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Thread: Ellis, Pava, or Collings MT2

  1. #26
    Registered User Toycona's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ellis, Pava, or Collings MT2

    So, I've played all three extensively, and ended up getting a Pava A5. My rationale came as a result of a conversation with Paul Glasse. He observed that once I let go of insisting on an 'F', the Pava was a clear front runner. In the Ellis shop every instrument is touched by everyone - every Pava is touched by Tom Ellis, and every Ellis is touched by Pava. So, when playing a Pava, know that you're getting a performance grade instrument...and the price is right. Every Collings I've played has sounded and felt great too, make no mistake...but the prices range from the low 2k to the 10k range. I suppose I could have gotten a Collings, but I ended up with a choice between two Pava A5s - Sylvan Music in Santa Cruz is a Pava vendor - and I did a fun listening and playing test to discern. I ended up buying a pretty natural finish blonde - #262.
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  2. #27
    mandolin slinger Steve Ostrander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ellis, Pava, or Collings MT2

    If it were me, without playing any of them, I would be leaning toward the Ellis or the MT2.

  3. #28

    Default Re: Ellis, Pava, or Collings MT2

    Well...the Mandolin Journey being more of a marathon than a sprint,if you are like a lot of players, whatever you get probably won't be your last mandolin anyway.

    Being able to play before you buy is not always feasible;(but advisable) so, grab one and see where it leads you.(Follow your arrow!) Wherever it leads.

  4. #29

    Default Re: Ellis, Pava, or Collings MT2

    thanks everyone, there is some wonderful opinion, advice, and wisdom in this thread - all very much appreciated! I was moving toward that Girouard Concert at TME (thanks Mandobar for the heads up on that one), but then bumped in to an Ellis that I really couldn't turn down.

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  6. #30

    Default Re: Ellis, Pava, or Collings MT2

    Double edged sword - should be a great mandolin but you are going to be ruined

  7. #31

    Default Re: Ellis, Pava, or Collings MT2

    Congratulations! I am sure you will absolutely enjoy your upgrade to a finer instrument.

  8. #32

    Default Re: Ellis, Pava, or Collings MT2

    Quote Originally Posted by Northwest Steve View Post
    Double edged sword - should be a great mandolin but you are going to be ruined
    I'm already ruined on guitars and banjos, so I was expecting mandolins to go that way too. It makes for good quarantining.

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  10. #33
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Ellis, Pava, or Collings MT2

    Congrats! Pics please.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  11. #34
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    Default Re: Ellis, Pava, or Collings MT2

    Quote Originally Posted by hbeernink View Post
    thanks everyone, there is some wonderful opinion, advice, and wisdom in this thread - all very much appreciated! I was moving toward that Girouard Concert at TME (thanks Mandobar for the heads up on that one), but then bumped in to an Ellis that I really couldn't turn down.
    Can't go wrong with an Ellis or Girouard !
    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 !

  12. #35

    Default Re: Ellis, Pava, or Collings MT2

    yes... coming!

  13. #36
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    Default Re: Ellis, Pava, or Collings MT2

    Congratulation, enjoy!

  14. #37
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    Default Re: Ellis, Pava, or Collings MT2

    Quote Originally Posted by yankees1 View Post
    Can't go wrong with an Ellis or Girouard !
    Or Collings
    "Without self-discipline, success is impossible, period.”
    – Lou Holtz

    “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.”
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  15. #38

    Default Re: Ellis, Pava, or Collings MT2

    I have a Collings, an Ellis, and a Girouard right now. All Adi/Sugar Maple. What I can tell you is that the Girouard and the Collings will give you more volume than the Ellis. The Ellis is a little darker sounding, and thus quieter. In a mix with a fiddle player and an accordion, I leave the Ellis home. But that's me. I like the Ellis, don't get me wrong, but it's better suited for use with a mic, and in a mix where it won't be overpowered.
    There's nothing better than first-hand experience.

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  17. #39

    Default Re: Ellis, Pava, or Collings MT2

    Mandobar, how would you describe the differences between the Girouard and the Collings in sound quality and playability? Also what strings do you use on them and what models are they?

  18. #40

    Default Re: Ellis, Pava, or Collings MT2

    I have several Collings, but the MT2s that I have Curt Mangan mediums, which is the same as what I have on the A5 Concert Girouard. These two models are fairly close to the Ellis A5 Special I have. I have Mangans on that also. I am not a big fan of the GHS strings that Tom uses and advises owners to use. It is my understanding that he likes the GHS set as the A string is a bit thicker, but they made the mandolin sound dull. I have a bit more volume now that I have swapped out strings.

    Play-ability on most mandolins comes down to setup. In terms of the ease in playing all these mandolins came to me set up very well. In terms of sound, as I stated the Girouard and the Collings have much more volume, and when you dig in they will give you a bit more high end than the Ellis (although I picked this particular Ellis over the one that the OP has purchased- which was at TME at the same time as mine was- because it had more high end).

    You really need to listen to the YouTubes (because right now there is no opportunity to go in and play mandolins side by side in stores) carefully. The Girouard at TME has a lot of throaty volume, probably a little more ooomph than mine does, which is something I look for if I am looking for an instrument to perform with. I play with a guitar player, a fiddler and an accordionist 80% of the time and a lot of mandolins will get lost in that sea of sound.

    But to be honest for $3600 the Girouard is quite tempting. However, Max and Lauri are just finishing up my oval hole A5 so I need to restrain from temptation.
    Last edited by Mandobar; Apr-24-2020 at 2:31pm.

  19. #41

    Default Re: Ellis, Pava, or Collings MT2

    Thank Mandobar,
    I happen to have a set of Mangan Medium Phosphobronze. I'll go ahead and replace my aging strings with them!

  20. #42
    Registered User Lane Pryce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ellis, Pava, or Collings MT2

    Mandobar have you played Monels on your MT2? Lp
    J.Lane Pryce

  21. #43
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ellis, Pava, or Collings MT2

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobar View Post
    You really need to listen to the YouTubes (because right now there is no opportunity to go in and play mandolins side by side in stores) carefully. The Girouard at TME has a lot of throaty volume, probably a little more ooomph than mine does, which is something I look for if I am looking for an instrument to perform with.
    Throaty?

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  22. #44

    Default Re: Ellis, Pava, or Collings MT2

    Throaty, known to some as “depth”. The one big complaint I had concerning all three Northfields I owned was that when you “stepped on the gas” and really dug in, you could never get the top to really move. The feel just got spongy. They all lacked the head room to really get this kind of tone.

    So, let me put it to you this way, I drive a big Jeep which I thought was peppy enough. Someone suggested that I try a Cayenne (Porsche). Yes, there's a difference in price, but boy, when you step on the gas, you know you've left Jeep-ville.

    The same goes for mandolins. At a certain point the fundamental characteristics and the nuances of some instruments are what separates the keepers from the ones you move along.

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  24. #45
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ellis, Pava, or Collings MT2

    This may just be another instance in which there is no universal mandolin lexicon. To me, “throaty” and “depth” describe a quality of tone, whereas “volume” or “headroom” refer to a mandolin’s ability to be driven hard without breaking up on the player. That Girouard may be many things — and I’m super excited by Max’s stab at The Griffith — but “throaty” and “depth” would not be the first descriptors that spring to my mind.
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  25. #46
    Dave Sheets
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    Default Re: Ellis, Pava, or Collings MT2

    For me, headroom has always meant the difference between the softest and loudest sounds an instrument (or amplifier) will produce without distorting. I like instruments with a lot of headroom, it leaves room for a lot of expression. But "depth" and "throaty" are kinda complicated. I don't think of them as the same thing.

    Most of the time, I think of "depth" as complexity of tone, which is usually a good thing, particularly playing solo. But then, in some settings, an instrument with less depth, maybe with a "purer" tone will set better with a band, and not "take up too much space".

    The Girouard A5 in the ad above has a lovely sound, not what I think of as "throaty". To me that sounds like a very well balanced instrument, with a nice "chime" to it.

    How would other people describe the sound of that instrument?

    (hey hbeernink- congratulations! Cool that you found one that spoke to you!)
    -Dave
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  27. #47
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Ellis, Pava, or Collings MT2

    I own a Girouard F-5 and I would not say it is "throaty", I once played a Summit F-5 that was. Lots of bottom end with a growl the more you dug in.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  28. #48
    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ellis, Pava, or Collings MT2

    I hear throatiness on the G and D strings. But their employee is a very nuanced player. Put somebody with a heavy right hand behind that thing and I bet it would peel paint.

  29. #49
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ellis, Pava, or Collings MT2

    I agree that technique might affect that audio sample, along with the tune selection, but I would call that instrument modern with sweet trebles.
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  30. #50
    Registered Muser dang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ellis, Pava, or Collings MT2

    In context I felt like I understood what mary was saying, sooo difficult to express sound in words but she did say “throaty volume”
    Sounds like something intentionally vague and the way she was comparing two different mandos

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobar View Post
    ...
    You really need to listen to the YouTubes (because right now there is no opportunity to go in and play mandolins side by side in stores) carefully. The Girouard at TME has a lot of throaty volume, probably a little more ooomph than mine does, which is something I look for if I am looking for an instrument to perform with. I play with a guitar player, a fiddler and an accordionist 80% of the time and a lot of mandolins will get lost in that sea of sound.

    ...
    I should be pickin' rather than postin'

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