Why so little discussion on the City Limits models?!

Skydog
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Why so little discussion on the City Limits models?!

Post: # 1762Post Skydog
Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:18 am

I'm looking hard at one and came to get educated.

Skydog
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Re: Why so little discussion on the City Limits models?!

Post: # 1772Post Skydog
Thu Oct 17, 2019 2:25 am

Or for that matter… on anything?

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elambo
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Re: Why so little discussion on the City Limits models?!

Post: # 1773Post elambo
Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:54 pm

What were you hoping to learn about the CL? This forum is still young so there's not much in the way of general info, but if there are pointed questions I'm sure folks will answer.

pto
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Re: Why so little discussion on the City Limits models?!

Post: # 1774Post pto
Fri Oct 18, 2019 1:00 am

Eliot at The Music Emporium is a great educator on the collings electrics.

Skydog
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Re: Why so little discussion on the City Limits models?!

Post: # 1779Post Skydog
Fri Oct 18, 2019 2:39 pm

elambo wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:54 pm
What were you hoping to learn about the CL? This forum is still young so there's not much in the way of general info, but if there are pointed questions I'm sure folks will answer.
Just general opinions on what they liked/disliked on them. Lollars, ThroBak's, etc.? Although it's personal, dots, parallelograms, …? If you look on Reverb, the $ varies from 3-6K! Has to be some reason, right?

modavis99
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Re: Why so little discussion on the City Limits models?!

Post: # 1786Post modavis99
Tue Oct 22, 2019 1:40 am

I’m curious about why people say the CL sounds like a “polite” or “refined” Les Paul

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elambo
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Re: Why so little discussion on the City Limits models?!

Post: # 1789Post elambo
Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:03 pm

modavis99 wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 1:40 am
I’m curious about why people say the CL sounds like a “polite” or “refined” Les Paul
That was one of my opinions posted to the old forum. I desperately wanted to like the sound of my CL, because I wanted it to be a Les Paul that played like a Collings, but I couldn't even achieve that. I had an early model, with whichever Lollars came in those early models, and I tried another brand (can't remember the name but it was a very solid boutique PAF-type manufacturer) and although that was slightly better it was still polite. And by that I mean that the sound was clean and fundamental (not the degree of overtones and chaos I expect from a LP). That was ok for clean tones, but as soon as I started pushing dirt onto the CL that chaotic humbucker sound never arrived. It was still very refined. The difference was easy to spot next to an actual Les Paul.

From what I've heard, Throbaks offer more of what I was hoping for, but I sold the CL. Maybe the issue was the pickups, or maybe it was the wood, or maybe it was something else, but after a couple years of trying I lost the patience to obtain that uber-LP. (Around that time I also bought a '69 Custom in museum condition, which isn't going to be easy to beat).

deamhanfola
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Re: Why so little discussion on the City Limits models?!

Post: # 1790Post deamhanfola
Wed Oct 23, 2019 5:42 pm

I'll be able to give you some more authoritative opinions in a few months: I ordered a custom City Limits Deluxe that should be in my impatient hands in early spring.

In the meantime, I can only tell you my impressions from playing a number of them, most recently a gorgeous sunburst one I tried out at Chicago Music Exchange when I was passing through there a few months ago. (It now appears to be gone from CME's website, so someone else liked that one even more than I did.) The CL's neck is interesting--less chunky and slightly wider-feeling than that of the Les Paul Classic that is in my top-2 axes. Significantly lighter than any LP I've tried or owned. Fit and finish were uniformly as amazing as you'd expect from Collings.

I actually liked the stock Lollar Imperials. As others have commented, they're very sensitive and not muddy--I'm not sure I would call them clean in a pejorative way, though they were capable of amazing clear tone. Definitely some of the most sensitive that I've tried--I could get a surprising range of tones (and grit) just with the volume knob alone. But these days even though I largely play heavy music, I'm gravitating towards a cleaner base sound--IMO, this allows a greater variety of tones without excluding thick distortion. (annoying name-dropping to follow) My decision to keep moving in this direction was cinched when I had the chance a while ago to talk with John 5 (formerly of Marilyn Manson and currently of Rob Zombie as well as his own wild solo material)--his approach is actually to have a pretty clean sound (with Telecasters powering it, no less)--and I don't think anyone will accuse him of not being on the heavy end of the spectrum.

But of course sound is subjective, and everyone's after the ones in their own head. I'm hoping that my CL Deluxe will be a versatile instrument--while I want it to be able to do heavy and creamy, I'm not really after a direct replacement for my Les Paul. (Not to be critical of anyone out there, but I don't understand why people who want Les Pauls don't just buy Les Pauls, especially given Collings's well-earned reputation for their own amazing sound, regardless of instrument/instrument style. Horses for courses.)

I toyed with swapping out the stock pickups for Lollar's DB humbuckers, which are high-output (and look super cool--see link below). But, I've got some great gear that allows a pretty wide sonic result, including really heavy (Hughes & Kettner Grandmeister Deluxe 40, UA OX Amp Top, requisite Marshall 1960 4x12 and Silver Jubilee 2x12), so if I can't get a thick result from that, it's user error. I ultimately decided to have the ability to get really clean in addition to creamy. It's worth having a look at Lollar's website: they've got a bunch of audio/video comparing & contrasting different pickups in the same guitar/signal chain.
https://www.lollarguitars.com/dB-Humbucker

So, in conclusion, I wouldn't worry about the CL being too polite. (Wanting it to sound exactly like a Les Paul is another proposition, however.) IMO, while not denying the importance of all components of the signal chain, some of what comes out of a guitar comes from the guitarist. In case you haven't seen it, here's a video of Steve Stevens getting deliciously rude on a recent stock CL Deluxe:
https://youtu.be/DmGLYYGcXWY

Good luck in your own search!

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elambo
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Re: Why so little discussion on the City Limits models?!

Post: # 1791Post elambo
Thu Oct 24, 2019 12:22 am

deamhanfola wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 5:42 pm
I don't understand why people who want Les Pauls don't just buy Les Pauls, especially given Collings's well-earned reputation for their own amazing sound, regardless of instrument/instrument style. Horses for courses.)
As mentioned above, I wanted "the Collings of Les Pauls," which is to hope for the playability and build quality of a Collings with the sound of a Les Paul. I have, and have had, several Les Pauls, and nearly all of them have/had trouble staying in tune and are generally a bit lacking in terms of component integrity. I've upgraded the electronics (tone & volume pots and capacitor) in most of them, swapped in a bone nut, upgraded the bridge, with a couple of other minor tweaks, and although these things help, a Collings CL is still easier to play. It seems natural, given what I like and dislike about each, to want the best of both worlds.

I also have several Collings models of electric guitars (oddly enough, I no longer have any acoustic models, except for a mando) and they don't tend to sound like the Gibsons which inspired them, in my experience. Better in some ways, less so in others, and just different in many regards. I agree that both brands merit a purchase. I also think that one could graft some inspiration from the other, rendering a better overall guitar.

Hokiebob
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Re: Why so little discussion on the City Limits models?!

Post: # 1805Post Hokiebob
Wed Oct 30, 2019 12:49 am

I'm reminded of some of the discussions on the acoustic forums wondering why a Collings doesn't sound more like a Vintage Martin.

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