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Old 10-23-2017, 10:44 AM
MartinMan1990 MartinMan1990 is offline
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Default Tell me about your Waterloo

I've recently been on the hunt for a new guitar. At the moment I have a 2016 D18, 2017 816ce, 2004 Taylor 310ce, and a Gretsch Resonator. Oddly enough, I find myself playing the cheapest (resonator) the most often, primarily due to size/comfort.

That being said, I would like a smaller bodied guitar and these Watrloos look very appealing. I primarily play finger style/light strumming blues and folk (have never used a pick and therefore do not plan to use one now),however I am skeptical that I will loose a lot of bass with this size guitar. Athough the smaller bodies are very appealing and practical, I do not want a boxy sounding guitar or a guitar that sounds very thin. I do realize that I will not get the fullness/bass produced by my larger guitars but that's why I already have 3 of them.

Anyone who has played or owns a waterloo I would appreciate any insight you may have, what you like/don't like about them. Is this going to be a one trick pony as others have said in the past or is there some versatility with these instruments? I also do realize that perhaps a smaller bodied 12 fret my give me more of the result I am looking for as to bass projection and fullness but I do want to keep my options opened. Thanks in advance to all replies.
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Old 10-23-2017, 10:51 AM
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The Waterloo is going to get some love from a lot of folks here. I know Toby Walker seems to love his. We all bring our own sound to each guitar, so it's tough to judge a guitar for another man. But frankly I don't get Waterloo at all. Perhaps the sound in my head lies somewhere between where Martin and Taylor camp out. The local mom and pop stores has had several Waterloo guitars in their shop and I've made it a point to play them. Much as I've tried to love them they just aren't in my sound wheelhouse.

It sounds like you haven't played one yet. If the recordings you've heard are leading you in that direction, but all means check them out. That's the only way you'll truly know if one is destined for your collection.
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Old 10-23-2017, 11:06 AM
Brent Hahn Brent Hahn is offline
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Waterloos are interesting to me because they offer some models with either X-bracing or L-bracing. The X-bracing, to me, sounds more polite and classy, a little scooped in the midrange, while the L-bracing is more mid-forward, in your face and blue-collar. If you're a Martin person, you're probably going to prefer the X-bracing. The L-bracing sound is more me -- I'd love to have one.
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Old 10-23-2017, 11:09 AM
MikeMcKee MikeMcKee is offline
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I've owned a WL-14X and WL-14L. Did not keep them. I am much more a 12 fret guy and currently own the WL-12 Maple and Spruce. No question at all that this is my personal favorite, and I play as you do, with only bare fingers.
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Old 10-23-2017, 11:10 AM
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I’ve owned a WL-14X for a couple of years and think it’s a great little guitar. I think it’s got tons of power, tone and attitude. It’s a blast to play, but it’s a one trick pony in my opinion. I purchased a Huss & Dalton Crossroads 00 about 6 months after purchasing the Waterloo and the H&D is much more interesting and suitable for my use. It did cost quite a bit more than the Waterloo and it got much more playing time. I find the H&D does everything the Waterloo does —— and more. It can play like the Waterloo, but delivers much more range. Then.... about a year ago I purchased a SCGC H13 and after a long time of figuring it out, I found that I always played the H13 and the H&D, and rarely played the Waterloo. As a result, I’ve passed the Waterloo onto my grandson as a long term loan. I play it when I visit him, but don’t miss it. In short, I’m a big fan of Collings guitars and found the Waterloo to be an outstanding guitar, but it didn’t find a warm spot in my lineup.
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Old 10-23-2017, 11:10 AM
Swamp Yankee Swamp Yankee is offline
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https://youtu.be/MmUrOi29ZxU

^^ This is the actual WL-S I purchased - though it's not me playing it. I can't tell you if it cranks out enough bass for you - but you can hear how it sounds for yourself.

I'd have to say, they do sound a bit "boxy" but it's a really nice box.
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Old 10-23-2017, 11:15 AM
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I love my WL-14X. At open mics folks who aren't familiar with Waterloo tell me that my guitar sounds really good for such a cheap guitar

FWIW I tried the LR Baggs full Anthem system and wound up changing it for the Anthem SL. The Anthem SL sounds amazing in my little Waterloo.
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Old 10-23-2017, 12:02 PM
MikeMcKee MikeMcKee is offline
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Just a fwiw. You need to be aware of the different neck profiles on the Waterloos. They are very different. The 14X and 14L come standard with a heavy vintage "V" profile. They do offer a smaller profile as an option. The WL-12 comes with the smaller profile standard. I think the "S" comes with the heavy "V" as well, but I'm not sure. So, whatever model you choose, you do need to be aware of the neck profile on that particular piece.
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Old 10-23-2017, 12:15 PM
Swamp Yankee Swamp Yankee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeMcKee View Post
I think the "S" comes with the heavy "V" as well, but I'm not sure. So, whatever model you choose, you do need to be aware of the neck profile on that particular piece.
The WL-S come with what Waterloo calls a "soft vee" profile. It's not that much more noticeably "V" shaped than any other guitar I own and I find it very comfortable and easy to play.
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Old 10-23-2017, 12:51 PM
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I've tried the Waterloo 12 fret and the WL-14. Both were unique and interesting but neither compelled me to consider spending that much money for 'that sound'. Sure its a well crafted flavor of a depression era guitar. Your mileage may vary depending on the music, style of play and tone you prefer.

A friend of mine played one and fell in love, Had to have it. Personally, I don't get it. But I go for a more versatile sounding small bodied guitar personally. 000's or OM's do more for me. I own a couple Collings OM's and a Martin OMC-18. So that's just where I live sonically.
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Old 10-23-2017, 12:59 PM
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I'm sure they're super high quality like all Collings products, but the sound is not for me. I know they sound good in the hands of a good player, but I'm not that good. I need all the help I can get so I stay with the big, fat, full sounds of Martins. (I also have a Taylor that I like, too. It doesn't sound like a Martin, but I still like it).
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Old 10-23-2017, 01:10 PM
Matt G Matt G is offline
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Has anybody played both a Waterloo and Recording King Dirty Thirties?

I've wondered how similar they sound. For an experiment in that tonal quality, the Recording King is way less risky because it's way less expensive. But that's only if they sound similar.
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Old 10-23-2017, 02:01 PM
SJ VanSandt SJ VanSandt is offline
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I don't own a Waterloo (yet), but I've played most of the different models and I think many of the comments above apply to some models but not to others. If you get the chance, play as many different ones as you can. My favorite, the WL-K, is not at all boxy, has plenty of bass, plenty of sustain (for a mahogany/spruce guitar), great volume. It sounded amazing for bluegrass, ragtime, or soft jazz (I was listening to some really good guitarists play it, not just playing myself). Several other models are also excellent guitars with slightly different virtues. I have played others that didn't do much for me, I confess, especially the first model released with the ladder bracing.

The Dirty Thirties guitars I've played were not in the same class at all. They not only sound cheap but they feel that way. If you want to save money but still have a decent guitar, Recording King's solid wood guitars are decent enough, but I wouldn't get a Dirty Thirties even for camping. Just my two cents.
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Old 10-23-2017, 02:09 PM
Swamp Yankee Swamp Yankee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt G View Post
Has anybody played both a Waterloo and Recording King Dirty Thirties?

I've wondered how similar they sound. For an experiment in that tonal quality, the Recording King is way less risky because it's way less expensive. But that's only if they sound similar.
I have played both, as well as any number of other inexpensive alternatives riding this bluesy bandwagon. I would not list even them in the same discussion - there's no comparison, in my opinion.
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Old 10-23-2017, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Acuff View Post
I love my WL-14X. At open mics folks who aren't familiar with Waterloo tell me that my guitar sounds really good for such a cheap guitar
I don't know what to say. Is that a compliment or an insult?
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