Any Collings City Limits experts? Throbak vs Lollar Imperials

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by dead of night, Mar 28, 2015.

  1. dead of night

    dead of night Member

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    Hi, I am trying to choose between a City Limits with Lollars or Throbaks. I play clean and only want to hear the sweetness of the guitar itself.

    What are the differences between the two different stock pickups that come stock from the factory, Lollars or Throbaks?

    For one who likes to play clean, which one might be better? I cannot sample them, and there are no samples of the Throbaks custom ER MXV online.
     
  2. Mark Kane

    Mark Kane Silver Supporting Member

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    Either would work fine. I don't think you could choose one over the other based on your criteria. That said you may actually prefer one over the other but I don't think either would be a deal breaker.
     
  3. 57gold

    57gold Silver Supporting Member

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    Throbaks have increased clarity and openness versus the Lollars...that's why folks asked them to be added to the mix.

    CRGuitars is one who asked, for example.

    Thinking about swapping into them on my I35 and putting OX4s on my CL (the OX4s are more 1959 PAF sounding with growl...can get clean with tweak to the V control, but they push the front end of an amp just enough). Both have more color and character than the neutral Lollars.
     
  4. GasMask

    GasMask Member

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    Give Collings a call and discuss this with them. Both are great pickups. Each has it's strengths.
     
  5. GuitMike

    GuitMike Member

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    I've had both. I very much like Throbaks. I have a set of ER Customs and a set of SLE 101 plus. Honestly, not a whole lot of difference between them, but I probably give a slight nod to the ER's I have, albeit they are in a semi hollow. Having said that, I think the Lollars sound great in the City LimitsÂ…they are excellent clean. You'd probably be very happy with the Lollars, but if you want to spend the extra cash and get the Throbaks, you'd never regret it.
     
  6. journo

    journo Member

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    I got Throbaks in my CL and they sound really good. I use that guitar mainly for clean and slight OD.

    Cheers,

    Mats N
     
  7. Kid Tele

    Kid Tele Member

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    My favorite HBs in the world are the Throbak MXV plus and I play clean a large majority of the time. I'm also a fan of The LW Imperials and at one point had them in 3 guitars, including a Collings I35. If I owned a City limits I would easily go with the Throbaks. Having said that, I have an L5 that I'm considering putting an Imperial in.
     
  8. FreeBlues

    FreeBlues Silver Supporting Member

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    I recently swapped the Lollars on my City Limits for ThroBaks. I thought the Lollars were a bit thin and sterile for my taste. I too play mostly clean. The Lollars were okay, I guess, but I am much happier with the ThroBaks.
     
  9. GuitarNorton

    GuitarNorton Member

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    Which Throbaks?
     
  10. pinner

    pinner Silver Supporting Member

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    I like the Lollars but already have them in my i35lc and like them there. I am on the fence on the 101 plus or the ERs. What would you say the difference is between the too? Thanks!!!!!
     
  11. dead of night

    dead of night Member

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    There is a youtube video of a man playing an I35 LC switching back and forth between Lollars and Throbak 101s, in that same guitar, even the same music. I think it's a Peter Green riff from Then Play On.

    If I vastly prefer the Lollars in tha clip, I guess I am a Lollar man. I am not sure.

    Anybody seen the video?
     
  12. zztomato

    zztomato Supporting Member

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    Yeah, it's funny, I don't prefer either but it may have more to do with the playing or something- no offence to the guy doing the demo because it was well put together. The Lollars sound a little tighter and better for some styles. The Throbaks are more "airy" for lack of a better term and sound more vintage. That can be good or bad depending on what you are playing.
    I have Lollars in my I35lc and considered changing them for Throbaks after reading some hype about them. I decided that all I would achieve is a "different" sound rather than a "better" sound so I've left the Lollars in.

    Here's the vid.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
  13. dead of night

    dead of night Member

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    I think that's a great video demonstration. Where else are you going to compare two different pickups side by side in the exact same guitar?

    The way I hear it, the Throbaks are slightly veiled, with more midrange and a less balanced equalization. I think I like the flatter, more balanced equalization of the Lollars.

    How does everyone else hear it in the video?
     
  14. FreeBlues

    FreeBlues Silver Supporting Member

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    SLE-101 MXV
     
  15. GasMask

    GasMask Member

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    It's easy to assume, perhaps even subconsciously, that the more expensive option is "better". While that is often true, in a general sense, it is most certainly not the case here. As a previous poster stated, there is no "better", only "different".
     
  16. joesnewmatch

    joesnewmatch Music Is My Soul Food Supporting Member

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    Wow, that's a great video, if you ask me. I'm torn. Both sound great. I have the stock Imperials in my I-35lc and have been completely satisfied with them, but those Throwbacks sound fantastic, too. I agree that they are perhaps a bit more airy and vintage voices. Application is probably key here. I usually play my semi clean, with a room/hall reverb and sometimes a touch of chorus and use my SG when I'm feeling more rock and roll.
     
  17. pinner

    pinner Silver Supporting Member

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    To me the Lollars sound more tame and balanced as the Throbak's have more grit and harmonic content. Both great tones, just pick your poison.
     
  18. JefeMaximo

    JefeMaximo Huge Member Silver Supporting Member

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    The shop near me has about 30-40 Collings electrics with a mix of Lollar and Throbak guitars, if you want to give them a call to discuss the differences. I typically deal with Andy and/or Adam on electrics, but anyone there can likely help. It's not a hard-sell kind of shop, and I'm sure they'd be happy to help - especially if you call during the week rather than on a Saturday.

    www.themusicemporium.com
     
  19. The bear

    The bear Member

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    I only have one Collings with Throbaks, a spruce topped soco.(SLE 101)
    It sounds incredible. My other 3 has lollars, they are really nice too. I don't want to change anything, because I like how they sound. However if I am to order another colligns, I most likely will get the throbaks. They just seem to have some thing a little extra. All the CL's and I-35lc's I have tried with throbaks have been incredible.
     
  20. voodoochili12

    voodoochili12 Supporting Member

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    I have an I-35LC with Throbaks. I can't directly compare them to the Lollars, but they sound really detailed and I like them a lot. That said, they also pick up pick noise when it touches them, which can be irksome. I've had to change my technique a little bit to accommodate.

    The gentleman at Throbak said he could wax pot them or something of that nature, but it would change some of the high end freq response. I haven't been motivated enough to go for this, but might in the future.
     

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