Your experiences with Collings/Bourgeois/Santa Cruz/Huss & Dalton

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by Prinzen, Oct 12, 2016.

  1. Prinzen

    Prinzen TDPRI Member

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    If youve played or owned guitars from these makers, I'd be interested to hear your experiences! I actually have owned a Collings OM2H and found it to be a great guitar. I also had a Santa Cruz DPW. Both great guitars, but actually sold them on seeking that special one. Have you found the special one from these makers?!
     
  2. Buckocaster51

    Buckocaster51 Super Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

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    I tell you what, I am fortunate enough to have globbed on to some great guitars over the years.

    One of them is a Collings Clarence White with a serial number in the 600s. It is a fantastic guitar and I would be happy if it were the only one that was here.

    I also have a SCGC DPW in BW. It still has the original strings! It is also a guitar that I would be satisfied with.

    There is also a Proulx hanging around here somewhere. A very small shop in Canada. Not a thing wrong with that guitar.

    The guitar I play most is a Gallagher Doc Watson cutaway. Mahogany.

    There is also a mid-70s Mossman - rosewood - 3 piece back - recent neck reset that I would be very happy with on an island.

    Another is a German spruce-topped, pearl-bound Martin. A very complex sound. A lap-piano. A Great church guitar. Explosively responsive.

    The best sounding guitar I have is a 1968 Gallagher 12 fret D - also in mahogany. The short neck and wide fingerboard are the two things that keep it from being my #1.

    They are all mentioned because, in my opinion, there can be many "the one" guitars.

    If you understand that, please explain it back to me.

    :)
     
  3. Geoff738

    Geoff738 Poster Extraordinaire

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    After my grandma died, I was given a bit of cash and I turned it into a Collings. After playing pretty much every high end acoustic in town, including a 60s Martin that had supposedly been owned by David Crosby. That was out of my budget and I liked the Collings better. At the time there was a Santa Cruz dealer in town so I played a few of those and picked theCollings.

    Have since played a few Bourgeois, and they are fantastic guitars. Never played a H&D.

    Any of them are top notch. I guess at the end of the day you have to go with the one that speaks to you.

    Cheers,
    Geoff
     
  4. Tony Done

    Tony Done Friend of Leo's

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    I've only ever played the one I own, a Bourgeois. It is the Martin Simpson Signature model, made in '95. It is supposed to be sitka/EIR, but from the opinions I've received, it could be Engelmann. I bought it by mail order after careful research. I was looking for a flattop specifically for playing slide, and this model was specifically designed for that. Dana had had a lot of experience in voicing guitars by then on the Schoenberg guitars, and the fully bolt-on neck as a big plus. It is far and away the best guitar I have ever played for that purpose, loud, slightly metallic sounding (in spite of being EIR) and very even volume across the whole range, including the highest registers. Not as loud as a good reso in the top end, but louder and much better defined in the bass.

    However, it isn't the guitar I would choose for my Hurt-style fingerpicking, too open sounding. From what I have read, a Collings would be better suited for that, though I'm happy with my old Maton M300.
     
  5. Stefanovich

    Stefanovich Tele-Holic

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    I have a Collings D-1 and it is a great guitar, a real bluegrass cannon, but it isn't the one. I have played a Huss & Dalton mahogany dreadnought guitar and it was great too, but not the one. I have tried several Santa Cruz in shops and liked (but not loved) them all. My the one guitar is a Martin D-18. I have tried many D-18s over the years, some great, some good and some truly awful. My experience is that high end guitars greatly increase your chance of finding a lifetime guitar, but they don't guarantee it. In the end, I think it takes perseverance and a little luck to find a guitar that will make you happy for years. The other guitar I have like that is my Epiphone Triumph archtop. Funnily enough, both it and my D-18 are from the same year (1943).
     
  6. 63telemaster

    63telemaster Tele-Meister

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    I played a Santa Cruz VS last week and had I been looking for a J45 type guitar I could have quite happily have brought that one home with me.......amazing guitar.

    At the same time I played a Gallagher Doc Watson that was nice but in the end left with the best sounding guitar in the shop.......a D28 :)
     
  7. FMA

    FMA Poster Extraordinaire

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    The Collings guitars I've played -- only while visiting shops; don't have the scratch for one -- are among the finest acoustics I've laid my hands on. The two I had a chance to play were both dreads and they sounded amazing.

    Also played a Bourgeois slope-shouldered dread when I was shopping for a J-45 and it would have gone home with me if the cash were in my pocket.

    If money were no object, I'd have both.

    Haven't have a chance to play H&D or Santa Cruz guitars.
     
  8. uriah1

    uriah1 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Went last year with buddy to famous guitar store in Lansing.
    He worked out a few Collins, Martins, Bourgeious, others.
    Came away with a Huss and Dalton...I would have also....all were
    great in their own way...but..each guitar has a special feel and sound
    that you just know..Another day, another guitar
     
  9. cnlbb

    cnlbb Tele-Afflicted

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    At that level you can really only judge from guitar to guitar. In my experience the Collings have a higher rate of special guitars, but the other makers are also fantastic. I've also played some real dogs from a few of those makers.

    To a certain extent building a guitar is like writing a song, you can get better at it but some will still suck, and others will be nearly perfect. Just gotta do it a lot.
     
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  10. Dukex

    Dukex Tele-Holic

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    This.
     
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  11. Dingbat

    Dingbat Friend of Leo's

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    When I got my Larrivee at Apple Music in Portland Oregon, the sales guy put me in a room with a quiver of OM bodied guitars and one was a Santa Cruz. After spending an hour playing them all I wanted to take home the SC but with a price north of $5000 my wife would kill me and I ended up with the Larry.
    I have to admit that the SC was the best guitar I've ever played until I got my Gibson.
     
  12. clintj

    clintj Friend of Leo's

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    Played all four of those in Nashville, and for my style (unaccompanied fingerstyle) the Collings OM2H was my favorite of the bunch.
     
  13. Tony Done

    Tony Done Friend of Leo's

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    IIRC, that is the same model that was suggested to me. for solo fingerstyle.
     
  14. Bill Ashton

    Bill Ashton Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    I own a Huss and Dalton DS Custom (not a Crossroads), a (New Hartford) Guild D55 and a Collings D2H. For a single guitar household, the Huss and Dalton is by far the jack of all trades...fingerpicking, fiddle tunes and bluegrass (flatpicking) she will do them all with ease. The Guild is the singer/songwriter guitar, great sounding acoustic but will get lost in a bluegrass circle, more a soloist instrument. The Collings may well be the best built of them all, and is a bluegrass cannon, but in my hands it is limited to that...perhaps due to the neck shape and string spacing. Excellent excellent build, but try before you buy ;)
     
  15. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I played my first of any of these last weekend, a Collings. a 1992 OM-2H at Picker's Supply Collings.

    My report on it is that it is almost as good a guitar as my Gibson Keb Mo. That is really saying something because I've played many more expensive models than my little KM, but only one or two that competed. The Collings was very, very nice. Notes just seemed to pop off of it. It was almost like it would make beautiful tones if you just blew across the strings. It was very alive.

    That same day, I played a few other Martins and a bigger Gibson... None of them were as nice as the Collings. A while back, I played a couple Custom Shop Martins. That was an experience. The first one I played was a OO size. It was layered in ebony and fancy schmancy trimmings. It was spectacular. It played super easy and sang. It was also $7k! If I made a living playing acoustic, I could see me being interested... My Gibby was under 2k used. I just found the Collings listed on Reverb at $2900. I'll be honest, if I had extra funds laying around and was looking for a good acoustic, this one would be worth that buy-in.
     
  16. LKB3rd

    LKB3rd Friend of Leo's

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    There is a shop near here that has all those, and they are all really nice and capable of making a special guitar.
    I have a Santa Cruz H13 which is great.
     
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