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View Full Version : Mainland concert vs. Collings UC-1



GX9901
10-13-2009, 06:39 PM
I've been writing a series of comparisons (I'm calling it the Ukulele Smackdown:D) between the Mainland slotted headstock concert and the Collings UC-1 on my little blog. It's pretty much just for shiznits and giggles but could be mildly entertaining or informative for you guys.

It's not completed yet so I'll link the each new post here:

Weigh-in (http://gx9901ukes.blogspot.com/2009/10/mainland-vs-collings-smackdown-weigh-in.html)
Round 1 (http://gx9901ukes.blogspot.com/2009/10/ukulele-smackdown-mainland-vs-collings.html)
Round 2 (http://gx9901ukes.blogspot.com/2009/10/ukulele-smackdown-mainland-vs-collings_11.html)
Round 3 (http://gx9901ukes.blogspot.com/2009/10/ukulele-smackdown-mainland-vs-collings_14.html)
Round 4 (http://gx9901ukes.blogspot.com/2009/10/ukulele-smackdown-mainland-vs-collings_20.html)

haolejohn
10-13-2009, 07:05 PM
I love your site. Can't wait to see who wins. I've been thinking of doing a Mele and Mainland comparison.

mokai
10-13-2009, 10:57 PM
after reading round-2 I must say this: give me round-3!!!

great writeup so far. Thank you for taking the time to do this.

iDavid
10-14-2009, 04:00 AM
I love your site. Can't wait to see who wins. I've been thinking of doing a Mele and Mainland comparison.

PLEASE DO!

I'm trying to decide between them.

any brief thoughts

david

deach
10-14-2009, 05:35 AM
Cool comparo. More! More!

GX9901
10-14-2009, 06:14 AM
Well, I'm not necessarily planning to name a "winner". I'll present as much info as I can and you can be the judge. I'll of course share my personal thoughts about the comparison at the end, but hopefully there will be enough there for people to make their own conclusions. That's my goal anyway.

Stay tuned!

Uncle Rod Higuchi
10-14-2009, 06:33 AM
Thanks for sharing.

Very informative.

veep
10-14-2009, 10:37 AM
Thanks for sharing.

Ronnie Aloha
10-14-2009, 12:29 PM
If the Collings doesn't win it could be the greatest upset of all time! This is with all due respect to Mainland. Just thinking of the price difference.

existence
10-14-2009, 02:51 PM
Hey man, let me add my voice to the chorus:Ukulele Ghetto is great! You're a very good writer, and the photos look fantastic. It all looks super-professional.

You have been bookmarked....

mokai
10-14-2009, 03:44 PM
You have been bookmarked....

x2 :smileybounce:

GX9901
10-20-2009, 07:13 PM
Round 3 & 4 are up.

blueUke
10-20-2009, 07:51 PM
Very cool. Can't wait till the sound comparison.

JBennett
10-21-2009, 05:33 AM
Great sound comparison video.

My verdict. They both sound great. That Collings has a much nicer sound when you play individual notes, seems a bit louder, and seems to have better intonation higher at higher frets to my ear, but the Mainland wasn't bad at all and with regular "cowboy" chords it seemed pretty evenly matched.

Only time will tell if the Collings is better built to last and worth the extra cost, but if you have the dough and need something that edges out the cheaper competition I can see a player choosing the Collings.

I'm someone who will never have the money for a Collings but would be very happy with that Mainland.

Again, thanks for the well done side by side comparison. It's great that there are quality ukes for people of widely different budgets.

RevWill
10-21-2009, 05:42 AM
With that recording setup the Mainland stands up surprisingly well next to a far more expensive instrument. There seemed to be a bigger difference during the first passage of the song, but as it went on I could tell less difference between the two.

Ronnie Aloha
10-21-2009, 06:30 AM
With that recording setup the Mainland stands up surprisingly well next to a far more expensive instrument. There seemed to be a bigger difference during the first passage of the song, but as it went on I could tell less difference between the two.

I agree. When the first couple of changes were made from the Mainland to the Collings I noticed the difference but as the playing went on they seemed to blend seamlessly.

Thanks George! Awesome playing.

RevWill
10-21-2009, 06:51 AM
the more I think about it, the biggest tonal differences had something to do with the soundboard's angle to the microphone, far more so than the differences between the ukes. At least that's what I think. I listened without looking a few times and had to peek to tell which one was playing more than once.

deach
10-21-2009, 06:54 AM
I think the Collings sounds better, but not 4.5X better. The Mainland is such a great deal.

ukeatan
10-21-2009, 07:14 AM
Really well done video. I agree that they both sound great. I'm sure a lot of that is the playing, too ;)

What strings are the ukes strung with? Did I miss this somewhere?

GX9901
10-21-2009, 07:37 AM
Really well done video. I agree that they both sound great. I'm sure a lot of that is the playing, too ;)

What strings are the ukes strung with? Did I miss this somewhere?

They are strung with Worth CD's. The stock strings are Aquilas for both, but I prefer Worth strings so I switched them. I did mention this in the blog, but I'm sure it's easily missed between all the Smackdown posts.

NewMexicoDawG
10-21-2009, 09:05 AM
I like The Mainlands Sound better:):drool:

spots
10-22-2009, 06:10 AM
Great series of blog entries!

With this particular recording setup, sampling rate, etc., I too liked the sound of Mainland a bit more. To me the Collings came across brighter and a little harder sounding for my tastes.

I have to agree about the opened geared tuners on the Mainland, and it's not just an issue of looks. Based upon experience with other instruments, I prefer a nicer set of friction pegs over inexpensive geared tuners. Uke strings are normally lower tension, but if people use higher tension strings it may not be the best combination over time.

Depending upon the string tension, if the tuner gear metal is too soft, over time it can begin to wear, shavings appear, and slop can develop. You also need to check the screw on the gear periodically to make sure it is tight. I used to have to tune and then rotate the key backwards a little to lock the tuner gear in place.

(listening through a Rotel integrated amp and older Boston Accoustics A70 series II speakers)

buddhuu
10-23-2009, 10:56 AM
I think the Collings sounds better, but not 4.5X better. The Mainland is such a great deal.

Truth. Much as I'd like the less expensive uke to kick, the Colings has a clear edge to my ears. But like Deach says, not 4.5 times better.

I'd love a Collings uke (and a Collings mandolin even more!), but who could be unhappy with a uke that sounds as nice as that Mainland?

These comparisons are fine work.

blueUke
10-23-2009, 02:48 PM
I'd love a Collings uke (and a Collings mandolin even more!), but who could be unhappy with a uke that sounds as nice as that Mainland?


I have a Collings MT (A style). It's a CANON OF TONE..... So loud. When I'm in the zone, the MT is in the zone. As far as mandos, best bang for the buck.... and still coming in at around $1600. Cheap for mandos, ouch....

I have a Mainland on the way here. Very excited to have both. Semi freaking out.......

I love that the review is comparing Collings with Mainland. Says sooooo much.

buddhuu
10-24-2009, 12:30 AM
I have a Collings MT (A style). It's a CANON OF TONE..... So loud. When I'm in the zone, the MT is in the zone. As far as mandos, best bang for the buck.... and still coming in at around $1600. Cheap for mandos, ouch.... [...]

Oh yeah! Now that's what I'm talking about. :drool:

That Mainland certainly acquits itself very respectably against the Collings uke. Maybe Mainland should make mandolns too! :D

iDavid
10-24-2009, 02:11 AM
Seems pretty clear that the Mainland is a no brainer.

The Collings' price would make me nervous about dropping it or banging it into something.

The both sound different but I think they are pretty equal, just a bit different

Mainland is such the deal!

blueUke
10-24-2009, 05:44 AM
. Maybe Mainland should make mandolns too! :D

THAT IS WHAT I WAS THINKING TOO!!!!!!!!!!

Mainland needs to make an A style Mando that is under $400, 500, or 600 bucks. And needs 3 things
1) Killer Tone
2) Killer Volume
3) The solid reputation it does on UU.........

Once word got to mandolincafe.com (mando version of UU) , THEY WOULD SELL TONSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. That is a goldmine, folks.

Everyone on mandolincafe is looking for a cheap uke with killer tone and an amazing reputation. The 2 best bangs for the buck are the Gibson A9 (1000-1200) and the Collings MT ($1500-$2200).

Someone needs to send Mainland a note to make an A style mando. And if it was like $400............Set up a both at Bluegrass Festivals during the summer and just hold out your hand. Folks are going to drop cash in it. Goldmine, I tell ya, GOLDMINE.

buddhuu
10-24-2009, 10:00 AM
Er... We're veering seriously off topic! :D

Sorry, I think I started it! :o

blueUke
10-24-2009, 10:35 AM
Er... We're veering seriously off topic! :D

Sorry, I think I started it! :o

Sorry, I get excited.:o

bazmaz
11-03-2009, 01:14 PM
Can I just say - the "showdown" blog was, in my view, a superb item - i read with interest.

Am typing this with my brand new Mainland Concert hugged safely to my chest...

I am not in the bracket (on either disposable income or ability) to justify a Uke that is hundreds and hundreds of pounds (no matter how good they may be) in the same was as, being a hobby guitar player, I could never justify a guitar that cost 1000...

All of that said, having spent the last 2 years on Flea (great instrument - tough as old boots), my new Mainland is an absolute peach. The Flea wins on volume, but the Mainland is so sweet to my ears.

For the price, I think it's stunning.

Sambient
11-07-2009, 01:49 AM
Wow. Both have serious sonic "ooooooh" to them. But to me, there's moments where the Collings is too brassy. My sense of taste isn't the only place where I have a sweet tooth.