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Thread: Ellis, Pava, or Collings MT2

  1. #51

    Default Re: Ellis, Pava, or Collings MT2

    The Ellis I owned had no challenges with volume or being heard in large jams or in a full bluegrass band. I do agree that they tend to have a darker and more low end emphasis. I sold the Ellis when I got a Duff that had a more mid range emphasis and was a little louder and cut, but many of the Collings that I have owned/heard/played could not hang with that Ellis. They do tend to be more focused and mid rangey, but some sound thin to me. The Ellis had big, fat tones and plenty of headroom for most any application.

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  3. #52
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    Default Re: Ellis, Pava, or Collings MT2

    I have a plain old Kentucky KM900 that sounds great. Itís kind of a compromise between trad Gibson F5 hard core ringing percussivness and a sweeter sustainy oval. I like that design, more of an F adapted from A4 than an F without scroll and points. But the board and frets are skinny and flat, and I need some comfort, So I decided to get one built by Mike Black. Heís making me an A5, but I will probably have him build an A2 later. All I know is his aesthetic seems to match up with mine, heís a Norman Blake enthusiast, and his instruments look and sound great on video. What else do you need? Oh, prices are decent. Thereís a NMD in my near future.

  4. #53
    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ellis, Pava, or Collings MT2

    These are all great mandolins... so comes down to personal preference. They each have somewhat different 'textures'. You can't really go terribly wrong with any of them. I am most partial to Ellis, myself, but I can see why Collings or Pava might appeal to some just as much.
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  5. #54

    Default Re: Ellis, Pava, or Collings MT2

    Not all Ellis mandolins are voiced the same. Some are darker and what some might call more traditional sounding. It took me a long time to find one I liked, but that is all personal preference. I have found that the F models have a little bit more volume than the A's, and that the Traditional series are a different story altogether. The Ellis F5 that Jordan Ramsey plays is very loud (but that could be very much up to Jordan's right hand) and the tone just jumps out of it.

    In comparison to Duff, especially an X-braced model, the Ellis would seem a bit darker sounding. Interesting though, I have not seen a new Duff listed, other than the few that came out of the last batch sent to Carters in Nashville. Is he still building?


    And yes, Shaun, I suspect that that particular Girouard would peel paint if you dug in. I suspect it won't be there much longer. Max and Lauri have really hit their stride.

    But everyone has their preference.
    There's nothing better than first-hand experience.

  6. #55

    Default Re: Ellis, Pava, or Collings MT2

    My Duff is a 2017. I've had it for 3 years. It is an A model and at the time it was headed to Carter's with a batch of 4 mandolins. I know there have been several batches since, but haven't seen anything for atleast a few months. I've had the chance to play several of his recent A's and F's and of the mandolins I've played the 2 As have been my favorites. He really seems to be building great traditional sounding mandolins.

    No doubt each instrument is different. That's why it is hard to know without getting your hands on them. Ive seen Collings mandolins range from good to outstanding, but most tend to fall in the "good" category to my ear. I did get to play a new torrified top MT at Fiddler's Green a year ago that I really liked alot. Pava's are all very solid, but to my ear they are much brighter than Ellis mandolins. Their sound seems to be more open with more overtones and they have outstanding playability.

  7. #56

    Default Re: Ellis, Pava, or Collings MT2

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobar View Post
    Interesting though, I have not seen a new Duff listed, other than the few that came out of the last batch sent to Carters in Nashville. Is he still building?
    Yes.....Paul is still as busy as ever.
    The reason you don't see them listed is they sell as fast as they get them, so they never make the website.
    That's what my buddy that works there told me.

    They just had a killer A that Compton told me was incredible. It sold a day after they got it.

  8. #57
    Registered User lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ellis, Pava, or Collings MT2

    I am late to this party, but wanted to add my thoughts on the MT. The Engelmann Spruce top on my 2017 MT Gloss Top does not have the piercing or ice picky tone that seems to be its reputation. It is a very warm, loud and sweet tone. Complex is a good word and very versatile. I would love more bling, but I would put up its modern, strong tone (not dry like a Gibson F5, which I love as well) up against any, and I have played a good assortment of well built domestic mandolins. I started to shoot for an Ellis A5, but it would be just to gain the headstock name and I am sure would be the best out there, but I really doubt I could improve on the projection and sustain of this Collings MT with Glossy headstock and white bound top. Definitely not bright like my last one I sold --- a natural gloss topped MT with tortoise binding, which was a bit bright. Both have/had tremendously comfortable action. My ear loves warm-- warm tube amps, rosewood sides and back on guitars, music mixed without too much Crispness -- like the mastering on the "For Everyman" Album by Jackson Browne. That is why I like my particular Collings MT with the wide nut. Mandolins differ a great deal, even within specific models because of the individual wood selection, IMHO. I often hear Taylor guitars stereotyped as too shrill or bright. Not true in a Rosewood or Ovankol model and each one can differ. I have owned two Taylors and enjoyed both but I sold them to buy various mandolins. I am with Pheffernan: you have to own a used one for a while to get an idea and then turning it over doesn't break you. You move on to another used mandolin in excellent condition. A lot of fun these mandolin discussions!
    Dan Brooks
    2017 Collings MT(GT), 2007 Eastman 815V, 1913 Gibson A1, 1912 Gibson A1, 1930ís Strad-o-Lin

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  10. #58
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ellis, Pava, or Collings MT2

    Quote Originally Posted by lflngpicker View Post
    I am with Pheffernan: you have to own a used one for a while to get an idea and then turning it over doesn't break you. You move on to another used mandolin in excellent condition. A lot of fun these mandolin discussions!
    Theyíre just so much easier to catch than release, Dan!
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  12. #59
    Registered User lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ellis, Pava, or Collings MT2

    Yes, Pat, we do attached to them!
    Dan Brooks
    2017 Collings MT(GT), 2007 Eastman 815V, 1913 Gibson A1, 1912 Gibson A1, 1930ís Strad-o-Lin

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