Collings owners?

dreadnut

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I'm really Jonesing after a Collings Dread and an "A style mandolin, but oh the cost :oops:

From what I've seen and played at Elderly instruments, they are the most perfect production instruments being made in the US currently.
 

Westerly Wood

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yeah, the cost is just always too high for me. i dont even play them when in guitar shops, i just look at them.
they look really nice
 

GGJaguar

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I had a Collings DS-1A (12-fret mahogany dread w/adi top). It was amazing in every respect (build, fit and finish, sound), but the neck was huge, even for me. Had the neck been a little slimmer, I would have ditched all my Martin 12-fretters and just kept the DS as "the one". I think the price is justified if it's "the one" and you can foresake all others.
 

fronobulax

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West R. Lee is the guy to talk to, dread. I think (could be wrong) that twocorgis is also a Collings fan.

For the record, Darren Shepard (sp?) from the New Hartford shop had nothing but great things to say about Collings. I think he cut his teeth there.

Wallace?

FWIW the only negative thing I have heard about Collings is that they cost more than the complainer is willing or able to pay.
 

GAD

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I played a bunch of them, both acoustic and electric, when I was in NC and Fat Sound was still around. Every one of them was impeccable. If memory serves they're all hand-made in the US, and the price seems high because nothing is hand-made in the US anymore.
 

Rocky

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Collings is great. So is Bourgeois. Each do their own take on classic Martin designs. When you're in that price territory, though, the question is not 'will you get a fine guitar' but 'will you get the 80% dark chocolate or the sea salt caramel.' When it came time for me to take the plunge, I got a Bourgeois, and haven't regretted it. Had I bought a Collings or Goodall, I probably would feel the same way. Different guitars make you play different ways, and the way you play it changes the way it breaks in. Sort of like a baseball glove or a good pair of shoes. Once that sweet guitar breaks you in, though, it can change the way you look at other high-end guitars.
 

Westerly Wood

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I have heard both West and Sandy talk about their Collings. Their dreads are above Martin and Guild and Gibson, I mean in price but also build quality. Collings is a boutique builder still.
a friend’s son just got hired by Collings. He was a working musician fir years and now gonna work in sales department fir them.
 

twocorgis

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West R. Lee is the guy to talk to, dread. I think (could be wrong) that twocorgis is also a Collings fan.

For the record, Darren Shepard (sp?) from the New Hartford shop had nothing but great things to say about Collings. I think he cut his teeth there.
I had a couple of Collings guitars pass through here, a 2004 D2H, and a 2002 DS2H, and they were both impeccably made and beautiful, but I didn't bond with either of them and passed them on. Darren Wallace from the New Hartford plant borrowed some of their techniques, with Bill's blessing I'm sure, and I noticed some similarities when I toured Collings during the LTG meetup.

Our own @gilded has known Bill Collings for a long time, and shared a story or two with me.
 

walrus

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In my recent quest for a new electric, I spent some time with a Collings hollowbody, an I-30 LC. Wow. Simply couldn't afford it, though. And since they are a recent model, no chance to get a used one for half price, if you know what I mean. I've never tried a Collings acoustic. Maybe someday soon when I can get back into a store.

In case you've never seen this:


walrus
 

midnightright

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I can't comment on Collings, but from a Boutique guitar, or quality-standpoint, one that is often compared to it is Bourgeois. I had for my standards, a pretty decent time /or- run (5 + years!) a Vintage D. That was a 2007 model when I purchased it in used EX(plus) at that time - condition. So the Adirondack top, while stiff "initially," really began to blossom & come into it's own over the time in which I'd owned it. By the end--the last year or two, everybody who picked it up & played it, were pretty well "astonished!" Needless to say, it's looks were stunning. Don't know if they're designed for bluegrass (which would be kind of the opposite of my playing style). But once I adapted to the profile & shape of the neck (& mine was the smaller of the two nut widths: 1 23/32 "); I'm told it was kind of Dana's take on a prewar instrument (in my case, minus the Brazilian~)! But the single, "note" you could play, just sort of felt like it was dipped in sweet butter or something, and seemed to 'sing,' to my ear, in a way that I have never heard before. Keep in mind, 99.9% of my experience is with Guilds, and not builds like this, or the vintage variety or kind. . . Again, interesting thing about the neck: it kind of almost had about 3 different shapes, for each "position," maybe (I honestly don't even know exactly-for sure where these all are; 1st / 2nd & such...). But basically in the cowboy chords was one shape. And then another flatter in the middle of the neck. Then down by the area closer to the higher notes it actually got really thick and fat. But what I found is that if you wrapped your whole hand around it you had tremendous access to those notes for playing and it actually made it quite easy, once you figured it out. If I could, again, one day be in a position to afford/acquire one - I probably would. It's a true "desert-island," or "Lifetime," guitar! No doubt; so if I were in your position, and it wouldn't cripple you financially or set you back in an instantly regrettable way -- I would not hesitate (here again, I'm not familiar with Collings, and I know they look a lot alike from a distance, or in photos) but from what I understand they do have a different voicing. I think that Bourgeois may even be a smaller, "small bench" (in terms of sheer force of numbers in employees) than is Collings. Which is in and of itself quite small, when compared to the big boys, or mass produced guitars. The attention to detail on mine - was "stunning." Like a Stradivarius; or other fine work of Art! ;)
 

twocorgis

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I can't comment on Collings, but from a Boutique guitar, or quality-standpoint, one that is often compared to it is Bourgeois. I had for my standards, a pretty decent time /or- run (5 + years!) a Vintage D. That was a 2007 model when I purchased it in used EX(plus) at that time - condition. So the Adirondack top, while stiff "initially," really began to blossom & come into it's own over the time in which I'd owned it. By the end--the last year or two, everybody who picked it up & played it, were pretty well "astonished!" Needless to say, it's looks were stunning. Don't know if they're designed for bluegrass (which would be kind of the opposite of my playing style). But once I adapted to the profile & shape of the neck (& mine was the smaller of the two nut widths: 1 23/32 "); I'm told it was kind of Dana's take on a prewar instrument (in my case, minus the Brazilian~)! But the single, "note" you could play, just sort of felt like it was dipped in sweet butter or something, and seemed to 'sing,' to my ear, in a way that I have never heard before. Keep in mind, 99.9% of my experience is with Guilds, and not builds like this, or the vintage variety or kind. . . Again, interesting thing about the neck: it kind of almost had about 3 different shapes, for each "position," maybe (I honestly don't even know exactly-for sure where these all are; 1st / 2nd & such...). But basically in the cowboy chords was one shape. And then another flatter in the middle of the neck. Then down by the area closer to the higher notes it actually got really thick and fat. But what I found is that if you wrapped your whole hand around it you had tremendous access to those notes for playing and it actually made it quite easy, once you figured it out. If I could, again, one day be in a position to afford/acquire one - I probably would. It's a true "desert-island," or "Lifetime," guitar! No doubt; so if I were in your position, and it wouldn't cripple you financially or set you back in an instantly regrettable way -- I would not hesitate (here again, I'm not familiar with Collings, and I know they look a lot alike from a distance, or in photos) but from what I understand they do have a different voicing. I think that Bourgeois may even be a smaller, "small bench" (in terms of sheer force of numbers in employees) than is Collings. Which is in and of itself quite small, when compared to the big boys, or mass produced guitars. The attention to detail on mine - was "stunning." Like a Stradivarius; or other fine work of Art! ;)

Yes, after having a couple of Collings guitars go through here, the reason they're not here anymore is because of Dana Bourgeois. The sound and feel of his guitars just speak more to me. I've had a few of dana's pass through here too, but the one that remained is my '97 Slope D-140 in bearclaw over mahogany. It's the Swiss army Knife of acoustic guitars, and can do it all. Sometimes I think that if I was forced to have only one, it would be this one.



It has an understated beauty to it that I just love, and fits in the Maine mindset of the company, too.
 

Westerly Wood

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Santa Cruz might also be comparable to Collings. I had a PW-M dread for a while. Big sound. Sitka and hog. Simple, elegant, sold it to a local bluegrass musician who wanted a beater dead. Hilarious to think my Santa Cruz was a “beater”. Action was kind of high and no truss rod on the Pre war Santa Cruz dreads as they are modeled after pre war Martin D-18 and -28. Probably should have kept it but honestly, I played the Br more. Scalloped bracing annoys me. It’s just too much. The dryness of simple Sitka / hog with X bracing is better fir finger style and heavy strumming.
Better articulation.
 

Rocky

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So the Adirondack top, while stiff "initially," really began to blossom & come into it's own over the time in which I'd owned it. By the end--the last year or two, everybody who picked it up & played it, were pretty well "astonished!"
My Bourgeois - with Adirondack top always sounded good, but after a decade of playing (and gigging) it really blossomed into something on another order of magnitude. It probably would have taken less time, but it wasn't my primary guitar when I bought it. Sometimes I wonder if a guitar that sounded like that new would continue to sound that good, or sound worn out in a few years. No idea.
 

fronobulax

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I played a bunch of them, both acoustic and electric, when I was in NC and Fat Sound was still around. Every one of them was impeccable. If memory serves they're all hand-made in the US, and the price seems high because nothing is hand-made in the US anymore.
I don't remember a lot of production line machinery but the first time I hard of Plek was on the Collings tour so they are certainly open to using CNC.
 
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