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Thread: Early Collings MT2 Mandolins

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    Default Early Collings MT2 Mandolins

    I've read through lots of posts here about early Collings mandolin history, but it would be great to have one thread with everything we know about these early instruments.

    I have Serial A74 from 7/01. I believe the tuners are a gold Schaller model. The tailpiece is a sliding style vs the current cast version. The headstock inlay is slightly different; more of a ribbon vs a ring in the middle. I've also read that the sunburst is darker than the current version, but I've not been able to confirm.

    What other differences have y'all found? How do you find the sound compares?

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    Default Re: Early Collings MT2 Mandolins

    I know they had mis-read the prints and all the early ones, up until about when the F's came out have the tone bar position reversed with the one that's near the F hole on the treble side.

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    Default Re: Early Collings MT2 Mandolins

    I HAD #79 from 8/01, purchased at Mass Street Music in November, after having played it at Winfield in September that year. A-model, Killer diller all around, black top,
    great sounding. I wore a hole in the top down to the bare wood where my fingers drug. I mistakenly sold it years later on the Cafe and it went to California, Beverly
    Hills as I remember. Some years after that, on a thread, one of the owners chimed in and said it had been passed around Calif. and had also got refinished at Collings.
    After this, as the story goes, it went to Nashville to a famous mandolin dude's son. It would be cool to play in now!

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    Default Re: Early Collings MT2 Mandolins

    I'm trying to confirm the tone bar placement on mine but with little success. I can't see anything when looking in from the side, and I didn't get very far with a mirror in the f hole either. Maybe I need to try a mirror more like at the dentist. Stay tuned!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hilburn View Post
    I know they had mis-read the prints and all the early ones, up until about when the F's came out have the tone bar position reversed with the one that's near the F hole on the treble side.

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    Default Re: Early Collings MT2 Mandolins

    You can usually feel it with your pinky although that advice comes with the warning that you need to be extremely careful not to put any stress on it. But on mine I can stick in my pinky to the second knuckle and bend it inward and feel the bass tone bar. If you have fat fingers it might not be a good idea though.
    Another idea is to use an L shaped Allen wrench which you can insert long way and rotate toward the center.

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    Default Re: Early Collings MT2 Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hilburn View Post
    You can usually feel it with your pinky although that advice comes with the warning that you need to be extremely careful not to put any stress on it. But on mine I can stick in my pinky to the second knuckle and bend it inward and feel the bass tone bar. If you have fat fingers it might not be a good idea though.
    Another idea is to use an L shaped Allen wrench which you can insert long way and rotate toward the center.
    How does the reversal of the tone bars effect the way the mandolin sounds? I have an early MT-1. I like the tone - I wonder what I am missing. Thanks

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    Default Re: Early Collings MT2 Mandolins

    I don't know that it does. Or how you would tell.
    I have 2 friends with those and they both sound great.

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    Default Re: Early Collings MT2 Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by bobland View Post
    How does the reversal of the tone bars effect the way the mandolin sounds? I have an early MT-1. I like the tone - I wonder what I am missing. Thanks
    I’ve been told by a well respected builder that it doesn’t. I have a Collings A prototype with reversed tone bars that sounds fantastic.

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    Default Re: Early Collings MT2 Mandolins

    I had what I consider an early one, had the old style tailpiece, Schaller Tuners, I don’t remember if it had the ribbon or a ring inlay. I think it was 124 or really close to it. It had the letter “R” next to the model number. I think the “R” designation was to indicate the wood used. I don’t remember if it was indicating, Red Spruce or Red Maple. Seems like there were 4 different letter designations but to be honest I can’t remember for sure. I seem to recall, an early one up for sale earlier this year with the letter. “H” maybe it was indicating Hard Maple.

    At any rate, in 2004 I traded her in on a new MT2 #540 a Blonde. At that point the tuners installed from Collings were Gotoh and they were using the new style tailpiece. I still have #540 and expect I always will.
    Scott

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