Anyone do head to head with the new Gibson Jam models vs. Collings?
i think majorbanjo was raving about the gibson jams not too long ago.
I absolutely love the tone of my gibson Jam Master.....I got it from the mandolin store late fall of last year and it has since gotten even better I play it every day.....I had a collings MF before that I sold in a moment of weakness....I loved that one too....I've got another MF coming now as a companion to my Jam Master F......and then I can do a head to head probably this weekend.....
Thanks Major,looking forward to your findings....nice pic!
Major, so what is the difference from these mandolins to the other Gibsons? Other than the colour I mean...
Hi cowboy,your new blond MF-5 is outstanding."Let me know if you let it go".Maybe you'll consider a trade for my #128 MF-5 sb? Heysue christo el ray mooee bwiano, ce.
Collings is the leader, except in comp with the MF5 Varnish and the Gibson MM. Then the games begin.
Take it easy,but take it!
Here is my Jam Master and the Collings MF together...blonde(really honey amber) and brunette.....
The Jam Master is newer and therefore feels more tight than this collings....however it's more open than the last collings MF that I owned...the difference between my last MF and this MF is day and night...this one is a much better mandolin...If the last one was as good as this one, I'd still have it and never would have sold it and bought the Jam Master....the difference is surprising due to collings reputation for consistency...my last MF was also a one piece back gloss top...strange since my last MF had an engleman top that many say has instant gratification; this one is red spruce and feels like it's been played a lot....it's just a year old and feels like it's at least 10 years old....the Jam Master is more woody than the collings...the collings has a more metallic sound when compared to the Gibson.....the action is higher on the gibson and I can't play it too hard...the collings prefers a lighter touch but it has real low action.....I'm going to raise the action on the collings and it may take my heavy hand better.....the collings is a lot easier to play fast...I also think the collings would benefit from heavier strings...it is reported to have John Pierce mediums (the gibson has J74s)....I'll try some J75's on the MF to see what I think once I raise the action.
I don't notice a lot of difference in the width of the nut...the gibson is 1 3/16 vs 1 1/8 for the collings...the gibon neck is considerably more chunky though, which i tend to prefer.....I do not like the grippy finish on the back of the neck of the collings and will likely take care of that with some 0000 steel wool in the next few weeks...
I traded a guitar for the Collings....If I had played it in a store I wouldn't have bought it, just because it's more similar to my gibson than different and it's hard to justify that much money to have two instruments that really are not all that different...except cosmetically....and....I'm much less worried about dinging the gibson than the collings...the collings is beautiful and feels more dainty..the gibson feels like a workhorse....and it is....
Major, thanks for this report. An enviable combo, from where I view things, which, for these days and many to come is from a one mando, one guitar vantage point (I do like the simplicity, but variety is always a lot of fun, ...and taking the no-worries workhorse to a bar, jam, on the road or leaving around is a great option), fortunately neither leave anything to be desired, but that doesn't mean that G/MAS has been put out of commission, just that it's manageable.
From what you say, they're close enough, different enough that they're both keepers. Way to go, or as we say around here, good on ya.
(I think they're both good looking mandos and look forward to hearing any more reports.)
One more update:
Raised the action slightly on this collings MF....put some J74's on it...then played it today for about 4 hours....it finally realized it was out of the case...and has really awakened...I'm amazed.....this is a powerful mandolin....my experience has been that when shipping a mandolin in the winter time it takes several days to really figure out what you have...and this one keeps improving....I'm very pleased with the trade from my end.....I love my Jam Master....but might sell it.....and put the funds toward a high dollar mandolin (altman/kimble/r.wood/ellis/..maybe a gil..if I sell the harley)...this summer I'm going to get out and play some.....
The more I play it the better I like this profile neck....I played old dangerfield today on the collings today a bunch of times...and it was incredible how fast and clean I could play.....then went to the Gibson....had to slow down and clean it up....when I got it back up to speed on the gibson I went back to the collings and it was unbelievable how fast and clean it was...I tell you....I may keep the gibson to practice on....then just switching to the collings is good for 10 clicks on the metrenome....:-)....
Thanks for posting this. I am always surprised when I hear about a Collings 'anything' that is not up to par. It really freaks me out actually. So my original question was about what a Gibson Jam is? What makes it that designation? Oh, and congrats on the New collins too my friend!
the jam master is the model below the Gibson F9:
Jam Master has Gibson Sticker on the headstock..F9 is inlay
Jam Master has 1 3/16 nut...F9 is 1 1/8
Jam Master has radius board..F9 is flat
Jam Master has big frets...F9 small
Jam Master see color above..F9 use to be this color..but they started sunbursting them.....
both are tone bar constructed mandolins....
not sure of other differences...all info is avail on gibson website....
the first MF I owned was not up to par...and had a 99 D2H that wasn't either...but have played many Collings that are great....I guess it's the same with any builder....doesn't surprise me...
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