It was almost a year ago when Collings Guitars introduced the concept behind their new line, Waterloo Guitars. Bill Collings had begun experimenting with replicating the off-brand, less expensive guitars that were produced during the Depression era, many of which have become prized by collectors both for their historical value, and the raw sound, simple styling and distinctive vibe.
Like the ’20s and ’30s models on which they are based, the Waterloo guitars are meant to be less expensive than the dreadnaught and concert body styles which Collings is known for. There is minimal ornamentation and the instruments are simply constructed, but with solid tone woods.
At this point there is only a single model in the Waterloo line, the WL-14, a small body guitar with a spruce top and mahogany back and sides. The mahogany neck has a 14 fret rosewood fingerboard with dot inlays.
The WL-14 can be ordered with either ladder or x-bracing, with a T-bar or truss rod neck support, and in either a vintage-style sunburst or black finish. It is offered with a hard shell case for $2100.
In many ways, these are more carefully constructed guitars than those that influenced their inception, using better quality components and luthiery methods.
Bill Collings put this video together to describe his vision for the new Waterloo line.
And Andy Cambria shot this demo at The Music Emporium in Lexington, MA featuring Molly Tuttle.
Additional photos, plus video and audio samples, can be found on the Waterloo web site.
The Collings team is currently prototyping new models for this line, but aren’t ready to announce anything yet. We’ll report back when we hear some news on that front.