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Author Topic: Collings OM worth it?  (Read 33816 times)
rpm60912
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« on: March 02, 2009, 10:26:28 PM »

Collings is reputed to be among the best of the best.  Question # (1) Is it worth the price?

When retail price is north of 3Gs,    Question #(2) is there such a thing as a "bad" Collings?  (soundwise that is?)

I'm especially interested in the OM2H (rosewood) or whatever their hog model is.



I realize this is subjective depending upon one's values and criteria for guitar purchasing / owning.




I'm not a collector and don't have the funds to ever be one.

so please give your opinion assuming that this Collings would be played a lot and likely acquire dings & mojo

over the years.


ricky
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bluesman67
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« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2009, 10:35:15 PM »

Ricky, I had a terrible Collings, it was a dud.  It was aweful.  Terriible.  Sounded like a tin can.  Ok, no, not really.  They look and sound like real nice guitars to me.  My own opinion on guitars in that price range and higher are that they aren't worth the price for tone improvement but if you like fine things and would rather be driving a Mercedes than a Honda, then they are worth the extra price for the craftsmanship.  I'm sure some Collings owners will challenge that but tone is subjective and that's my opinion.
 
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Dotneck
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« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2009, 10:51:07 PM »

You're making me laugh, Rickie...a couple days ago you were writing that Larrivees can stand up to any guitar up to $5K! Now you're looking at a Collings!

Anyway...my take on the issue is that you are asking the wrong question. I think the question is "can a guitar be worth $3000 or more?'. I think everybody has to answer this question for themselves....$3000 means a lot more if you make minimum wage than if you make $250K/year. If you can afford it...why not?

Then...if you think a guitar can be worth $3000 then start shopping. Once you get into that price range there are LOTs of cool choices. For me, I'd probably look more toward Santa Cruz than Collings. Huss and Dalton has some great guitars. Might be able to get into a Goodall...or a used Froggy...but lots of people have voted with their wallets....yes a Collings can be worth upwards of $3K!

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rpm60912
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« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2009, 11:05:04 PM »

blue & dotneck,

I'm quite happy with my Larris especially the 03 Series.
Truth be told - I'm really just enjoying my day off today. Playing all my guitars especially my OM. Then in this Forum reading/writing when not playing gits.

So, part of guitar playing / owning experience for me is acoustic guitar discussion -
so I thought I'd feel free here in this Forum to ask away - questions to my heart's delight!

What I'm asking is for opinions only (not that I will ever buy a Collings for 3+ nor will I ever for that price from any custom/master luthier).

Yet hog fans here have gotten me curious about mahogany gits - hence, the other new thread about Guild OM --- F30 and F40 both hogs.

Likely, will seriously consider a Guild (Honda?) before a Collings (Mercedes?)... to borrow bluesman67's analogy.

ricky

UPDATE:     btw, my Taylor GS-Koa is all that I could ever ask for in a git.   Sadly, it's too big and not an OM - otherwise, I wouldn't even ask about Collings.
That was 3+ but got it for way under that from eBay... but it must be sold to another person who will play it more.

So I guess, I'd gladly swap my Taylor for a Collings (but why?   I could have a new Larri and Guild and possibly a third git for that price)... or save the money
and begin to actually trim down to 2 gits.

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lyric_girl
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« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2009, 11:24:50 PM »

Ricky, I think you need to own up to the fact that you're gonna have eternal GAS!
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rpm60912
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« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2009, 11:32:57 PM »

I think you need to own up to the fact that you're gonna have eternal GAS!

When I saw your login name... I was already chuckling before I even read your reply!  

ricky
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Johnny M
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« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2009, 11:46:58 PM »

LOL!

GAS has a good hold on you my boy!  Been there, so I can understand.  As for Collings ... well there are very nice guitars and their craftsmanship is right up there with the best.  That is one brand I would seriously play before buying.  When I lived in Japan there was a dealer in Tokyo that I often went to and got to try quite a few.  As mentioned, their fit and finish was amazing, but they almost sounded too good - clinical or sterile adjectives come to mind.  Didn't really have a "feel" (for lack of better word) to them the way a good Martin does.  For an analogy, they sounded like a juiced up bodybuilder - everything was there, but something just didn't seem/feel right.  With that said, there are a lot of Collings owners out there very happy with their guitars, but I would rather spend my money on the real deal ~ the Martins they are trying to emulate.

John
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« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2009, 11:50:09 PM »

When you get to the point where you are spending that kind of money you should be sure of what it is you want. Unless you want to lead the life of a GASAHOLIC.  

A Collings OM is very different than a Bourgeois OM, or a Goodall OM, or a Fay OM, or a Martin OM. Are any of those worth $3k plus? Absolutely... if it feels, responds and sounds just like you think a $3k guitar should, and you can afford it, and you want it.

Personally, I generally prefer a Bourgeois to a Collings. Not that one is better than the other, it's just that I have picked up more Bourgeois that floated my boat. I did play a OM2H (sitka/rosewood) once that knocked me out, and if I could have afforded it at the time it would have been mine.
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rpm60912
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« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2009, 11:53:50 PM »

I would rather spend my money on the real deal ~ the Martins they are trying to emulate.

John,

Hmmmm... thanks for laughing with me on my serious GAS attack. That will delightfully be a lifetime affliction.   For a person with a.d.d. - I think it's pretty good that I've been fascinated with acoustic guitars since December 2006 until now.

Okay... for the OMs, I guess that would be the Martin OM-21    ???     Are Martin OMs as pricey as Collings?   I would hope the Martins are lesser in price.

ricky

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rpm60912
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« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2009, 11:58:20 PM »

A Collings OM is very different than a Bourgeois OM, or a Goodall OM, or a Fay OM, or a Martin OM. Are any of those worth $3k plus? Absolutely... if it feels, responds and sounds just like you think a $3k guitar should, and you can afford it, and you want it.

Ron,

First, congratulations on your git being March - GOTM !!!

So, I guess you answered my inquiry about the Collings OM and Martin OM - being in the same price range, huh?

ricky
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shadco
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« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2009, 12:02:17 AM »

The Martin OM21 is a good one to look into.

Personally I've settled on a 000-18GE as my favorite Acoustic
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« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2009, 12:19:11 AM »

  I have an OM-21 and like it a lot. But after seeing the Colling's factory three times now and watching their attention to every microscopic detail (especially finish) I would take a Collings over a Martin. Or Gibson for that matter.
                I can't say much about SCGC except they seem to be built to the same very high standards
    There is a thread I posted with pix when I toured Collings last November. I'll post the link if you never saw that one.
  The AGF and Collings forums could also give you a lot more subjective info about them.
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« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2009, 12:29:28 AM »

No question they are worth it. Collings and Santa Cruz build really fine guitars to be sure but they would put a strain on my limited budget. For roughly the same money, I have a Parlor, a 12 String (Both Larrivees) and I have a Martin OM-35 that I would stack up against anything else I have played in the $1,800 to 2,000 range. Having said that, if I were in the market for an upscale guitar, I would probably buy a stock Collings or Santa Cruz instead of ordering a Martin or Taylor through their custom shop.

In addition to the OM-21, check out the review on the Martin OMCGTE Cherry (Sustainable Wood) Guitar reviewed in this month's issue of Acoustic Guitar. I know, I know, there was a thread several months ago about the bias of guitar magazines to not say anything bad about the guitars they review but I think this one would be worth looking into.
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« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2009, 01:00:21 AM »

  I have an OM-21 and like it a lot. But after seeing the Colling's factory three times now and watching their attention to every microscopic detail (especially finish) I would take a Collings over a Martin. Or Gibson for that matter.
                I can't say much about SCGC except they seem to be built to the same very high standards
    There is a thread I posted with pix when I toured Collings last November. I'll post the link if you never saw that one.
  The AGF and Collings forums could also give you a lot more subjective info about them.

Do post the link for that Bro... please.

ricky
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rpm60912
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« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2009, 01:03:19 AM »

No question they are worth it. Collings and Santa Cruz build really fine guitars to be sure but they would put a strain on my limited budget. For roughly the same money, I have a Parlor, a 12 String (Both Larrivees) and I have a Martin OM-35 that I would stack up against anything else I have played in the $1,800 to 2,000 range. Having said that, if I were in the market for an upscale guitar, I would probably buy a stock Collings or Santa Cruz instead of ordering a Martin or Taylor through their custom shop.

In addition to the OM-21, check out the review on the Martin OMCGTE Cherry (Sustainable Wood) Guitar reviewed in this month's issue of Acoustic Guitar. I know, I know, there was a thread several months ago about the bias of guitar magazines to not say anything bad about the guitars they review but I think this one would be worth looking into.


Thanks for putting more fuel into my acoustic guitar journey.    Discussions like this, is definitely good coping mechanism for GAS attacks.  Or simply more info to fill my curious ignorance of the vast array of guitar makers.

ricky
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« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2009, 01:07:32 AM »

Here is the link to:              " I toured Collings AGAIN yesterday"

                                  http://www.larriveeforum.com/smf/index.php?topic=22723.0

           
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« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2009, 02:36:58 AM »

I have both a Larrivee (L-03) and a Collings (OM-2H cutaway) and they are both aces in my book. If you look at current retail prices you'll see that Larrivee's recent price increase has put it in the same class as Martins and some other high end guitars but dollar for dollar I still think you get more guitar with the Larri.

I'm guessing Collings and Larrivee are in the same class as far as number of units produced / year and with respect to tone and construction they are also in the same class. Santa Cruz is a smaller company and is closer to a true boutique guitar but also a very high quality instrument.

I see from your signature that you have a Larrivee OM40 so if you have GAS pains (like I did) go ahead and treat yourself. But if you're trying to decide between the two make sure you A/B them closely.

IMO

fred
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« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2009, 03:53:39 AM »

Ricky, I had a terrible Collings, it was a dud.  It was aweful.  Terriible.  Sounded like a tin can.  Ok, no, not really.  They look and sound like real nice guitars to me.  My own opinion on guitars in that price range and higher are that they aren't worth the price for tone improvement but if you like fine things and would rather be driving a Mercedes than a Honda, then they are worth the extra price for the craftsmanship.  I'm sure some Collings owners will challenge that but tone is subjective and that's my opinion.
 

The proverbial can of worms has been opened Irrespective of your personal tonal preferences, Collings, Santa Cruz, Burgeous etc. I would have to take issue with the idea that the price difference attributable to higher end guitars guitars is essentially being paid for craftsmanship. While high craftsmanship is typically a given on the higher ends builds, what in my opinion validates their price, is the time taken to voice the top and bracing to get the ultimate in responsiveness from the guitars.  Even then, not every high end build achieves it's maximum potential, but the odd's increase dramatically. This ability is simply missing from builders like Taylor, Larrivee and Martin. While their standard bracing will provide satisfactory results given their target audience, their marketing model calls for a higher level of production. This reality, at some level dictates that the guitars be built to withstand perhaps a higher level of abuse and a desire to minimize their warranty work. Could Jean Larrivee produce a more responsive and dynamic guitar - ABSOLUTELY. Taylor have done this with their R. Taylor line. These guitars are not production builds, rather they are built one at a time. I've had the chance to play a few, and they are head and shoulders above the regular Talor production guitars, IMHO. Why, because these guitars are built with lighter bracing, more responsive 'tuned' tops etc, etc, issues that are of ultimate importance to getting the most out of the guitar.

I can honestly say that Tim Mcknight built and delivered me a guitar based on the tonal qualities that I asked him for. I wanted that warm dry 'vintage' Martin sound from the 30's and that's exactly what I got. The guitar possesses a certain 'liveliness" that I've simply not found with any production guitar I've played.

Is it worth it? Well that's the real question.   When you spend $3 - $5K plus on a guitar you should expect that it will be tonally superior to it's less expensive peers. If not, you'd be an idiot or poser to spend the money on it!!

Bottom line ~ if you find a guitar that rings your bell and you can afford it, buy it and enjoy.   

 ~ Ray ~
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bluesman67
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« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2009, 04:04:38 AM »

I hear what you're saying and I'm agree with your statements about the bracing methods costing more and sounding better.  I still stand by my opinion, the tone isn't ojective and the additional cost isn't worth the improvement in tone...only my opinion.  I completely respect someone who buys a Collings and feels it sounds better than anything else, I may even agree.  I consider bracing part of the craftsmanship that you pay more for.
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« Reply #19 on: March 03, 2009, 04:15:17 AM »

You really need to audition them and decide for yourself.


I don't mean to be contrary for the sake of it, but my experience with an R.Taylor wasn't positive. It did not play or sound like a step up. I ended up hanging it back on the wall pretty quickly. Did I try a dud? People keep describing it as a refinement of the line. Seemed more of the same. Just a short time with only one, I know, so grain of salt take with.
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