The T series - Please explain to me

Silly Moustache
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The T series - Please explain to me

Post: # 2255Post Silly Moustache
Sun Mar 15, 2020 12:25 pm

Hi,
I'm not in the market, but a friend of mine is adamant that he wants a Collings and it has to be a "T" version OM.

I am assuming that the main difference is that they are more lightly built and more lightly finished.

What am I missing?

thanks in advance. ol Andy

Eric Jones
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Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2018 12:05 am

Re: The T series - Please explain to me

Post: # 2256Post Eric Jones
Sun Mar 15, 2020 1:32 pm

Silly Moustache wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 12:25 pm
...a "T" version OM... the main difference is that they are more lightly built and more lightly finished.
What am I missing?
Andy, It’s good to see/hear you here. You’re correct about the build and finish. I’d just refer you to the Collings website:

https://www.collingsguitars.com/traditi ... 385f653b05

I bought am OM-T when I had never found a standard OM that I liked. I think you’ll hear anything from subtle to obviously significant tonal differences between the standard and Traditional Collings. The neck carve is also going to be different, with the rounded fretboard edges. The string spacing at the bridge is also “vintage” (2-5/16”?).

So there quite a few differences. But whether it’s THE guitar for your friend will be a personal choice. I hope he’s able to play some before he purchases.

markT
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Location: Upstate South Carolina

Re: The T series - Please explain to me

Post: # 2257Post markT
Sun Mar 15, 2020 3:59 pm

All those things add up to a rounder and more lively tone. On the ones I've played. I love the T's.

JohnB
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Re: The T series - Please explain to me

Post: # 2259Post JohnB
Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:38 pm

Andy,

The T series is, as noted above, significantly different; and is more time consuming and so more expensive for Collings to make. But I don't think it will always sound better to everyone, even experienced players. When I was searching for a dread a few years ago, I called Mark Althans to talk about dread options. At that time the T series had probably been in stores for six months. Mark talked of the T series, and reflected the feeling at Collings from what I learned, as a different, not necessarily better, version of a Collings. He basically sent me off with a "just listen and see what you think" message. Over the years, I've now listened to a lot of T series guitars--most of them dreads. Over on the AGF I posted a response that I had played some seven or so, and now after some reflection, realize it is more like over a dozen. And I can't make up my mind whether I like the T series better than the standard series. This is, in part, because the T series varies from guitar to guitar just as the standard series does.

When I went to purchase a dread from Artisan in Tennessee, the folks there let me close the door on a room and brought me almost every dread in the store to audition. And,not surprisingly, the dreads I liked best were Collings. There were four I really liked. One was a T, and it was terrific. But I brought home a standard D2A because I though it was better than that particular T for what and how I played. Unlike MarkT, I don't find the Ts rounder, and certainly not more alive, but I think I can see how someone would. They just sound different--and while some folks find that difference is subtle, I don't. I find it pretty clear. The OM Ts I've heard don't sound rounder or more alive than my standard OMs; but they do sound different. And I know we are supposed to be able to clearly articulate the differences, but sounds are pretty hard to describe and we all hear and privilege what we hear differently. Bill thought the Ts were less "piano-like" and I can go with that. I think they don't ring and overhang quite like the standards, and that can make them a little more incisive, though less bright, and their sound can be really direct and involving.

I certainly find them exciting. And I'm waiting restlessly for a D1AT I ordered to arrive; but I wouldn't, at least right now in my life, trade either of my matured OMs for Traditionals.

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buckaroo
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Re: The T series - Please explain to me

Post: # 2260Post buckaroo
Mon Mar 16, 2020 11:21 pm

My sense of it:

The T box is not as "tight". It is built just a bit "looser". Just like tuning a drum head so it is not tuned as tight and rigid as possible, the resulting fundamental tone is a bit lower. In the T series, the looser box translates to a very slightly darker / deeper sound, but most apparent is the fundamental of the string's sound is way more prominent. There are less high / sparkling "overtones". Some describe this as a "dryer" tone (an analogy to reverb in amps) and I think "dry" is an accurate descriptor for sure. So the T series attempts to emphasize a dryer tone that is focused more on the fundamental (as opposed to overtones) of a given note and is relatively dry sounding compared to an original Collings guitar (wetter tone). Think of an old guitar that is 60+ years old today and it's box is not as rigid as when it was new. This old guitar today sounds warmer with less overtones. {Not at all UNlike a much older Martin guitar sounds today ;)}

One thing that contributes to the looser box is the lighter weight wood specs, another is the way the individual pieces of wood are specifically put together. Several subtle construction elements are "tweaked", relative to the original series, and those individual tweaks have a combined outcome of a subtle change in the overall sound and responsiveness. It is as if they have "aged" the guitars tone by altering the assembly of the box, vigilant selection of lighter wood and reducing the thickness of the finishing coat. Kind of ingenious really...but the "money" question is how will it age over time? Unknown for now...it remains to be seen / heard what "future players" will value most in hind sight...original versus T series Collings designs.

The necks have a shape that seems a bit more "old style Martinesque" IMO. The overall guitar finish is just way thinner and ages way faster, in a very good way thus far. Add it all up and you have a different animal called the T series. They are lighter weight, slightly dryer (maybe deeper) sounding and very well physically balanced as you hold it! Nice guitars that are different animals than the original series. They sonically have a bit more in common with the Waterloo models IMO...others may disagree?

As I alluded above, the real question will be, "do they still sound great after 30 years"? I have a two of them and have played several others. I like them a lot right now, but I like my original series Collings guitars just as much and maybe a bit more than the T series... as those original series guitars are getting on in years now and starting to evolve a lovely sonic of their own, not to mention a sweet broken in feel. I am surprised how much my youngest original series, my 5 year old "main player", a varnish D42 (original series and Bill Collings signed) has mellowed and gotten louder and more resonate in just half a decade! The varnish looks like a guitar easily twice it's age already. It is evolving to be a T series sounding guitar all on it's own...with lots of sweet years ahead! I find this to be true as well for several 1990's and early 2000 ish Collings original series guitars as well. It takes time for them to age and open up...and when they do it is very sweet.

Just like any other guitars, some of the T specimens have more magic than others. You just have to play them until you discover the one that speaks to you. In the end buy what you like, and what you think you could sell (if the need arises).

Buck
Last edited by buckaroo on Tue Mar 17, 2020 4:57 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Haasome
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Re: The T series - Please explain to me

Post: # 2262Post Haasome
Tue Mar 17, 2020 11:32 am

As others have mentioned, there is a difference in tone between the original and T versions. I’ve had the pleasure of owning 7 Collings acoustic guitars and still own 3. I’ve played many T models, some repeatedly. IMO, they are not identical, but very close. I appreciate what Collings has done to introduce an optional model in their lineup, and they’ve done a spectacular job with the T models. However, I prefer the chime and tonal complexity of the standard models. I purchased 2 of my Collings OMs 6 years ago. As someone else mentioned, age serves Collings guitars well. Can’t go wrong with either. Play them all.
Paul

6l6
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Re: The T series - Please explain to me

Post: # 2288Post 6l6
Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:32 pm

I've had the opportunity to play a number of dread T's. They ARE different sounding than my '99 D-1 and 2014 D2HA.

For MY ears, the T's sound a little muddier. You can't beat a D2HA.

YMMV

Bill

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Fidalgo
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Re: The T series - Please explain to me

Post: # 2290Post Fidalgo
Fri Mar 27, 2020 5:49 am

I don't hear "muddier" in the Traditional dreadnoughts I have played. I hear warmer and rounder. I tend to save the adjective "muddy" for a lot of the Martins I have played and owned. And I'd agree on the D2HA; I have never met one I didn't like.

markT
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Location: Upstate South Carolina

Re: The T series - Please explain to me

Post: # 2292Post markT
Sat Mar 28, 2020 12:07 pm

https://www.collingsguitars.com/videos/ ... tradition/

Let's let Bill explain it. Around the 2 min mark he describes the tone of regular Collings vs the new Traditional Collings. The line was developed to sound more "vintage" than the regular line.
Not as piano like. Some people may want that, others may want the other. Both great, just different. I own 1 regular Collings, 4 Traditional's. You see which way I lean.

You may like one or the other. No need to bash either model or explainer.

Also....the Traditional Series is ever evolving. Just has the regular line has over the years.

https://youtu.be/A3j2DtB1rsA

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Fidalgo
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Re: The T series - Please explain to me

Post: # 2296Post Fidalgo
Sat Mar 28, 2020 4:26 pm

I don't see any bashing in this thread and hope I didn't come off as disparaging anyone's opinion or choice of guitars. I have one Tradtional and two standard series Collings as well as four other brands in the house. All guitars have their strengths and weaknesses depending on who is playing and or listening to them.

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