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  #16  
Old 10-14-2008, 09:47 PM
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rick-slo rick-slo is offline
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It's personal preference. To me Collings sounds right from the get go. In a room full of Martins, Santa Cruz, Taylor and Collings guitars the Collings are usually what I end up liking the best (exceptions here and there, but overall). That said I have gravitated mostly to small luthiers over any of the larger guitar makers.
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  #17  
Old 10-14-2008, 10:17 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Hey, Hawg, I like Collings guitars a lot, too, and their mandolins as well.

I prefer Martin's versions of Martin designs (I guess I'm just funny that way,) but what knocks my socks off are Collings' interpretations of Gibson designs.

I've played a couple of different Collings SJ Koa models that I wanted desperately to take home with me, but couldn't afford. This is Collings' version of the Gibson J-185, but it totally smokes all but one or two vintage J-185's I've ever played.

Getting back to that interview with Bill Collings that I paraphrased, I didn't mean to imply that Collings guitars are going to need thirty years to get good - not at all. What I took away from what he said was that they had reengineered the guitar designs so that they just KEPT getting better, rather than peaking after a while.

But they're superb to start with, too.

One e-mail correspondent and I were discussing the differences between Martin and Collings guitars, and he described Martin as "Original Recipe" and Collings as "Extra Crispy."

Which I thought was brilliant, and incredibly apt. So I've been quoting it ever since. I just wish he'd write me back and remind me of who he is so I can attribute the quote properly.

Anyway, I admire Collings instruments a great deal, and feel that they're the most consistent production acoustic instruments on the planet.


Wade Hampton Miller
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  #18  
Old 10-15-2008, 01:49 AM
AlanG AlanG is offline
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I have a couple of Collings. A 2 year old mahogany/adi OM, and a 13 year old 12-fret mahogany/adi dread. The '95 has come into its own in terms of tone and I suspect it will continue to improve. The OM is just starting to come around.

The Collings are very responsive and that extra stiffness seems to provide volume and projection that can be lacking in guitars that have a softer feel.

I wanted a guitar that would be at home on stage or in the studio. (not that anyone wanted me on stage or in the studio) I just sold a nice couch guitar. Warm sound, soft feel, and for me, uninspiring.

Alan
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  #19  
Old 10-15-2008, 03:53 AM
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As far as feeling stiff, even up the neck - I've found it to be the lack of losing that stiffness nearer the nut that makes the upper neck seem even worse due to the lack of variation. I had a Taylor that felt outrageously stiff until I had someone properly adjust the action at the nut, and it transformed the entire guitar - some in reality and the rest in perception. And the change was minimal.

But get someone good. Too much at the nut and it will be unplayable. It's an incredibly small adjustment.
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  #20  
Old 10-15-2008, 07:19 AM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade Thurman View Post
As far as feeling stiff, even up the neck - I've found it to be the lack of losing that stiffness nearer the nut that makes the upper neck seem even worse due to the lack of variation. I had a Taylor that felt outrageously stiff until I had someone properly adjust the action at the nut, and it transformed the entire guitar - some in reality and the rest in perception. And the change was minimal.
Excellent point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade Thurman View Post
But get someone good. Too much at the nut and it will be unplayable. It's an incredibly small adjustment.
Yep.

Most instruments need at least a bit of tweaking at the nut when they're brand new, but a surprisingly high percentage of players never get that done.


Wade Hampton Miller
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  #21  
Old 10-15-2008, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade Hampton View Post
Excellent point.

Yep.

Most instruments need at least a bit of tweaking at the nut when they're brand new, but a surprisingly high percentage of players never get that done.


Wade Hampton Miller
Good points--all guitars need the once over. Regarding Collings, I've not seen guitars other than maybe Taylors that come set up better from the factory. I have not seen one with a nut cut too high, or unevenly, and I commonly see that on a lot of rather nice guitars.
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  #22  
Old 10-15-2008, 08:49 AM
dylanheeg dylanheeg is offline
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it is definitely a personal preference...and my personal preference is that collings do not work for me...not tone, not playability, not feel, etc etc...

the word i would use is exactly the same 'stiff' ....hard to get any kind of tone out of the guitar....zero overtone....apparently these are desireable traits for many...as collings are very very popular...I don't doubt they are great guitars, just definitely not for me...

I'll take a Huss/Dalton Dread or even a Martin any day of the week over a comparable collings.
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  #23  
Old 10-15-2008, 03:17 PM
nikpearson nikpearson is offline
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Default OM2H was stiff bu tvery nice

I played an Collings OM2H for a few years as my main guitar and I agree with the comments about stiffness. It sounded lovely and had more headroom than any guitar I've played but always felt like it was strung with mediums. The neck relief and action were perfect yet the strings still felt tighter than my other instruments.

All that aside I only parted with the OM2H because I found the nut width too narrrow for my playing style. It was still one of the best all round guitars I've ever played for sound quality.
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  #24  
Old 10-15-2008, 04:16 PM
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I have the same experience with my Goodall, but I like it so much I've gotten used to it.

It's my definite go-to guitar these days - bunged up enough to not worry about dings, too. I love the Beneteau as much or more, but they are very different guitars in some ways.
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Worry less about the guitars you want. Play the guitar you have more.
The answer will come, and it will not be what you expect.

A guitar is a tool, and a friend. But it is not the answer.

It is the beginning.


Current Guitars:


Taylor 716C Modified
Voyage-Air VAOM-04

CD: The Bayleys: From The Inside
CDBaby
Amazon
Also available from iTunes



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  #25  
Old 05-23-2019, 07:35 PM
rwhitney rwhitney is offline
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It’s been over ten years since the last post in this thread, so I thought I’d bring it back to life for newcomers who might be wondering if they’re alone in thinking Collings feel stiff to play. I have been playing a 2018 OM-2H for a little under a year, and while I appreciate its exceptional clarity, evenness, and intonation (to the 12th fret), it’s the hardest playing acoustic I’ve ever owned. I’ve had it set up three times over this one year: going from the 12s it came with down to 11s for a while, then finally 10s. With 10s it finally played well enough — and actually sounded even better to me than it did with 12s — but the intonation up the neck was unacceptably flat, so I’ve put 12s back on it for better intonation and have resigned myself for the time being to sucking it up. Another thing I’ve noticed is a slight lack of sustain, which may be more psychological than phenomenological. I still love its unique sound, and I play it quite a lot (up to six hours a day), but I regularly consider selling it and getting something like a Martin OMC-28E. The several examples of those I’ve tried seem to play like a dream by comparison — though none have had anywhere near the presence or projection the Collings has.

Btw, mine has a chunky “C” shape neck with 1 23/32” width at the nut, cutaway, and no tongue brace.
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Last edited by rwhitney; 05-24-2019 at 11:08 AM.
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  #26  
Old 05-23-2019, 09:20 PM
deech54 deech54 is offline
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I played a brand new D1-A at the Dallas Guitar Show and that thing was exceptional. Really the clearest most focused tone and nice and loud, balanced.
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  #27  
Old 05-23-2019, 09:38 PM
tippy5 tippy5 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade Hampton View Post
It seems to me that I read an interview with Bill Collings somewhere where he said that they originally built their guitars lighter in order to get a great sound right away, but that the same instruments ten or twelve years later weren't something he was happy with. So he revised their designs to make the guitars "tighter" and a bit more trebly to begin with, so that they would continue to develop and reach full fruition later.

And when I read that I thought: "Wow, a guitar company owner and guiding light who's less interested in point of purchase impressions and more concerned about the tonal development of his instruments over the course of decades...."
Wade Hampton Miller
I remember my first boutique guitar experience around 1993 at McCabes. The Collings were so amazing. So were the Froggies and Goodalls. But I was struck by their lushness. One was a little bright but two were super responsive. That trip, playing 15 plus amazing acoustics, was truly mind blowing.

Then 10 plus years later I resume similar guitar sound room boutique enjoyment and thought The Collings didn't match that memory.

Due to budget constraints I got a nice D2H 7 years ago. I grew a little tired of the lush bright spruce/rosewood, mostly a strummer, tone. It was nice but it did seem tight yet lush on the low mids like a Martin.

I can't be certain from only playing around 8 Collings in my life but the 3 I tried 30 years ago were possibly underbuilt or voiced with that different Collings resonance? They were huge sounding.

It is nice that Bill cared about his guitar designs longevity.

Last edited by tippy5; 05-24-2019 at 10:32 AM.
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  #28  
Old 05-23-2019, 11:00 PM
ac2300 ac2300 is offline
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Default Break Angle?

Does a steep break angle make for a stiffer action, do you get more elasticity with a lower angle?
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  #29  
Old 05-24-2019, 12:25 AM
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JayBee1404 JayBee1404 is offline
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In early 2018 I did a straight swap with a guy - my Martin OM-28 Marquis for his Collings D2H - because the pointy neck on my OM caused me a lot of left-hand pain.

Never bonded with the D2H, it felt ‘stiff’ and ‘hard’ to play, even after a full going-over by our very good local luthier. Whatever I could do on my Martins and Lowden seemed to take significantly more effort on the Collings.

After six or seven months of trying to ‘make it fit’, I gave up and traded it for my Lowden F-23. It was like going from night to day, and I’m a happy guy now.

Not suggesting they are all like that, but the one example I’ve owned was for sure.

The usual disclaimers apply......IMHO, YMMV etc.
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  #30  
Old 05-24-2019, 07:44 AM
Mr. Jelly Mr. Jelly is offline
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I have the same impression of Collings guitars being tight or stiff both in sound and feel. Where I back away from a Collings 00 guitar I am drawn to their Waterloo guitars. Which are not tight or stiff feeling or sounding. Maybe the WL-12 is but I'm not sure.

This stiff tight subject has fascinated me for some time and I have never heard a satisfactory answer yet. An answer that proves out across the board in all instances. And I've heard allot of answers both on AGF and many other places. I believe a major player is the listener's ear. If a persons personal EQ is being satisfied a guitar sounds and feels easier to play. If not it feels stiff or tight. IMO
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