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I think I'm going to save up for a Collings

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by El Tele Lobo, Apr 7, 2021.

  1. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Poster Extraordinaire

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    I think I'm going to direct all my gear money for the foreseeable future into saving for a Collings. Every single one I've ever picked up, of every body style, has been stunningly excellent. "Precision crafted" is a phrase that comes to mind.

    But the one that always grabs me is the OM1. Mahogany back and sides, spruce top, heavenly tone. I have played several of that model in a local shop over the years and they have always floored me with their tone and playability. Weirdly, I've been a dreadnought guy my whole life, but I finally decided they're just too darn big and I rather like the tonality of a smaller body style.

    The handmade quality is matchless of the instruments I've played. I could get a Martin for the same money, but it would not have the same level of quality, IMHO.

    The price is a big pill to swallow, but I look at it as both a quality instrument and an investment. Well cared for, it will hold it's value well and I can always sell it if needed. But I've never had a lifetime acoustic. My Gibson HP-635W was pretty nice, but it had obvious fit and finish issues that, frankly should not have been present for it's price (about $1800). I eventually sold it when money got tight while I was in X-ray school.

    I don't know how I'm going to finance it yet. Maybe sell what's left of my HSN stock. It hasn't performed worth a hoot since I left anyway. I love a good acoustic, but most leave me wanting something more...except those Collings OM's. Am I nuts?
     
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  2. fasthand

    fasthand TDPRI Member

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    I have a D1a from 2005 killer guitar
     
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  3. vgallagher

    vgallagher Tele-Meister

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    Hey, I love acoustic guitars. 99% of my playing is on them. The high end guys like Collings and Martin are putting out some outstanding instruments. In fact many are saying that they are putting out their best products right now.

    Up until a couple months ago I was exclusively a D18 guy. If it wasn’t a Martin mahogany dread I wasn’t interested. I have a Golden Era and One of the Authentic series, pretty much the top of the line for D18’s. I recently meandered over to Gruhn Guitars with the idea that I would try out some OM’s and 000’s for some easier finger picking. They were nice and I almost pulled the trigger on an OM28. Then my eye caught a similar looking guitar but it was labeled 000028. It has the shape of the OM but the size is even a hair bigger than a dread but the thickness is that of an OM. Really comfortable to play but with the cut, power and fullness of the dreadnaught. That one came home and haven’t touched my other guitars since.

    I’ve had Collings too and they are super fine as well. If you find a 0000 (quad O) is what they call them, give it a try.
     
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  4. johnnylaw

    johnnylaw Tele-Afflicted

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    I have played only one Collings (dreadnought). Tremendous guitar. I’d pick it over any Martin I’ve ever played.
    Steep entry fee, but possibly worth it if it would connect your dots.
     
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  5. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Friend of Leo's

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    Collings are the best flat tops I've played. I can't imagine how they could be any better. I'm happy with my martin, but if I could afford a collings, I'd buy one.
     
  6. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Friend of Leo's

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    Never had the opportunity to play a Collings.
    I’ve looked at their website many times. I think they look wonderful.
    Last few years I’ve sold a bunch of guitars and saved my money to put towards one really great acoustic guitar.
    During that time I did all the online and hands on research I could to educate myself before making a decision.
    A couple months ago I located a NOS 2018 Martin HD-28V in a small shop in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
    I was interested enough to drive up and try it out.
    It is now in my bedroom.
    I know there are other great guitars available at varying price points, but my search is over.
    This is one of the rare moments in my life that the time after the purchase is more rewarding than the search that lead up to it.
    I sincerely hope it is the same for you.
     
  7. StevesBoogie

    StevesBoogie Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    I know of two people that have struggled with the same exact decision (Collings acoustic, don't know the models) ... and they don't regret it for a second.

    That's a lifetime guitar. Absolutely you should go for it.

    And just so you know - anyone replying to this post would love to be in your shoes. There, I said it. HAHA!

    Seriously, I'd love to be in your predicament. I would spend hours and hours and hours in a store that deals Collings and make sure I found 'the one' and bring that baby home.
     
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  8. tbp0701

    tbp0701 Tele-Afflicted

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    I bought a used OM1 in late 2012, and it's the best guitar I've ever played. I was searching for a "lifetime acoustic" to celebrate still being alive, but was thinking of a Martin OM-21 or the like. Then I happened to find a mint condition OM1. Buying it still required quite a bit of justification, as at the time it was more than what I'd spent on my other guitars combined, but it's astounding. I've sometimes felt guilty that a better guitarist doesn't have it, but playing it helps.

    The only caveats I can think of is that it's louder, more responsive, and dynamic than other acoustics I've played. So I use a lighter touch when playing in a small room at home. It'll also reveal sloppy technique.

    If it helps with financial justification, mine is evidently worth quite a bit more than I paid for it (a little under $2,500), so in that respect it's been one of my better investments.

    But more importantly, no matter the day I'm having, playing the Collings makes it better. It's made life a bit more bearable at times, and more enjoyable in general.

    Here's a photo.

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. FMA

    FMA Poster Extraordinaire

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    You are not nuts. Had a chance to play a few in a shop near Baltimore and they were some of the finest acoustics I've ever laid my hands on. Wonderful guitars. Maybe one day...
     
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  10. rand z

    rand z Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah.

    The "big ticket" chatter these daze is a Martin 0000, also more commonly known as a Martin M 36.

    Big body diameter size like Dred but thinner like a 000 or OM.

    Specifics are right here:

    https://www.martinguitar.com/guitars/standard-series/M-36.html

    I'm a Martin guy, but open to any great sounding/playing, and well built guitars.

    Certainly Gibson, Collings, Santa Cruz, Manzer, Henderson, Lowden etc., all qualify. I've played them and more, and all are wonderful guitars!

    And, I love my Gibson J 45 a lot for vocal work... it just seems to compliment my voice really well.

    But, for ensemble and solo fingerstyle, or flatpicking tunes, a Martin cant be beat.

    They're clear and powerful; and, if set up properly, feel and respond really well.

    Also, a big plus for me is their warranty and how they honor it.

    I've had original owner warranty work done twice... work that would have cost well over 1k, and they did it at the factory for no charge.

    Granted, I'm sure that they know by their records that I bought four new guitars from them (and being of Germanic descent and from PA??) and probably go out of their way to treat me well, they are a great company; imo.

    I'm also somewhat skeptical on how well other guitars are constructed internally.

    We know that there are Martin's around, being played, that are over one hundred years old.

    Will Collings, Santa Cruz, Lowden guitars etc. (and company's) survive the same???

    Maybe...


     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2021
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  11. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've never had the opportunity to play one.:(

    Even if I had, I don't think I could justify the price since I'm retired. I bought my premium guitars 8 to 10 years ago when prices were lower and I was still employed. Even though the funds are available I can't rationalize the expenditure.

    I wish I had considered a Collings back in the day. It could have been an incredible retirement gift.
     
  12. loco gringo

    loco gringo Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

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    You should try to play an OM1A. You may like the spruce on the OM1 better than the adirondack on the OM1A, but it is worth a listen.

    Check The Music Emporium and Gryphon music. They sometimes have used Collings and are trustworthy enough to buy long distance with confidence. There are others, probably, but I have experience with those two.
     
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  13. Nightclub Dwight

    Nightclub Dwight Tele-Afflicted

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    Last week I was fortunate enough to hold and play a 1938 Martin D28, as well as several other Martins from the 1930s and 1960s. That 1938 was worth close to $100,000 while the ones from the 1960s were going for $5,000. They were all great. Did the one from 1938 really sound that much better than the ones from the 1960s? Tough to say--it did sound better, but the newer ones seemed like they were at least 90% as good. But the feel or the mojo of the 1938 was indescribably distinct.

    Bottom line was that they were all great guitars, but the one from 1938 just felt special. While I think that guitar building may be equal parts art and science, we as guitar players are definitely artists. So if a certain guitar feels right to someone, I think that a bond is created between the tool and the artist which allows us to tap into our inner creativity a little more easily.

    We only live once. It would be a shame to lay on one's deathbed regretting that they never bought that special guitar they always wanted. So as long as you are meeting your financial obligations in life, I say that you should save up and buy that Collings if it is important to you.
     
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  14. Texicaster

    Texicaster Friend of Leo's

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    Do it!

    Collings are top of the list!

    I've owned 3 or 5 over the past 25 years. All dreadnoughts. All killer! My current D1A is a life timer! I don't even think about trading out of it!

    Aside from tone and feel which you'll gave to decide the craftsmanship of the Collings is far and away the best. They hold up! I've been dragging my D1A all over in my RV. Lived in southwest most of the time with >15% RH and not a single finish issue. Action as perfect as day 1! No one does a better burst.

    I think the pre-torrified are perfectly great guitars and torrefied only makes a different tone NOT better! Plenty of us dig the plain old.

    I just bought one of their traditional cases and oh man! $1000 and worth ever penny! I understand they have shut down the line and will probably never make another case. They have a few OMs left then that's it. If you're sure about an OM Go get one of those cases! You'll be able to resell it at profit soon enough when word gets out! Sound totally crazy I know but once you fit a guitar in that case you'll see!

    I wasn't a burst fan but got a good deal on mine and it's grown on me! They do them so well! Transparent enough to see all the luscious bear claw grain on my top!

    Do it! You'll have something to be happy about every day the rest of your life!

    Here's mine!

    collings.jpg
     
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  15. zombywoof

    zombywoof Friend of Leo's

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    If I was going to buy a Collings (which is doubtful) I would stick with used mainly because according to the folks on the Collings Forum in spring 2017 they slimmed the necks down. Not a good or a bad thing but not something that is generally to my liking. The thing I will say for Collings though is that no matter what they based a model on it still sounds like a Collings.
     
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  16. rcboals

    rcboals Tele-Meister

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    You will not regret it. Seven years ago I played a new 2012 Collings CJ35 and it was one of those rare magic moments that a guitar actually spoke to me and said "this is the acoustic you have been looking for your whole guitar playing life." I remember agonizing about the price it was the most expensive guitar I had ever considered buying. As I counted off 37 $100.00 bills I was thinking is this a mistake? Long story short I have never regretted buying the Collings it is one of eight guitars I own that makes me smile everytime I pick it up. :)
     

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  17. Texicaster

    Texicaster Friend of Leo's

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    Collings are tanks! I'm confident a new Collings will out last a new Martin but both should last decades with care so a wash.

    I've had issues with several Martins over the years. Lifting bridges and premature finish checks. They used an inferior binding on the D28 Marquis for a while and the shrinkage cased cracks all around the top within a year.

    WAY easier to reset a Collings neck than a Martins! Collings proved a bolt on neck is just fine! You can do a reset in maybe an hour!....Martins will sit at the factory for a year in most cases. Some Martins have bolt ons but I think they glue them so no advantage with resets.

    http://www.frets.com/FretsPages/Luthier/Technique/Guitar/NeckReset/CollingsReset/collingsreset.html
     
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  18. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Tele-Afflicted

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    Austin FTW! Beautiful guitars.
     
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  19. Buckocaster51

    Buckocaster51 Super Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

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    Good guitars. I have yet to see a stinker.

    Toured the factory a few years back. They know what they are doing.
     
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  20. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Poster Extraordinaire

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    I don't know that my shoes are great to be in right now. I'm just out of X-ray school (second degree; have a B.A. in English also) and now 46K in debt (trying to do that 10-year loan forgiveness program); 49 and still haven't owned a home; driving a 18-year-old truck that I'm praying no-one hits and totals (came close last time I was rear-ended); making about the less money than before X-ray school (but now hourly instead of salary) unless I pick up at least 8 extra hours a week (32 is considered full time) and with modest savings and investments. I don't have much, if anything left to sell gear-wise that's worth anything. I'd probably have to sell some company stock from HSN to make the buy...or save for about 4 years. I'm just getting to the point where I've played cheap, crappy guitars and done my best to make them work my whole life. I'm enjoying playing more than ever these days and better instruments make a difference (as my tele builds have proven). I figure it's like buying a KOT pedal. It's an investment of sorts. I could resell and make most of my money back if I needed to, assuming I take good care of it. With the reputation Collings is getting and the level of quality they're putting it, it might even appreciate in value. But it's a big ask dollar wise. The most I've ever spent on a guitar was about $1600 for my Gibson acoustic (now sold to pay bills during X-ray school. I'm back to playing my $300 Epiphone from 1991 for an acoustic. I know there are MANY other options in between the two, but nothing has ever rang my bell like those Collings OM1's. My tastes far outpace my wealth AND my ability (at least, at the moment).
     
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