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Thread: Mandolin players who bought or have played a Waterloo Mandolin

  1. #1
    Registered User Tom Sanderson's Avatar
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    Default Mandolin players who bought or have played a Waterloo Mandolin

    I would like to hear from Mandolin players who bought or have played a Waterloo Mandolin. I think I want one, but would like to know what you think of them. What are they like compared to an F5, A5, or the “Original “ Kalamazoo KM11. I play Fiddle and Mandolin, mostly fiddle tunes by myself and occasionally with friends. Are they better suited for Old Time, etc.? Please give me your honest opinions before I spend $1800. Of my kid’s inheritance. Thanks
    Last edited by Tom Sanderson; Sep-28-2019 at 4:35pm.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Mandolin players who bought or have played a Waterloo Mandoli

    Buy it, Tom. You will like it.
    Good Advice: Play before you pay, and know your product and your market.

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    Some Ability - No Talent MikeZito's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin players who bought or have played a Waterloo Mandoli

    Ah, go ahead and spend the $1,800 - your kids won't miss what they never had . . . .

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  6. #4
    Dave Sheets
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    Default Re: Mandolin players who bought or have played a Waterloo Mandoli

    My kid is gonna inherit a lot of cool stuff
    -Dave
    Flatiron A
    Way too many other instruments

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    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin players who bought or have played a Waterloo Mandoli

    I played one at IBMA yesterday, just for a minute. Honestly, I was surprised at how nice the tone and feel was compared to other flat top mandolins I've played. There was still the woofiness of the G string that all round hole mandolins seem to have, but much less than I expected.

    I still far prefer ff-holed mandolins, but nonetheless I was somewhat impressed.
    Phil

    “Sharps/Flats” “Accidentals”

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    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin players who bought or have played a Waterloo Mandoli

    Tom, you should buy two, so I can play one.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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  11. #7

    Default Re: Mandolin players who bought or have played a Waterloo Mandoli

    I played one at Gryphon. It was quite bright for a flat top, not necessarily a bad thing. But I also played the Northfield Calhoun next to it at close to half the price. The Northfield had some of the low end of my A1 going on, but way less tubby. The Waterloo was voiced more like a modern instrument, and my feeling was you could play bluegrass with it. Like every other Collings product I've ever played, it seemed overpriced to me. That is my problem.

    It all comes down to liking it which is subjective. It was a quality mandolin worth buying if the sound floats your boat.
    Silverangel A
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  13. #8

    Default Re: Mandolin players who bought or have played a Waterloo Mandoli

    Didn't a forumite named TomS. win the Waterloo mandolin giveaway?

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    Registered User Gunnar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin players who bought or have played a Waterloo Mandoli

    Quote Originally Posted by V70416 View Post
    Didn't a forumite named TomS. win the Waterloo mandolin giveaway?
    I just saw who posted and thought the same thing...
    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

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  17. #10

    Default Re: Mandolin players who bought or have played a Waterloo Mandoli

    The winner was in Massachusetts. I believe the OP is in Florida.

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  19. #11
    Registered User Tom Sanderson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin players who bought or have played a Waterloo Mandoli

    Quote Originally Posted by V70416 View Post
    Didn't a forumite named TomS. win the Waterloo mandolin giveaway?
    Yes, but it wasn’t me ☹️

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    Moderator JEStanek's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin players who bought or have played a Waterloo Mandoli

    I remember when I first had a chance to play a bunch of old mandolins a bunch of years ago in a shop in Philly. I go to play great old Gibson A4, A2 mandolins and a bunch of different Martin Cant Topped mandolins (flat top and back). I remember that they really did sound different from each other and I was more accustomed to the sound from the arch topped instruments.

    Now, my main mandolin is a cant topped mandolin with engleman over Western Australian Sheoak (rosewood like density and sound) and it is my preferred sound.

    If you're mostly used to an ff holed arch top these will sound different to you. That's a good thing, IMO. I would expect the Collings quality of build and consistency of sound to be hallmarks of these flatties. But, if you're still reading, alas, I haven't had one in hand but would love to try one.

    Jamie
    There are two things to aim at in life: first, to get what you want; and, after that, to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second. Logan Pearsall Smith, 1865 - 1946

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  23. #13

    Default Re: Mandolin players who bought or have played a Waterloo Mandoli

    This is a really nice one. I love the burst.

    https://themusicemporium.com/mandoli...-wl-m-sunburst
    Good Advice: Play before you pay, and know your product and your market.

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  25. #14
    Registered User Tom Sanderson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin players who bought or have played a Waterloo Mandoli

    Looks like it sold already!

  26. #15

    Default Re: Mandolin players who bought or have played a Waterloo Mandoli

    I was in Gryphon Strings a few weeks ago and played all of the oval hole mandolins they had in the shop.
    I liked the Waterloo, but I don't think it is $1000 better than the Northfield Calhoun. The Waterloo has a nicer finish and is a bit more even across all strings.
    I'm used to playing my Collings MT2-O (which I brought with me to compare) and none of the instruments that they had in, including 2 Collings MT-O, Gibson F4 and F2, Northfield F2S, matched it in tone.
    The Waterloo was certainly the nicest flattop they had.
    If you're looking for that Gibson Army Navy sound, I think there are better buys out there. I'd check out the Sawchyn Beavertail for half the price.
    If you're looking for a full sounding oval, I'd keep my eye open for a used Collings MT-O at probably more than $1800, but more worth it, I think.
    Best, Stevo

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  28. #16

    Default Re: Mandolin players who bought or have played a Waterloo Mandoli

    My sentiments exactly, as $1000 is a tidy sum. But I'd caution against that one thing being the deciding factor. The one big thing I was looking for when visiting TMS, was the difference between a Kentucky Master model and a Northfield F 5s. The difference was about a grand, and really, the Kentucky was very good. But in the end I realized that had I bought a Kentucky, I would have regretted not having the performance I heard from the Northfield every time I played.

    If the Waterloo is the sound you really want, go for it. In the end you'll save yet another upgrade cycle. If you have to buy online, see if you can swing buying two mandolins so you can complare. The Calhoun has a vintage vibe the Waterloo lacks as far as tone goes. That could be good or bad depending on what you want.
    Silverangel A
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    1913 Gibson A-1

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  30. #17
    Registered User J.C. Bryant's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin players who bought or have played a Waterloo Mandoli

    I have just received a sunburst Waterloo WL M. I love flat tops and found it to be a nice mandolin and excellent fit and finish as are all the Collings instruments with which I've ever dealt. Right out of the box I had my doubts and was a little disappointed. But after a day of playing, a lot, I like it and recognize it has its own sound and is not ready to be compared to the other flat tops i have experienced. I have a Sawchyn Beaver tail that is the best sounding flat top I have but the Waterloo is different. To me, the Sawchyn "pops" (a word I used to describe banjos years ago) out at you with its sound and the Waterloo is a little more shy but the beaver tail is maple and the WLM is mahogany. I do not in any way consider myself a judge but I like it and I can see now that it will continue to grow on me. But it is different, nice, but different. I paid too much for it but after a while I don't think that will matter too much. I will just "play like" I never had it in the first place. In the end, I like it, I like the feel of it and the sound of it, after getting a little used to it. I don't think it makes me a better player but what little I can do I enjoy doing on the Waterloo. An after thought is that I like the sound much better with my Wegen Trimus pick. It seems thicker and fuller. But it is my favorite pick. Hope this helps anyone looking at the Waterloo WLM.

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  32. #18

    Default Re: Mandolin players who bought or have played a Waterloo Mandoli

    Sometimes after playing my modern archtop mandolins, I play my A 1 and my ears just ask me why I even have it. But when I play the same mandolin the next day first, I think what a fine tone it has. The ears play tricks on you. Time will tell as you either reach for it or don't as the case may be. As to price, every Collings I ever have played seemed overpriced to me, and I suspect I'd not give it a thought after paying that price. Still, broken down to dollars per hour, over time you couldn't go bowling or, heaven forbid, play golf for the same hourly rate.
    Silverangel A
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    1913 Gibson A-1

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  34. #19
    Registered User J.C. Bryant's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin players who bought or have played a Waterloo Mandoli

    Brick, you are absolutely right! I only have a couple hobbies, woodcarving and these instruments. I used to be big into hunting, bird dogs, etc. but compared to all that the cost of my instruments is nothing to worry about. I'm happy with them and if I get to where that is not so, then I will sell them and go on. Thanks for your input. Blessings, J.C. Bryant

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  36. #20
    Registered User Tom Sanderson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin players who bought or have played a Waterloo Mandoli

    I just bought one from Gryphon. It’s the one that was featured in the Peghead Nation review. I delayed shipping due to being on vacation next week so I won’t get it until Monday 11/18

    https://pegheadnation.com/instrument...vE2g7T3uZwXdHI

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