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  #16  
Old 06-10-2019, 11:01 PM
Mark L Mark L is offline
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Aspiring,

I live in the Austin area and have been kind of a ďCollings GuyĒ for over 20 years. Bill C. Was a very inspiring man, and I love his instruments.

They are a bit of a bite out of the budget for sure, but I have been fortunate in my path of employment so could take a chance when I wanted to try, and grabbed a used Soco. I later sold that one, preferring the sound of the I35 LC. I also like the 290. They just plain donít make a bad guitar, to say the VERY least.

It depends on what you want in terms of tone and feel, and how the neck and body geometries suit you, and especially what pickups the specific model comes with (Lollar vs. Thro-Bak being the 2 usual factory defaults, Lollars being a few hundred cheaper but no lesser quality imo).

You wonít go wrong keeping the Yamaha SA2200 and never looking back. The overall quality plus the variety of settings with the push/push pots is fantastic. Iíll never sell mine (bought here on agf used, years ago, btw).

Some people find the Lollars ďsterileĒ. If you need dirt or grit in your tone and never play clean country or jazz etc., I might agree. I find them accurate, and very high quality voiced. Lots of additional qualities can be done with a simple pedal or 2 and a decent amp. The throbaks (HBís) are considered by many to be more touch sensitive, gritty, responsive etc. I only have experience with Lollar low winds and P90ís. Lollars are among the best pickups available, and can be switched out as one chooses/can afford of course.

Build quality of Collings electrics is second to none. Cutting to the chase, think about trying a 290 model, single or double cut, as a foil to your SA. They are fantastic with Lollar P90ís and can be found with the right bargaining skills for around $2k used in exc cond.

If you buy used for the right price and donít wind up liking it, you can sell and only lose a little, break even, or even make a little.

Do some deep research on youtube etc, and listen through at least decent headphones, not iphone speakers. Go to the Collings website, collingsguitars.com, and their facebook page and soak it in a little.

Before I run completely on, maybe you can ask on this forum, or on The Gear Page (tgp.net) if someone in your area might let you audition their privately owned Collings.

Thanks for asking. I apologize in advance for both the Collings and TGP references. . . Mark.
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  #17  
Old 06-11-2019, 11:56 AM
Aspiring Aspiring is offline
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Mark thanks for the great input. My main thoughts are going to be around how I get along from a playability standpoint (I had to sell a RainSong parlor as the neck just didn't agree with my left hand over time and I have large hands / fingers)

I had been intrigued either by their semi or full hollow bodies as I am not really looking at solid bodies at the moment. Thus the SOCO, archtop, jazz, i35 and a couple of the other models.

The AT set looks cool too but from what I'm seeing that's beyond where I want to go budget wise. I don't want to be too afraid of scratching the instrument that I don't play it!
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  #18  
Old 06-11-2019, 02:45 PM
Mark L Mark L is offline
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Itís been a pleasure discussing with you Aspiring.

My advice is to narrow down your choices to 2-3 ( as youíve done), listen to a lot of samples, look at a lot of photos and videos, heck even call Collings. Mark Althans and his customer service group is fantastic at answering your questions and getting the right guitar into your hands.

If you like 335 types, there are lots of them used on Reverb, some sitting for a while. Itís a buyers market, despite recent price hikes. Find one in ďplayers conditionĒ. Ask about the neck profile (50ís or 60ís, check Collings website).

Iím guessing if you like your SA2200, youíll really love an I35 or Soco.

The Eastside and other jazz type archtops are different guitars entirely. In a really good way, of course.

Somewhere else on here, agf, Goodallboy has posted an item on his recent Collings electric. Check it out and maybe inquire for further impressions on his post?

Youíd be hard pressed to find someone who didnít like, or dissed, a Collings I35lc. Any negatives toward the brand are almost always ďitís not a Gibson (LP, 335), which is correct, itís not. Other than that, itís personal and no one can decide that but you.

The I35, btw, is smaller bodied and lighter than your SA - a good thing imo.

Best wishes, Mark.
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  #19  
Old 07-07-2019, 12:43 PM
Aspiring Aspiring is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark L View Post
Itís been a pleasure discussing with you Aspiring.

My advice is to narrow down your choices to 2-3 ( as youíve done), listen to a lot of samples, look at a lot of photos and videos, heck even call Collings. Mark Althans and his customer service group is fantastic at answering your questions and getting the right guitar into your hands.

If you like 335 types, there are lots of them used on Reverb, some sitting for a while. Itís a buyers market, despite recent price hikes. Find one in ďplayers conditionĒ. Ask about the neck profile (50ís or 60ís, check Collings website).

Iím guessing if you like your SA2200, youíll really love an I35 or Soco.

The Eastside and other jazz type archtops are different guitars entirely. In a really good way, of course.

Somewhere else on here, agf, Goodallboy has posted an item on his recent Collings electric. Check it out and maybe inquire for further impressions on his post?

Youíd be hard pressed to find someone who didnít like, or dissed, a Collings I35lc. Any negatives toward the brand are almost always ďitís not a Gibson (LP, 335), which is correct, itís not. Other than that, itís personal and no one can decide that but you.

The I35, btw, is smaller bodied and lighter than your SA - a good thing imo.

Best wishes, Mark.
I had the chance to try two new I35s yesterday at Dusty Strings in Seattle. A deluxe solid top and a 35lc. I really enjoyed the clarity in the LC and the warmth in the deluxe.

I also have a line on a seventy seven exrubato full hollow standard for a good price. I would definitely need to try the Collings back to back in the same room with the same amp as my Yamaha. From impressions I liked the playability slightly more on the Yamaha but the tone on the Collings with a Vox 20 watt combo was gorgeous.
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