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Thread: Waterloo Mandolin Released

  1. #26
    Registered User Doug Freeman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waterloo Mandolin Released

    When I saw the announcement I thought about the original vs. Waterloo question too, but imagined the Collings-built instrument would smoke the original in terms of build quality, sound, and playability, probably justifying the cost differential. And here's some pretty good evidence:

    Last edited by Mandolin Cafe; Jul-28-2019 at 8:04am. Reason: displaying inline

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  3. #27
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Waterloo Mandolin Released

    Hey, wasn't that Dawg that just walked through?
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  4. #28
    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waterloo Mandolin Released

    I don't know but I've seen some pretty clean all original Kalamazoo's! I'm a vintage guy so that what I would buy!

  5. #29

    Default Re: Waterloo Mandolin Released

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Freeman View Post
    When I saw the announcement I thought about the original vs. Waterloo question too, but imagined the Collings-built instrument would smoke the original in terms of build quality, sound, and playability, probably justifying the cost differential.
    I think Doug summarizes the appeal of the boutique instrument. That and some buyers just don't like old/used/vintage instruments, for some reason and would rather buy new. I remember in the early days of the Fender Custom Shop when the so-called "relics" first hit the market. At that time the Custom Shop relic sold for $3-4000 and the irony was an actual (but, beat-up) pre-CBS Fender was selling for the same price. I never understood how anybody would choose the relic over the actual vintage Fender, but Fender managed to sell a lot of them.......

  6. #30
    Isolated enthusiast Caleb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waterloo Mandolin Released

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Mando View Post
    ...some buyers just don't like old/used/vintage instruments, for some reason and would rather buy new.
    Put me in this camp. I’d take a new Waterloo over an old Kalamazoo.
    "The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly
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  8. #31
    Registered User Joey Anchors's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waterloo Mandolin Released

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Freeman View Post
    When I saw the announcement I thought about the original vs. Waterloo question too, but imagined the Collings-built instrument would smoke the original in terms of build quality, sound, and playability, probably justifying the cost differential. And here's some pretty good evidence:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeR1Je_Cgs8
    Now that is some good playing!
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  9. #32
    Registered User Cary Fagan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waterloo Mandolin Released

    Glad to see a general revival of flattops. Listening to the video shows that it certainly has a flattop sound, with a fair bit of sustain. It's a sound I like but it's an alternative rather than a replacement for a carved top. And flipping between it and Calhoun videos, they sound somewhat alike not surprisingly. (This is a crude comparison, though, given different players and recordings.)

    I'll be curious to see if they show up in any old time jams.
    Cary Fagan

  10. #33
    bon vivant jaycat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waterloo Mandolin Released

    Quote Originally Posted by mrmando View Post
    You never appreciate a Waterloo until you come across a loo that has no water.
    Boy howdy.
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  11. #34
    Registered User Gunnar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waterloo Mandolin Released

    Quote Originally Posted by mrmando View Post
    You never appreciate a Waterloo until you come across a loo that has no water.
    This is entirely true. Having lived in rural Africa most of my life, I've come across (and used) several (waterless loos) and it definitely makes you appreciate it
    Mandolin: Kentucky KM150
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  12. #35

    Default Re: Waterloo Mandolin Released

    OK, finally got it..........loo, British for rest room........

    As in, "I say, Guvnor, could you direct me to the nearest loo?"

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  14. #36
    Registered User Gunnar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waterloo Mandolin Released

    Exactly. Some cultural education may occur
    Mandolin: Kentucky KM150
    Other instruments: way too many, and yet, not nearly enough.

    "Imagine life without mandolin. Now slap yourself! Never do it again!" -Gunnar Salyer

  15. #37
    Registered User bruce.b's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waterloo Mandolin Released

    I agree with Marty, these are more for crossover Collings guitar enthusiasts. They are not competition for archtop mandolins since flat tops are a different sound. Like the Waterloo guitars they are built to a much higher standard than the vintage Kalamazoo mandolins. They are expensive for a flat top and might have some trouble competing with the flat tops already out there. The modern flat tops I’ve owned have been excellent quality instruments and sell for significantly less.

  16. #38
    Bridger Products
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    Default Re: Waterloo Mandolin Released

    Thanks for the nice recommendation Daryl. I've done so many custom original bridges over the years that there are a much greater range of adjustable bridge heights, widths and styles for mandolin, mandola, octaves and bouzouki instruments.

    The newest adjustable flat-top and carved-top bridges can go as low as .5 inches. With different base heights, the range can go as high as needed.

    Peter Coombe uses the ultra-low arched-top adjustable bridges on his lyon & Healy instruments and they also work well on old Gibson carved-tops. He uses an adjustable flat-top bridge for his new octave mandolins. The standard flat-top mandolin bridge has worked well for other flat instruments.


    Vern Brekke
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  17. #39
    F5G & MD305 Astro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waterloo Mandolin Released

    I guess I should play one just to be sure of what I'm just not getting. For the same money you can have a beautifully aged archtop.

    I've played some pretty waterloo guitars, but again thought I could get a better guitar for less. Probably depends on what you bond with and what you dont. Then again, everything always does.
    No matter where I go, there I am...Unless I'm running a little late.

  18. #40

    Default Re: Waterloo Mandolin Released

    Quote Originally Posted by VernBrekke View Post
    Thanks for the nice recommendation Daryl. I've done so many custom original bridges over the years that there are a much greater range of adjustable bridge heights, widths and styles for mandolin, mandola, octaves and bouzouki instruments.

    The newest adjustable flat-top and carved-top bridges can go as low as .5 inches. With different base heights, the range can go as high as needed.

    Peter Coombe uses the ultra-low arched-top adjustable bridges on his lyon & Healy instruments and they also work well on old Gibson carved-tops. He uses an adjustable flat-top bridge for his new octave mandolins. The standard flat-top mandolin bridge has worked well for other flat instruments.


    Vern Brekke
    Bridger Products
    Thanks for posting this, as it answers a question I had posted in the "Equipment" forum about octave mandolin bridges.

  19. #41
    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waterloo Mandolin Released

    Looking forward to some more videos from Waterloo and someone giving us a review once they start shipping.

  20. #42

    Default Re: Waterloo Mandolin Released

    Although there were thousands of old Gibsons (and quite a few Martins) with non adjustable bridges and players accepted them I think for anyone who is an experienced mandolin player and appreciates the flexibility of an adjustable bridge, then that is a negative and quite a big one. For someone starting mandolin and just accepting what it's like (as thousands of guitar players do) then no problem.

    Classical players may well like them due to the quality although not sure how many frets they have for classical.

    I'd find it odd to have a non adjustable bridge but I am one who tinkers with these things and perfect set ups etc is firmly on my list with all instruments. Surprised they didn't just put a couple of small wheels in there and make bridge adjustable.

    Don't know who will play these and certainly not the bluegrass world but they may well project really good and be ideal for Italian type mandolin or duo/trio ensemble or perhaps folk music..

    Be interesting to hear what players think. I doubt they will reach Uk unless Trevor at Tamco gets a couple in.

  21. #43
    Mandolin & Mandola maker
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    Default Re: Waterloo Mandolin Released

    They are expensive for a flat top and might have some trouble competing with the flat tops already out there.
    Yes, agreed. My top of the line flat top is cheaper even taking transport costs from Australia to the USA into account. Helped by the exchange rate at the moment. Mine also have an adjustable Brekke bridge but don't have the Collins name which might be important to guitar players. However, good luck to Collins, maybe it will get more people playing mandolin and that has to be a good thing.
    Peter Coombe - mandolins, mandolas and guitars
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  23. #44
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    Default Re: Waterloo Mandolin Released

    For those who are wondering about why Collings might be using one piece bridges on these mandolins, one answer is: tradition.

    Although there may be some modern makers who are fitting adjustable bridges to flat top mandolins, virtually every flat top mandolin that was ever made until a few years ago was fitted with a one piece bridge. This includes not only the Kalamazoo mandolins that the Waterloo's are patterned after, it includes virtually every flat top mandolin made by Vega, Martin, Lyon & Healy/Washburn, Regal, Schmidt, etc.

    And what's wrong with a one piece bridge? I'm now tempted to stick one on an F-5 just to see how it affects the sound. Whenever you change a bridge, or even a bridge saddle, it affects the tone and response of the instrument. I've changed bridges back and forth on F-4's and Gibson A's, and noted quite a difference. Some instruments sound better with a one piece bridge.

    Has anyone tried a one piece bridge on an F-5? If not, why not?? At least part of the reason we always see adjustable bridges on F-5's is because that is what we're used to seeing . . .

  24. #45
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waterloo Mandolin Released

    Quote Originally Posted by rcc56 View Post
    ...I'm now tempted to stick one on an F-5 just to see how it affects the sound...
    I suspect the Red Henry and Frank Ford one-piece bridge tests on carved top mandolins are still online if you want to see what two others have already done. It's been a few years since they've been discussed here.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  25. #46
    Administrator Mandolin Cafe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waterloo Mandolin Released

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Mando View Post
    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.......)
    Finally, some wisdom. After a fret redress or replacement many will need, possibly dealing with a warped neck and intonation issues, replacing some tuners, maybe fixing a caving in top there'd still be a lot of money left over. Minor issue of hunting down a competent luthier and waiting for them to fix it. Too bad about the bridge replacement and the marred up area around it so common in old instruments. Hey, it's a "feature," not a problem. If you're lucky enough to get one owned by a capo user, extra vintage mojo on the neck. Original case? Yea, probably need to buy something new to carry it in. And at the end an added bonus: a mandolin still worth $300-500 on eBay.

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  27. #47
    Registered User Joe Dodson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waterloo Mandolin Released

    I very doubt that most high-volume production instrument of any age will match what's coming out of Collings. I guess they will earn their reputation or not when they hit the market, but I definitely give them the benefit of the doubt. I was a skeptic about the Waterloo guitars when they hit the market, but the few that I've played have been fantastic.

    Those Waterloo archtops are pretty neat too. They just announced them a couple of months ago. It's a good thing I'm too broke for GAS right now.

  28. #48
    Registered User Randi Gormley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waterloo Mandolin Released

    I played a flat-topped Northfield at Greyfox which was a nice instrument although i can't remember the price since I wasn't really in the market (the neck didn't fit my arthritic hand), so it's nice to see flat tops from top instrument shops getting some love. But i wonder about the idea that a guitarist looking to get into mandolin would be the target market. Most of the guitar players who ask about moving to mandolin on this site seem to be looking for instruments in the $200 to $500 range. And a lot of people on this site wouldn't mention this because of the cost -- regardless of how good the sound is. Flat-tops aren't often what people are thinking of when they look at what mandolin is being played on stage or by their favorite mandolinist. It'll be interesting to see how this does.
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  29. #49

    Default Re: Waterloo Mandolin Released

    They look cool for what they are. Guessing playability and finish are what you would expect from Collings. If it was my only 1750 for a mandolin can’t see how I’d take it over a used MT though.

  30. #50
    Registered User Bob Clark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waterloo Mandolin Released

    I see this as completely positive for all of us. First, I love flat-tops and will never be without one. Now, we have one more option. Second, it might bring new players into our camp. How can that be a bad thing? Third, it might bring the maker a few bucks, and we all want them to remain profitable so they are there for us in the future. And finally, it is priced in a way that keeps the single Luthier shop competitive. We want those builders to succeed in keeping their market share, too.

    So, I see no down-side here at all. I am thrilled by this new release!
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