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Main Forums => Other Guitar Makers => Topic started by: Danny on August 23, 2008, 12:11:12 AM



Title: I toured Collings AGAIN yesterday
Post by: Danny on August 23, 2008, 12:11:12 AM
                Collings is located fairly close to me and I have wanted to see their facility, so I took the tour today.
       I have to say it was impressive, very small and definitley a feel of "we like what we are making and we are doing it the way it should be done" Lot's of attention to very fine details. The sanding was meticulous. Very sharp corners on pegheads and minute detail sanding,buffing,polishing in the crevices on the back of the neck etc.
                   My overall impression was if you want a Gibson or Martin done right. Buy a Collings. You won't need to dig and search till you find the 'right one". They will get the one you order right. But if you order now you may not see it for a year or more. They are backed up with orders.    I'll put up some pics soon. And I am going back again for some closer examination soon.       Danny

                  On the 2cnd page of posts are pics of "Walkermans" custom Mandolin, still being built.


Title: Re: I toured "Collings" today
Post by: jeremy3220 on August 23, 2008, 01:34:41 AM
Sounds cool. I've played a lot of guitars but never a Collings. I've just haven't run across any in Nashville. I hear mixed reviews about them; some think they're the cat's pajamas and others say they are overbuilt, I'd like to find out.

btw, you're killing me with the hidden text stuff





Title: Re: I toured "Collings" today
Post by: Danny on August 23, 2008, 02:26:46 AM
This is all I'm doing with the text except i use beige
The "hidden" text is only hidden to someone using a white background profile. It looks cool to me on the standard overview profile (theme). Because the theme most use has a BLACK background, so for most of us if someone posts in BLUE type, we can't see that, but you probably could.

Sounds cool. I've played a lot of guitars but never a Collings. I've just haven't run across any in Nashville. I hear mixed reviews about them; some think they're the cat's pajamas and others say they are overbuilt, I'd like to find out.

btw, you're killing me with the hidden text stuff
     
Danny  :guitar


Title: Re: I toured "Collings" today
Post by: Danny on August 23, 2008, 02:29:33 AM
Here are some pics, I took over 50 before my batteries died.
                  This wood is Brazilian and looks great, Danny

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Title: Re: I toured "Collings" today
Post by: Danny on August 23, 2008, 02:41:21 AM
     This is the tour guide, she was very nice, said I could take all the pics I wanted to and of course when I wasn't wandering off from the group she kindly answered my questions. (I got to where I just asked the guys at their work stations away from the tour a little) This is a very nice group of folks.
                     The Mandolins were right at the start of the tour, but not on the agenda at this point, but I stopped and took this pic anyway. Lost the group and had to ask for help to find where they went to.
                              More pics later, bracing, necks,woods, CNC, finish,details, and finished gits.

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Title: Re: I toured "Collings" today
Post by: Danny on August 23, 2008, 02:44:32 AM
                  The neck that Angela is holding is for the Honduran Mahogany git on the table. I hope the rose on the headstock shows up. My camera and me are a match, neither one of us are very good at taking pics, sorry.


Title: Re: I toured "Collings" today
Post by: lw216316 on August 23, 2008, 07:08:23 PM
Quote
btw, you're killing me with the hidden text stuff

Hey Jeremy, I use a white background and can't read it either.
Here is a trick to make it visible  (in case you have not already discovered this)

If you use your mouse and pointer to HIGH LITE the text ( as if you were going to copy it)
then it becomes visible.

I went to a Chet Atkins appreciation concert a couple of months ago.
It  featured about 8 of the best fingerstyle players - Peter Huttlinger , Murial Anderson and others...

I thought the best sounding guitar there was a COLLINGS.

Maybe some others on the forum went to that concert ?.....Anybody ?

- Larry


Title: Re: I toured "Collings" today
Post by: tuffythepug on August 23, 2008, 07:14:59 PM
                  The neck that Angela is holding is for the Honduran Mahogany git on the table. I hope the rose on the headstock shows up. My camera and me are a match, neither one of us are very good at taking pics, sorry.


What neck ?  What rose ?  What headstock ? :humour:



Tuffythelecherouspug


Title: Re: I toured "Collings" today
Post by: shadco on August 23, 2008, 11:30:59 PM
So that is Angela.

She is always very helpful


Title: Re: I toured "Collings" today
Post by: rustychicken on August 24, 2008, 03:50:24 AM
wow!  beautiful woods...i'll have to take the tour next time i'm in Austin.
tried a few Collings at a store in San Marcos.  all i can say is i can't see how anyone would
think they are overbuilt.  nothing but comfort and great tone, particularly the 00-mahogany.


Title: Re: I toured "Collings" today
Post by: Danny on August 24, 2008, 04:28:24 AM
wow!  beautiful woods...i'll have to take the tour next time i'm in Austin.
tried a few Collings at a store in San Marcos.  all i can say is i can't see how anyone would
think they are overbuilt.  nothing but comfort and great tone, particularly the 00-mahogany.
                          Their bracing looks like exact copies of Martin to me, so they don't seem overbuilt in that respect and their finish comes 2 ways, old fashioned long drying or the poly /nitro combo which is still not that thick that I can tell.
    The one piece neck is heavy on hardware though. 3 bolts , I think. Or 2 bolts and a metal pin. Plus something I never saw before, 2 steel strips on either side of the truss rod. A lot of metal in the neck. I don't think I took a pic of that. My batteries died. I'll look and post some more pics.     Danny


Title: Re: I toured "Collings" today
Post by: Tycho on August 24, 2008, 04:32:15 AM
Maybe I'm being ridiculously purist, but I could never consider any bolt-ons to be recreations of old Martins or Gibsons.  Homages? Sure.  Improvements?  Maybe.  But not the same.

This is not meant to be a knock on bolt-ons or on Collings, BTW.


Title: Re: I toured "Collings" today
Post by: Danny on August 24, 2008, 05:37:41 AM
Maybe I'm being ridiculously purist, but I could never consider any bolt-ons to be recreations of old Martins or Gibsons.  Homages? Sure.  Improvements?  Maybe.  But not the same.

This is not meant to be a knock on bolt-ons or on Collings, BTW.
 
     I know what you mean, but Martin does make their neck differently now and Gibsons, as we all know are hit and miss. My point was just that this group of builders looked like they were not going to be content with a mediocre git leaving their facility. Sorry I didn't make that clearer. And from what I observed they were not inferior in any respect to  Martin or Gibson.                         Danny   (btw I like glued necks myself)

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Title: Re: I toured "Collings" today
Post by: Danny on August 24, 2008, 06:40:31 AM
   This is one that really caught my eye at the end so I got some new batteries and came back to take some pics. This is a custom with real tortoise shell, provided by the customer.

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Title: Re: I toured "Collings" today
Post by: Danny on August 24, 2008, 06:45:41 AM
  I'll try and put up some of the CNC and work stations with stock wood later. Sorry it takes time to resize and post these files. (besides I have my gibson all taken apart for some needed cleaning and repairs)    Danny


Title: Re: I toured "Collings" today
Post by: tjmangum on August 24, 2008, 01:26:52 PM
Wow, great pics. Please put some more up.
tj


Title: Re: I toured "Collings" today
Post by: jeremy3220 on August 24, 2008, 02:40:34 PM
                          Their bracing looks like exact copies of Martin to me, so they don't seem overbuilt in that respect and their finish comes 2 ways, old fashioned long drying or the poly /nitro combo which is still not that thick that I can tell.
    The one piece neck is heavy on hardware though. 3 bolts , I think. Or 2 bolts and a metal pin. Plus something I never saw before, 2 steel strips on either side of the truss rod. A lot of metal in the neck.

Maybe that's what people are talking about because the bracing of that dread doesn't look overbuilt.


Title: Re: I toured "Collings" today
Post by: Johnny M on August 24, 2008, 04:13:48 PM
I'd love to put a Collings through the paces, but unfortunately I have never had the chance to try one.  I've only heard great things about them, although some Martin folks think they sound a little to "clinical" ... whatever that means.

Thanks for sharing
John


Title: Re: I toured "Collings" today
Post by: crewdog151 on August 24, 2008, 09:43:20 PM
Played a few Collings in my quest for a new git. Just awesome attn to detail.


Title: Re: I toured "Collings" today
Post by: Caleb on August 25, 2008, 12:50:03 AM
What neck ?  What rose ?  What headstock ? :humour:
:bgrin:


Title: Re: I toured "Collings" today
Post by: Danny on August 25, 2008, 12:53:50 AM
    Yea, Angela is photogenic and a very nice young lady.  :thumbsup

     More pics, some wood supplies.

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Title: Re: I toured "Collings" today
Post by: Danny on August 25, 2008, 04:58:38 AM
   This is Andy an Chris, The tour is off to the left...not sure what they were being shown, These Brazilian, madagascar and Honduran Rosewood BACKS and side had me caught. Chris and Andy were proud of the woods and glad to show them off.
                           (My mind flipped these backs to tops, sorry if that confused anyone)

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Title: Re: I toured "Collings" today
Post by: Danny on August 25, 2008, 05:05:28 AM
   This is the Honduran Rosewood back.... Chris was showing me this at first, In the pics above there are Madagascar sides that Andy brought over and I think the dark grained top is Brazilian.
                     (Sorry this is out of focus)

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Title: Re: I toured "Collings" today
Post by: jeremy3220 on August 25, 2008, 11:53:37 AM
   This is the Honduran Rosewood top.... Chris was showing me this at first, In the pics above there are Madagascar sides that Andy brought over and I think the dark grained top is Brazilian.
                     (Sorry this is pot of focus)


I've never seen a rosewood top with a centerstrip, are you sure it's not a back?


Title: Re: I toured "Collings" today
Post by: Danny on August 25, 2008, 04:00:05 PM

I've never seen a rosewood top with a centerstrip, are you sure it's not a back?
     :ohmy:  It was late... Sometimes up and down get confusing. I barely got the pics posted. I'll correct that later. Thanks

                            (I have corrected that in the text)


Title: Re: I toured "Collings" today
Post by: Danny on August 26, 2008, 05:26:08 PM
Here is the neck joint. 2 Bolts and the truss rod nut. The neck also has slots on either side of the truss rod that steel strips are placed in for more neck weight and better tone.

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Title: Re: I toured "Collings" today
Post by: Danny on August 26, 2008, 07:14:39 PM
   Here's a nice Mando, not quite finished yet. I went back yesterday for a "personal tour" I'll post more later.

                   Click on the picture and you can enlarge it

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Title: Re: I toured "Collings" today
Post by: Danny on August 26, 2008, 07:31:09 PM
     Here's the front. No "F" holes cut yet.  Amber or honey amber is the color I think.

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Title: Re: I toured "Collings" today
Post by: lw216316 on August 26, 2008, 07:55:25 PM
Well, I learned something.
...didn't know f-holes were cut AFTER the parts were put together and the finish is on.

My guess would have been BEFORE.

nice pictures  :thumb

- Larry


Title: Re: I toured "Collings" today
Post by: Walkerman on August 26, 2008, 10:46:47 PM
   Here's a nice Mando, not quite finished yet. I went back yesterday for a "personal tour" I'll post more later.

                   Click on the picture and you can enlarge it


Danny...quit teasing.  More pictures of my mando...puleeeeeeeeze.

PS...thanks for taking them...


Title: Re: I toured "Collings" today
Post by: Danny on August 26, 2008, 10:59:20 PM
    O.K.  My wife and I worked a little on e-mails for awhile earlier, but I'll get back to resizing and posting pics of your Collings Mandolin.  :thumbsup

                          Here's 2 more, Alex Rueb (pronounced Reeb) is holding it. He is the sales/production manager. He was very busy, but made sure that I took all the pics I wanted and asked all the questions that I needed to. One thing he said, in a matter of fact, kind of way, was no instrument leaves their facility without being perfect. I think he really believes that and was not trying to be boastful or proud.

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Title: Re: I toured "Collings" today
Post by: Danny on August 26, 2008, 11:31:28 PM
       2 more

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Title: Re: I toured "Collings" AGAIN yesterday
Post by: Danny on August 26, 2008, 11:59:15 PM
   A few more...

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Title: Re: I toured Collings AGAIN yesterday
Post by: Caleb on August 27, 2008, 12:36:20 AM
Great pics.  I do find it odd that the f-holes are not cut till the whole mando is put together.  I never would have thought that. 


Title: Re: I toured Collings AGAIN yesterday
Post by: Danny on August 27, 2008, 02:49:44 AM
Great pics.  I do find it odd that the f-holes are not cut till the whole mando is put together.  I never would have thought that. 
Alex said they were cut out with a laser I believe. I have more pics to resize of the different production areas, but didn't actually see the f holes being done.


Title: Re: I toured Collings AGAIN yesterday
Post by: oldrockfan on August 28, 2008, 06:30:12 PM
Danny, I have business customers in Austin and know what I will be doing next time I am in town! Wow those guitars look fantastic. Got anymore pics? How long was the tour? DId you have to make reservation? I know, too many questions but those are some great looking guitars.


Title: Re: I toured Collings AGAIN yesterday
Post by: Danny on August 29, 2008, 12:10:41 AM
   Yes I do have more pics and I plan on posting them soon. I also have a house full of kids and Grandsons and a Rodeo to go to so I'm stretched at the moment. I have also been truin to book a ticket to California to visit a few forum members. family, friends and the Oxnard Larrivee facility where my LSV is under scrutiny by some of the best Luthiers around.
                           You can tour Collings every Friday At 3:30 PM. Let me know when you come and I would take you or meet you there. The private tour I took was set up by a forum member who had purchased a mandolin. So I got a private tour to boot. We could always call Alex Rueb ahead of time though and maybe he would let a couple of good ole boys slip in. The Friday tour is about an hour and a half.
                                                                Danny


Title: Re: I toured Collings AGAIN yesterday
Post by: oldrockfan on August 29, 2008, 01:06:17 AM
family always comes first so no rush but will keep an eye out for the pics. If they only do fridays then sounds like I need to book my next austin bus trip to finish at lunch friday :)

I'll shoot you a pm and see if you are open to do the tour with me. I'll bring the good digital camera too so I can take a bunch of pics.


Title: Re: I toured Collings AGAIN yesterday
Post by: lw216316 on August 29, 2008, 01:21:29 AM
Quote
  family always comes first

I used to say that when I was young... :thumb

then x-wife traded me in on another model and the one child went an opposite direction...  :arrow

Now I have another top priority... ( details on request  :bgrin: )

- Larry, better off now


Title: Re: I toured Collings AGAIN yesterday
Post by: Danny on August 29, 2008, 01:25:33 AM
family always comes first so no rush but will keep an eye out for the pics. If they only do fridays then sounds like I need to book my next austin bus trip to finish at lunch friday :)

I'll shoot you a pm and see if you are open to do the tour with me. I'll bring the good digital camera too so I can take a bunch of pics.
  That'll work.


Title: Re: I toured Collings AGAIN yesterday
Post by: Danny on August 30, 2008, 06:12:25 AM
  More pics of the Mando production. Including the proto type mando signed by Sam Bush recently.

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Title: Re: I toured Collings AGAIN yesterday
Post by: Danny on August 30, 2008, 06:14:05 AM
 One more plus the proto type

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Title: Re: I toured Collings AGAIN yesterday
Post by: Danny on August 30, 2008, 06:16:21 AM
   This is a Vintage  Sam Bush Gibson, just for reference.

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Title: Re: I toured Collings AGAIN yesterday
Post by: lw216316 on August 30, 2008, 03:37:23 PM
It seems like most mandos are sunburst.

That seems to fit in with my theory -

First-
how the first guitar sunburst came about -
A guitar builder had some wood with nice tone but blimishes.
He decides to put a pretty finish on it to cover up the blemishes - and so the sunburst is born.

Next -
He again has some wood with good tone but has blemishes.
The problem is he does not have enough of it to build a guitar.
So he gets the creative idea to build a baby instrument somewhat similar to a guitar -
and WHA- LA .....the mando is invented.

It is said ' necessity is the mother of invention '
It was necessary for some poor guitar builder to not waste his wood so he invented the sunburst guitar and then the mando  :bgrin:

Has anyone studied the history of sunburst ? ...perhaps you know the details of its origin. - please share :thumb

- Larry
 


Title: Re: I toured Collings AGAIN yesterday
Post by: Danny on August 30, 2008, 05:14:50 PM
   I'm pretty sure a mandolin is a crossbreed (like a mule) between a guitar and a fiddle. But alas, as with the poor male mule they are sterile and thus no progeny can be produced.  :guitar