Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Posts 1 to 50 of 55
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    I haven't seen too much discussion of these here given our general proclivity for archtops, though a few members own(ed?) them. I played a WL-14 Scissortail and WL-S this morning. Some impressions:

    They are very different sounds with some commonality, like blood orange and grapefruit if a traditional dreadnought is a pumpkin. Both have a very snappy response that would work well for chunking out rhythm chords. Both have a sweet, mellow-leaning clarity on single note lines. There's a wide dynamic and timbrel range on these instruments, likely due to their light construction. And both are very comfortable: due to back issues, I cannot play with my current guitars resting on my right leg. These felt right at home there.

    The Scissortail has a spruce top with maple back and rims. This is X-braced. It is a tad brighter, but in a clear not strident way. You can really hear into the harmonies, each separate component. The 14th fret neck joint did not require much adjusting to coming from an archtop. The neck is a huge baseball bat sized V but was very comfortable. I was surprised that I did not need to adjust to it at all.

    The WL-S has a 12th fret neck joint, spruce top, and cherry back and rims. This one is ladder-braced. The sound is more integrated than the Scissortail, almost like a nylon string: just warm and full. The lack of upper-fret access was a bit harder to adjust to. I played through a few arrangements that have voices that hit the 13th fret on the E string. These were hard to articulate clearly. The neck was super comfy, the body a tad smaller than the Scissortail.

    All in all, I think either would be a nice instrument for chord melody with the range to do other styles as well. String choice could definitely help refine the voice of either instrument toward this end.

    I'm not smitten but interested and would love to hear other's experience on these instruments if any.

    It's the first weekend of porch weather here. If you can't tell.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    No experience with those, but very interested as well. A guy who works for Collings has a number of clips on YouTube with several models doing standards and Latin American tunes. Very convincing to me, I know I'd be happy with one. And I find those those little Waterloos to be just gorgeous.

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    I've been thinking about the Waterloo's for a while myself.
    Hard for me to figure out which model would be best.

    I got the chance to play a few in Oklahoma City a while back.
    They were pretty cool, but paled in comparison to the Collings I was drooling over.

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Longways to Go
    Hard for me to figure out which model would be best.
    The two models that I wrote about spoke most to me. I kept going back and forth between them thinking they do things differently enough that someone (not me) getting both would be justifiable and logical. I may lean more towards the WL-S but I say that with minimal confidence.

    I didn’t look at anything further upmarket. Why upset the apple cart? Flattop makers clearly were shrewd in their choices as that’s a much larger market to cater to as a provider of bespoke, “luxury” items than what buyers of archtops could support.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    I'm pretty sure Julian Lage is into them -- maybe even an endorser?
    There's some video out there with him singing (and playing) their praises.

    Also, It must be mentioned that apparently there is a Waterloo archtop in the prototype phase . . .

  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    I have a Waterloo WL 14 X-brace and it was my main singer/solo gig guitar for about 200 shows. It sounded great acoustically or amplified via K&K pickups through a Bose system. I liked it so much I decided to get an original 1930's Kalamazoo. I eventually bought a 1933 Kalamazoo K-11 (a bit stouter in body size than the WL 14) and now it has more or less taken the place of the WL 14. It's not that the Kalamazoo's a better guitar because it's not; it's more the case that as an 86 year old instrument it just has a cool, funky, old-soul sound. Getting the Kalamazoo gave me a greater appreciation of how true the Waterloo is to the idea of a depression-era "non-Gibson" Gibson. Hat's off to Collings for making the Waterloo line. In a word, they're just fun to play!

  8. #7

    User Info Menu

    I fell in love with the Waterloo WL-14's the minute I played one (I can't recall what bracing that first one was). And each Waterloo I played I dug.
    It was funny, on a visit to Gryphon Strings in Palo Alto, I was there to check out a 30's DA-Style B, and the WL-14 and especially the WL-S Deluxe were way more exciting and inspiring.

    After that trip, I talked to a friend who's a dealer about ordering a WL-S Deluxe. He was offering me to get it at cost, which was such a nice offer, I didn't really pester him about it, so wasn't sure what the time table was.

    A month later, at the NAMM show I played through the whole line again, and despite the fact that the WL-S deluxe was my previous favorite, the din of the NAMM show really showed the superior projection of the WL-14, but specifically the ladder braced one. Plus, the utility of the 14 fret neck to my style was made very apparent.

    Then a couple weeks later, I realize my friend never got around to ordering the guitar, and some friends at a local shop took in a used WL-14L (so lightly used, that they almost mixed it up with the new one they had in stock), and they gave me a solid deal on it, so I picked it up.

    Anyway, I used it on my recent solo guitar CD to record a 1928 Roy Smeck tune. In 1928, Archtop's hadn't quite taken over (the jazz world) yet, so I figured there was a good chance Roy probably wrote it something more like the Waterloo than an L-5.


    I can't really play fingerstyle to save my life, but because the Waterloo is so sensitive and lively I end up messing with it more. Also, it's the perfect "lullabye" guitar for my 2.5 year-old, since I can play it very lightly and it's still speaks nicely. (FYI, a super punchy 1939 L-5 is a terrible choice for that job)

    Anyway, I love playing it around the house, though I haven't had the kind of gig where I might use it yet.

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    Thanks a lot Jonathan. As an archtop player, do you seen the need for a fingerest pickguard ?

    And keep your eye out for their Waterloo archtop, pls. I think they'll be 14 inches. too. They're not shipping yet, but not sure, did someone say August ?
    I'll be real interested to learn what you think about those as well.

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    I have played 2 of the Waterloo flat-tops.

    My opinion is that they were crude and poor value compared to other Collings models I have played

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    Weren't they also at a much lower price point though?

  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    Comparing a Waterloo to a Collings is like comparing a 1930s Kalamazoo to a same period Gibson. In the 1930s, a Gibson L-00 was significantly more expensive than the Kalamazoo KG-14. And that was by design. The Kalamazoo's were no-nonsense, depression-era guitars without the finer finishing points of the Gibson but still built to get the job done by the same luthiers who built the Gibsons. Same idea applies for Waterloo vs Collings.

    I don't have the information here, but maybe somebody else does: It would be interesting to see how much a 1930's Kalamazoo KG-14 retailed for vs a same period Gibson L-00 or L-0 14-fret. (Note: One of the price cutting points with the Kalamazoo models is that they didn't have truss rods like their Gibson counterpart.)

    Here's an article in Premier Guitar that examines the thinking about current "depression-era" guitars. Acoustic Soundboard -- Turning the Boutique Movement On Its Ear

    Acoustic Soundboard: Turning the Boutique Movement on Its Ear | Premier Guitar

  13. #12

    User Info Menu

    "Crude" is one way of describing the Waterloo sound. I think of them as having character, tons of it. It's not a sound that's for everyone but it's completely unique and absolutely wonderful to my ear.

  14. #13

    User Info Menu

    I played a waterloo parlor expecting some sort of magic (more room for dynamics I guess). I found I barely liked it better than my $150 gretch parlor

  15. #14

    User Info Menu

    "Weren't they also at a much lower price point though? "

    Yes,
    I am not speaking of price but "value"....I suppose I should have said "over valued".

    I made no mention of the sound being "crude".. the workmanship was crude.

    I have a 1929 Stromberg Voisinet that was an inexpensive guitar when new that has.. in my opinion, better design, materials , workmanship, playability and tone.

    I very much like Collings guitars, not the 2 Waterloo I played.

    I have played many of the upper line of Collings guitars and while expensive, a better value than many of my Martins.

  16. #15

    User Info Menu

    I like my $150 Recording King. Great combo of "sounds cheap, was cheap."

    But I think the Waterloos are damn cool.

  17. #16

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    I like my $150 Recording King. Great combo of "sounds cheap, was cheap."

    But I think the Waterloos are damn cool.

    Agree. No doubt Collins are great guitars. And Waterloos aren't for everyone. But those of us that like 'em can't quit grinnin' while playing 'em -- they're just plain fun and worthy of a thumbs up!

  18. #17
    Thanks for the discussion.

    I understand what’s meant by crude, but for some, the character that engenders that reaction is endearing, for everything it is and isn’t.

    I decided to order a WL-S. I’ll play with strings for a while (silk and steel, nickel bronze, maybe TI Plectrums) to get a sense of where it’s voice is most appealing—to me. (String recommendations welcome.)

    I think this is one of the videos mentioned. If I capture a similar sound, I’ll be happy enough:




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  19. #18

    User Info Menu

    Collings has finally put some details about this guitar. Looks great. A bit pricey for some but not too bad.

    Waterloo WL-AT Archtop Acoustic Guitar| Waterloo by Collings Guitars

  20. #19
    So around $4k street new it seems.

    I was super interested in this when they were announced at NAMM. Then I tried a few of their other guitars (preliminary research I thought) and really liked them. Now that I bought a new WL-S for about half that price, I’d be unlikely to spend twice as much on the WL-AT. Had the price point been lower, I might have kicked myself for not waiting.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  21. #20

    User Info Menu

    To me an overpriced guitar with little to say. No binding, small, cheap as you go tailpiece, and if someone wants one buy it. Farthest thing from an archtop I personally am looking for. Not a lot of work in one to complete.

  22. #21

    User Info Menu

    I like the sound and the look, but 1 3/4 nut and V-profile? This is terrible!

  23. #22

    User Info Menu

    I'm going with nope all around.

    $$4K ???? WTF ? 1 3/4" nut? tiny body, flat back. I'm just not gassin'
    I'd be more likely to buy one of their flattops used at less than 1/2 the price.

    Sorry, but I'm happy to stick with my '34 L-7 which was cheaper and kicks A$$ in every way.

  24. #23

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Hep To The Jive
    I like the sound and the look, but 1 3/4 nut and V-profile? This is terrible!
    I like those specs but given my taste, that may be the kiss for death for a lot of people. It is an awful lot of money for what it is bit I have a hunch I'd really enjoy it.

  25. #24

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Soloway
    I like those specs but given my taste, that may be the kiss for death for a lot of people. It is an awful lot of money for what it is bit I have a hunch I'd really enjoy it.
    Of course someone might prefer those specs, but I don't understand why wide nut on a guitar designed for strumming. I personally can't stand wide necks and especially in mix with V profile- instant fretting hand fatigue.

  26. #25

    User Info Menu

    Can I show my ignorance and ask why a 1 3/4 nut is frowned upon?

  27. #26

    User Info Menu

    I didn't buy this one, but mine is just like it (scroll down a bit)...

    Vega VEGAPHONE 1938 Sunburst | Reverb


    Likewise this one also, but mine is pretty much identical...

    1924 Gibson L-2 Guitar | Reverb

    All-in & with new frets I've got two excellent small-bodied archtops
    and $ left over for another nice guitar compared to the Collings.

    Yes, they both have big necks. Cowboy up, girly-men!

  28. #27

    User Info Menu

    I like the 1 3/4 inch nut...but seeing how the Waterloo flat tops are quite affordable, these miss the mark for me.

  29. #28

    User Info Menu

    I prefer 1.75" neck width. My fingers can't form an open C chord on anything smaller. But I understand the need to avoid "neck fatigue".

  30. #29

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    I like the 1 3/4 inch nut...but seeing how the Waterloo flat tops are quite affordable, these miss the mark for me.
    The new Waterloo acoustics that I just found listed seem to top out at $2700. And they're selling and presumably making a buck......
    So it begs the question can / do these archtops cost that much more to build ? I really don't know - -maybe they do, but really only the top is arched. The backs are flat and spec's are similar, right ?

    MHO - -at $4000, or close - - and with at best an average sound, you spend another $1000. and have Mark C
    build you one that will sound great.
    For me a no-brainer.

  31. #30

    User Info Menu

    For me, the body shape just looks wrong. I'm likely the only person, but the proportions just seem off.

  32. #31

    User Info Menu

    I think it’s a cool guitar, but my 55 L-5N cost me just $200 more less than year ago. There’s a lot of choices that seem to offer more for that price.

  33. #32

    User Info Menu

    I retract my previous gripe about the 1 3/4" nut width.
    I just measured a few of my guitars and discovered that my Gibson flattops and my L-7 all have that width and are super comfortable to play. I was thinking of the wider neck on classical guitars but I had the numbers wrong.

    I remember test driving a few Collings flattops a few years back and some of them had very wide necks that did not work for me.

    But I still think the new Waterloo Archtop is overpriced !!!

  34. #33

    User Info Menu

    A nice tip o' the hat to the Gibson L-30/37/47/75 cheapies and the Kalamazoo brand. I played these Collings copies at NAMM and they were nice. The MSRP isn't the street price - I'm sure there will be plenty of dealing on them.

    And then there was this one-off, dedicated to Bill - same size, but with a carved back, pretty wood and a regular neck:

    Last edited by Hammertone; 06-15-2019 at 10:32 AM.

  35. #34

    User Info Menu

    1 3/4" nut width is standard on Waterloo guitars. It's consistent with the Depression-era budget guitars that inspire the brand. Also, the guitars are supposed to have a simple aesthetic - that's the whole point. These guitars are a nod to Stella and Recording King and Regal and Kalamazoo, etc., not to D'Angelico or Stromberg or high-end Gibsons.

  36. #35

    User Info Menu

    So, if that’s the case, the original guitars that inspired these can be had for 1/4 to 1/3 the price.

  37. #36

    User Info Menu

    Yes, but those were often very roughly built and many have been beat to death. Collins guitars are exquisitely built, and these are new guitars.

    That doesn’t mean I want one, but if I wanted a modern take on these depression era guitars built by a top notch boutique builder I would expect to pay multiple times what a non collector eighty year old guitar would cost in the second hand market.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  38. #37

    User Info Menu

    I very much like Collings instruments.

    While others have been excited about the Waterloo series, I am not.

    I have inspected and played three, not the archtop of course.

    I did not see the money. I thought they were crude and not the character and playability compared to my $100 1929 Stomberg Voisenet (sp). They are not inexpensive which was, I thought, the objective in getting a basic guitar out with the Collings brand.

    I am looking forward to the opportunity to play the archtop, but at $4k it should be outstanding.

  39. #38

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Hammertone
    ...bobbit...The MSRP isn't the street price - I'm sure there will be plenty of dealing on them...bobbit...
    "Beginning June 1st of this year [2019], Collings & Waterloo instruments will be offered in the marketplace at their full list price (MSRP)."

    Artisan Guitars

    In other words, the price you see is the price. No wiggle room.

  40. #39

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky
    "Beginning June 1st of this year [2019], Collings & Waterloo instruments will be offered in the marketplace at their full list price (MSRP)."
    Artisan Guitars
    In other words, the price you see is the price. No wiggle room.
    That's great for consumers! It means that when the entire selection is put "on sale" at a later date, very few having been sold at the MSRP, there will be an excellent selection available at prices well below MSRP. Very considerate of Artisan, and any other retailers who want to provide this service to their clientele.

  41. #40

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by bohemian46

    While others have been excited about the Waterloo series, I am not.

    I have inspected and played three, not the archtop of course.

    I did not see the money. I thought they were crude and not the character and playability compared to my $100 1929 Stomberg Voisenet (sp). They are not inexpensive which was, I thought, the objective in getting a basic guitar out with the Collings brand.

    I am looking forward to the opportunity to play the archtop, but at $4k it should be outstanding.
    I agree.

    Have played two, a twelve-fretter & a fourteen.

    Seductive for their lightness, not tone, response or price.
    Small guitars are a weakness of mine so I'd hoped for a stronger showing.

  42. #41

    User Info Menu

    Sounds good here:


  43. #42

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Cobra
    Sounds good here:

    Great playing, crappy sound --- which is not to say the guitar might not sound fine miked properly in a quiet room.

  44. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky
    "Beginning June 1st of this year [2019], Collings & Waterloo instruments will be offered in the marketplace at their full list price (MSRP)."

    Artisan Guitars

    In other words, the price you see is the price. No wiggle room.
    Wow. I feel even better about getting my WL-S when I did. Sheesh.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  45. #44

    User Info Menu

    ""Beginning June 1st of this year [2019], Collings & Waterloo instruments will be offered in the marketplace at their full list price (MSRP)."

    Artisan Guitars"

    Is this from Artisan Guitars or from Collings/Waterloo?

    I looked on the Artisan site and did not find that.

    Why not just post the list price and deal with it one on one with the individual customer rather than make a public announcement.

    And if this is Collings Waterloo speaking, is MSRP the new MAP ?

  46. #45

    User Info Menu

    Music Emporium has a new video on the WL-AT

    Makes me think to really consider it. The top being Adirondack doesn't really show in the Lage videos but in that one you can really hear it. There is a Collings dealer near and I am going to see if they have plans on getting one in. The old style parallel bracing and carved top is really not available outside of a Loar in a small body guitar. If I can play one first there is a chance, for me that it is a perfect fit. Who knows what the actual price is, in person things can change.

    ?

  47. #46

    User Info Menu

    I can vouch for old Vegas. I had a '39 duo sound. Fantastic 3 piece carved top and sounded terrific.

  48. #47
    Hey everybody, Im new to this forum. I've played for 20 years and have got more interested in jazz in the last 5.

    My favourite player is Whit Smith from Hotclub of cowtown.

    Im looking for an archtop for acoustic playing rather than electrified. Ive been looking around at some options. I was wondering if anyone has any recommendations for something along the lines of the waterloo archtop, but more affordable!
    I'm avoiding vintage guitars as I want to gig with guitar.

    Thanks and look forward to chatting!

    Stay safe

  49. #48

    User Info Menu

    Loar and Eastman along with Peerless will be your best bets in affordable Archtops. Also looked for used as well to help your money go further!

  50. #49
    I was interested in the Eastman ar805, and the Loar LH600 looks good for less money. I have heard the the Loars quality control isn't great. Do you have any experience with these? thanks

  51. #50

    User Info Menu

    Weber's pop up all the time for way less money than they're worth, imho.

    Op...POUNCE.