The T series - Please explain to me

Greg Y
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Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:35 pm

Re: The T series - Please explain to me

Post: # 2471Post Greg Y
Mon May 11, 2020 11:24 pm

Silly M, IMO i don't think the T series was directly a response to the Martin Authentic line. I don't think Collings works that way. Bill was always a 'damn the torpedos' I'm doing it my way guy. I don't think he agonized over Martins at all.
Jim Baggett (Mass Street Music) was a close friend of Bills, and sent Bill many various guitars and cases to examine over the years. As an example some of us were in the shop when the very first CJ-35 came out, and there hanging on the wall next to it, in the set-up room was Jim's Gibson J-35. Jim is both very soft-spoken, and knowledgeable on the subject of vintage guitars as well as incredibly skilful at working on vintage Martins. As I was told, he influenced Bill to consider building some guitars with a less modern sound, that would appeal to (Martin) guitar aficionados whose ear favoured a drier more fundamental tone.

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Re: The T series - Please explain to me

Post: # 2477Post shotzy
Wed May 13, 2020 5:01 am

buckaroo wrote:
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 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).

This entire description is 100% spot on in my opinion, based on my experiences owning both a standard and traditional OM1A. Well said, Buckaroo. I personally have a slight preference for the traditional OM build and neck profile — my only complaint is that I wish it had a drop-in saddle for easier adjustments!

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Re: The T series - Please explain to me

Post: # 2478Post howthewestwas1
Wed May 13, 2020 1:52 pm

Something worth noting is that Collings have made some significant changes to the Traditional line for 2020 including a new neck block and truss rod design, detailed here: ... e=emb_logo. The satin finish is also another change/option.

I have owned several previous T and standard models. I now own the new 001-14 Fret Traditional that employs the neck design and it is amazing and simply the best Collings I've owned/played. It is my sole acoustic guitar now.

I would echo sentiments stated already in this thread that the differences previously were rather subtle, but were there. The T series models typically have a subtlety more dry sound and a bit more open tone compared to the standard series. Several factors including lighter woods, slightly different construction methods, thinner finish, hide glue, etc contributed to this. I have found the T models seem to break in a little easier as well, perhaps due to the lighter build. However the new 2020 changes, at least in my experience has shifted the tone and response of those models even more in the direction of say a more typical "Martin" type sound. More low end response and a bit of a softer upper mid range. There is still the very fast and dynamic response and articulation that is synonymous with Collings but overall everything is just a bit more "relaxed." I absolutely love it. For those that didn't feel/hear much of a difference between standard and traditional models before, I believe there is a better distinction now.

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Joined: Tue May 12, 2020 1:45 am
Real Name: Stuart
Location: Ontario

Re: The T series - Please explain to me

Post: # 2489Post Stuart
Fri May 15, 2020 7:16 pm

I don't know all of the variations at this juncture. I bought a 000-3C years ago, and it sits along side a few other nice guitars, and I use it often. I find the only way to pick and choose is to spend a few afternoons in a guitar store where they have a broad selection. The 0's, and the 00's and the 000's have historically attracted me due to the warmth of the sounds when i play them. One of my beefs was the fact that there were no 14 frets with wider string spacing. The T series seems to have removed that issue, by including string spacing of 2 5/16 along side a nut width of 1 3/4. And I noticed a waterloo that had 2 6/16 string spacing. What a great combo from my perspective. so I appreciate the additional options that this has afforded me.

But when it comes to picking and choosing, sit down with handful, and your experience will draw you to the one or two that work for you.

PS. I don't think I really want a short scale, however, as I often play in alternate tunings and appreciate the tighter feel of the strings on a regular length guitar.


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