WL-12 questions

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CBarclay
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Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2020 10:32 pm
Real Name: Chris
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
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WL-12 questions

Post: # 2681Post CBarclay
Wed Jul 15, 2020 1:57 am

Hello everyone, I'm new here and don't own a Waterloo (yet) but have a few questions if y'all don't mind helping me out?
I recently played a WL-14 MH (my first Waterloo) and was blown away. My usual preferences are for an all mahogany guitar and this one really did it for me. But it overlapped with my favorite Martin 017 12 fret so I got to thinking about getting something complimentary to my Martin. I've listened to way too many clips of the various models and I've narrowed it down to the WL-12 or possibly the Scissortail but I prefer 12 fret guitars.

I've never owned a maple guitar before so I'm curious what those who own the WL-12 mainly play on theirs? What is it suited for?

Also, as I'm looking at new and used versions and notice different labels as well as low (under 1000) versus high serial numbers. Is there anything that corresponds with high/low serial numbers like kinds of top wood used, neck shapes, etc.? When I've bought a Martin if I think I will own the guitar for a long time I'll try to buy new (for the warranty) but if I'm not so sure I'll buy used for low entry cost. For this guitar I'm leaning toward buying used for affordability's sake and because it's only a 10 year warranty I don't see much benefit. But am I wrong in thinking this?

So before I start to seriously shop, what should I know?

Thanks!
Chris

Frank Sanns
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Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:38 pm
Real Name: Frank Sanns
Location: Pittsburgh

Re: WL-12 questions

Post: # 2698Post Frank Sanns
Sat Jul 18, 2020 3:26 am

Hi Chris. Welcome to the forum.

It has been several days and I cannot believe people have not jumped on to answer your question. We even have a dedicated forum for Waterloo products.

Unfortunately, I do not know the ins and outs of the WL family or I would comment. Hopefully somebody will chime in on this topic for you.

Frank

CBarclay
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2020 10:32 pm
Real Name: Chris
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
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Re: WL-12 questions

Post: # 2699Post CBarclay
Sat Jul 18, 2020 2:43 pm

Hi Frank, thanks for the welcome!
I've been doing a lot of research and have found some of my answers.
And I hope to be able to sample a WL-12 this coming week to help answer some of those other questions with some hands on experience. But still, any further input would be greatly appreciated!
Chris

Austin Travis
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Joined: Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:52 pm

Re: WL-12 questions

Post: # 2737Post Austin Travis
Wed Jul 29, 2020 2:36 am

Hi Chris,
I've had my WL-12 for a few years now, and I love it more and more every day. I generally keep it tuned to open-D, and I play all kinds of stuff on it, mostly fingerstyle, but it's a fine strummer as well. The maple back and sides give it an amazing clarity, but the lower position of the bridge also lends it a nice bass response, especially compared to a Scissortail. It's not quite as "thuddy" as a Gibson, but it's in that ballpark. It has excellent note separation, and a surprising amount of sustain. The neck is just sublime; If I could, I'd put the same neck carve on every guitar I own. I've played a couple of WL-12 Mh models and while I think there's enough of a tonal difference to own both models, if I were to get a second Waterloo it would have to be the WL-S Deluxe. Maybe someday! Whichever model you end up choosing, it'll be a lifetime guitar. I've never really understood when people talked about "bonding" with their guitar -- they've always just been tools to me -- but this guitar and I are inseparable now. It's my voice.

Edit: Mine is S# 1316. AFAIK, the woods and necks have all remained the same throughout its production. I bought mine slighly used, and I wouldn't worry in the least about a warranty.

CBarclay
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Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2020 10:32 pm
Real Name: Chris
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
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Re: WL-12 questions

Post: # 2738Post CBarclay
Wed Jul 29, 2020 12:51 pm

Hi Austin, thanks for the info!
I was able to sample a WL-12 last week and absolutely loved it. I ended up keeping it and am amazed at the tone. It’s loud and clear as well as intimate and can be growly And spanky as well.
The neck is the most comfortable I’ve played - And the playability is so nice. It is so very inspiring and fun.
Mine is #877 and has no play wear at all.
I asked Collings if it was possible that the top was red spruce as it looks like it to me (I’m certainly not an expert though). I was told that they didn’t keep records of that kind but that if it looks like it then it probably is.
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Austin Travis
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:52 pm

Re: WL-12 questions

Post: # 2740Post Austin Travis
Thu Jul 30, 2020 5:49 am

CBarclay wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 12:51 pm
I asked Collings if it was possible that the top was red spruce as it looks like it to me (I’m certainly not an expert though). I was told that they didn’t keep records of that kind but that if it looks like it then it probably is.
This is not the first time this subject has come up. I have long heard rumors that the WL-12s had premium tops, because the maple reflects it so transparently. I've definitely thought mine might be red spruce, by both the grain consistency and the way it has matured, tone-wise, in the four or five years I've owned it.

The thing to remember is that it's a Collings. They may have taken some shortcuts in the finishing aspects, but it was made by some true masters of the craft. I wouldn't put it past them to use a few planks of adi here and there.

Gorgeous guitar! Congrats!!

CBarclay
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2020 10:32 pm
Real Name: Chris
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
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Re: WL-12 questions

Post: # 2745Post CBarclay
Fri Jul 31, 2020 2:28 pm

Thanks Austin! Very interesting to hear that and it's not all that surprising either. I have the utmost respect for Collings and have always wanted to own one. It's a major reason I didn't buy an L-00 style guitar of another brand. I've always loved sitka and mahogany tops but in many circumstanced an Adi top is icing on the cake. Combining it with maple b/s is a new experience for me and, whatever it really is, I love it!
:D

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