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NGD: 2nd Waterloo WL-14XTR

stephenT

Member
Messages
2,404
Sold a Martin OO that I never bonded w/ to buy a new Waterloo. I've become a fan of the company and their "relatively not expensive" guitars with a very light build, very little finish, great wood and expert builders (Collings in Austin, TX). Bought a used WL-12 last summer (12 fret, maple back and sides) and needed a 14 fret to gig with. The WL-14 is the same scale but 14 frets w/ mahogany back and sides. Both w/ spruce top, the WL-12 looks like red spruce, both w/ a Collings quality sunburst finish and cool tiger striped pickguard.

I went w/ the X braced, truss rod and "smaller" neck profile which is still darn chunky and similar to the neck on the WL-12. The guitar has a lush sound when played lightly and a real old time blues bark when you dig in. I slapped a set of Martin Retros on and really like those string on this guitar. I'll install a Sunrise pickup this weekend and get 'er ready for Monday's gig at Fat Matt's Rib Shack.

 

zombywoof

Member
Messages
4,467
I have played some Waterloos. I did like them and have come within a hair of buying one which for me is a compliment to the guitars as I own quite a few old instruments, including some the Waterloos are based on. I always preferred the non-truss rod Waterloos though.
 

stephenT

Member
Messages
2,404
I have played some Waterloos. I did like them and have come within a hair of buying one which for me is a compliment to the guitars as I own quite a few old instruments, including some the Waterloos are based on. I always preferred the non-truss rod Waterloos though.
I've noticed your enjoyment of old guitars, I've had some experience w/ Kalamazoos and still have an old all mahogany Favilla you once lusted over (I might sell it).

I've played the t-bar neck, which comes w/ the traditional big V profile,.. it's just too big for me to play on a gig for a few hours. I do like the lightness of the guitars w/ the t-bar but the truss rod model is so light anyway, it's kinda a non-issue. I need a truss rod to set the neck relief how i need it to play up the neck. I've had a John How ladder braced concert 6-7 yrs that came w/ a t-bar. Was perfect for 6 yrs and then decided to get a slight bow to the neck. John went to the extreme trouble to install a truss rod,.. so I'm done w/ t-bars.

Waterloos have that old time sensibility about them, I can see why you'd have a fondness.
 

Bryan T

guitar owner
Double Platinum Member
Messages
19,984
I have a ladder-braced wl-14 that is wonderful. Fun to play and lots of different timbres. I use D'addario nickel bronze mediums on it, which I like a lot.
 

dB

Member
Messages
3,990
I love the concept, price and look of these guitars. How do they work for bluegrass picking? Can they be a pretty full sounding guitar, or is that not their thing? All I ever hear is blues style finger picking clips.
 

Bryan T

guitar owner
Double Platinum Member
Messages
19,984
I play mine both fingerstyle and with a pick (lots of single note stuff). I do strum it, but it doesn't have the full low end that a Martin would have.

I think a big part of that is the resonant frequency of the body. My Waterloo is at a Bb. That is a lot higher than I'm used to.

The guitar works great to complement another, particularly if you capo or play higher voicings.
 

stephenT

Member
Messages
2,404
Is it more "C" than "V", and does it have beefy cheeks? Thanks
It is more of a beefy C profile, I can't detect any V. My understanding is when they first introduced the smaller neck it was a V profile but changed it. It's very close to my WL-12 in size and profile.
 

Irving Pye

Member
Messages
534
It is more of a beefy C profile, I can't detect any V. My understanding is when they first introduced the smaller neck it was a V profile but changed it. It's very close to my WL-12 in size and profile.
Is that neck shape available on all the Waterloos? That is my favorite neck shape;)
 

stephenT

Member
Messages
2,404
I don't think so. I had some questions pre-purchase and called Collings, they were happy to help. Some models only available w/ the traditional big ass V, maybe half the current models have the smaller (still chunky) profile neck. They do a decent job of outlining the models and specs on the site.

http://www.waterlooguitars.com

Is that neck shape available on all the Waterloos? That is my favorite neck shape;)
 
Last edited:

OM Flyer

Member
Messages
5,610
Love my WL12, and as much as I like it, I would think that also having a WL14 would be redundant... but now I'm reconsidering! Great pair of guitars, stephen!
 

stephenT

Member
Messages
2,404
Love my WL12, and as much as I like it, I would think that also having a WL14 would be redundant... but now I'm reconsidering! Great pair of guitars, stephen!
That was my conundrum, even though my main reason was getting a 14 fretter for gigging (it now has a Sunrise installed and has been on one gig) the guitars have completely different sounds and personalities even though both are X braced (and sunburst).

Compared to the Martin OO I was using which had a 1 3/4ths nut as well, the Waterloo is easier for me to play clean on first position chords. Collings must have a a bit wider spacing string spacing at the nut, Love the playability, the size, the sound,.. I am a fan.
 

stephenT

Member
Messages
2,404
BTW, I've done one "mod" to my Waterloos. the finish on the necks has an unfinished feel, part of the whole vibe. I've taken wet dry sandpaper 1200 grit w/ my favorite lube, baby oil and smoothed out the finish. Doesn't take much sanding and I like the feel, to me it's an improvement.
 

Bryan T

guitar owner
Double Platinum Member
Messages
19,984
Interesting! The neck on my Waterloo is pretty glossy after a few years of playing.
 

stephenT

Member
Messages
2,404
I wasn't going for a gloss, more for smoothness,... glide. The Waterloo necks don't get any final sanding after the final coat o' lacquer and with just a little bit of work, a minute or two, I have a smooth feeling neck.

Interesting! The neck on my Waterloo is pretty glossy after a few years of playing.
 

stephenT

Member
Messages
2,404
I did the "quick" release, I thought I wanted to record the guitar w/o the pickup in the sound hole. Haven't so far.

I've been wondering if anyone puts these in without the labyrinthine quick-release recommended installation. Did you?
 




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