Other Guitars

Does this new Collings 470 look a bit familiar???

26

This is a good discussion, and I see why you guys like Collings guitars with their attention to quality. But to me they are reinventing something that doesn't need reinventing. But James has a good point that most of the CS Gretsch DuoJet models are over the top with features you wouldn't want (ie Penquin headstock on a Duo), but I wonder if I just order through a dealer a straight non-relic'ed black lacquer duo jet with dynsasonics, a true arc, and Bigsby. How much would that cost compared to this Collings. I read on the gearpage that these Collings are going to sell for around $7000 with a lot of cost due to the custom Ron Ellis pickups.

27

re: "doesn't need to be re-invented"...

It's no secret that Gibson QC has been VERY lacking in recent years, opening up a market for builders like Collings.

28

Good point about Collings stepping in where Gibson quality is lacking. I would add two further points. 1) their electrics usually have a twist on the classic design that inspires them. I’ve drooled many times over their versions of a Jazzmaster. High quality. Jazzmaster-like. But a little different too (some versions quite different as they bring Gibson like features into play). They will likely evolve this model into a line with less traditional variants. 2) on the acoustic side, they are also stepping into Martin’s quality gap. Every new Martin I’ve played has been well built, but only some of them really sing. When I was shopping for an OM-21 and learned that with careful shopping I could get a used Collings for only a few hundred more than a new Martin, I started my hunt. Every Collings acoustic does indeed sing.

That said, on the electric side, I grabbed a Squier jazzmaster for $140, and upgraded the bridge and wiring to end with a pretty fun guitar for under $500. I can’t justify the leap to a Collings. Likewise, my proline Gretsch is a dream guitar and -again with careful used shopping - was had for a fraction of the price of a Collings, even used. They do have a market, though, and I applaud this direction.

29

re: "doesn't need to be re-invented"...

It's no secret that Gibson QC has been VERY lacking in recent years, opening up a market for builders like Collings.

– ruger9

I can't agree, my 2014 R7 is the best Les Paul I've ever played and it's bone stock, and my buddie's 2013 R9 is amazingly good and it's bone stock. We both been playing Les Pauls for over 30 years. I'm not denying that Colling are built well, but it's too easy for me to find a good Les Paul these days to want to jump the Gibson ship. I own many modern Gibsons and vintage and I like them all.

Listen to this clip, @ 2:42 I start soloing, to me this is what a Les Paul should sound like and I've never heard a Collings guitar that sounded any better for this type of tone. And this was a lowly R7. It weighs 8.1 lbs and has a ridiculously comfortable neck. That's why I don't think you need a more expensive version of a Les Paul. They are just fine to me.

The clip... https://soundcloud.com/dani...

30

That sounds really good. won't get anything better sounding than that

31

Damn fine Daniel ! I enjoyed it.

32

"It's no secret that Gibson QC has been VERY lacking in recent years"

Really? People have been saying this online for as long as I've had a computer and I've yet to see it. If anything I would say that Gibson have lifted their game consistently over the past 20 years as the competition has got tougher. Gibson has never been the company for perfect finish like Collings. I've played Gibsons from present day all the way back to the 50s and the same "issues" appear on all of them - you can feel where the binding has been scraped, the ridge between the binding and body or neck; there is often bleed from the finish onto the binding; orange peel on the headstock edges... The Gibsons of today are better than those I used to sell back in the 80s.

My three Gibsons, two from the past couple of years and one from 2015, are some of the best Gibsons I have played. They are the best playing guitars I have. My two Gretsches have nothing wrong with them, have great actions, are better finished but they still don't have the slinky, effortless playability of the Gibsons. I don't know what it is that Gibson do but man they can make a great guitar.

33

I'm not a Gibson guy, so I haven't owned any.... but many people I know and talk to who ARE Gibson guys confirm "they don't make 'em like they used to"... "unless you get a Memphis one" (and Memphis is of course closed at this point.) Gibson has been in a downward spiral for years, prices keep going up, quality is slipping. It's a pretty widespread (tho of course not unanimous) public opinion.

Sort of like where Grestch was during the Baldwin years.

My brother-in-law worked for Gibson, under Henry, and I have heard stories.... (he's worked for everyone.... Sam Ash, Guitar Center, Gibson, now he's at Fender). Even HE told me, "unless you buy a VOS, don't bother."

34

Yeah I think it's one of those internet myths for the most part - Gibsons are expensive so people like to bash 'em. As it happens all 3 of my Gibsons are VOS but all have been bought by order (ie not from trying it in a store) and I have been delighted with all of 'em. And I have owned plenty of others bought online over the past 20 years and not one has had any sign of shoddy QC. So it may be "no secret" about Gibson's QC but I have honestly not seen it.

Henry was obviously a goose and some of the stuff they produced was definitely not what I would buy - but that doesn't mean that they can't make a great guitar. Like anything, choose wisely and you'll be happy. My Les Paul is sublime - it was very expensive but it's actually a better guitar than I was expecting - and I was expecting a lot.

There are plenty of Gretsches and Fenders I don't like! My first modern Gretsch was a '99 SSU and it had a few finish flaws and a crooked nut. Still sounded and played great. Since then every new Gretsch I have bough has been better than the previous one, and I have found a similar pattern with the Les Pauls and 335s I have tried - some of their current production is as good as its ever been.

35

Every era of guitars gets it's critics. When I first got into vintage Gretsch everybody slated the Baldwin era guitars. Now they seem to be more highly regarded. I love them. Never played a bad one. All the supposed awful Norlin Gibson's are great players imo and like what's wrong with a CBS Strat? I've had a couple and loved them. Big and chunky like a baldwin in many ways. The whole vintage thing began due to the supposed poor quality after the 50s and early 60s guitars but in hindsight were they so bad? I'm no expert but none of the bad era guitars seem bad to me!

36

Btw my favourite Gibson's are 70s les paul deluxes.

37

"Yeah I think it's one of those internet myths for the most part "

Did you miss the part where I said my brother-in-law worked for Gibson? lol

As far as "expensive" being a reason... no one is bitching about Collings' prices... because their quality matches their price. THAT has been the problem with Gibson.

38

There are 3 Gibsons I want, that I will never afford:

a vintage ES-125

a VOS Les Paul Jr.

a VOS J-45

39

.... but many people I know and talk to who ARE Gibson guys confirm "they don't make 'em like they used to"... "unless you get a Memphis one" (and Memphis is of course closed at this point.)

That shows how weird those things have become. When I was looking for a 335 (that was produced in both factories a few years back), I heard many people state: "Make sure to get a Nashville one. They are better."

What I'm saying is:

40

I doubt it's hype, simply too prevalent of an opinion for it to be. Including from someone who worked there for 2 years.

Altho, some people actually believe socialism is a good idea, based on hype instead of actual history and facts, so....

I'M OUT! ;)

41

I doubt it's hype, simply too prevalent of an opinion for it to be. Including from someone who worked there for 2 years.

Altho, some people actually believe socialism is a good idea, based on hype instead of actual history and facts, so....

I'M OUT! ;)

– ruger9

Okay your brother worked at Gibson and has a bad opinion of Henry like many did, but I'm a musician who makes his entire living in music, both playing live and recording, and things that are crappy don't last long in my quiver. So hyperbole flies right out the window. So I feel your statement that modern Gibsons are bad guitars or lacking in some way, to me, is not as prevalent as you think. And the fact that you don't own any modern Gibson doesn't really help. My opinion comes from playing a bunch of Collings guitars, and a bunch of Gibsons. And since Gibsons are for the most part guitars that work great for me, I've played 100s of them looking for the tones I like. And I own quite a few USA and VOS models. My current collection includes... 2014 R7, 2010 R0, 2015 J45, 2014 USA Firebird, 2006 J100 Extra, 2009 SG Special, 1964 J45, 1964 ES125, 1952 Gibson BR9 Lapsteel (and as you can see, there's 2 of three guitars you covet, a custom shop J45, and a vintage ES125). I just recorded a CD that feature 9 out of 10 songs using J45s as the main instrument. Two songs feature my 2015 Custom Shop J45 50's reissue, and the other 7 using my 1964 J45. And my favorite J45 rhythm tone was with the 2015, and the lead tone in that song is a custom shop SG Special...

Here is the modern J45...

https://soundcloud.com/dani...

and here's a cover of a Bob Dylan song with the same J45...

https://soundcloud.com/dani...

This is why I say you don't have to reinvent a Gibson or a Martin because there's plenty of good modern ones for reasonable prices. Like all music equipment you're best off playing any guitar you consider buying. My two Les Pauls and SG sound better to me than any Collings I've ever picked up. As someone has said in prior post, end quality control of Collings is extremely good and maybe that's why they are so expensive. But when you look at the coveted vintage years of Gibsons and Fenders, there are plenty of little things here that wouldn't pass quality control at Collings, yet somehow, they are still fantastic guitars! So I'll pass on their DuoJet wannabe and save my money for the right duojet with DeArmonds (which I've grown fond of lately) whether it be Japanese Pro-line or a Custom Shop model.

I am looking at this closely and it's about $3000 less than this Collings will sell for!...

http://www.streetsoundsnyc....

42

I adore Gibson deluxes!!!

K

43

I adore Gibson deluxes!!!

K

– Konrad

When I was in my early 20's, I played guitar in a band that did two 6 month tours with the USO around the world (Japan, Okinawa, Philippines, Guam, Diego Garcia, Turkey, Italy, Greece, Spain). Then we came home and did a short 4 month tour of Alaska. Main guitar on two of those tours was an early 70's (71 or 72) Les Paul Deluxe, and I loved it. Here I am with it in the 90's sometime opening up for The Five Blind Boys in a club called the Zephyr SLC Utah...

44

Funny thing is that the best finished 335 I ever had was a '79. Norlin era and a bit ugly in dark brown and not the best sounding 335 ever - my early '80s Epiphone Sheraton sounded a lot better! - but the finish was excellent. It played really well too. But my '18 VOS '59 335 is so much better sounding... It's the best playing, best sounding semi-hollow I've had, and I've owned plenty!

FWIW I generally buy used and the prices for a basically new but pre-owned Gibson can be very fair.

45

Funny thing is that the best finished 335 I ever had was a '79. Norlin era and a bit ugly in dark brown and not the best sounding 335 ever - my early '80s Epiphone Sheraton sounded a lot better! - but the finish was excellent. It played really well too. But my '18 VOS '59 335 is so much better sounding... It's the best playing, best sounding semi-hollow I've had, and I've owned plenty!

FWIW I generally buy used and the prices for a basically new but pre-owned Gibson can be very fair.

– JimmyR

I bought both of my historic Les Pauls and historic SG Special used and I got pretty good deals on all of them. Maybe that's the way to buy Collings guitars. I'm not against Collings, if I found one that spoke to me I'd buy it.


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