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  #31  
Old 05-24-2019, 07:49 AM
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rick-slo rick-slo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ac2300 View Post
Does a steep break angle make for a stiffer action, do you get more elasticity with a lower angle?
No difference.
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  #32  
Old 05-24-2019, 08:16 AM
mondoslug mondoslug is offline
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Originally Posted by Mr. Jelly View Post
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
I dunno, I'm a relatively recent Collings OM-2H owner, personal EQ is on, feels a little tight though. YMMV of course.
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  #33  
Old 05-24-2019, 08:29 AM
jaymarsch jaymarsch is offline
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I have had that experience with some newly built Collings but not some of the used ones that I have played. But then I have experienced that with some other newly-built guitars as well. I think that factory setups might have something to do with it. I bought a guitar that felt stiffer playing than I was used to and then had it set up to my liking and the stiffer feeling went away.

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  #34  
Old 05-24-2019, 09:30 AM
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Nah, no more than other brands.
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  #35  
Old 05-24-2019, 11:35 AM
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I was reluctant to post in a 10yr old thread, since many members here know where I stand with Collings, but the latest comments confirm my own impressions. I've owned 3 Collings and played dozens in various shops. With the exception of 1 dread, an 8yr old at the time D2HG Varnish that I briefly demoed from an AGF member which was smooth sounding and easy to play, virtually every other Collings required an unusually careful attention to fingering and technique to sound their best. This less than forgiving responsiveness, especially when new, is what some refer to as 'playing stiff.'

Collings are loud, projective, and articulate sounding guitars with a modern, piano-like voicing and a build quality second to none. They play like a coiled spring, outputting ~ 125% of what you put into them. But they are not instruments you can play relaxed or loosey goosey like a typical Martin or Santa Cruz. If you finger a note in the middle or well behind the fret for example, you will get a nasty squawk and everyone will hear it. Perhaps older Collings are different, but I doubt it.

Last data point... one of the Collings I once owned was a CW Indian (Adi over EIR). This is a flatpickers guitar advertised as built with a stiff Adi top and Adi bracing for maximum volume and projection. After two setups, a switch to Light strings, and then the AO1 treatment from Frank Sanns in Pittsburgh, it still never played anywhere near as easy as an off the factory floor Martin, and I sold it shortly thereafter.

I'm not going to fight a guitar to enjoy it, no matter how much I like the tone. Feel and playability are paramount, and I expect a guitar to respond appropriately with minimal fingering pressure and a large degree of forgiveness in player technique. Sadly, I will need to stick to other brands.
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  #36  
Old 05-24-2019, 04:26 PM
vintageom vintageom is offline
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I have owned several Collings guitars over the years:

D2H
D2HG
OM2H 2 of them
D1 2 of them
0002H
SJ
OM1AC
OM1A
OM1A Traditional


All felt too "tight", or seemingly more effort was required to press the strings to the frets than Santa Cruz, Martin, Taylor, and others with same scale lengths and same string brands/gauges.

EXCEPT the OM1A Traditional, which I still own and will not sell. This one does not feel tight or require more effort to depress the strings than any other guitar I own. I have no idea why.

My Bourgeois Vintage OM and Martin OM-42 serve as my rosewood OMs. I will say that I played a Collings OM1A Julian Lage that rivaled my OM1A Traditional, but mine is still better and it is a few years older as well.

I read a post recently that stated that Bill Collings had a bit more distance from the top of the 12th fret to the top of the saddle for better intonation, but I have never measured it. Probably a minuscule difference, but who knows if that would account for more perceived string tension.

I absolutely love Collings' fit and finish and overall craftsmanship, but could not live with most of them long-term. I need to check out a Waterloo some day to feel if there is any difference.

Last edited by vintageom; 05-24-2019 at 10:01 PM. Reason: forgot about two more
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  #37  
Old 05-24-2019, 04:48 PM
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I’m struck oddly by this recurring comment some players make about the feel of Collings guitars. Not that I doubt their opinion for a second, but I have owned quite a few Collings and many of the brands mentioned as easy to play - and have owned and played quite a few other very familiar brands over the years. And I’ve always found Collings to be the easiest and most comfortable instruments to play, without exception. It goes to show, you’ve got to play them & make your own decisions about tone and comfort.
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Last edited by Haasome; 05-24-2019 at 05:12 PM.
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  #38  
Old 05-24-2019, 05:49 PM
Mark L Mark L is offline
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Speaking of bringing a dead thread back to life....

Id like to hear some of our guitars come to life and start a discussion page about their caretakers.

I cant believe the way this guy chokes the life out of my neck and expects me to make sweet music with him. Im a straightforward gal, built to last a lifetime. Who taught him how to play anyway, an unamplified busker? And then, he runs off with some slightly built, easy playing hussy based on some superficial shiny bits and some painted bearclaw, and complains to her about how I was hard to get!.


I guess Ill just leave it there for you, uh, fellas, to consider. Or not.
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  #39  
Old 05-24-2019, 07:55 PM
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I haven't played a lot of Collings guitars over the years but I do own a 95 D3H that I have had for 22 years, to my ears I would say the tone is very balanced.
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  #40  
Old 05-25-2019, 05:12 AM
musicman1951 musicman1951 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Berger View Post
I think of Collings guitars as more "focused" than "tight."

To me the ones I have played (mostly at Buffalo Brothers in Carlsbad and Westwood Music in LA) have not been as "alive" or "musical" sounding as I like.

I know these are subjective terms that have different meanings to different players. And yes . . . the Collings guitars I have played have had fairly new strings and weren't dead sounding.

They certainly are wonderfully built guitars.
This has been my experience. I didn't experience it as a "feel" thing as much as the overall tone seemed a little too sterile (for lack of a better word). I've played quite a few and they were all excellent instruments that I had absolutely no desire to take home.

I'm sure that other players hear my "sterile" as clean, or maybe delightful note separation - they sell plenty of guitars.
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  #41  
Old 05-25-2019, 05:49 AM
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My 0001A is wonderful to play but it has a short scale which was an option (24-7/8). So if you primarily play fingerstyle, consider a 12 fret, short scale Collings. It will not feel tight at all.
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  #42  
Old 05-25-2019, 03:32 PM
Malcolm Kindnes Malcolm Kindnes is offline
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I am now on my fourth Collings, and I will probably keep this one, but yes, they are stiff. In fact the reason this one came to me in a trade was because the previous owner found it "stiff, and hard work to play".
This one is a lot less stiff than the others I have owned, so what does that tell you? I have no idea why this should be, but I have owned many different brands over very many years and I really can't think of a guitar I would describe as stiffer.
And please, nobody tell me they loosen up, as one of my previous Collings' was made in 1996!
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  #43  
Old 05-25-2019, 03:56 PM
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I'm not going to fight a guitar to enjoy it, no matter how much I like the tone. Feel and playability are paramount, and I expect a guitar to respond appropriately with minimal fingering pressure and a large degree of forgiveness in player technique. Sadly, I will need to stick to other brands.[/QUOTE]
Voice/tone /sustain are what to me are the most important in a guitar.
When I was thinking about ordering the Sc 1934 I played 6-8 collings in the same shop from whom I ordered the SC.
The Quote above sums up my feelings.
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  #44  
Old 05-25-2019, 07:12 PM
jrb715 jrb715 is offline
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I hope this revived thread does not warn folks off of trying a Collings guitar. My experience has been that most Collings guitars I've played sound sensational, and most I've played have been a joy to play. But I also have found that one I purchased--an OM1 with an Adirondack top--indeed played, to my taste and in comparison to my other three Collings I owned at the time, uncomfortably stiff. I thought of the OM1A as my seventeen minute guitar, because that's pretty much how long I could tolerate playing it without getting fatigued. Before I put it up for sale, I emailed Collings and basically complained about the guitar and wondered not only if that's just the way the guitar--and particularly the Adi top--was meant to play but also why it seemed so stiff compared to my other three Collings. I received an email asking if they could call me and talk about it. When they did, a Collings representative offered to walk my local luthier through a set up (this would be a second attempt at a set up to make it more playable).

The guitar came back through the Collings-aided set up playing just as easily as my other Collings, and in relaxing into a wonderfully playable guitar it sounded much better: like my other Collings, it now sounded sensational. Not sure exactly what to take from this experience, but I suspect there is a relatively precise sweet spot with a Collings that involves both adjusting the truss rod and fixing the action. All Collings, by the way, don't come from every store with a factory set up. Two stores I know set up their Collings themselves. And, in fact, my OM1A came from one of these stores.

Two other notes: I've communicated with Collings a number of times now about ordering and customizing guitars. Collings has been to me a model company in responsiveness, and in simply caring for a customer. It's hard for me to imagine a better, more meticulous, guitar company. The other note is simply to repeat that, in my experience, most Collings guitars have sounded sensational and been a joy to play. My local store is a Martin dealer, and the folks there have put up with me playing my way through their inventory; I also have been a number of times to Artisan in Franklin, Tennessee and have played well over twenty Collings. I've never felt that Martin guitars play any easier than Collings: most of the time I've felt the reverse.

Last edited by jrb715; 05-25-2019 at 10:29 PM.
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  #45  
Old 05-25-2019, 07:26 PM
Mark L Mark L is offline
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That was a very good post jrb. Thank you.
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