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Thread: Shout out to Collings

  1. #1

    Default Shout out to Collings

    So, I picked up my 2018 Collings MT2-V today -and all I can say is WOW. When I first got it in 2018, I was a little disappointed as it was great for bluegrass but it a little too out there for my non-bluegrass needs. I thought the Italian Spruce would be warmer.

    I tried to sell it, and some people wrote and said - don't! So I did not.

    It really opened up over the year and now it is amazing. Super-clarity and a nice balance between being sharp enough to cut through and mellow enough to have a beautiful tone. And I still stare at all the triple binding and craftsmanship - which I do not see how it can be any better. And I am not that great a player, but I can play the highest note on the E string - and it is amazing! Every note is so even. So, I am grateful!

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Shout out to Collings

    Couldn’t agree more. I own two Collings mandolins, an MT and an MT2o, and the sounds of both mandolins have evolved nicely in synchrony with my playing, more the MT2o than the MT since it is my main instrument. Glad to know another happy Collings owner.

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  5. #3
    man about town Markus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shout out to Collings

    Bought a 2017 MT2 Italian used a year ago.

    It had so much volume and cut, seemed a little sharp but it played like butter and my wife said it was 'all that and a bag of chips'.

    Fast forward a year and literally thousand/s of hours playing, change to monels and and a super thick wegen pick and it sings, cuts, and has so many sweet tones available.

    Glad yours is waking up too. Mine is everything I want in a mandolin and then some.

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  7. #4

    Default Re: Shout out to Collings

    My opinion, but Collings has it going on right now. I have a 2018 MT2 Adirondack Torrefied Top with monel strings and it is a wonderful playing and sounding mandolin. I also have a 2019 MT2V all torrefied that I've had about 4 months. This is my favorite mandolin. I have always loved the sound and feel of Collings Engelmann topped mandolins because of the responsiveness and tone. But, the Engelmann tops could be over driven with a heavy bluegrass hand. I'm sold on the torrefied Adirondack tops now because they have that same responsiveness of the Engelmann topped mandolins but have a little extra pop or drive with the same underlying tone of Engelmann. Another benefit, the Adirondack torrefied tops won't overdrive with a Monroe type stylist playing bluegrass on them.

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  9. #5
    Registered Muser dang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shout out to Collings

    Quote Originally Posted by KMaynard View Post
    ...But, the Engelmann tops could be over driven with a heavy bluegrass hand....
    I am glad others report this, I have felt this way about engelmann tops for a while - and I have long preferred red spruce. From what I understand there are some builders who pick their engelmann tops with this in mind and do so that it doesn’t overdrive as easily. The story I was told was that an engelmann top was sent from one famous luthier to another who received it and called the sender saying “I love this red spruce you sent me.” The sender told me that selecting an englemann tree from high in a windy mountain area and choosing the tops from the windward side at certain angles gives you engelmann with additional properties. Or something like that.

    To the OP, I have an older MT2 with red spruce top that has opened up very nicely over the years, such a beautiful sound! And I have an MT2O that has broken in nicely over the years. Mandolin sound seems to benefit from lots of playing in, at least that is my experience.
    I should be pickin' rather than postin'

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  11. #6
    Registered User Eric Hanson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shout out to Collings

    ABmando,
    So glad you didn’t sell it.
    I too have an MT2-V. It has “THE TONE” I was looking for for some time. I was wanting a mandolin that had a measure of punch and presence on the attack, but then proved itself to be complex in tone. This one has it in spades. I am quite happy with the tone.
    It is a little older, 2009 build date. It does have Red Spruce, but has aged extremely well.
    It would be very hard for me to part with it if I ever really had to do so.

    So glad too that yours has become what you wanted it to be. May it continue to give you great joy when playing!
    Eric Hanson
    Click #016/ Born on 2/29/08 - Sold to the next Conservator of this great mandolin!
    The search has ceased! (At least for now)
    Collings A-Style

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  13. #7
    Registered User Mando Mort's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shout out to Collings

    I have lusted after Collings mandolins since I saw a wall full of them in Gruhn's Guitar Shop years ago. I cannot afford one at this time, but as soon as I can, I will get one.
    "All of us contain Music & Truth, but most of us can't get it out." - Mark Twain

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  14. #8

    Default Re: Shout out to Collings

    My new favorite is a Carpathian top MT2v. The big voice of Engelmann with more headroom.

  15. #9
    Registered User Lane Pryce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shout out to Collings

    I have a 2011 Tangerine Burst MT-2 that has matured nicely. Punchy, clear, complex and articulate; pure joy to play. I'm looking forward to its first set of monels. Lp
    J.Lane Pryce

  16. #10
    Registered User samlyman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shout out to Collings

    My main mandolin for the last 5 years has been a 2005 MT2V. It is simply amazing. I have owned Gibsons, Givens, a Heiden, Flatirons, a Steve Andersen, and many others in my decades of picking. I spent years searching for a sound I could only hear in my head... now I hear it when I play my MT2V. It is one of the earliest varnished models and did not come with the engraved tailpiece. You can hear it on my YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/feed/my_videos

    My 1924 A Jr hardly gets played anymore so I am thinking of gifting it to my wife.

    Thanks to the Collings folks for making so many tremendous instruments!
    -Sam

  17. #11
    Registered User DougC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shout out to Collings

    Quote Originally Posted by Lane Pryce View Post
    I have a 2011 Tangerine Burst MT-2 that has matured nicely. Punchy, clear, complex and articulate; pure joy to play. I'm looking forward to its first set of monels. Lp
    Quote Originally Posted by Lane Pryce
    Quote Originally Posted by DougC
    I saw your mention of your MT2 tangerine mandolin and wondered what number it has. Mine is MT2 #2310

    Thanks,
    Doug
    Doug the serial # 2452
    I suppose others may enjoy this connection on the thread. So I'll say something there.
    Thanks

    This mandolin has become much more complex in tone and it can do absolutely anything. Super quiet, loud, cross picking, clear ornaments, pull off's, you name it. AND besides flawless craftmanship, it has stunning looks.

    I believe mine was the first custom tangerine, the result of a conversation between Bill Collings and the owner of the former Podium Guitars. Bill asked him what would be your dream mandolin.
    Decipit exemplar vitiis imitabile

  18. #12

    Default Re: Shout out to Collings

    Actually, the first “tangerine” burst MT2 was referred to as a “southwestern” burst, the background color of the Collings Cowboy guitars, sprayed by John Allison. It was made for Gryphon Strings, back in 2007. Gryphon, as some may remember, was the driving force behind those Cowboy guitars. The orangish burst morphed from there. I had a custom MF in southwestern burst. In face somewhere I found a pic of it while it was still in build status.
    There's nothing better than first-hand experience.

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  20. #13

    Default Re: Shout out to Collings

    I'm very glad to hear all of those whose Collings' have improved with time and playing. I have played many new ones, and while good, did not quite do it for me. I can't recall playing a used one at any time. But I should not be surprised because my adi top kit build opened up a bunch in a year.
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  21. #14
    Registered User DougC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shout out to Collings

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    I'm very glad to hear all of those whose Collings' have improved with time and playing. I have played many new ones, and while good, did not quite do it for me. I can't recall playing a used one at any time. But I should not be surprised because my adi top kit build opened up a bunch in a year.
    You are the only one here that thinks Collings does not 'measure up'. Thanks for sharing.
    Decipit exemplar vitiis imitabile

  22. #15

    Default Re: Shout out to Collings

    Here’s another happy Collings owner. Mine is a 2019 MT2-O (flamed maple back and sides, Sitka spruce top). The color is honey amber. I’ve only had it a few months and am really enjoying the break in period! I love my little oval! The quality of the workmanship is stellar and it sounds so sweet. I foresee an F-style Collings in my future.

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  24. #16

    Default Re: Shout out to Collings

    Quote Originally Posted by DougC View Post
    You are the only one here that thinks Collings does not 'measure up'. Thanks for sharing.
    Hey, give me an MF deluxe and watch how fast I'd adapt. It was Frank Ford, a huge Collings fan, however, who told me you should buy an instrument for what it is, not what it might become. This is likely another reason to go to Nashville, as I'm sure I could find some older played in Collings to try. But anyone who has bought an instrument they really like and it has gotten better, well I'm very happy for them.
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  26. #17

    Default Re: Shout out to Collings

    Buy an instrument for what it is? I agree if one cannot wait. But if I did that, I would not have my Collings, Italian Spruce top, MT2-V. People encouraged me to keep it when I wanted to sell it. It was already great for bluegrass, but I wanted something more versatile. And the people who encouraged me to keep it, were right. Even my wife did not like it at first but really likes it now. Sometimes, we need community for help. It is not like there is a list of people complaining that they bought one of these, and it did not get better with playing. So, sorry - I disagree with this. There is a beauty to watching a rose unfold. But everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I posted because it is important data.

  27. #18
    Hands of Pot Metal
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    Default Re: Shout out to Collings

    I played my buddy’s Collings. We both love his new Gibson.
    Play it like you mean it

    Not all the clams are at the beach

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  28. #19
    Registered User Willem's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shout out to Collings

    Quote Originally Posted by samlyman View Post
    My main mandolin for the last 5 years has been a 2005 MT2V. It is simply amazing. I have owned Gibsons, Givens, a Heiden, Flatirons, a Steve Andersen, and many others in my decades of picking. I spent years searching for a sound I could only hear in my head... now I hear it when I play my MT2V. It is one of the earliest varnished models and did not come with the engraved tailpiece. You can hear it on my YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/feed/my_videos

    My 1924 A Jr hardly gets played anymore so I am thinking of gifting it to my wife.

    Thanks to the Collings folks for making so many tremendous instruments!
    -Sam
    Sam, I got to play a few songs with you at Wintergrass in the big area around the corner from the OBA suite. Your Collings indeed sounded good.

  29. #20
    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shout out to Collings

    I love Collings guitars and own one plus a Waterloo. Collings mandolins....owned several and moved them all along. Would love to try one with a torrified top though. And the Waterloo mandolin.....lots of instrument for the $!

  30. #21
    Registered User DougC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shout out to Collings

    This notion that an instrument will sound better when it is 'played in' is a few hundred years old. Currently I'm reading a book about violin lore called "The Glory of the Violin" by Joseph Wechsberg and he says that they talked about this stuff hundreds of years ago.

    It is a credit to the luthiers at Collings that the instruments are so similar in tone. There must be a few 'clunkers' out there, given the sheer numbers of instruments made.

    So a 'shout out to Collings' is indeed a well deserved Thank You from us, the musicians.

    The binding on mine (next to the tortoise shell) may have been inspired by the rope binding on the cowboy guitar's rope binding. Thanks Mandobar for the insight and photo.

    Lane, is #2452 like this too?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by DougC; Mar-17-2020 at 1:23pm.
    Decipit exemplar vitiis imitabile

  31. #22

    Default Re: Shout out to Collings

    Quote Originally Posted by ABmando View Post
    Buy an instrument for what it is? I agree if one cannot wait. But if I did that, I would not have my Collings, Italian Spruce top, MT2-V. People encouraged me to keep it when I wanted to sell it. It was already great for bluegrass, but I wanted something more versatile. And the people who encouraged me to keep it, were right. Even my wife did not like it at first but really likes it now. Sometimes, we need community for help. It is not like there is a list of people complaining that they bought one of these, and it did not get better with playing. So, sorry - I disagree with this. There is a beauty to watching a rose unfold. But everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I posted because it is important data.
    Well, Frank Ford will tell you there are no guarantees. This is not to say you should not take the experience of others into account and take their advise. Did you really buy your Collings thinking it wasn't very good? I think not. That you have seen it get better is a happy event. I've been there. I feel your joy.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  32. #23

    Default Re: Shout out to Collings

    Br1ck, did you have fretwork done on your Silverangel? Did Frank do it?
    There's nothing better than first-hand experience.

  33. #24

    Default Re: Shout out to Collings

    My SA has not needed a setup, so no. Frank does not do much everyday work. Gryphon has a very competent crew. Need a 1910 Martin restored? Frank might handle that.

    Frank has done minor tweaks on several instruments lately after witch he says, now get out of here. Frank speak for no charge.
    Silverangel A
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  34. #25

    Default Re: Shout out to Collings

    After a long search it came down to a Northfield NF5S or a Collings MT. Both are great value and I suspect I would have been happy with either. I've played and heard a lot of MTs since then but no desire to move on from NF5S.

    I will say this though, that Collings stash of maple! The flamed maple on the standard MT for sale in the classifieds looks like it belongs on a 5k+ mando!
    Northfield NF5S
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