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  #1  
Old 11-05-2017, 04:57 PM
dereklaney dereklaney is offline
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Default mando for xmas -- new eastman or used collings

Wife is getting me a mando for christmas. Likely going to buy one from local shop so I can try first and support the local guys

A) new Eastman 505 (gloss) sunburst with a beautiful top and back.

B) used Collings MT1 (satin) honey with a nick on the top.

Eastman is 30% the price of the Collings. But the Collings is a Collings.

Yes they're both A style. I like A style look.
Yes I'm gonna try em both.
No I don't have any experience with mandos. I'm a guitar player.

Advice?? I'm listening
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  #2  
Old 11-05-2017, 05:01 PM
HHP HHP is offline
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If cost is not an issue, no question Collings. It will play better and be more responsive tonally. At first, they will all sound like dropping silverware on a hardwood floor, but the Collings will get you out of that sooner.
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Old 11-05-2017, 05:06 PM
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Ed-in-Ohio Ed-in-Ohio is offline
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Both are nice mandolins. Since you'll be able to play them both, let your ears and your gut feel inform your decision.

I assume the nick on the Collins' soundboard is non-structural? If it isn't an issue, the Collins gets my vote. I have played both models, and although the Eastman is quite nice, the Collins is more than three times better, so I'd say it is actually a better value. It is easily a "lifetime" mandolin.
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Old 11-05-2017, 05:22 PM
googoobaby googoobaby is offline
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Used Collings - not even close. If the nick is significant, it shouldn't be hard to find another one in better shape as mandolinists are always moving up.
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Old 11-05-2017, 09:44 PM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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Yep, Collings, unless there is some flaw they're hiding.
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Old 11-06-2017, 07:13 AM
fatt-dad fatt-dad is offline
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between the two, get the Collings!

Otherwise, nothing wrong with a teens or twenties paddle- or snake-head Gibson!

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Old 11-06-2017, 07:45 AM
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I've played both briefly and thought they were both nice sounding. I wouldn't worry about nicks.
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Old 11-06-2017, 11:35 AM
roylor4 roylor4 is offline
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I don't play Mando, but I have been playing long enough to discern good tone and a powerful instrument when i hear one. My wife has an Eastman 305 and compared it to Mandos (both A and F styles) just over 2k - many of which had big names attached to them. It was superior to the others she AB'ed them against and it came home with her.

I have zero experience or knowledge about Collings mandos and would be surprised if they weren't superior to the Eastman, especially given the price differential and Collings reputation for stellar instruments.

That said, the Eastman mandos are surprisingly good and I would be surprised if you didn't find one to be suitable, especially just starting out.
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Old 11-06-2017, 03:34 PM
cu4life7 cu4life7 is offline
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I agree with the others who have voted Collings. I have a MT2-O and it's fantastic. And far far far more than guitars, you really do get what you pay for in Mandolins. Pro-level instruments make everything so much easier when it comes to playability, tone, and learning. I would encourage anybody to jump right in with two feet and learn with a Collings, Northfield, or comparable level mandolins. You can't go wrong with a Collings MT. There are a lot of used ones floating around as well. Good luck.
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Old 11-08-2017, 09:18 AM
dereklaney dereklaney is offline
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Default under the tree

Thank you all. I sincerely appreciated the time you took to respond and your advice. I bought the Eastman.

Spent day 1 playing Collings and Eastman with shop manager friend after shop closed. Then day 2 brought in mandolin playing buddy for a second opinion and to hear the mandos played by a real musician.

It was close. Cost was not an issue at all. Fit, finish, and playability were a near-tie with the edge going to Eastman. Its a really lovely instrument. Tone was close too with edge to Collings, which is quieter but a little sweeter sounding.

Shop manager, mando buddy, and I all voted Eastman. 3-0. It was just too good

No disrespect to Collings. I own a Collings dread and a Collings 360 electric, and had a Collings OM until I traded it in for a Bourgeois. Collings instruments are fantastic.

And still ... wow ... Eastman

Thanks again and Merry Christmas to all
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Old 11-08-2017, 09:26 AM
Hoyt Hoyt is offline
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I too would get the Collings.

I had an Eastman 505 for awhile, after being away from mandos for several years. It was actually a nice sounding and playing mandolin that anyone with that budget should consider. But, I eventually traded up. But the Eastman was so much better than anything available a decade ago for under $800.
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Old 11-08-2017, 09:29 AM
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Awesome!
Hats off on the thorough evaluation process you went through. Well done!
Congratulations, and enjoy that Eastman! Play on!
Mandolins can surprise you...My current mandolin is an old spruce over solid birch Harmony Monterey, and I just love it (despite having owned multiple mandolins that were much more expensive!)

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  #13  
Old 11-08-2017, 09:32 AM
dereklaney dereklaney is offline
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Default gotcha :)

Eastman has come a long way the past few years. The Yamaha-level stuff they produced last decade is not-at-all what's coming out these days.

Of course Collings is a Gold Standard

FWIW I had $2500 budget. I could've taken the Collings if it was a clear winner.
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Old 11-08-2017, 09:32 AM
Hoyt Hoyt is offline
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I too would get the Collings.

I had an Eastman 505 for awhile, after being away from mandos for several years. It was actually a nice sounding and playing mandolin that anyone with that budget should consider. But, I eventually traded up. But the Eastman was so much better than anything available a decade ago for under $800.
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Old 11-08-2017, 09:42 AM
HHP HHP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed-in-Ohio View Post
Awesome!
Hats off on the thorough evaluation process you went through. Well done!
Congratulations, and enjoy that Eastman! Play on!
Mandolins can surprise you...My current mandolin is an old spruce over solid birch Harmony Monterey, and I just love it (despite having owned multiple mandolins that were much more expensive!)

Of all the instruments I have owned, the one I have had the longest is a Harmony mandolin. I am incapable of the self delusion needed to think it is a great mandolin but it does have a unique sound and is fun to play.

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