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Thread: Collings MT vs Pava A

  1. #1

    Default Collings MT vs Pava A

    I'm looking for feedback comparing these 2 mandolins. Would love to hear your thoughts if you have one or have had a chance to a/b against each other. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Collings MT vs Pava A

    I would go Pava compared to a base level Mt. If you were comparing to a Mt2v it might be another story. I owned a Pava and have played quite a few Collings mandolins.
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  4. #3
    Registered User Rich Benson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT vs Pava A

    Collings neck more V shaped. Pava neck is rounder.
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  6. #4

    Default Re: Collings MT vs Pava A

    I am going to assume that the Pava has an Adirondack top, and the MT will have an Engelmann. Big difference in the tonal qualities.

    The finishes may also be different, and as Rich states, the neck shapes will be different. I have owned both, at the same time. I think it is all going to depend on what type of music you play.
    There's nothing better than first-hand experience.

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    Registered User John Soper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT vs Pava A

    Both are quality instruments that could be keepers. The best advice is always to play a bunch and decide what floats your boat - tonally and ergonomically. As stated above, the necks are substantially different in profile. Although the basic MT has an Engelmann top, they have been made with Adirondack and torrified spruce tops. After the vaccine comes out, I do plan a trip to Nashville to hit Gruhn's and Carter's...

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  10. #6

    Default Re: Collings MT vs Pava A

    I thought about and played a used Collings before I bought my Pava. Iím happy I waited - it cured MAS. Iím continually amazed at how much easier it is to play than the entry level mandolins I started with. The neck is thicker, more like my Loar, than the thinner Kentucky I used to have.

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  12. #7

    Default Re: Collings MT vs Pava A

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobar View Post
    I am going to assume that the Pava has an Adirondack top, and the MT will have an Engelmann. Big difference in the tonal qualities.
    Can you describe the differences in tonal qualities?

    I'm still new to knowing about mandolins, and have not yet mapped type of wood>tone very well.

  13. #8

    Default Re: Collings MT vs Pava A

    To my ear, Collings tend to have a more focused, staccato sound versus a warmer more open sound on the Pavas I have played. Both can be great but if I had to pick one I would go with the Pava. Pava's that I have played have had outstanding playability, as good as any high end mandolin.

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  15. #9

    Default Re: Collings MT vs Pava A

    The Pava is going to have a more traditional sound. It will also require more break in time, but if you are playing in a band it might serve you better, if you take the time to break it in. If you want a more immediate, soft, round tone, then engelmann might be more suitable. If you want something in between look for a torrified top MT.
    There's nothing better than first-hand experience.

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  17. #10
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT vs Pava A

    I owned one of each. I loved how the Collings played but found it a bit strident for solo practice, while the Pava was a tad quieter and more complex yet less comfortable for me due to its full neck profile. If forced to pick one, I'd choose the MT because of playability, but then you don't have my left hand (or ears for that matter).
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  19. #11

    Default Re: Collings MT vs Pava A

    I've played both and considered purchasing both. When it comes to playability, I'm not sure anything is easier to play than a Collings. I was shocked, honestly. It'll have you playing like a virtuouso. Lol But at the end of the day, I chose tone and went with Pava. To my ears, Pava is warmer and has a much more complex tone.

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  21. #12

    Default Re: Collings MT vs Pava A

    You really should play before you buy to find the sound you are looking for. The Pava I owned was very sweet sounding, but on the quiet side. The MT I have is the best mandolin for me; it sounds great, plays great, and is versatile and suitable for all types of music. The Swiss Army knife of mandolins. I do have an oval hole Gibson for when I want to focus on fiddle tunes, and a mandolin more suited for Bluegrass, but the MT covers all bases pretty well.

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  23. #13
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    Default Re: Collings MT vs Pava A

    Played both and sound wise to my ears I would favor the Pava ! However, you need to play before if possible ! Your ears may hear differently !
    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 !

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  25. #14

    Default Re: Collings MT vs Pava A

    Obviously YMMV and each instrument is going to be different especially when there are probably 1000s of MTs out there and 100s of Pavas. The Pava I had, which was 168, I think, was loud. It played better than pretty much any Collings I have owned. (I owned a MT and an MT2 previously) Scary to see my playing from almost 4 years ago, but here is a video of that particular mandolin. I forget where it ended up, but it was a good one.

    Also, in my opinion Collings seem to feel tighter to me, even if they are Englemann. Most just feel tight, I'm not sure what that is about. I did get to play a torriefied MT 2 years ago at Fiddler's Green in Austin that was hard to put down. It feel like it retained some of Collings tonal characteristics but had a certain openness and warmth that made it a great instrument.


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  27. #15
    Gummy Bears and Scotch BrianWilliam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT vs Pava A

    > Most just feel tight

    I didnít have that experience with the MT (previously mine) and MT2 (a friendís) Iíve played. Both played great but I didnít care for the amount of radius to the fretboards.

    > Both are quality instruments that could be keepers

    Yes!! Enjoy the ride

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  29. #16
    Isolated enthusiast Caleb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT vs Pava A

    I have a Collings MT that's a lifetime keeper, but when I got it there were some Pavas in the shop too. Both brands are top-of-the-line and it's like comparing a Ferrari to a Lamborghini. What I like most about Pava is that there are way less of them around, and the road-less-taken aspect appeals to me. But everything about Collings -- from the products to the company itslef -- is just _cool_. It's a tough decision.
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  31. #17
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT vs Pava A

    Here is a video that features both of them side by side...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4n2fVn5S-uw
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    Default Re: Collings MT vs Pava A

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Benson View Post
    Collings neck more V shaped. Pava neck is rounder.
    I owned both and they have fine points each. Both are built to fine standards - flawless imo. I had two Pavas and they were a less bright than the Collins but the tone of the Collins was excellent in many ways. One Pava was more bright than the other Pava. Imo you have to play each to know but if I was buying unseen and unheard I'd lean Pava. IMo both played excellent with my favorite being the Pava. I would love to have both the Pava and the Collings back as I think they were excellent in their class. I am not a fan of satin finish - ymmv.

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  35. #19
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    Default Re: Collings MT vs Pava A

    I am a happy 1st time owner of a Pava satin AO. And at only a couple weeks I'm still in the getting to know you phase. I am totally in love. I was on the same path as you and decided on Pava pretty easily. I went by history, reputation, quality, price, and customer loyalty. I think all the distinctions here are pretty much on point. Both great mandolins. Just that ones better,IMHO. I would just point out that my neck has what I'd call more of a soft V shape than round, perfect. Just waiting to wear out a set of wires before I do my review. Enjoy whatever you chose in good health.

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  37. #20
    Registered User Eric Hanson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT vs Pava A

    I think the link provided by Charles E. Is a pretty good example of my MT2V in tone. Yes. The one I have is a 2V, but the tone palate is similar.
    Focused, direct, less bright. Complex on the note decay. Warmer in tone to a degree. More of a woody thump when the string is first picked.
    It seemed like the Pava is a great tone too, just a bit brighter. Also has a measure of punch.
    I have played a Pava at Carter’s in the past, but do not remember the specifics.
    My Collings had “the tone” I was looking for. I like the modified V profile neck.
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  39. #21
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    Default Re: Collings MT vs Pava A

    It seems like in discussions comparing Collings MT's, Pava A's, and Girouard A's, the general agreement is that all three are finely built instruments. Beyond that, it's a matter of taste. The necks are a little different, and the tones are a little different. People will tell you which one they like better, but they can't really say which one is better.

    Winfield, since you didn't say where you live (Winfield, Kansas???), are you within a couple hours driving distance of a store that carries either a Collings MT or a Pava A? If so, I'd suggest you go there and try that one out. If you totally fall in love with it, then buy it and don't worry about whether you would have liked the other one better. If not, then you can experiment, based on the info that you have gotten in this thread, and buy one of the two online with the typical 48-hour approval period. A failed experiment will cost you the shipping fees, which you can chalk up as an education expense.

    If you aren't near a store that sells either one, another possibility that might work is to see if a store that sells Collings and Pavas (e.g., Fiddlers Green) would be willing to sell you both instruments, shipping them at the same time, and give you a refund --- minus the shipping fees --- for the one you send back within 48 hours. Even if a store would do that, you'd probably need to have the funds available for both mandos, since there is a good chance that the due date for the double-charge would fall before the store credits the refund.
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  40. #22
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    Default Re: Collings MT vs Pava A

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus CA View Post
    It seems like in discussions comparing Collings MT's, Pava A's, and Girouard A's, the general agreement is that all three are finely built instruments. Beyond that, it's a matter of taste. The necks are a little different, and the tones are a little different. People will tell you which one they like better, but they can't really say which one is better.

    Winfield, since you didn't say where you live (Winfield, Kansas???), are you within a couple hours driving distance of a store that carries either a Collings MT or a Pava A? If so, I'd suggest you go there and try that one out. If you totally fall in love with it, then buy it and don't worry about whether you would have liked the other one better. If not, then you can experiment, based on the info that you have gotten in this thread, and buy one of the two online with the typical 48-hour approval period. A failed experiment will cost you the shipping fees, which you can chalk up as an education expense.

    If you aren't near a store that sells either one, another possibility that might work is to see if a store that sells Collings and Pavas (e.g., Fiddlers Green) would be willing to sell you both instruments, shipping them at the same time, and give you a refund --- minus the shipping fees --- for the one you send back within 48 hours. Even if a store would do that, you'd probably need to have the funds available for both mandos, since there is a good chance that the due date for the double-charge would fall before the store credits the refund.
    Since the OP only stated he wanted comparisons between Pava and Collings I didn't bring up a Girouard ! But, since you did I will state that I have played many examples of all three makers and hands down I would choose a Girouard ! Wonderful instrument !
    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 !

  41. #23
    Dave Sheets
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    Default Re: Collings MT vs Pava A

    A buddy of mine got a Pava (new) about the time I got a Collings (used). Both well finished, but when new, I thought the Collings had more depth to the tone (more complexity?? character???) and was louder. But, I heard him play a dance with the Pava a couple of months later, and it had really opened up a lot, my impression of it really changed. Much more going on with the tone. I know there are folks who say there is nothing to the "opening up" idea, but I have my opinion, I suppose. When I first heard them together, the Collings was played in, the Pava wasn't.

    I'm not super particular about neck profiles, my Collings is a wide neck and I do like that, but the Pava played great.

    I'd be happy to have either one, can't go far wrong with either of 'em.
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  42. #24
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    Default Re: Collings MT vs Pava A

    I own both a Collings MT and a Pava A, and I do not ever forsee letting either of them go. I enjoy the different sounds of both instruments, and they both play easily. The Collings MT is "brighter" and crisper sounding, and the Pava is very precise but warmer sounding. Those two, combined with my Weber Bitterroot A and my bowlbacks, have made me a happy woman with no MAS for the last 4 years. If you can afford it, get both the Pava and the Collings MT! I doubt you'll regret it. But I agree with those who say you won't go wrong with either one.

  43. #25

    Default Re: Collings MT vs Pava A

    Quote Originally Posted by yankees1 View Post
    Since the OP only stated he wanted comparisons between Pava and Collings I didn't bring up a Girouard ! But, since you did I will state that I have played many examples of all three makers and hands down I would choose a Girouard ! Wonderful instrument !
    Does a thread exist where you haven't brought up Girouard?
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