Collings D2HA Varnish High E String "Falling" Off The Edge Of The Fretboard

Fallings_Guitars
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2019 9:33 am

Collings D2HA Varnish High E String "Falling" Off The Edge Of The Fretboard

Post: # 1379Post Fallings_Guitars
Sun Jun 16, 2019 11:22 am

Greetings, Collings lovers.


As the title implies, I have a Collings D2HA Varnish whose High E string is constantly "falling" (sliding, dropping, slipping) over the edge of the fretboard when I fret it.

If I fret it with an absolutely 100% centered press (no southward bend of the fretted string, not even by a tiny bit) then it doesn't fall off the fretboard's edge and everything is perfectly fine in both sound and feel.


However, if I play it in the same way that I do my Taylor guitar and allow the finger that is fretting the High E string to relax and "droop" just ever so slightly downwards - then the string just instantaneously falls/slips off the edge of the fretboard.

This is insanely irritating and even though I'm aware that a slight change of technique could completely remedy this problem - I am also extremely unhappy with being forced to alter an existing fretting technique which I've nurtured for almost a decade.


The Collings in question is my first ever Collings guitar and has been bought from The Music Emporium and is brand new and mint. There are absolutely no structural problems with it and it is currently in the identical shape and condition as is shown in the photos of the TME link below:

https://themusicemporium.com/guitars/co ... arnish-ntb


These are it's specs:


Select Adirondack Spruce top
Adirondack Spruce bracing / No tongue brace
East Indian rosewood back and sides
Cross-cut grained ivoroid and wood nitrate strip rosette
Grained ivoroid top/back body binding
Herringbone trim with matching 2-style backstrip
Pre-war scalloped bracing
Tortoise-style celluloid pickguard
High-gloss Varnish finish!
Mahogany neck
Square headstock with volute
15 degree headstock angle
Ebony peghead overlay with inlaid Collings logo
Ebony fingerboard with ebony belly-style bridge
Mortise and tenon hybrid neck joint
20 Frets, neck joins the body at the 14th fret
Modified V neck profile with 2 3/16" string spacing
14"-26" Compound fingerboard radius
1 3/4" Bone nut and drop-in saddle
25 1/2" Scale length
Medium 18% nickel-silver fretwire
Mother of pearl diamond and square fingerboard inlays
Fully adjustable truss rod
Ebony bridge pins and end pin
Nickel Waverly tuners with 16:1 ratio
Serial No. 22893




I absolutely adore the sharply projecting "singing" trebles and the pronounced meaty mid-range, and even though I find the bass-register slightly muddy and not as clear as I'd want it to be - I'm still fairly satisfied with my purchase.

Regardless, I definitely do regret not purchasing a D2HMRAT with a thicker and different Traditional neck which was also available at the time instead of the D2HA Varnish, seeing as the Madagascar would've probably produced a much nicer low-end response - but above all I regret not taking the D2HMRAT on account of the slightly wider neck off of whose fretboard edges the High E string most probably wouldn't keep falling/slipping off due to a different neck, fretboard and nut design that apparently accommodates a slightly more relaxed angle of fretting.


The D2HMRAT's link for comparison with the D2HA Varnish's fretboard:

https://themusicemporium.com/guitars/co ... raditional


If it wasn't for the retarded High E string drop-off effect whenever I would relax my finger press by just the tinniest tad - I would rate the D2HA Varnish as a very solid 4/5. But with this irritating drop-off effect I don't even play it at all actually.

Even the thickest, Low E string drops off the upper edge of the fretboard with extreme ease if I'm not super careful with my fretting hand. Still, the High E is just ten times more prone to "slippage".

I hate this XXXXXXX guitar now. 6800 USD for this piece of XXXX (including a Traditional Collings Case).



So please, dear Collings enthusiasts - tell me if you've ever experienced this High E string over-the-fretboard slip-off effect with any of your Collings guitars?

If so, was the issue restricted only to Collings models of the Standard acoustic line-up, or was it also present in the Traditional product line-up as well?

Is there anything I can do to prevent the High E string from constantly falling off the lower edge of the fretboard besides revising my playing technique?


If it is of any importance, I have very slender and feminine hands with long elegant fingers (I'm male). I am NOT pressing too hard on the strings. I am classically trained yet still prefer just a slightly more relaxed finger-press/fret angle.



Please share your similar experiences or offer some advice, if you have any.

Thank you.

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Haasome
Posts: 105
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:21 am
Location: Massachusetts

Re: Collings D2HA Varnish High E String "Falling" Off The Edge Of The Fretboard

Post: # 1380Post Haasome
Sun Jun 16, 2019 1:14 pm

The serial # 22893 shows it was built 5 years ago, so I’m guessing you’ve had it for a while. Has it always given you this problem? If you care, you could determine whether the issue is related to this particular guitar or if it’s an incompatibility with your playing and Collings necks by trying other Collings guitars to see if the same thing happens. If there is something peculiar with the guitar, Collings will work with you to sort it out. Their customer service is outstanding. If you learn you can’t get along with the Collings guitar build, sell it and move it along to something else. To answer your specific question — I have owned and played many Collings models and find the necks and playability to be among the very best for my hands, style & technique. Good luck.
Paul

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Fidalgo
Posts: 37
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2019 11:29 pm

Re: Collings D2HA Varnish High E String "Falling" Off The Edge Of The Fretboard

Post: # 1381Post Fidalgo
Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:00 am

I owned a D1A and currently have a D1T. I worked in a Collings dealer where I sold and or played dozens of other Collings, yet I have never run across this issue with any Collings. Was it like this from the beginning? If not, have there been any changes in the geometry or anything else? Have you had the frets dressed or a new nut made? Is there a Collings dealer, or good luthier, near you to get it evaluated? I'd contact the guys in Austin. As Haasome mentioned, the Collings customer service excellent. Good luck. Please let us know how it turns out.

Fallings_Guitars
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2019 9:33 am

Re: Collings D2HA Varnish High E String "Falling" Off The Edge Of The Fretboard

Post: # 1382Post Fallings_Guitars
Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:15 am

Haasome wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 1:14 pm
The serial # 22893 shows it was built 5 years ago, so I’m guessing you’ve had it for a while. Has it always given you this problem? If you care, you could determine whether the issue is related to this particular guitar or if it’s an incompatibility with your playing and Collings necks by trying other Collings guitars to see if the same thing happens. If there is something peculiar with the guitar, Collings will work with you to sort it out. Their customer service is outstanding. If you learn you can’t get along with the Collings guitar build, sell it and move it along to something else. To answer your specific question — I have owned and played many Collings models and find the necks and playability to be among the very best for my hands, style & technique. Good luck.

Even though the guitar has been hanging on a TME store wall for the last five years (purportedly very safely tucked away behind the counter) I have only purchased it a few months ago. The guitar is absolutely mint, 100% unmodified and in it's fully original state and configuration. Nothing has been changed or replaced, especially not the nut or saddle. Everything is original, everything is as on the photos I've linked. Identical.

It also exhibits moderate to strong fret buzz among the thickest/lowest three strings if played with a slightly heavier hand, which is sad for an Adirondack dread. It doesn't seem as though it needs a setup, since the action is already moderately high. Visually, absolutely nothing seems wrong.

Unfortunately, I am unable to sell this guitar because I've had it shipped from the USA to Croatia in Europe where I live. It is impossible to sell this instrument here because the dirt poor Slavs among whom I live are XXXXXXXX XXXXXX whose only idea of a "good guitar" is a Gibson or a Martin or a Fender. These people have no taste and they have no clue what is good. There isn't even a single high-level Luthier or setup professional in Zagreb, the capital. Only shady amateurs working on 75 dollar guitars from their apartments, mostly. I'm very skeptical about bringing a 6800 USD instrument to a 30 year old amateur "guitar pro" whose body of work consists in setting up 150 dollar Yamaha's. I'm in a very tricky situation. The fine folks at Austin might as well be on the actual Moon.

I genuinely do love the guitar and it's sound, it's just that the damn High E is constantly slipping off the edge whenever I relax my fretting finger by just a tiny bit.

I don't know if heightening the action by tightening the truss rod would alleviate these problems, and I'm not willing to try it out myself (no experience in that regard and I'm not going to be practicing on such an expensive axe).

Seems that unless I find a qualified setup professional in this beloved sh*thole of mine, my Collings is gonna' keep string-slipping and fret buzzing until the end of time.


Anyway, I just wanted to find out if any other Collings user has ever experienced such issues. Thank you for enlightening me. Seems my case is a unique one.

Thank you all, and best regards.

northernbreed
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:16 pm

Re: Collings D2HA Varnish High E String "Falling" Off The Edge Of The Fretboard

Post: # 1383Post northernbreed
Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:20 pm

I want to get involved in this, but I won't.
Last edited by northernbreed on Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

FreeBlues
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:26 pm

Re: Collings D2HA Varnish High E String "Falling" Off The Edge Of The Fretboard

Post: # 1384Post FreeBlues
Mon Jun 17, 2019 4:46 pm

I've played a number of Collings acoustics - and owned more than a few - and have never yet experienced the issue you're experiencing. But, all my guitars have needed a setup of some sort over time, and it sure sounds like your guitar needs one as well. Just because it is "new" and unplayed, the fact that it is nearly 5 years old would indicate a good. pro level setup is in order. Yeah, I know that's problem for you, but it's what you need!

The fret buzz and string slippage are both indications the guitar is out of spec somewhere, meaning the neck needs to be tweaked. Nothing major or serious, but attention is required. As a temporary if not ideal fix you might try ordering a pre-cut 1 23/32's nut (can be ordered from a number of US based makers) and try dropping that in. A tiny, minor change in string spacing might be all that's needed, and it's something you could do yourself. Also easily reversed if it doesn't work.

northernbreed
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:16 pm

Re: Collings D2HA Varnish High E String "Falling" Off The Edge Of The Fretboard

Post: # 1387Post northernbreed
Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:00 pm

I'm going over there now. :-)

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elambo
Moderator
Posts: 131
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:48 am

Re: Collings D2HA Varnish High E String "Falling" Off The Edge Of The Fretboard

Post: # 1388Post elambo
Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:22 pm

I'm sorry to hear about the issue. However, let's go easy on the incendiary comments about other cultures, even if they are your neighbors, and even if they wouldn't mind the comment. This forum just doesn't roll that way, and the comments were 100% irrelevant to and unnecessary for the point.

Derek
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:50 pm

Re: Collings D2HA Varnish High E String "Falling" Off The Edge Of The Fretboard

Post: # 1390Post Derek
Tue Jun 18, 2019 4:31 am

Pretty easy and inexpensive fix for that string slippage problem. Have a guitar take a look and fix it.

Kris W
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:17 am

Re: Collings D2HA Varnish High E String "Falling" Off The Edge Of The Fretboard

Post: # 1395Post Kris W
Tue Jun 18, 2019 2:26 pm

Is this guy for real ? If i wanted to read juvenile borderline racist and xenophobic drivel I’d just head over to any number of the other open non-moderated guitars forums. Collings guitars and a forum dedicated to their work deserve better than this. Good bye.
Kris

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