Collings or Grosh?

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by Fusionshred, Jan 31, 2008.


  1. Fusionshred

    Fusionshred Supporting Member

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    Specifically, Collings SoCo or Grosh Hollow Set Neck? The Collings is a little more expensive. What would you think the differences are tone-wise and playability-wise? Any one distinctively better than the other? More feedback resistent? Better for jazz? Better for rock?

    Thanks!
    T
     
  2. jda

    jda Member

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    Stevens or Koll.
     
  3. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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    I think the Collings are visually more to my liking. I especially love the look of the SoCo. Never played one of them, but I have owned a '97 Collings C-10 Custom for a number of years now. A VERY well-put-together and great-sounding instrument, IMO.
     
  4. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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    The problem with both is the wait list. And, for the Stevens, I think they're significantly more expensive...
     
  5. Ogre

    Ogre Member

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    Michael is a friend from the good old days. However, I have played many of his guitars, and not connected with most. I did play a 335esque model that was very nice. The LJ(another old friend, now deceased) has never impressed me.
     
  6. Shane S

    Shane S Member

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    I own a Collings I-35 and the prototype Grosh Hollowtron Setneck. I have also played the SoCo at the namm show (which is a terrible place to demo gear). Both instruments are extremely well built. From my observation, the Collins would be more suited for Jazz/rock while the Grosh would be more Rock/jazz. The reasoning is the Collings is built much lighter (i.e. the top and back are thinner) while the Grosh is a heaver build. The Grosh holds together at high volume/gain than the I-35 while the Collings can squeal/feedback if you are not careful with your proximity to the amplifier. The custom wound Lollars in the I-35 also affect this trait as well. Grosh typically come loaded with Frailin pickups that have higher output than the Lollars. They both play great but do note that Collings come from the factory with 11’s while the Grosh come setup with 9’s. Since I own both guitars I would say you could not go wrong with either one. If I had to choose one it would be the Collings simply because I really don’t play hi-gain type of music anymore and the Collings sounds just beautiful at low-clean volumes.
     
  7. Fusionshred

    Fusionshred Supporting Member

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    Exactly the sort of info I'm looking for! Thanks! One of the things that will be a factor will be the ability to do Holdsworth-type fusion at band volume. I'm wondering if the Grosh HSN would still hold up better in this situation. I had a Hamer Newport Pro with SD Seth Lovers that squealed in this environment and rendered the guitar unuseable this way. I'm concerned that these might not hold up either.

    Please keep the feedback (excuse the pun) coming!
    Thanks!
    T
     
  8. Aardvark

    Aardvark Silver Supporting Member

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    How about a Grosh semi-hollow Set Neck without f-holes? I have one which has killer tone but the neck is larger than I am used to (it's Grosh's large neck carve, almost as fat as a 50's Gibson). I usually play a Grosh medium. I'm actually not sure I can part with it but I have considered it.[​IMG]
     
  9. mep

    mep Supporting Member

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    I have a Grosh semi-hollow setneck with no f-holes and love the guitar. It can rock or be very jazzy in tone. I was GASing for a Collings I-35 and love its looks and playability, however after playing several, I realized that I don't need one for most of the music that I do and that my Grosh will do just fine. Do I still want the Collings? You bet, but there isn't enough tonal difference for me to justify the $$ right now.
     
  10. Steeltoe

    Steeltoe Member

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    I disagree about Groshs coming set up with 9's. Both
    my Set Neck and Retro T came with 10's. I think you
    are confusing Grosh with PRS.
    All the other Groshs i have played were set up with 10's.
     
  11. Aardvark

    Aardvark Silver Supporting Member

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    Yup, every Grosh I have gotten has come with 10's. I played my Set Neck again last night. It sounds way too good. I will just have to get used to the fat neck.
     
  12. LVC

    LVC Senior Member

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    Absolutely love my i-35 for the reasons you state below.

    I have not tried the SoCo --- but it is definitely on my watch list for 2008.


     
  13. Ogre

    Ogre Member

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    Both are quality instruments. Apples and oranges. Better resale on the Collings.
     
  14. Fusionshred

    Fusionshred Supporting Member

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    OYE... this is tough. I'm so indecisive about this! I know, I know... what a terrible position to be in...

    I'm thinning down my herd to a few very nice guitars I need that will do a few things well. One thing I don't have is the 24.75", semi-hollow guitar. The only reservation I have about Collings is that squeal factor. Clearly, I'm not going to use it for heavy overdrive, but I'd like to be able to gig with it (trio, let's say) with enough overdrive for the Carlton, Ford, Scofield tones.

    I can, at least, have one for a trial period; however, I don't know if I'll have the opportunity to crank it to gig levels.

    Any of you guys play out with an I-35 and use overdrive?
     
  15. FFTT

    FFTT Member

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    I really like the Collings 290 for the P-90's and the very reasonable price
    by comparison.

    Just watching the David Gilmour- Albert Hall DVD and really like the tones
    he's getting with his Gold Top with P-90's
     
  16. Tramp

    Tramp Gold Supporting Member

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    I've played at gig levels--both with OD through a clean channel and directly into an OD channel--for a couple of times with mine and haven't heard the dreaded squeal, just some nice controlled feedback when I wanted it. Don't forget to put your amp on stand-by between sets though. ;)

    As for the Set Neck/I-35 comparison, I find the I-35 a tad more articulate, yet just as capable of getting nasty. It's interesting how many guys own both--some leaning toward the Set Neck, others toward the I-35. I'm in the latter camp, but they're both outstanding guitars. YMMV
     
  17. Fusionshred

    Fusionshred Supporting Member

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    Well, being a guy who's also into solo jazz guitar, I'm thinking the better articulation of the Collings would work better in that application. It is interesting to note that it seems like many people are familiar with both. Wish I oculd get my hands on them both and A/B them. Even though, yes, they are apples and oranges...

    I was almost decided on the Set Neck, but now I'm leaning again toward the Collings.

    It's funny... for the last 20 years, I've been looking for the ONE guitar that will do everything perfectly (same thing goes for amps, too!) and, foolishly, have given away some awesome examples of great guitars because they couldn't do everything equally well.

    i really have to get it through my head that it's OK to use different guitars for different things. D'uh. I'm just not going to find that one guitar that's concomitantly the best choice for Stella by Starlight and the best choice for Eruption. :jo
     
  18. slopeshoulder

    slopeshoulder Senior Member

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    I prefer the looks of the Collings by FAR, and think that Bill Collings is a design genius when it comes to subtleties. I also swapped pups in my I-35 (Wolfetone's, no wax but NO SQUEAL!), and this thing can rock! But at high volume in a small space (why??), you'll get some notes that feedback and some that don't sustain. You could block the F-holes with foam.
    BUT, the CL is so lightweight and resonant that it sounds more like the 35 then you might imagine, and it doesn't have the F-hole related issues. So you might want to add that to the mix.
     
  19. Tramp

    Tramp Gold Supporting Member

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    Where are you? You might get lucky and find that someone with both is not too far away.
     
  20. LVC

    LVC Senior Member

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    Yep --- ZenDrive between 7-9 O'clock. Beautiful Larry C type tones (think FingerPrints, SleepWalk) -- gain slope completely controllable from vol knob on i-35.

    If am playing a tune that calls for more gain or crunch --- I switch to my 2004 59R Cloud 9 LP :D


     

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