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Thread: Collings MT2 versus Single Shop Builder Purchase?

  1. #1

    Default Collings MT2 versus Single Shop Builder Purchase?

    Since I don't get out much (especially with Covid) I must defer to those with much more experience than myself. I'm hoping to make a final mandolin purchase and put MAS to
    rest. Has everyone stopped laughing?
    Anywho, started playing in the mid 2000's, fell madly in love with the mando, forced to quick with a hand injury, and cured MAS the hard way. Fast forward to March 2020.
    Had too much time on my hands so the voices in my head said the pick up the mandolin again. YADAYADYADA my love has been rekindled. So, my question is do I purchase
    a Collings MT2 (which had been my bucket list mandolin) I had never actually played a Collings mandolin until last week, but am a big Collings fan owning several Collings ukuleles and a d3 guitar. Or do I purchase an A mandolin from many of the one man
    shop amazing luthiers? (Hamlett, Hinde, Girourd, Smart, etc) Your insights will be
    greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Registered User G. Fisher's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT2 versus Single Shop Builder Purchase?

    My first question is... how much are you looking to spend?
    “Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.”

    My Mandos:
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  3. #3
    Fingers of Concrete ccravens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT2 versus Single Shop Builder Purchase?

    As the above poster has said, to give good advice, more info is needed. Price you are willing to pay, specific features you are looking for in a mando, new or used, A or F, oval or traditional holes (MT2 pretty much answers that), flat top or carved top, whether resale value is even a concern or something to consider, what kind of tone you are looking for, what kind of music you want to play on the mando, etc. etc.

    Also, as you've implied, whether or not you will be forced to purchase without playing first. The answer to that single question will let you know whether you can avoid all of the "play a lot of them and pick the one that speaks to you" advice inherint in such threads. Not that such advice is bad, BTW..
    Chris Cravens

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  4. #4
    Registered User G. Fisher's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT2 versus Single Shop Builder Purchase?

    “Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.”

    My Mandos:
    1981 Lloyd LaPlant F5 #6
    2001 Lloyd LaPlant F5 #106
    2006 Lloyd LaPlant F5 #142
    2011 Weber Yellowstone HT
    2017 Boeh A5 #26
    2020 Boeh 2-point #31

  5. #5
    Registered User
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    Default Re: Collings MT2 versus Single Shop Builder Purchase?

    I have an MT2 that I bought used, it’s excellent and the last f-hole I will buy.
    Check out alternatives and buy what you enjoy.

  6. #6

  7. #7

    Default Re: Collings MT2 versus Single Shop Builder Purchase?

    And to answer your question instead of just throwing a bunch of links at ya:

    Any of the mandolins in the whole thread will be a nice professional quality mandolin. We're really spoiled! I think when we get to a certain point upgrades are no longer necessary. They aren't pointless either and we may keep searching for reasons real or imagined but all of the builders listed including the Collings MT2 will give you all the mandolin you really need.

    I think once you get to the MT, Model M, small builder X, you buy one and then if you want to upgrade from there you either need to play the individual mandolin OR...buy sell and trade and enjoy some different mandolins and see where you go. As diminishing returns increase it becomes impossible for anyone else to give you the advice you need!

    And sorry to ramble on but I do think upgrading, even from a good mandolin, is legit. It just becomes harder for others to recommend.
    Trillium Mandola
    Gernandt Octave mandolin
    Collings MT2-0
    www.singletonstreet.com

  8. #8
    Resident Hack
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    Default Re: Collings MT2 versus Single Shop Builder Purchase?

    To me, the operative question is how fast do you want one?

    If the answer is now, just get the MT2. You'll have no regrets.
    If the answer is "After I know what I want", you're on track to figure it out. My journey to a decision took about 8 months.

    The alternatives you listed show you've been paying attention in here.
    What is important to you, in this purchase?
    What I play
    Eastwood 'Ricky'
    Morgan Monroe RT-1E
    Epiphone Genesis guitars
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  10. #9
    Fingers of Concrete ccravens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT2 versus Single Shop Builder Purchase?

    I really hate to pile on, but wow:

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/167899#167899
    Chris Cravens

    Girouard A5
    Montana Flatiron A-Jr.
    Passernig Mandola
    Leo Posch D-18

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  12. #10

    Default Re: Collings MT2 versus Single Shop Builder Purchase?

    Quote Originally Posted by ccravens View Post
    I really hate to pile on, but wow:

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/167899#167899
    Wow, that's one of the best deals I've seen on a mint condition MT2. You absolutely can't go wrong with a Collings MT2 and especially at this price.

  13. #11
    Registered User Lane Pryce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT2 versus Single Shop Builder Purchase?

    Quote Originally Posted by KMaynard View Post
    Wow, that's one of the best deals I've seen on a mint condition MT2. You absolutely can't go wrong with a Collings MT2 and especially at this price.
    Yup, killer deal. Lp
    J.Lane Pryce

  14. #12
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    Default Re: Collings MT2 versus Single Shop Builder Purchase?

    I saw Smart on your list and I, have a Smart F-5 and it is a fantastic mandolin. It is aesthetically gorgeous and the sound and playability are topnotch. It might be a life-long mandolin unless I end up trading up to a Gilchrist. I have played one of his A styles in the past and it was also a great mandolin. I really like small shop builders and I own or have owned several including a Givens, Pava and Oldwave. I’ve played many great Collings mandolins too. I’ve found their upper tier mandolins tend to outshine their base models. Its really hard to go wrong with your current list. As always, if you have the chance to try some in person it can definitely help you choose the right one.
    2014 AL Smart F5
    1988 Givens A
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    2009 Peter Zwinakis Selmer Guitar
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    Timothy Tim Logan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT2 versus Single Shop Builder Purchase?

    You might find it helpful to read about my experience when I bought my Collings MT2-V:

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...light=Collings

    Chuck Leyda's comments were well stated and yes there is a spectacular ad in the classifieds.

    “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” ― Albert Schweitzer

    1925 Lyon & Healy Model A, #1674
    2015 Collings A (MT2-V)
    2018 Carlo Mazzaccara Lucia
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  16. #14
    Registered User Lane Pryce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT2 versus Single Shop Builder Purchase?

    Tim you have a great looking and I’m sure a great sounding MT2. I missed my holy grail a few years back, MT2V light tobacco burst with an engleman top. Haven’t seen another since.
    J.Lane Pryce

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  18. #15

    Default Re: Collings MT2 versus Single Shop Builder Purchase?

    The carpathian top MT2v's are probably my favorite.
    There's nothing better than first-hand experience.

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  20. #16
    Registered User Lane Pryce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT2 versus Single Shop Builder Purchase?

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...light=Collings[/QUOTE]

    Someone recognized a deal and pulled the trigger.
    J.Lane Pryce

  21. #17
    Registered User lowtone2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT2 versus Single Shop Builder Purchase?

    Want an A5 that will blow away any Collings by a lot, for much less money?

    http://www.blackmandolins.com/a5-mandolins.html

  22. #18
    Registered User Russ Jordan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT2 versus Single Shop Builder Purchase?

    Quote Originally Posted by lowtone2 View Post
    Want an A5 that will blow away any Collings by a lot, for much less money?

    http://www.blackmandolins.com/a5-mandolins.html
    And Mike Black would undoubtedly be embarrassed by the wording of your comparison....
    Russ Jordan

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  24. #19

    Default Re: Collings MT2 versus Single Shop Builder Purchase?

    Everybody's got their choice, but when it comes down to it, no dealer will turn down a Collings when you want to trade it for something else. I have seen more disappointed faces from owners of other brands who are in the store, wanting to trade towards something and they have an instrument that was built by a small builder that the store has no experience with.

    If you are someone who tends to buy and sell a lot, or don't have to to wait through a builder's wait list, your best bet is to try and find a Collings.
    There's nothing better than first-hand experience.

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  26. #20
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT2 versus Single Shop Builder Purchase?

    Quote Originally Posted by pdawg View Post
    So, my question is do I purchase a Collings MT2 (which had been my bucket list mandolin) I had never actually played a Collings mandolin until last week, but am a big Collings fan owning several Collings ukuleles and a d3 guitar. Or do I purchase an A mandolin from many of the one man
    shop amazing luthiers? (Hamlett, Hinde, Girourd, Smart, etc) Your insights will be greatly appreciated.
    So, when you played the Collings mandolin for the first time, what did you think? If you loved it, go for it. As Mary noted above, they are in demand and are well made. Of course, you can also drive yourself nuts with the other options but I can't imagine you would be sorry to get your bucket list mandolin. IMHO all the buckets you mention are desirable and each of us may have his/her preference but you are the one playing it. Just don't injure your hand again and you will be fine. The ideal would be to go to a store with a bunch of these options and pick your favorite, but, as we all know, these are not ideal times for any of that.
    Jim

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  27. #21
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT2 versus Single Shop Builder Purchase?

    Like Jim said above - what did you think of that Collings? They will mostly have similar playability to each other, so if you like the way it felt and played, then, yeah go for the MT2. While I have an MT, the few MT2's I've been lucky enough to try have all had more, well, just about everything than the typical MT. And I am a fan of the MT. On top of that some are just gorgeous. Especially with varnish finish and birds eye maple.
    2017 Northfield F5SA, 2008 Weber Gallatin F, 2018 Collings MT, 1929 Gibson A Jr., 2018 Eastman MDO-305
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  28. #22
    Registered User lowtone2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Collings MT2 versus Single Shop Builder Purchase?

    Quote Originally Posted by Russ Jordan View Post
    And Mike Black would undoubtedly be embarrassed by the wording of your comparison....
    True. Apologies. I would edit if I could, and just mention that he builds a very fine A5.

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