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Author Topic: Collings OM worth it?  (Read 33959 times)
Safricanplayer
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« Reply #20 on: March 03, 2009, 04:30:33 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.

I can certainly respect your perspective re: the "additional cost isn't worth the improvement in tone" statement. Fortunately for the companies mentioned, along with small independent luthiers, enough people seem to believe it is worth paying the money, so ultimately it's all good

What's always fun, is finding, or trying to find, a great sounding guitar at an excellent price. I'm a fan of the Martin OM-21's and they can sometimes be found on ebay for just north of a grand. David Webber (out of Vancouver) builds some great guitars (especially for fingerstyle) and you can occasionally find them for around $1500 used. The Santa Cruz OM/PW's represent in my opinion, another great buy in the used guitar department. Today's economic woes have created some great bang for buck buys for the patient buyer!!

I'm hoping our all hog Forum III's will represent one of those excellent values

 Cheers, 

  ~  Ray ~
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Safricanplayer
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« Reply #21 on: March 03, 2009, 04:37:54 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.

As stated earlier, the extra attention paid to bracing and voicing the top does not guarantee the guitar will sound great, but definately enhances your chances. I played about 4 R. Taylors down at Buffalo Bros in 2007 and found them "to my ears" to be superior to their production line up. Yes, this is VERY subjective territory

 ~ Ray ~ 
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hadden
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« Reply #22 on: March 03, 2009, 04:46:47 AM »

As stated earlier, the extra attention paid to bracing and voicing the top does not guarantee the guitar will sound great, but definately enhances your chances. I played about 4 R. Taylors down at Buffalo Bros in 2007 and found them "to my ears" to be superior to their production line up. Yes, this is VERY subjective territory

 ~ Ray ~ 


My trying only the one isn't enough to get a sense of them, obviously. I just had one of those immediate visceral NO reactions when playing it.
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bluesman67
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« Reply #23 on: March 03, 2009, 04:47:14 AM »

Ray,

Those OM-21s are nice guitars, I like the scalloped bracing.  I don't have much experience or have ever seen a Webber though.  I guess it's my personality.  I tend to like real nice things but usually shy away from the nicest and go just one notch below, makes me feel frugal, getting a better 'value'.

 
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sdelsolray
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« Reply #24 on: March 03, 2009, 04:58:16 AM »

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

I've owned two Collings, both OM-1AC models.  I have one now.  I've played many others.  They are wonderful guitars, more Martineusque in design, sonics and behavior than many brands.  They are not light builds.  This results in a very clear, powerful and stunning presentation.  They certainly improve with age.

They are worth the sticker price, IMHO.  They are a lifetime guitar, for sure.

As far a rosewood Collings OMs, they are nice, but there are many brands that easily compete with Collings with rosewood - Huss & Dalton, Santa Cruz, Martin, Froggy Bottom and Bourgeois, for example.  Some Martinesque brands outpace Collings, IMO, such as Tippin, McAlister and Borges, for example.

When it comes to mahogany, true Honduran mahogany, Collings is hard to beat.  They nail it with that wood.
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Danny
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« Reply #25 on: March 03, 2009, 01:13:03 PM »

   When Geenorm and I were at Collings last week we saw some amazing tonewoods and heard quite a bit about their selective process in acquiring them.
   
                   Collings makes 1500 gits per year now, I think Larrivee is double that. But maybe someone else could say something. For sure JCL told me in November 2008 that Larrivee is #3 in America now.
                                                                   Danny
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« Reply #26 on: March 03, 2009, 03:26:39 PM »

   When Geenorm and I were at Collings last week we saw some amazing tonewoods and heard quite a bit about their selective process in acquiring them.
   
                   Collings makes 1500 gits per year now, I think Larrivee is double that. But maybe someone else could say something. For sure JCL told me in November 2008 that Larrivee is #3 in America now.
                                                                   Danny

Larrivee #3 ???? I would think that Martin, Taylor and Gibson make more guitars than Larrivee per year, but I don't have the stats to confirm this.  Anyone know for sure?  Not intended as a joke but does anyone know how many guitars Esteban (sp) sells a year?

John
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« Reply #27 on: March 03, 2009, 03:30:22 PM »

Larrivee #3 ???? I would think that Martin, Taylor and Gibson make more guitars than Larrivee per year, but I don't have the stats to confirm this.  Anyone know for sure?  Not intended as a joke but does anyone know how many guitars Esteban (sp) sells a year?

John
  John I thought so as well. But that is what Jean said to me. Larrivee #3.
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« Reply #28 on: March 03, 2009, 04:19:02 PM »

Larrivee may be #3 in terms of production within a narrowly-defined range (e.g. gits made in the US, costing between $X and $Y).

However Larrivee is certainly not #3 in terms of sales.  The widespread brands like Ibanez and Fender acoustic probably outsell by 10 to 1 in number of gits sold, but Jean L. almost certainly isn't comparing himself to that market

So if we're looking only at US higher-end production, Jean could be #3 (the other big ones might include Taylor, and Martin's US factory; don't know how big Gibson's factory in Montana really is)

Just another 2 cents from me
Dave
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Edavis
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« Reply #29 on: March 03, 2009, 04:28:41 PM »

Try Breedlove Revival OM's -made in the custom shop ,small number tremendous bang for buck
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lyric_girl
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« Reply #30 on: March 03, 2009, 05:09:04 PM »

The day I bought Holly, the guitar, there was a gentleman who was attempting to decided between a Bourgeois and a Collings. All sounded amazing to me.
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magictwanger
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« Reply #31 on: March 03, 2009, 08:42:59 PM »

Interesting Ricky,and it is gonna be your call...but...

  I got a lovely Larri D-03R this past Fall.I got that model because it sounded better than the other five or six different Larri's I'd tried.Just my own taste,at the time.I still liked the other gits,but I'd been jonesing for a nice dread at the time.

  I had some discretionary income to spend,having just sold my increasingly unreliable audio equip and LP collection.My wife was OK with this,as I'd put the lion's share of my newly obtained monies into the bank.

  So,now I was extremely careful about how many,and what type of new guitars to get.All just my own taste,but ZOHN was a HUGE help in focusing me away from industry hype,and simply using my own "take" on how my small collection should take shape.....There IS an outcome you may find interesting here....

  I loved my D-03R,and after about three months I decided to go for three more gits.I certainly would have been thrilled with more Larri's,but since I'd collected a good bit of dosh for my audio equip,I decided to splurge.The first time in my life I had an "almost" blank check on a passion related expenditure,and definitely the last.

  All along knowing this was going to be carefully thought out,and a "final" choice,SO I better make the choices carefully!!

  Lucky for me I live about 45 minutes from Mandolin Bros...IT IS ABSOLUTELY one of the Capitols of the Fretboard Universe!!...Best of all,the staff allows one to play anything hanging on the walls,for as long as one wants,with NO pressure.....I'm talking about literally 2 million dollars worth of purely acoustic inventory!!

  I had some serious misconceptions(originally) about what I'd finally wind up with,as I ultimately chose two OM's and one more custom dread from hands on play.All over four full afternoons at that fabulous place.....GOD I had such a good time there!!

  OK,my point(only opiniuon)...I wound up(on the OM side),after playing virtually every mfgr in stock(alot)with one gorgeous Huss & Dalton Rosewood/Bear Claw Sitka,and a Collings OM-1A.

  My response to your question,from actual experience,is there are a TON of fabulous guitars around,at many different price points.Yet,in all honesty my Collings,and the other Collings gits I played are simply superb,in every way!I have no doubts there...Every time I pick up the OM-1A my feeling is "this guitar exudes the reference to being simply Immaculate"!In every category,from superlative build/fit/finish,to just magnificent tone and playability.I just love it!!!

  Are there other gits that are as good or better values?...Of course!....But IMO, I'm not going to find one that in the Hog/Adi category is going to surpass "this" particular OM.That is for sure!!

                                                      IMMACULATE,in every way!.....

   Whether one feels it is worth the monetary outlay is another story all together.
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magictwanger
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« Reply #32 on: March 03, 2009, 09:05:15 PM »

Btw Ricky...just some additional input(and please don't feel I'm making a blanket statement that one must agree with my findings,or thoughts)....

 I tried OM's from Goodall,Santa Cruz,Martin( aload),Bourgeois,Larrivee,Huss & Dalton and Collings etc.Even some very pricey Vintage Martins.Sheesh "they" were expensive!!!

  To be "picky",referring to my own Collings OM-1A,I admit that it does not take to being flat picked too loudly.Don't get me wrong.It flat picks great,but has a dynamic ceiling when you dig in hard.

  To me,this is not a problem at all,because it is simply amazing on finger picking,and is So good there that my original desire to have a smaller bodied 12 fretter is being diminished by the week(I still want one though,but I can live where I am presently) ...The OM-1A seperates notes better than my other three gits,which are NOT  chicken liver.
  STILL,on flat picking it is very good,and the only reason I feel the dynamic window is a bit limited is because my H&D OM rules in that category.The H&D Om actually has as much power as my D-03R,and with even deeper bass notes.What can I say?That's how I hear it....

  Anyway,I hope this at the very least is an interesting "read" for you.You surely will wind up with a lovely instrument,regardless of which one you choose!!

  Best regards,
  Mark
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Danny
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« Reply #33 on: March 04, 2009, 01:17:32 AM »

Larrivee may be #3 in terms of production within a narrowly-defined range (e.g. gits made in the US, costing between $X and $Y).

However Larrivee is certainly not #3 in terms of sales.  The widespread brands like Ibanez and Fender acoustic probably outsell by 10 to 1 in number of gits sold, but Jean L. almost certainly isn't comparing himself to that market

So if we're looking only at US higher-end production, Jean could be #3 (the other big ones might include Taylor, and Martin's US factory; don't know how big Gibson's factory in Montana really is)

Just another 2 cents from me
Dave
  Precisely #3 in Guitars "made in America."  That is what Jean meant, at least that's what I thought he meant. And it makes sense.       Danny
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Safricanplayer
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« Reply #34 on: March 04, 2009, 02:48:19 AM »

Try Breedlove Revival OM's -made in the custom shop ,small number tremendous bang for buck

 +1  Breedlove by and large, got it right with their Revival Series. Used, they offer tremendous bang for the buck. Very simple appointments, but I've been impressed every time I've played one. Somehow the bracing and scalping that's done with the Revival Series, gives it a life and tone, I have not experienced in their regular line up.

 ~ Ray ~
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« Reply #35 on: March 04, 2009, 08:13:55 AM »

The Breedlove Revivals came out of nowhere and took a lot of people by surprise. Nice guitars. Their mahogany dread I played is a killer, plain and simple.
You are going to find some people who don't like the Collings sound. But, you can't argue with the craftsmanship and the way they play out of the box.
I've been very lucky to own a Santa Cruz and a Collings. The Santa Cruz went out the door with some regrets, but if the economy gets my little C-10 there will surely be tears in my beer.
That being said, the 03 Larrivees are sleepers that people tend to overlook. It's like having a V-8 in a Corvair--no one expects it to burn rubber!
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« Reply #36 on: March 04, 2009, 08:55:06 AM »

That being said, the 03 Larrivees are sleepers that people tend to overlook. It's like having a V-8 in a Corvair--no one expects it to burn rubber!

Fredmando - I hope you wouldn't have to sell your Collings.  I just so can relate to the car analogies!  Agreed... the so-called entry level or "lowly" 03s are on steroids.

Mark - I read your 2 posts with much delight. I must read them at least 2-3 more times as I vicariously try to experience in my imagination your Mando Bros experience and having a blank check to spend on your git passion.

You got me really curious now on your H&D OM - having the same bass as your dread or L --- that is just insane !!!  +1

I'll check out the Revival series as suggested.


On my other thread about Guilds - I tried some Chinese & Tacoma made models today - none spoke to me.

ricky
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« Reply #37 on: March 04, 2009, 09:34:55 AM »

I would love a H&D OM, one of my major GAS problems.  Now that I have the forum III on the way, it is my intention not to buy any more guitars until I have enough dispensible cash to go shopping properly, and be able to buy what is best for me, rather than what I can afford.  Well, maybe a buget 12 string and a mondolin, but apart from that........

Only 35 years until retirement, so I guess it'll be a long wait!
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« Reply #38 on: March 04, 2009, 09:35:54 AM »

Here's a couple links for you. The first one is a Bourgeois DB Signature OM Bourgeois and the second is a 2008 Limited Edition Larrivee OM-03R OM-03R
Scroll down about half way on each page and click on the sound clip of David Martin playing each one (it will download to your computer). I'm not sure which one sounds better to my ears. Bottom line, a great guitar player can make both sound amazing and a mediocre guitar player could likely make them both sound mediocre  bigrin Damn, I wish I could play like him.
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« Reply #39 on: March 04, 2009, 10:32:40 AM »

Fredmando - I hope you wouldn't have to sell your Collings.  I just so can relate to the car analogies!  Agreed... the so-called entry level or "lowly" 03s are on steroids.

Mark - I read your 2 posts with much delight. I must read them at least 2-3 more times as I vicariously try to experience in my imagination your Mando Bros experience and having a blank check to spend on your git passion.

You got me really curious now on your H&D OM - having the same bass as your dread or L --- that is just insane !!!  +1

I'll check out the Revival series as suggested.


On my other thread about Guilds - I tried some Chinese & Tacoma made models today - none spoke to me.

ricky
                  The most full sound from an OM I've heard in my limited experience is my 1993 OM-21. I'm not sure what a new one would be like , but the bass and overall tone is deeper than my D-09 was and fuller than my LV-03R. I don't mean to say better, but definitely deeper in overtones and richer in the bass.
                         OK, fire away.                       Danny
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