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Thread: Sold my Collings and got a Pava

  1. #1

    Default Sold my Collings and got a Pava

    A while ago... over a year, i made my first post here about my struggle with the neck and sound of Collings MT. I was not in love with it but decided to stick with it. This was a mistake. The advice in this group was to sell it and get something that worked for me but it seemed such a big hassle as Iím in S. Florida where there was very few choices and it was afraid to order one without trying it. Someone locally was looking for a Collings and bought it from me last week so I called the TMS and ordered a Pava A5 with a torrified top... and I wish i had not waited a year. I find this mandolin to be so much more friendly! Part of it is that Dennis did a perfect setup but the tone and the feel works so much better for me. Itís not as loud and does not cut through as well but I really like playing it and my hand is much more relaxed than it was on the sharper v neck. The necks are not massively different but different enough. It has its own character and i find the sound much rounder which i like and I cant stop playing it which never happened for me with the Collings. Itís such a nice mandolin and the experience with TMS was hassle free and easy and fast. I have not tried it with our little quartet yet but I think if its not loud enough i can always put a pick up in it or mic it. Anyway I love this mandolin.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Sold my Collings and got a Pava

    I seldom post on here but since we in the same family...I bought my Pava from TMS about 4-5 months ago. Having to buy unplayed I was torn between a Collings and Pava. Talked to Brian forever at TMS and went with the Pava A5 wide nut. Site says comes with a setup. I finally got around to raising the bridge on the E&A string side the other day and it made a lot of difference, it plays even better, increased volume some, nice even tone across all strings. I'm in no volume competitions so it's all I need regardless. I've tried probably 5-6 different string brands, I'm back to the Straight Up String med set...seems like she really likes these and especially the 0.39 gauge G string.
    Last edited by CBFrench; Jan-16-2020 at 1:48pm. Reason: spelling

  4. #3

    Default Re: Sold my Collings and got a Pava

    What kind of difference are you seeing between the strings it shipped with vs Straight up string? I’m always interested in trying new strings!

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    Default Re: Sold my Collings and got a Pava

    Interesting. I had a similar experience with a Weber Yellowstone. I bought it at Wintergrass. Loved the sound, but after playing it for a few months it never really got comfortable to play - there were spots that were hard for me to finger clearly. I stuck with it for another year after that, determined to "play through it". Then I played a Collings MT at a local music store and the difference was amazing! I went back and bought that Collings, sold the Yellowstone and never looked back. It's amazing how small differences in neck shape etc can make such a big difference in playability.

    Congrats on the Pava!
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  7. #5

    Default Re: Sold my Collings and got a Pava

    Quote Originally Posted by RobP View Post
    Interesting. I had a similar experience with a Weber Yellowstone. I bought it at Wintergrass. Loved the sound, but after playing it for a few months it never really got comfortable to play - there were spots that were hard for me to finger clearly. I stuck with it for another year after that, determined to "play through it". Then I played a Collings MT at a local music store and the difference was amazing! I went back and bought that Collings, sold the Yellowstone and never looked back. It's amazing how small differences in neck shape etc can make such a big difference in playability.

    Congrats on the Pava!
    I think the Collings would have been great had I been a better player. When you have that much sound with not much control terrible things can happen. ��. ��

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    Default Re: Sold my Collings and got a Pava

    as years have gone by, I've reached a position for myself that I know for sure neck profile can make or break my keeping an instrument. I loved the tone of the Pava I owned, but found the neck profile not to my preference(I was very close to reshaping the neck but didn't-I still think of buying another and doing just that-wonderful mandolins). I've since, thru sales/trades, found that Weber and Collings fits me well. Fretboard radius is important to my hands as well. With my current Weber Yellowstone and MT, I have two very different tones, and two very different necks. Love them both.

    enjoy your Pava, they are exceptional
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    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sold my Collings and got a Pava

    It's never worth keeping an instrument that doesn't work for you. No matter how nice it may be. Went through that many times on guitars over the years. For me, the Collings neck shape works. And the volume is a definite advantage in a full band setting.

    Still it hasn't stopped me from thinking about a Pava, or Girouard, or something similar. Enjoy the Pava.
    1935 Gibson A50, 2018 Collings MT, 1929 Gibson A Jr., 1935 Kalamazoo KM-21, 2018 Eastman MDO-305
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    Default Re: Sold my Collings and got a Pava

    Interesting - I have a Collings MT, a Weber, and a Pava A, and they all play easily for me. I find the neck shapes similar enough to not make a difference. They are all wonderful mandolins, and I feel lucky to have three (okay, actually more than 3 if I add the bowlbacks) mandolins that I enjoy playing. We live in a great time with so many fine instruments to choose from.

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  14. #9

    Default Re: Sold my Collings and got a Pava

    I have a Pava and a Weber. I enjoy playing both, but for some reason the Pava makes some shapes easier for me to do. I am going to add a k&k internal pickup to one of them. I hate to risk a ding on my Pava in the occasional jam setting, but I do play it better.

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    Default Re: Sold my Collings and got a Pava

    We are all different in size and shape, so how could there be an ideal neck profile? I recently acquired a Collings MF and even through I'd played many before, knew the shape felt good, there was the lingering question of playing time; would there be hot spots or cramps after so many hours? Difficult ask to take an un-purchased mandolin to a multi-hour jam, right? So it was a relief when it excelled at band practice without any mechanical issues.

    But the Weber still "plays like butter" in comparison. Maybe that is 15-years of familiarity, or flat vs radius fingerboard, maybe fret size, string spacing, neck relief, or any number of subtleties that change between instruments.

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  18. #11
    Isolated enthusiast Caleb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sold my Collings and got a Pava

    My Collings MT has a pretty sharp V-profile and it does take some getting used to. I once heard of someone having Bill Collings shave theirs down with some hand tools at the booth of a music convention (or something like that). Iíd prefer mine to have less of a V, but Iíve gotten used to it over the years.
    ...

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    Registered User John Soper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sold my Collings and got a Pava

    My first "really good" mandolin was a Collings MT2. Beautiful mandolin, great cutting voice. After a few years I developed some hand issues and started playing it less and less - the narrow sharp V neck was really cramping my hand. Out the door, and I've been picky about necks since. Just got rid of n F-2 because of the flat fretboard, even though it had a more generous neck - I just wasn't picking it up. I prefer a rounder profile and radius to the fretboard. Nut width > 1 1/8". Just got a mandolin with a 1 1/16" nut - we'll see how that plays out.

  21. #13
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    Default Re: Sold my Collings and got a Pava

    Sold my Collings to get a Stiver. Was happy with my Collings. I have yet to receive my Stiver. I’m betting I like my Stiver better as it is being built to my preference. I also know and like the builder very much. It doesn’t hurt that I never played a Stiver with a radius fret board I didn’t want to take home.
    The wait to get it makes me very eager, maybe even anxious. We
    Keith Edward Coleman A style, oval hole Mandola
    Stiver A style (eagerly awaiting spring 2020 arrival)
    Weber Gallatin A Mandola "D hole"
    Kentucky KM-950
    Harley Benton A style (Spare canoe paddle)
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  22. #14

    Default Re: Sold my Collings and got a Pava

    Collings is brighter, Pava is warmer. I think Pava for at home and a Collings to play with others. It’s as hard as picking an ice cream flavor. But just like ice cream, there is always another flavor.
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    ForestF5 Gene Summers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sold my Collings and got a Pava

    The Pava A satin that I have has the pronounced "V" shape, which doesn't stress my hand, but the Weber Yellowstone HT has a "D" shape that fits my hand perfect. I love both mandolins. Each has it's own sound. Now, I just bought an old Gibson A with the larger neck. It fits my fretting hand very well. Three different neck shapes, but they all work just fine.

    MAS is a lovely thing ;-)
    Last edited by Gene Summers; Jan-19-2020 at 1:07pm. Reason: Added text
    Pava Satin A 2018
    Weber Yellowstone HT A 2008
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    Default Re: Sold my Collings and got a Pava

    Thanks for your post. I also have my eyes out for an upgraded mandolin, and am looking at Pavas or Collins. I currently have an Eastman 505, whose neck feels pretty comfortable, but I really haven't played a lot of others to be able to compare. Can you, or anybody else who has experience playing Eastmans, compare their necks with Pava and Collings? I have pretty small hands, FWIW. I do have a local source that sells both, so I realize the best thing to do would just be to go down there and A/B them.

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    ForestF5 Gene Summers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sold my Collings and got a Pava

    I’ve owned an Eastman 305, 315 and 515, and all the necks were similar to the Pava A5. I have smaller hands too.
    Pava Satin A 2018
    Weber Yellowstone HT A 2008
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    Isolated enthusiast Caleb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sold my Collings and got a Pava

    Quote Originally Posted by wormpicker View Post
    Thanks for your post. I also have my eyes out for an upgraded mandolin, and am looking at Pavas or Collins. I currently have an Eastman 505, whose neck feels pretty comfortable, but I really haven't played a lot of others to be able to compare. Can you, or anybody else who has experience playing Eastmans, compare their necks with Pava and Collings? I have pretty small hands, FWIW. I do have a local source that sells both, so I realize the best thing to do would just be to go down there and A/B them.
    My previous mandolin was an Eastman 505. Very different neck shape and the Eastman had a narrower nut. A way different feel and a night and day difference in tone and sound, the Collings being entirely superior in every way.
    ...

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    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sold my Collings and got a Pava

    Quote Originally Posted by Caleb View Post
    My previous mandolin was an Eastman 505. Very different neck shape and the Eastman had a narrower nut. A way different feel and a night and day difference in tone and sound, the Collings being entirely superior in every way.
    Have played a number of Eastman mandolins over the years. To me, the necks feel rounder than the Collings. The latter has a V shape, but not as pronounced as either my 1935 Gibson or Kalamazoo. It's very comfortable. But I'm not that picky, it seems. No problems performing with it for 2 hours last night.
    1935 Gibson A50, 2018 Collings MT, 1929 Gibson A Jr., 1935 Kalamazoo KM-21, 2018 Eastman MDO-305
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  31. #20

    Default Re: Sold my Collings and got a Pava

    Interesting, I did the same thing with a Collings MTO. I had it a couple of years and just felt like I was fighting it. I bought a Pava Pro from Carters and could not be happier.

  32. #21

    Default Re: Sold my Collings and got a Pava

    [QUOTE=newmanj24;1753746]Interesting, I did the same thing with a Collings MTO. I had it a couple of years and just felt like I was fighting it. I bought a Pava Pro from Carters and could not be happier.[/QUOTE

    Not sure what the difference is but its become more apparent by the day that this is a totally different mandolin. The only thing I have seen different in the specs is the fret board radius ..I have no idea what the numbers mean but I really get along well with the pava

  33. #22
    Registered User Nick Gellie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sold my Collings and got a Pava

    It all comes down to what works with you. I had a Pava or two in the past. They just did not have the punch and projection of a Collings. Same goes with an Ellis I had. I tried to like em but I am back with Collings including an MT-O which sounds great in the food hall at Orgiva. One needs a deft right hand snd plectrum to get the best sound out of a Collings.
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  34. #23

    Default Re: Sold my Collings and got a Pava

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Gellie View Post
    It all comes down to what works with you. I had a Pava or two in the past. They just did not have the punch and projection of a Collings. Same goes with an Ellis I had. I tried to like em but I am back with Collings including an MT-O which sounds great in the food hall at Orgiva. One needs a deft right hand snd plectrum to get the best sound out of a Collings.
    I think you are quite correct. I am not good enough to play that mandolin well. It’s loud and not forgiving.

  35. #24

    Default Re: Sold my Collings and got a Pava

    I am prizing volume more these days, not just for punching through a band mix but for maximum dynamics. My Pava owning friend say that in comparison, his Pava disappears in a loud setting, but man oh man is it sweet. Rarely does a Collings, while very good, become my favorite tone while comparing, but I think they cut better than many, reason enough to buy one. They seem to always have pretty wood too, along with the build quality they are known for.

    Yep, you need a mandolin for home and one to play out.
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  36. #25
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sold my Collings and got a Pava

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    My Pava owning friend say that in comparison, his Pava disappears in a loud setting, but man oh man is it sweet. Rarely does a Collings, while very good, become my favorite tone while comparing, but I think they cut better than many, reason enough to buy one.
    My experience was similar, so I sold both a Collings and a Pava and got a Passernig kind of like this one:

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/148347#148347
    1924 Gibson A Snakehead
    2005 National RM-1
    2007 Hester A5
    2009 Passernig A5
    2015 Black A2-z
    2010 Black GBOM
    2017 Poe Scout
    2011 Passernig F5
    2018 Vessel TM5

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