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Author Topic: Collings OM worth it?  (Read 34858 times)
Danny
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« Reply #120 on: June 19, 2009, 05:52:46 PM »

Must have been behind door #1.

When I was in the market for a Martin I went to a large Martin Dealer and tried everything they had.

Then I picked up an OM-09. Ran circles around the Martins. Same with SCGC, Bourgeois, Merrill and finally Collings. The only Martin that was in the mix was an OM 28 Marguis (Adi top).

Long story... short: I bought a Collings and it's great. The only thing about the bolt on neck (besides less expensive reset) is you have to be careful about where you put the strap button.

fred
  I've been to the Collings factory 3 times now. These folks are meticulous. They had 80 employees and I think about half of them were finish workers, mostly sanding. So much attention to small details.
               Also their neck has 2 flat steel rods running on either side of the truss rod to add weight to the neck. I think this is to help the tone improve. They are very well made. I also like how they slot the bridge and use slot less pins.
                If I ever find a great deal on a used one I'll buy it on credit if necessary. I would prefer one of their smaller slotheads. I have a nice OM Martin and my F-III is my go to git. But I miss my 00 sized git. Larrivee 00 that is.
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magictwanger
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« Reply #121 on: June 19, 2009, 09:14:22 PM »

Sheesh!..I was hot to trot for a hog/adi topped small-ish git last winter.Was leaning "big time" towards a Martin OOO-18A,but definitely liked what was coming out of the Collings OM-1A box.An OM,but oh-so close to that very fine Martin OOO.

  Still,the Collings had a woodier/hogier sound(to my ears),and I preferred the bass and overall tone(a "taste" thing too).....I absolutely LOVE it!

  As far as quality and such...Oh-My!.....It is flawless in virtually every way.The finish is rediculously perfect.

  I am lucky to also own a wonderful Bourgeois and H&D,which are incredibly well made,yet the Collings sets the bar for "flawlessness".Though we are now talking about electron microscope levels of being critical as far as I am concerned with these instruments.

  Of course,everything is a matter of taste,but I find it hard to believe that a Collings can be compared to an Asian import.Though I admit to being impressed by some lately...Like last Sunday

  To each his own
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magictwanger
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« Reply #122 on: June 19, 2009, 09:24:42 PM »

Btw,I have been on some guitar sites lately where the folks who dwell there consider the likes of Collings,H&D,Bourgy,Martin SCGC to be in the Asian market class,it seems.....

  To some of them,if you don't own a Merrill,Dudenbostel,Henderson,Borges or Blazer & Henks you have an instrument that is easily bettered....Go figure?

  "What ever makes one happy" is fine with me
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kazzelectro
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« Reply #123 on: June 20, 2009, 02:59:24 AM »

...."Merrill,Dudenbostel,Henderson,Borges or Blazer & Henks"...just took a look to see how these guitars are made.   I was able to confirm that at least 3 of the aforementioned builders use:
1. Dovetail joints
2. one piece necks
3.  Nitro lacquer finishes
As I had mentioned earlier...these are the ingredients that I look for in a guitar.  As far mass produced guitars go both Martin and Gibsons are made using these 3 ingredients. 
How many of you folks actually know how the guitars you buy are built?  How many of you knew that for example the Taylor you bought had a bolt-on neck, poly plastc finish and a 3 piece neck?   Or that Larrivees have Poly plastic finishes, one piece necks and dovetail joints  (2 out of 3 ain't bad).   
So the great thing about the 5 builders noted about is that they use the 3 ingredients that I prefer on my guitars.  Does this translate into a better sounding better built guitar?  ...and is a price tag of $10000 to $15000 justified.   Questions I cannot answer because I have never played any of those guitars.  What is interesting is that they often copy Martin or Gibson models.  I think that I might want to own 2 or 3 Martins for the price of one of those. 
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magictwanger
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« Reply #124 on: June 20, 2009, 05:55:15 AM »

Kazz,like I had stated earlier...whatever makes you happy is just fine with me.

  I'm happy with virtually anything that sounds good to my ear,and seems to be well made....A lifetime warrantee doesn't hurt either.

 
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Zohn
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« Reply #125 on: June 20, 2009, 08:03:00 AM »

...."Merrill,Dudenbostel,Henderson,Borges or Blazer & Henks"...just took a look to see how these guitars are made.   I was able to confirm that at least 3 of the aforementioned builders use:
1. Dovetail joints
2. one piece necks
3.  Nitro lacquer finishes
As I had mentioned earlier...these are the ingredients that I look for in a guitar.  As far mass produced guitars go both Martin and Gibsons are made using these 3 ingredients. 

Cort has $200 models with dovetails and lacquer finish too...
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kazzelectro
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« Reply #126 on: June 20, 2009, 12:32:41 PM »

Magic...what I was curious about is whether people actually care to know how the guitars they buy are being made....or is it simply the make, sound and/or and looks of a guitar? 
If you were buying furniture  and you had two identical coffee tables to choose from would you not want to know what the differences in materials and construction were?
Are you buying Ikea or Gibbard?
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magictwanger
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« Reply #127 on: June 20, 2009, 09:39:10 PM »

Kazz,with all due respect,you seem to be underestimating the folks who contribute to this forum....I think.

  As for me....I know about what I buy,and educate myself "before purchase".If I have a question,I will post here and elsewhere,call mfgrs,ask my local dealer(Mandolin Bros...a great bunch of folks who I know for over twenty five years)and from my past experiences I've gotten great input...."Sincere/helpful" input,that aided my "correct" choices!

  Of course,once I (or anyone I'd presume)zero in on a new guitar,I play a goodly amount of the competition before splurging.I don't worry about one or two specific features if the instrument tells me it is a keeper.....And I am as critical as the next guy,I can assure you.

  Well,that is my way,and I'd hope it makes sense...'cause I'm stuck with what I bought....and wildly ecstatic to boot!

  Best of luck
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jeremy3220
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« Reply #128 on: June 20, 2009, 11:05:47 PM »

Magic...what I was curious about is whether people actually care to know how the guitars they buy are being made....or is it simply the make, sound and/or and looks of a guitar? 

A lot of people here are interested in how guitars are made, just like every guitar forum.
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kazzelectro
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« Reply #129 on: June 21, 2009, 02:41:45 AM »

Well
That makes two of you.  I know that in the past I had purchased several guitars without any knowledge of the manufacturing process...I was simply sold  by the name, sound and look of the guitar.  I won't mention any makes as I've already done some bashing.  When I finally did become more informed I was disappointed with what I had purchased.  My guess is that the vast majority of the guitar buying world has no idea how guitars are built and I would guess that they will never care.
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Dotneck
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« Reply #130 on: June 21, 2009, 03:50:43 PM »

Well...That makes two of you. 

Yeah...they're probly the only two...

 


I know that in the past I had purchased several guitars without any knowledge of the manufacturing process...I was simply sold  by the name, sound and look of the guitar.  I won't mention any makes as I've already done some bashing.  When I finally did become more informed I was disappointed with what I had purchased. 

This makes me chuckle...if indeed you were disappointed after you learned more about the instrument after you bought it...doesn't it make sense to learn more about it BEFORE the purchase to minimize  your disappointment?

My guess is that the vast majority of the guitar buying world has no idea how guitars are built and I would guess that they will never care.

I do believe this is true....however I also believe the fanatics that hang on guitar discussion boards are a small sub-set of the guitar buying public and fall outside of the norm....look at the many different guitar forums and you will often see the same people on all the boards....
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rpm60912
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« Reply #131 on: June 22, 2009, 04:49:37 AM »

I belong to the vast majority of guitar buyers that are informed about
1-piece neck vs multiple-piece, dovetail vs bolt-on, nitro-lacquer vs other-type finish
but do not have any preference over 1 or the other.

Builders have different reasons or build-philosophy.

Apparently, multi-piece necks are more environmentally responsible. Aesthetically, nice to know that Larris are still 1-piece.

As for finish, nitro-lacquer is more susceptible to finish checking.

Bolt-on easier to repair or adjust? Does dovetail make a huge difference in sound?

For that matter, does the finish affect sound?

I'm just trying to get a better grip/understanding of the pros n cons of  one vs. another.

ricky
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ryler
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« Reply #132 on: June 23, 2009, 01:12:07 PM »

kazz,

It seems pretty clear that you have not read many archived posts here or you'd already know how well informed the majority of forum members either are, or strive to be.  You list very basic structural/finish information as the knowledge-criteria that defines the educated buyer, but truly, you haven't scratched the surface of the knowledge on this and many other forums. 

Your assertions are true about the general buying public, but not for forum denizens.
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kazzelectro
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« Reply #133 on: June 23, 2009, 02:23:07 PM »

I know full well that I have but scratched the surface on this topic, and I do not pretend to be an expert but I have owned many guitars and I have repaired and refinished a good number so I feel qualified enough to open the book on this subject.   What is interesting is that no one is offering their opinions on their preferences, etc.,  instead I am getting responses that preach about knowing.   
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kazzelectro
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« Reply #134 on: June 23, 2009, 02:29:46 PM »

"Apparently, multi-piece necks are more environmentally responsible. Aesthetically, nice to know that Larris are still 1-piece.

As for finish, nitro-lacquer is more susceptible to finish checking.

Bolt-on easier to repair or adjust? Does dovetail make a huge difference in sound?

For that matter, does the finish affect sound?"

....the above response is very typical  ...just rehashing what the manufacturers are feeding you.   Instead of talking about sound and quality of build...they talk about saving wood, lacquer checking, and easier to reset with a bolt-on neck.
 
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ryler
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« Reply #135 on: June 23, 2009, 03:25:41 PM »

I find the turn of this  thread generally unpleasant.  Kazz, it is okay to share your insights and interests without insulting the people you are speaking with.   Highly technical discussions are most  welcome here if that is what you are seeking.
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jeremy3220
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« Reply #136 on: June 23, 2009, 03:42:33 PM »


....the above response is very typical  ...just rehashing what the manufacturers are feeding you.   Instead of talking about sound and quality of build...they talk about saving wood, lacquer checking, and easier to reset with a bolt-on neck.

Many builders don't follow your 3 ingredient rule for the purposes of sound and quality of build. You can use a neck with a bridle joint at the headstock to eliminate runnout, a butt joint to connect the neck to the body to save weight by allowing for a smaller neck block, and french polished shellac finish to make for a thinner finish with less damping.
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rpm60912
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« Reply #137 on: June 23, 2009, 04:15:29 PM »

kazz,

please read my questions in my previous post more slowly. I'm genuinely wishing to know what difference if any the different build n finish philosophies make. Yes, I only do go by what manufacturers tell me. I'm not able to get as deep into the discussion because (1) I lack knowledge and (2) I lack understanding --- other than what the typical consumer knows or does not.

I'm asking questions because you raised issues that piqued my interest. I'm seeking answers. I'm not interested in getting into an argument.

I hope this gets this discussion back on track.

If other threads have already answered/addressed what has been raised here, please post the http or kindly PM me.

jeremy... thanks for your input. I always appreciate your opinions and thoughts as I gathered from your other posts that you build guitars yourself.

Thanks,

ricky
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kazzelectro
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« Reply #138 on: June 24, 2009, 01:51:49 AM »

Ricky
Almost all guitar manufacturers these days produce playable decent guitars in just about every price range.  Even the lowest cost Estaban guitar while made entirely of laminated woods provides a relatively easy playing guitar that is decent for beginners and at a very cheap price.    When you get to solid wood guitars there are a large number of asian imports priced in the $500 to $1000 range that are decent guitars but typically possess a scharfed neck joint (and usually a 3 piece neck), plastic poly finishes, and most often a bolt--on neck (sometimes a dovetail neck joint).   Then we have the Larrivee, Martin, Taylor, Gibson, etc, group that produce solid wood (cheaper models available in laminate) mass produced guitars...and from there higher priced guirars like Collings, Bourgeoius, etc.   These manufacturers all use different built techniques and each claim their method of construction is better for specific reasons.  Is lacquer better than poly...depends who you talk to.  Back to those asian guitars..almost all use polyester finishes that is often applied thickly to cover up imperfections.  Poly is harder and wears better.  IMO i dislike the high gloss plastic look and I feel that poly deadens the sound by having a sealing in effect.   I think it restricts the guitars abillity to vibrate freely.  Some will argue that if it's applied thinly it is just as good as lacquer..maybe so but not in opinion.   Lacquer is more attractive...if you take care of your guitar the lacquer will not check or will take a very long time to check...and that checked look is cool in itself.  Lacquer is thinly applied and I feel it lets the guitar vibrate.    3 piece versus one piece neck...those in favour of a 3 piece argue that it is stronger...it is stronger...but if you wack your guitar the neck will break whether a one  piece or 3 piece.  Save lumber..true...but if I am paying  top dollar I want a one piece neck...nicer to look at...could argue that it has better tone...no proof.  Finally,not let's not focus on saving trees ..let's talk guitar.  Why settle for a 3 piece when paying  top dollar ($2000 - $5000) when a 3 piece is what you get on an asian guitar. Once piece is the way to go.  Bolt-on vs glued in dovetail.  Another area where you will find arguments for and against both..most say the bolt-on is easy to reset.  IMO a quality guitar with dovetail joint should last decades if taken care of.  The Bolt-on is cheaper to build being less labour intensive..is found on cheaper guitars and again if I am paying top dollar I would want a dovetail joint.  I will also say that I think it sounds better as the joint has more wood to wood contact being snuggly fitted and glued...having an almost seamless effect.  I am going to get it for this last comment.  You can talk about all kinds of other build techniques such as bracing and woods...but I think that is where you need to buy what you like the sound of.   That's my take on it. 
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jeremy3220
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« Reply #139 on: June 24, 2009, 02:19:16 AM »

    I will also say that I think it sounds better as the joint has more wood to wood contact being snuggly fitted and glued...having an almost seamless effect. 

Not in the typical factory setting like Larrivee. These usually are not snug joints. They get shimmed up and the large gaps are filled with a Titebond type glue. Anywhere else in guitar construction this would be considered poor joinery but when it comes to the neck joint it's referred to as the 'elegant dovetail'. I'd rather have a bolt on than a factory dovetail. If you look outside of the large factory setting I think you won't find too many builders that exclusively use a dovetail anymore.

  Save lumber..true...but if I am paying  top dollar I want a one piece neck...nicer to look at

Some of the multi-piece necks look pretty nice.






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