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Thread: Collings MT-O v Gibson A: Any Opinions?

  1. #1
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    Default Collings MT-O v Gibson A: Any Opinions?

    Anybody have any opinions on the Collings MT-O compared to the Gibson A?

    Volume, sound, quality, playability, etc?

    Thanks for. your help.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Collings MT-O v Gibson A: Any Opinions?

    There was a recent discussion here that may interest you "Old vs. new oval."

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    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT-O v Gibson A: Any Opinions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Parker135 View Post
    There was a recent discussion here that may interest you "Old vs. new oval."
    Its always nice to post a link...

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...ld-vs-New-Oval

    After Cary Fagan posted that he bought the Pomeroy A that I mentioned I went to the Pomeroy site and am very impressed.....

    http://pomeroyinstruments.com/
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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    Default Re: Collings MT-O v Gibson A: Any Opinions?

    Thanks, Charley!

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    Mando-Afflicted lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT-O v Gibson A: Any Opinions?

    I own two teens Gibson A's. They are a very nice instrument. I have owned two A5 MT's, but not an oval. The Gibson A ovals are like apples and oranges when compared with the Collings MT O. The Collings has a 15th fret neck joint with a raised fretboard and a design that is reflective of all the knowledge accumulated in the ensuing 100 years for the crafting of fine instruments. The Gibson A is an instrument with a short 12th fret neck joint and a fretboard sitting on the top of the instrument. It is a punchy, woody, boxy tone with lots of sustain. Mine are very loud. Everyone should own a Gibson A as an option, but for a main mandolin for the oval player, I would take the Collings MT O hands down. I must say, I have never owned or played a snake head version from the 20's and have heard really great things. Please forgive my gap in knowledge on that point. They are both wonderful, but side by side, the Collings will have more power IMHO because of the longer scale length and the intonation will be more spot on because of the consistency the Collings line has established. Just my personal view. As I said, I have two Gibson A's I love and play often. Collings is a very well made, modern instrument. YMMV.

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    Registered User Mike Buesseler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT-O v Gibson A: Any Opinions?

    I own a beautiful black-face Collings MTO. Itís a wonderful instrument, but very different than those old Gibson As. When I acquired my MTO, I passed my own plain, beat up 1920 Gibson A to my stepson. He deserved and plays better than I ever will. But, I really miss the sound of that mandolin. I frequently wish I still had it as an alternative. Different animals.

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  8. #7

    Default Re: Collings MT-O v Gibson A: Any Opinions?

    Quote Originally Posted by lflngpicker View Post
    I own two teens Gibson A's. They are a very nice instrument. I have owned two A5 MT's, but not an oval. The Gibson A ovals are like apples and oranges when compared with the Collings MT O. The Collings has a 15th fret neck joint with a raised fretboard and a design that is reflective of all the knowledge accumulated in the ensuing 100 years for the crafting of fine instruments. The Gibson A is an instrument with a short 12th fret neck joint and a fretboard sitting on the top of the instrument. It is a punchy, woody, boxy tone with lots of sustain. Mine are very loud. Everyone should own a Gibson A as an option, but for a main mandolin for the oval player, I would take the Collings MT O hands down. I must say, I have never owned or played a snake head version from the 20's and have heard really great things. Please forgive my gap in knowledge on that point. They are both wonderful, but side by side, the Collings will have more power IMHO because of the longer scale length and the intonation will be more spot on because of the consistency the Collings line has established. Just my personal view. As I said, I have two Gibson A's I love and play often. Collings is a very well made, modern instrument. YMMV.
    Collings oval joins at the 13th fret.
    Gunga......Gunga.....Gu-Lunga

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    Default Re: Collings MT-O v Gibson A: Any Opinions?

    I have a '22 Gibson, the tone is remarkable, but it limits me as I play up the neck. For a long time it was my only mandolin and playing old time it was great. When I started having to improvise leads in different groups I wanted more neck, so I went with ff holes. Nothing matches the sound of an old Gibson and mine has all the Loar improvements except the narrow nut and paddle headstock. Many years I played that Gibson and loved it, but it sits in the case now and gets taken out to a jam on occasion. I can't quite bring myself to sell it, but feel bad it just sits, it sounds too good for that. Even tho the Collings meets the body at the 13th fret, as opposed to the 15th fret of an ff hole mandolin, it is still more access than the Gibson that meets the body at the 10th fret. Depends on what you need, if you don't play up the neck an old Gibson is hard to beat.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  11. #9

    Default Re: Collings MT-O v Gibson A: Any Opinions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles E. View Post
    Its always nice to post a link...

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...ld-vs-New-Oval

    /[/url]
    Thank you Charles. I only had access via my phone at the time and it's tedious to provide links that way. I assumed a quick reply was at least somewhat helpful.

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    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT-O v Gibson A: Any Opinions?

    I was glad you mentioned it.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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    Registered User red7flag's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT-O v Gibson A: Any Opinions?

    I have an MT2-O and an F4. The MT2-O has a bit more depth of sound than the MT-O that it replaced. It is in the modern school sound and play feel. Up the neck is no problem. The sound is crisp yet full. There is plenty of volume and cut for a bluegrass jam (although you may get some bluegrass Nazi looks. In spite of the modern sound, you can get a really delicate sound by pulling back on the prick pressure. The Collings is a great sounding instrument. While the Hester F4 is an old school design, it has a thin neck and is fairly easy to play. The sides and back are maple and the top Addi spruce. As such, the instrument has more cut, not necessarily volume than an A. So while it is in the same basic camp, the F4 has a brighter tone and is a bit easier to play than the As I have played. The tone is not better, just different. The A has more of that old tymey feel. When I have recorded the MT2-O and the F4 playing the same music, I am surprised at how similar they sound, while still different. They require a different feel playing to get that similar An A recorded would be way different. The F4 is a bit of both worlds, modern and old tymey, while an A is the embodiment of Old Tymey. So my answer to the OP's question is both. As many have opined, the A and the MT-O are really different approaches and have both really satisfies many different needs. While I love my F4, I really do miss that old tymey sound of the old A's.
    Tony Huber
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    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT-O v Gibson A: Any Opinions?

    I went from a snakehead A-jr to a Collings MT-O. I really liked the A-jr but ultimately couldn't deal with the flat fretboard. I still see photos of it and wish that it was still in the stable but realistically the instant I got the Collings I knew it was radius fretboards for me going forward. Very different sounds - the Gibson was woodier and warmer sounding than the Collings, which was very glassy and erred on the treble side.
    2018 Girouard Concert oval A
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    Registered User verbs4us's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT-O v Gibson A: Any Opinions?

    Not exactly and apples-to-apples comparison but... my sister has an MF-0 and we have both played vintage F4s. The difference comes down to a haunted-old-guy tone vs, to newer, crisper modern tone. Unlike any other mando I have tried, the MF-O has this peculiar requirement for warm-up time. Straight out of the case, it sounds like someone stuffed cotton in the box and the intonation is wrong. Then, five minutes in, it wakes up and is fine, the sweet loveliness returns. It might just be this particular instrument. If I were playing it in a store, I would have passed it by.

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