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Thread: Waterloo Mandolin Released

  1. #1
    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Waterloo Mandolin Released

    https://www.waterlooguitars.com/wl-m...gGeJxeeEc_Nx9o

    $1,750....not bad. And built for J-74s. The question is do I buy one without playing it first???
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  3. #2
    Registered User Mark Seale's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waterloo Mandolin Released

    Of course. Why would you ask that here?

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  5. #3

    Default Re: Waterloo Mandolin Released

    Look nice
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  6. #4

    Default Re: Waterloo Mandolin Released

    You're going to need both colors right? So....

  7. #5
    Registered User John Soper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waterloo Mandolin Released

    I think the black one would have a darker tone!

  8. #6

    Default Re: Waterloo Mandolin Released

    Looks wonderful, but let's see, $1750 for a copy of an ol' Kalamazoo that sells for $300-500? Or, as Mike likes to say, fails to sell weekly for that. The 30's K-zoo would also come with 90-year old pre-aged wood! (if you dig that sorta thing.......)

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  10. #7
    Mandolin Player trodgers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waterloo Mandolin Released

    I was very excited about this model when they showed up at the winter NAMM. Love the look and style! I am somewhat disappointed at the price point. The somewhat similar Northfield Calhoun retails for nearly a thousand less. I've been carefully watching for a nice Kalamazoo for a while, and was really turned on by the idea of getting a Waterloo to scratch that itch, but at the current MSRP, I will not hold my breath.
    “Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them. Now we face the question whether a still higher ‘standard of living’ is worth its cost in things natural, wild and free.” -- Aldo Leopold

  11. #8

    Default Re: Waterloo Mandolin Released

    I don't think we're the target market for these. There are a lot of guitarists with Collings fever who will pick these up as a way to try out mandolin. Smart move by Collings. I'm sure they're great instruments, too, but a hard sell at this price for someone who peruses the classifieds here regularly.

  12. #9

    Default Re: Waterloo Mandolin Released

    Quote Originally Posted by trodgers View Post
    I was very excited about this model when they showed up at the winter NAMM. Love the look and style! I am somewhat disappointed at the price point. The somewhat similar Northfield Calhoun retails for nearly a thousand less. I've been carefully watching for a nice Kalamazoo for a while, and was really turned on by the idea of getting a Waterloo to scratch that itch, but at the current MSRP, I will not hold my breath.
    I have played the Calhouns. I think if you play one of these and play the Calhoun you will understand the price difference.
    Good Advice: Play before you pay, and know your product and your market.

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  14. #10

    Default Re: Waterloo Mandolin Released

    When Waterloo guitars first came out, I thought who the hell would buy one. Rediculous idea. That's why I'm going to die poor.
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  16. #11
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    Default Re: Waterloo Mandolin Released

    Agree about Price Point being high. Maybe available for less on the street. But most of those Waterloo products are a bit pricey to my mind. Collings makes great stuff, don't get me wrong. But I would like to hear this against an Eastman 304, or a Kentucky 270 and see if it sounds $1300 better. Or an old Gibby A.

  17. #12
    Registered User Doug Brock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waterloo Mandolin Released

    A non-adjustable bridge? That's an interesting choice.
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  18. #13
    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waterloo Mandolin Released

    I'm not sure the Calhoun is a fair comparison. Those are being made as plainly as possible to keep the cost down for school music programs and people looking for a budget instrument. And I applaud them for that effort.

    The Waterloo should be a much higher quality mandolin. The Waterloo guitars are a great value, even with the recent price increase. I have a WL-14X and it's one of my favorites that I've owned. Vintage tone with modern build quality. On the Collings side an MT is now $3k+ so this Waterloo is a nice entry into their line. It will definitely have appeal to crossover players, guitarists that play or want to play some mandolin. I mean how cool will a matched Waterloo guitar and mandolin pair be???

    The non-adjustable bridge is a bit of a head scratcher. Easily remedied though if it does create issues.

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    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waterloo Mandolin Released

    Wow those are neat, they remind me of some of the 30's Kalamazoo mandolins! Never heard of these but heck there are so many makers nowadays its a bit mind boggling to me anyway! That's why I usually stick with Gibson-budget brand Gibson and Martin guitars!

  21. #15
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waterloo Mandolin Released

    Quote Originally Posted by sgarrity View Post
    The non-adjustable bridge is a bit of a head scratcher. Easily remedied though if it does create issues.
    I dunno... at first I thought it was just to save costs. But then looking at the close shot at the company link, it looks like the neck angle doesn't leave enough room for a conventional 2-piece, wheel & screw adjustable bridge as a replacement.

    I guess you could use a fixed bridge replacement and sand it to height, but it looks like they're basically treating this like a flattop guitar where you don't have a vertical adjustment.

    The bridge isn't glued in place though, is it? I would at least want to adjust the intonation distance and angle, since mandolins are fussier at this short scale than guitars.

  22. #16
    Registered User jdchapman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waterloo Mandolin Released

    There are still plenty of Flatirons around for much less. The Calhoun I played at Lowe's was in that tonal category as you'd expect given the design, though the Calhoun was louder than other pancakes I've played; it was pretty impressive if you like that kind of voice.

    The (three) used Waterloo guitars I've played have all sounded better than the new ones. I'm guessing there'll be used Waterloo mandolins to try in a year or two for a lot less that are just starting to wake up.

  23. #17
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waterloo Mandolin Released

    It is pretty much a copy of the Kalamazoo KM-11, that's true. Collings has built the quality they are known for into them so even though I know what they are based on and I would personally go for an original KM-11, I do understand the attraction. They've done well with the Waterloo guitars and they are pretty much based on the same brand's guitars.
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    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  25. #18
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waterloo Mandolin Released

    Will make the argument the truss rod and compound radius fingerboard contribute to the price. But, yeah, it will have a tough go against the original.

    Then again, my Waterloo Jumbo King is light years better sounding than an original. I know because I owned one. So these could have a sound that's more appealing than the original.
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    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waterloo Mandolin Released

    Yep Mike, for the price one can get an original 30'sand have $ left over!

  27. #20

    Default Re: Waterloo Mandolin Released

    That can be said for any instrument purchase. It’s all a matter of choice.
    Good Advice: Play before you pay, and know your product and your market.

  28. #21
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waterloo Mandolin Released

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobar View Post
    That can be said for any instrument purchase. It’s all a matter of choice.
    With the exception of certain older F5's from Gibson, probably.

    Gretsch has shown that you can sell a copy of an old Harmony mandolin that can't hold a candle to a real old Harmony mandolin for a lot more money. At least here you're getting a truss rod and excellent workmanship.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  30. #22
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    Default Re: Waterloo Mandolin Released

    Most of the old Kalamazoo mandolins I see for sale need quite a bit of work to put them into good playing order. By the time you pay for any crack repairs, loose braces, and a good fret job and set up, the Kalamazoo's don't seem to be quite as much of a bargain anymore.
    Last edited by rcc56; Jul-26-2019 at 7:20pm.

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  32. #23
    Registered User seankeegan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waterloo Mandolin Released

    What's with the tuners? They look like Stew Mac golden age relic finish, but with black buttons. Also they're worm under, so is the spacing from the old pre 20's Gibson's? This would mean you couldn't replace them with other modern tuners without redrilling the headstock, right?
    Last edited by seankeegan; Jul-27-2019 at 3:30am.

  33. #24
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waterloo Mandolin Released

    You never appreciate a Waterloo until you come across a loo that has no water.
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  35. #25
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    Default Re: Waterloo Mandolin Released

    Quote Originally Posted by foldedpath View Post
    I dunno... at first I thought it was just to save costs. But then looking at the close shot at the company link, it looks like the neck angle doesn't leave enough room for a conventional 2-piece, wheel & screw adjustable bridge as a replacement.

    I guess you could use a fixed bridge replacement and sand it to height, but it looks like they're basically treating this like a flattop guitar where you don't have a vertical adjustment.

    The bridge isn't glued in place though, is it? I would at least want to adjust the intonation distance and angle, since mandolins are fussier at this short scale than guitars.
    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...pen-2-uh-oh-my

    I replaced the fixed bridge on this Aspen with vern brekke's bridge that adjusts from each side with small worm screws. I removed the arch in the feet and arrived to a dead flat bottom. It worked really well, and I had an adjustable bridge setup. I'd say the same would work for these. In the posted thread link above, there are pics of the bridge before and after. I would think you could order one from vern with flat feet to start with. I had this used one on hand and it had been fitted to an arch top.another cool thing is this brekke's bridge can be adjusted under full string tension with the small Allen tool. Makes an action adjustment a 5 second ordeal.

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