. They all vary, of course. I found my MT had a more immediate earthiness, and was initially louder. My MT2 is more crystalline though, and it got louder seemingly each day and/or string change.

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  16. #11
    Isolated enthusiast Caleb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thank You, Collings

    Quote Originally Posted by archerscreek View Post
    Based on what I've read and seen, I'm a fan of their quality, company/history, and customer service. I just wish they brought a wee bit more bass and airiness to the table, ala a David Harvey Gibson. I was even considering doing a search for, or starting a thread on, ways to add more bass and airiness to a Collings MF such as moving up to a Medium Plus Monel set, finding one with an Engelmann top, or playing the heck out of it to "open up" the red spruce top.

    However, this MF played by Nate Lee sounds fantastic. It's one of my favorite YouTube mando videos. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3K1qmT_BhfI
    The overall tone of my MT is fantastic, but yes, there isn’t a ton of bass (which is one of the reasons I like it — i.e. balance). But the D course is really the sweet spot on my particular instrument. It’s so beautiful that sometimes it actually distracts my playing. But the Collings sound isn’t everyone’s cup. If you want tons of bass, you might consider a Silverangel.
    ďDon't suck the fun out of your hobby by making it results-based." -Ryan Holiday via The Art of Manliness podcast.

  17. #12

    Default Re: Thank You, Collings

    That's great to hear.

    My son bought a Godin guitar which developed a problem - the truss-rod broke out the back of the neck at the headstock! After sending it to Godin for inspection they sent it back saying "too bad" and refusing to do anything about it. Needless to say I'll never be buying another Godin.
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  18. #13
    Registered User Eric Hanson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thank You, Collings

    I too have been highly impressed with their customer service.
    I bought an MT2-V and was curious about the build. What woods used, type of finish, etc. The customer service rep called me back after a few days, from the day I sent an email. He helped me understand more about the instrument, and was very interested in my take on it.
    High praise for their instruments! And very importantly, for the ones who work there!
    Eric Hanson
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  19. #14
    Registered User Kevin Briggs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thank You, Collings

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Hanson View Post
    I too have been highly impressed with their customer service.
    I bought an MT2-V and was curious about the build. What woods used, type of finish, etc. The customer service rep called me back after a few days, from the day I sent an email. He helped me understand more about the instrument, and was very interested in my take on it.
    High praise for their instruments! And very importantly, for the ones who work there!
    Agreed!

    Itís reasonable to think a place that produces a high number of instruments with a bunch of dealers would be tough to get in touch with, or characteristically impersonal due to the sheer volume of output. But, Peter was as geeked out as the rest of us about top woods, break-in, finish, neck measurements, etc. Plus, I like that they hunted down a small repair shop to do the work, promoting mandolin business in my area.

    Sweet company, just like so many of the great builders and companies that make the instruments we love, including John Hamlett, Dan Voight, Mark Bluett, Lou Stiver, Dennis Vance, and John Mannino, all of whom gave me feedback via email or phone.
    Last edited by Kevin Briggs; Nov-18-2019 at 7:49pm.

  20. #15
    Registered User DougC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thank You, Collings

    I have made suggestions about strings based on our conversations here. They got right back to me and said that they were interested in other ideas I may have about mandola strings. Impressive customer support. Actually the ideas about strings were for a small segment of the market, flatwound classical mandola strings. They did not need to pay much attention but they wanted to know.

  21. #16

    Default Re: Thank You, Collings

    Try an MT-O. Bass and ‘airness’ out the wazoo.
    Gunga......Gunga.....Gu-Lunga

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  23. #17
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    Default Re: Thank You, Collings

    I am curious about why they directed you to Wind Gap. Thatís a pretty long drive for you. Acoustic Music Works in Pittsburgh is a Collings dealer, and I know Lou Stiver used to do some of their repair work. He may still, I donít know. But if he does you could have connected with him in Polk. In any case, it is impressive that they are trying to help you out this way. Many makers would tell you to send it back to their shop. Been there, done that, and I can tell you from personal experience that itís no fun at all sending an expensive mandolin cross country, waiting 2 months for the work to be done, then worry about whether it was done to your satisfaction as it makes its way cross country again.
    Don

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  24. #18

    Default Re: Thank You, Collings

    Collings has a limited number of luthiers they will authorize to do their warranty work
    Good Advice: Play before you pay, and know your product and your market.

  25. #19

    Default Re: Thank You, Collings

    Sounds like a great way to run a company!

  26. #20

    Default Re: Thank You, Collings

    Verne,
    I also had a problem with Godin product.
    My A8 mandolin neck warped so badly that my tech decided to send it to Godin. He felt the significant warpage was irreparable and the suggested the neck should be replaced.
    Godin returned it and refused to do anything aoŻt it. I would never purchase another Godin product.
    I had the frets removed and turned the instrument into a fretless mando!

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  28. #21
    Registered User Kevin Briggs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thank You, Collings

    Quote Originally Posted by multidon View Post
    I am curious about why they directed you to Wind Gap. That’s a pretty long drive for you. Acoustic Music Works in Pittsburgh is a Collings dealer, and I know Lou Stiver used to do some of their repair work. He may still, I don’t know. But if he does you could have connected with him in Polk. In any case, it is impressive that they are trying to help you out this way. Many makers would tell you to send it back to their shop. Been there, done that, and I can tell you from personal experience that it’s no fun at all sending an expensive mandolin cross country, waiting 2 months for the work to be done, then worry about whether it was done to your satisfaction as it makes its way cross country again.
    I also was a bit surprised when they suggested Brothers in Wind Gap, and don’t know how they found it. I can speculate it had to do with the owner’s experience in Martin’s repair shop, where he worked for 21 years. I’m sure these folks know how to find people in the industry to recommend who’ve been around for a while. I’ll also add they had dozens of guitars in the shop waiting for everything from full-on restorations to fret jobs. So, they’re quite busy, which I think suggests some confidence in their work.

    I considered going to Acoustic Music Works, but I’m not that into Pittsburgh, and I’ve never felt completely welcome in that store when I’ve visited, so that trickles in to whom they’re associated with, the way I see it. I also spoke to Stiver on the phone about the work and it wasn’t so easy to schedule with him, nor did he seem too interested. Bluett seemed to want the work, and I was almost headed there (to York) before Collings linked me up with Brothers. I’m from eastern PA anyway, so I was happy to head that way and hang out in Bethlehem most of the day.

    The Collings portion of it all had the right feel, and that continued when I took the recommendation. I’d say it also feeds into any future considerations if I need warranty work done again, since I’m following Collings’ lead on it all.

  29. #22

    Default Re: Thank You, Collings

    Generally, they will direct you to someone they have used previously. And an FYI, Lou Stiver is well into his eighties now. I’m not sure how much repair work or building he is doing.

    Tyler Unger is also around the Nazareth area, and has taken over for his father. For a time he was at The Music Emporium and he really knows his way around a mandolin. His dad wanted to retire, so Tyler and his wife headed back to PA, but I played a few mandolins he did work on and he does a great job on setups.

    https://www.americanarchtop.com/pages/repair
    Good Advice: Play before you pay, and know your product and your market.

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  31. #23
    Pittsburgh Bill
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    Default Re: Thank You, Collings

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobar View Post
    Generally, they will direct you to someone they have used previously. And an FYI, Lou Stiver is well into his eighties now. I’m not sure how much repair work or building he is doing.

    https://www.americanarchtop.com/pages/repair
    I met with Mr. Stiver twice in the last year for some tuneup work on my Coleman mandola and to order a new custom build A style. He is still on top of his game and a very fine gentleman to boot. I have no reason to believe that my new Stiver mandolin will be lacking in anyway from any of his previous builds.
    Last edited by Pittsburgh Bill; Nov-19-2019 at 11:36am.
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  33. #24

    Default Re: Thank You, Collings

    Quote Originally Posted by Pittsburgh Bill View Post
    I met with Mr. Stiver twice in the last year for some tuneup work on my Coleman mandola and to order a new custom build A style. He is still on top of his game and a very fine gentleman to boot.
    But he may not be taking on new clients or want to get involved in warranty work at this stage of the game.
    Good Advice: Play before you pay, and know your product and your market.

  34. #25

    Default Re: Thank You, Collings

    Good customer service should be the cornerstone of any good business. I have a Pono parlor guitar. One of the bridgepins split. I called them up and got the owner on the phone. He determined he no longer had that type of end pin. Said he’d send me a set. I said no, I didn’t buy it from you, I got it second hand so I should buy them. He wouldn’t have it, and sent me the set gratis.
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