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Thread: Question about Collings mandolins

  1. #26
    Registered User dulcillini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about Collings mandolins

    i have two and they are the best, an F5 and a mandola. I never regretted one penny spent. As I see pre-owned Collings appearing for sale, mine has probably appreciated 40% I have never heard or seen a bad one.
    Michael A. Harris
    the dulcILLINI
    Collings MF5 Mandolin
    Collings MT2 Mandola
    Taran "Springwell" Mandolin 4/16
    McSpadden Custom Mountain Dulcimer
    Ibanez AVT1-NT Artwoods Tenor Guitar
    "Home is the place we grow up wanting to leave, and die trying to get back to." Nash

  2. #27
    Registered User TEvans's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about Collings mandolins

    With a budget of $5-7k, I have a suggestion:

    As an owner of an Ellis A5 that i bought used from here on the cafe for less than that, thatís what i would go for.

    Made in the same town as Collings (Austin, TX), and absolutely TOP notch quality. Fit, finish, everything. There is not a single bad Ellis mandolin out there. Tom and the crew know exactly what they are doing.

    What i would suggest is this - find a used Ellis A5 in a shop, or here on the classifieds, call up Tom and tell him the serial number and ask him questions about it. I did this exact thing. When i was buying, i went down to his shop not too far from my home, told him the 2 serial numbers i was looking at, and he told me that either one was a great mandolin. (Though, again, all Ellis mandos are absolutely incredible). And i see Ellis A5s coming up for sale very often.
    Austin, TX

    Ellis A5

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  4. #28

    Default Re: Question about Collings mandolins

    In my experience, Collings mandolins are very consistent, and they build a great mandolin. I feel that the MT's are the best value in a Collings though, because I personally prefer other builders for the same amount of money in an F style mandolin (Northfield builds a great mandolin, and I also like Webers).

    I actually live fairly close to Nashville, so I make a trip down there every couple of months just to visit my favorite music stores there in town, and try out different instruments. I also prefer to buy used instruments. About a year ago I decided I wanted a new (to me) F style mandolin, and I had it in my mind that I wanted a Collings... So I took a trip to Nashville. After playing a lot of different mandolins, I bought a Northfield. Not only did I feel like it was a better value, I also liked the feel and tone better. Nothing against Collings, they build a great mandolin, and I'd still love to own one of those someday too. That just wasn't my favorite mandolin this time.

    My point being though that in your case, if you have the time to do it, I'd take a trip to Nashville and try a bunch of different mandolins... then pick your favorite. You may be surprised by which one you decide to take home. Happy shopping!

  5. #29

    Default Re: Question about Collings mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by JFMando View Post
    In my experience, Collings mandolins are very consistent, and they build a great mandolin. I feel that the MT's are the best value in a Collings though, because I personally prefer other builders for the same amount of money in an F style mandolin (Northfield builds a great mandolin, and I also like Webers).

    I actually live fairly close to Nashville, so I make a trip down there every couple of months just to visit my favorite music stores there in town, and try out different instruments. I also prefer to buy used instruments. About a year ago I decided I wanted a new (to me) F style mandolin, and I had it in my mind that I wanted a Collings... So I took a trip to Nashville. After playing a lot of different mandolins, I bought a Northfield. Not only did I feel like it was a better value, I also liked the feel and tone better. Nothing against Collings, they build a great mandolin, and I'd still love to own one of those someday too. That just wasn't my favorite mandolin this time.

    My point being though that in your case, if you have the time to do it, I'd take a trip to Nashville and try a bunch of different mandolins... then pick your favorite. You may be surprised by which one you decide to take home. Happy shopping!
    I'm getting more interested in that Nashville trip. I know Carter Vintage is there, and Mr. Gruhn has a shop there. Any other places/areas I should check out?

    I also need to research a bit of what to do in Nashville beside mandolin shopping.

  6. #30
    Registered User withfoam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about Collings mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by glissando View Post
    I also need to research a bit of what to do in Nashville beside mandolin shopping.
    I hear there's some really good chicken to be had. :P
    Collings MF Deluxe
    Kentucky KM-1050

  7. #31
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    Default Re: Question about Collings mandolins

    Gruhn's and Carter's handle the most mandolins. Last time I was up there, they both were still limiting the number of people in their showrooms because of the virus, so you still may need to call first for an appointment.

    If you like modern acoustic guitars, you can visit North American Guitar [formerly Cotten Music] and Artisan Guitars. North American has 4 good quality modern mandolins at this moment. Artisan does not appear to have any mandolins in stock right now. I would consider both of these stores to be "boutique shops."

    And there is The Mandolin Store, recently relocated from Arizona to Goodlettsville, TN. I have not visited them yet. They mostly carry new instruments. Their website shows that, like many other places, their stock is a bit low right now, and that they are open by appointment only.

    There is also Rumble Seat Music, but they mostly carry high-end vintage electric guitars and basses. Occasionally they have a good mandolin or flat top guitar. They show only one mandolin in stock right now, a very nice looking but overpriced Gibson A-4 [$3200, missing the pickguard].

    When I go up to Nashville, I generally try to visit both Gruhn's and Carter's. Sometimes I'll also visit North American. I have not been to Artisan recently. As far as Rumble Seat is concerned, I did try to stop by once before the pandemic, but they were closed, even though it was mid-day.

    If you're looking for something else to do while you're there, there's the Country Music Hall of Fame, and the Gallery of Iconic Guitars museum at Belmont University, which is new and still under development. Be sure to check whether they are operating first-- a lot of things may still be closed due to the virus.

    Just about anyone should be able to find something interesting to do in Nashville.
    Last edited by rcc56; Jun-03-2021 at 1:00pm.

  8. #32
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    Default Re: Question about Collings mandolins

    I also need to research a bit of what to do in Nashville beside mandolin shopping.
    Not sure if everything's opening up yet - hope so. Bluebird Cafe, Douglas Corner Cafe, The Station Inn, Grand Ol Opry...

    Agree with most of the posts here - most of my mandolins have been purchased used. Scrolls and points don't matter if sound and playability are important to you. I'd get a really good A5 with a varnish finish.

    Kirk

  9. #33

    Default Re: Question about Collings mandolins

    I was actually in Nashville 2 weeks ago. Like others have said, Carter's and Gruhn's are the top spots for used mandolins. Carter's is my favorite. During this last visit, they didn't have as many instruments as they've had in the past, but still plenty to choose from. Artisan guitars is also a really cool shop, and it's not far outside of town. I haven't gone to The Mandolin Store yet, because they are still open by appointment only, but they carry quite a few nice instruments. It would be worth visiting just so you could get a hold of a few different instruments from some top tier makers to figure out what you really like. I went to Gruhn's and Carter's on my last visit, and walked right in... without an appointment. You may want to check on that though since you are traveling so far.

    I highly recommend the Grand Ole Opry! I've been a few times, I actually went on my last trip to Nashville, and it was great as always!

    There's always something fun to do in Nashville, and there are lots of different options depending on what you are interested in. It would make a great weekend trip.

  10. #34
    Registered User Russ Jordan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about Collings mandolins

    I have loved my visits to Carter's!

    Next door to Carter's is Arnold's Country Cooking, which was John Prine's favorite place to eat meatloaf!

    The Country Music Hall of Fame is cool to visit. They have now set up Guy Clark's basement shop there--will look forward to catching that next time.

    If you're lucky, there may be a concert of interest in the Ryman Auditorium.

    Lots of folks migrate to the clubs etc on Broadway--that's not my cup of tea, except for Ernest Tubb's Record Shop.

    The Station Inn is a fun place for sure.

    Parking downtown is expensive. We were there for 2 days last time, camping out at Percy Priest Lake. After the first day we used Uber.

    I will look forward to visiting The Mandolin Store next time.

    Enjoy your visit.
    Russ Jordan

  11. #35
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    Default Re: Question about Collings mandolins

    Broadway has become like Bourbon Street on steroids. Too crowded for me.
    But Ernest Tubb record shop is one of the best in the country.

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