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Old 01-17-2019, 04:57 PM
SJ VanSandt SJ VanSandt is offline
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Default Waterloo WL-K - is it too light?

Of the Waterloos I've played, the WL-K has consistently been my favorite, sound wise, though I like most of the others as well. It seems a little warmer, a little bassier (though far from overly so), and louder than most of the others. I was all set to pull the trigger on one when a friend - an excellent bluegrass player - warned me that in his experience, because of the lower string tension of the extra light strings, he gets a lot of fret buzz when he digs in as much as he normally does. This gave me pause. Now, I'm not a particularly heavy handed player, but I do hate string buzz, and one reason I want a Waterloo is to learn how to play fingerstyle blues, and I think a certain snap is inherent in the style.

Has anyone else experienced something like this? Would I be better off with the WL- 12, which is built a tad heavier and comes with standard light gauge strings? I like it almost as well, though it doesn't seem quite as warm or loud.

Check out this video of Jake Workman. It looks like pretty sturdy playing, but I don't hear much string noise.

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Old 01-17-2019, 05:09 PM
The Kid! The Kid! is offline
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That one sounds great!
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Old 01-17-2019, 05:10 PM
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stephenT stephenT is offline
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I rely on an adjustable truss rod to set the neck relief so a WL-12 was my choice, wonderful guitar. But it doesn't sound like a WL-K, so it depends,..
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Old 01-17-2019, 05:19 PM
SJ VanSandt SJ VanSandt is offline
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Thanks for the input, Stephen. I understand that the new WL-Ks now have a truss rod, though of course many of the ones out there for sale still have the CF t-bar - most of them, as far as the ads indicate. That may solve my problem, right there, if I can get hold of a brand new one.
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Old 01-17-2019, 05:21 PM
SJ VanSandt SJ VanSandt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Kid! View Post
That one sounds great!
Doesn't it though? He makes Old Joe Clark dance and sing!
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Old 01-17-2019, 05:35 PM
Taylor007 Taylor007 is offline
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Not too light. Iíve played a few & found them to be my favorite of the Waterloo line. I dig in w/ a heavy pick. Go for it.
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Old 01-17-2019, 06:48 PM
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blindboyjimi blindboyjimi is offline
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These are not bluegrass guitars but excellent finger pickers. I too went for the WL-12 over anything else. With action as low as itíll go, 000.5Ē relief and a 24.75Ē short scale even shorter than Martin, it WILL buzz with a pick. Sure you can raise the action but then itíll be too high for finger picking. Just my 2c.
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Old 01-17-2019, 08:11 PM
ataylor ataylor is online now
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I've played most of the Waterloo models at one time or another and the WL-K is my favorite of the bunch by a long shot. I think it would be a fantastic guitar for the style you mentioned, as well as others.

I played one in a local shop just last week -- when I picked it up, it was tuned down to open D and I never got the sense that it was buzzy or anything of the sort. It was a lot of fun to play.

The other two Waterloo guitars I played in that visit were the WL-14 Scissortail and the WL-12 mahogany. Neither held a candle to the WL-K in terms of the volume and dimension of the tone.

There's a reason those old Kel Kroydon guitars are sought after and I think Collings did a fantastic job capturing the tone and look with the WL-K.
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:09 PM
welshruss welshruss is offline
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Its my favourite Waterloo as well. I own a WL14 ladder and a WLK. I get no fretbuzz but I'm a fingerstyle player. I've had mine over 3 years.
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:18 PM
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Gee, not sure I needed to know that, just when I was thinking I don't need another guitar!

When I was looking for a particular Waterloo I called Collings and they were happy to tell me the dealers who'd ordered that specific guitar.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SJ VanSandt View Post
Thanks for the input, Stephen. I understand that the new WL-Ks now have a truss rod, though of course many of the ones out there for sale still have the CF t-bar - most of them, as far as the ads indicate. That may solve my problem, right there, if I can get hold of a brand new one.
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:23 PM
SJ VanSandt SJ VanSandt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ataylor View Post
I've played most of the Waterloo models at one time or another and the WL-K is my favorite of the bunch by a long shot. I think it would be a fantastic guitar for the style you mentioned, as well as others.

I played one in a local shop just last week -- when I picked it up, it was tuned down to open D and I never got the sense that it was buzzy or anything of the sort. It was a lot of fun to play.

The other two Waterloo guitars I played in that visit were the WL-14 Scissortail and the WL-12 mahogany. Neither held a candle to the WL-K in terms of the volume and dimension of the tone.

There's a reason those old Kel Kroydon guitars are sought after and I think Collings did a fantastic job capturing the tone and look with the WL-K.
Thanks for the testimony, ATaylor. It's good to hear that about the open D tuning - I'll be trying that and drop D, for sure. I agree with you entirely about the tone, but as far as looks go I really prefer the more standard burst on the WL-12. I do appreciate how well they nailed the Kel Kroydon look, though.
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Old 01-18-2019, 10:12 AM
Mr. Jelly Mr. Jelly is offline
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I agree that the resistance playing a Waterloo is one of the least I have experienced. I also have issues with over driving my Waterloos. When anyone plays guitar one of the tasks in doing so is touch and feel of both the left and right hands. So everyone deals with it in some manner and chose their guitars with it in mind. The sound of a Waterloo happens easily and with an easy touch. It's part of what make them so fun to play. I have found that I have to back off the heavy drive of my left hand at times.
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Old 01-18-2019, 01:10 PM
Willie Voltaire Willie Voltaire is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SJ VanSandt View Post
Would I be better off with the WL- 12, which is built a tad heavier and comes with standard light gauge strings? I like it almost as well, though it doesn't seem quite as warm or loud.
I LOVE my WL12, and even play it tuned down a half-step without getting fret buzz. If you're looking for warmer, perhaps try the WL12 Mh?
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Old 01-18-2019, 09:10 PM
SJ VanSandt SJ VanSandt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie Voltaire View Post
I LOVE my WL12, and even play it tuned down a half-step without getting fret buzz. If you're looking for warmer, perhaps try the WL12 Mh?
I was in Austin Vintage yesterday playing the WL-12 and comparing it to a sweet little 1930's Kalamazoo they have. Ended up doing a little jamming with a guy who also liked them. I loved the old one, but concluded that the newer guitar would be a better all-rounder. I then had a conversation with a guy who owned a WL12 Mh, and we compared those two for a bit. The WL-12 still sounded best to my ears. No WL-K to compare, but when I've done it in the past the K has always edged the others.
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