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  #1  
Old 12-10-2018, 04:50 PM
tomcstokes59 tomcstokes59 is offline
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Default Huss & Dalton vs Collings

I have started down a 12 fret rabbit hole and have been looking at two comparable priced higher end dreadnoughts. One is an H&D DS Crossroads 12 fret and the other is a Collings DS1 12 fret. There are some minor build differences the biggest is the H&D is short scale and more of a take off on a vintage Gibson. Both are sitka/mahogany. The H&D is local. The Collings is not. Both appear to be in excellent condition. Does anyone have experience A&B'ing these two models?
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Old 12-10-2018, 05:50 PM
$ongWriter $ongWriter is offline
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Default my 2 cents...

I've owned both brands...used to have 5 Colling's before I went Martin and Gibson vintage. I did not own a 12 fret...."Most"...not all...but "most" Colling's have a harsh sound...and I mean that in a good way...and that's why folks like them...because if there are 20 acoustic guitars in a room...you will usually hear the Collings...I had a Collings CJ-35A that was a beast!!....I had a cooked adironack top/sinker mahogany b&S H&D...it was really really good...just could not bond with it...can't explain why...but...to my ear Huss & Dalton have a sweeter tone....ALSO...one of the best "Martins" I've ever played was a Colling's Traditional model with rosewood b&s...the Traditional models to my ear don't even sound like a Collings....they don't have the harshness...which to me is THE Coillings sound....that's just my 2 cents...for what it's worth..(probably only about a penny...)...they both make great guitars....
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Old 12-10-2018, 06:33 PM
SuperB23 SuperB23 is offline
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98% of the time I prefer the tone of a Huss and Dalton over a Collings.
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Old 12-10-2018, 06:35 PM
Rosewood99 Rosewood99 is offline
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I have played a Collings and owned a H&D. I'm generalizing of course, but you may find that Collings has a "brighter" tone than H&D. My particular Huss and Dalton had a more traditional sound.

Both have great reputations. But they are different enough that I would make sure you play both before buying.
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Old 12-10-2018, 06:39 PM
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Kh1967 Kh1967 is offline
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Owned both and like them equally well.

To my ear, in Collings, 9 times out of 10, I prefer a sitka top as it warms the guitar up. Plus, the more play time you have on them, they will warm up.

Cannot go wrong with either, in my opinion. Both builders make excellent guitars.
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Old 12-10-2018, 06:59 PM
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BrunoBlack BrunoBlack is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kh1967 View Post
Owned both and like them equally well.

To my ear, in Collings, 9 times out of 10, I prefer a sitka top as it warms the guitar up. Plus, the more play time you have on them, they will warm up.

Cannot go wrong with either, in my opinion. Both builders make excellent guitars.
I completely agree. As always, your opinion (the OP) is what matters.

Last edited by BrunoBlack; 12-10-2018 at 08:59 PM.
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Old 12-10-2018, 08:51 PM
jaycal jaycal is offline
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Iíve owned a couple of each, although not 12 fret models. I liked the Collings more. But I like Bourgeois much more than both of them!
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Old 12-10-2018, 10:30 PM
Fred Fred is offline
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I own a H&D 12-fretter that is now several years old....one of the early 00 models. I think H&D comes closer to the traditional "Martin" sound, if that's what you like. I find Collings dreads to be on the harsh side, but their smaller bodies sound much warmer to my ears. It is possible that there is little difference between the two you are considering. But maybe not.
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Old 12-10-2018, 11:46 PM
momando momando is offline
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I will start with the disclaimer that I am a bit of a H&D junkie...

That said, I have the 14 fret crossroads DS, but before I got it I tried quite a few slope shoulder guitars from Gibson, Collings, Bourgeois, and H&D (both the DS and the DS Crossroads). The Collings DS had a more modern sound, not quite brittle, but more crisp sounding than the others. Bourgeois was still crisp, but more open sounding. On the other end of the spectrum, all of the hog Gibsons I could find were kinda squishy on the attack. Since I wanted the guitar primarily to play Texas swing behind a fiddle player, I opted for the H&D as it felt more the part. If it was for more singer songwriter stuff, I could have easily gone Bourgeois or Collings. (or the non-crossroads DS, which has a heavier top and larger sound hole)

Not sure if you are looking beyond these two, but the other thing I will add is that IMO the sitka paired nicely with mahogany on the slope shoulder, but I tried a few adirondack tops that always felt like they were a little over agressive. (Just my .02)
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Old 12-11-2018, 12:44 AM
tomcstokes59 tomcstokes59 is offline
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Default Thank you

I would like to thank everyone for the comments and inputs. I was hoping to be told the Collings is far superior to justify buying it without playing. Unfortunately I got the answer I should have expected - it depends. Play them both and decide what works best for me.
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Old 12-11-2018, 01:48 AM
Quake17 Quake17 is offline
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I do not have either in a 12 fret version, but I have an H&D DS in mahogany/Sitka and a Collings CJ in mahogany/Adirondack. Both are early 2000's models and well played in. They do look similar but don't really sound too alike. To my ears, the H&D excels at strumming, it's kind of a J-45 crossed with a D-18, a very pleasing sound. The Collings really works in flat picking and if you need volume, it's one of the loudest acoustics I've played. I had a chance to A/B my CJ with a local shop's CJ in mahogany and Sitka and they sounded remarkably similar, albeit mine was louder as it was played in and I think the Adi top contributed as well.

I doubt you could go wrong, depending upon your playing style.

Best of luck!
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Old 12-11-2018, 07:51 AM
musicman1951 musicman1951 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaycal View Post
Iíve owned a couple of each, although not 12 fret models. I liked the Collings more. But I like Bourgeois much more than both of them!
So do I, but I suppose that's not the question. But it does illustrate my point: you really need to play the Collings first. Beautifully made guitars and people either like them or they don't. I can't imagine anyone telling you which camp you might fall into.
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Old 12-11-2018, 08:45 AM
EverettWilliams EverettWilliams is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomcstokes59 View Post
I would like to thank everyone for the comments and inputs. I was hoping to be told the Collings is far superior to justify buying it without playing. Unfortunately I got the answer I should have expected - it depends. Play them both and decide what works best for me.
Yes, always good to play before buying, but there’s no better brand to buy without playing than a Collings. They are consistently good instruments, and I can’t say the same for H&D (some are great!).

I’ve owned a DS and own a 12 fret 00 right now and think very highly of the DS. The DS has a rounder tone that works well with Collings’ more articulate voice.
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Old 12-11-2018, 11:49 AM
kathyson kathyson is offline
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I find Collings to be more consistent the the H&D. Have owned both.
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Old 12-11-2018, 12:17 PM
SKYHIGH SKYHIGH is offline
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Collings want to stay in front of you whereas H & D will support you...
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