This is where the Collings line of mandolins begins but as with their guitars, it's far more than just "basic." The carved Engelmann spruce top means it's a mandolin that responds to even light picking, so you get a full tone without bashing on it. And the Eastern flamed maple back, sides and neck have lots of figure, there's no need to pay extra for lots of curly figure. Whether you're lightly noodling around or playing chop-chord backup for a string band, the Collings MT has great tone and volume with easy playability. That easy string action and playability is made even easier by the optional "wide nut" on this example. It's only 1/16" wider at the nut, but that small difference gives your fingers more room for many difficult chord positions (this neck width is what Gibson relied upon for all its mandolin models until late 1922, so calling it "less narrow" would be more accurate than "wide nut."). The bridge saddle is easily adjustable so minor tweaks to the string action are not a hassle (you can even do it yourself if you're careful).