Waterloo Guitars! | Weekly Highlight

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  • By Erik Bogaards
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Waterloo Guitars! | Weekly Highlight

Do you want real vintage looks and sounds with the ease of modern playability? Try Waterloo guitars.


Do you know any nicer cars than the original Mini’s and Fiat 500's? We totally get that hundreds of enthusiasts keep these charming cuties on the road. Driving them is real treat! But comfortable? No.


If you prefer comfort you are better off with a modern version of such classics. They give you all the looks of another era and you can still hear the radio when you're buzzing along the highway and turning on the air conditioning.



So we think it is a very smart move by BMW and Fiat to give classic models a rebirth. They provide today’s drivers with all of today’s comfort and at the same time, they are a huge tribute to their own rich history.


Bill Collings of those great  Collings guitars  did more or less the same with the Waterloo line. These are awesome instruments that meet all of today’s demands. And at the same time they are a very clear nod to the great legacy of those rare, awesome-sounding  guitar models from the 1930’s.



In the Thirties there was high demand for guitars and some big builders started producing accordingly. Besides their ‘high-end guitars’ you could order a cheaper version for something like 15 bucks by mail. Companies like Stella and Harmony made and sold hundreds of guitars this way. Most of them parlor guitars, made for blues. Gibson also participated, doing so under a cheaper sub-label: Kalamazoo.



Want to know what a 1930’s guitar sounds like? Look and listen to Steve Ray Vaughn in the video below.



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The model he's playing is a bit of a guess, probably a Gibson prototype. But it gives a solid idea of how these vintage guitars sound: a lot of bite and bark, dry, great string separation and heaps and heaps of Mojo. Not bad for a cheap 'Depression-era guitar'. Because that is where they stem from: the Great Depression of the 1930’s.


That is also where some problems start to arise, because these guitars were made mass produced at the lowest possible costs. The finish was rough, the neck was not always straight, quality control did not exist and the 'suitcase' was a large cardboard shoebox.


As charming as that sounds, as a whole these guitars were made rather 'whimsical'. Some of them played well, most of them very poorly. That is bit of a shame, because the woods they used back then, would still sound great today.



Over the years, many of these guitars have disappeared and hence they have become increasingly rare. They weren't expensive, playing on them wasn't always fun: let’s get rid of it. Fortunately there are also some good ones left that have stood the test of time. Due to the unique sound these guitars produce, they have a strong and growing fanbase. For some guitarists these models, with their old woods and there vintage tone, provide them with the instrument they are looking for. So they are willing to accept some discomfort and more often than not, some serious restauration bills.


Thanks to Waterloo, you don't have to do that anymore. Waterloo offers  the looks, the sound, and the mojo of days gone by, combined with today’s comfort and quality.


We have secretly fallen in love with them.



Others about Waterloo


We're not the only ones with a crush on Waterloo. Master guitarist Julian Lage: 'It feels like it's alive!' Acoustic Guitar  took a closer look at three models, including the 'standard'  WL14. Their verdict:  'Incredible fun to play'. Guitar Interactive Magazine wrote: 'an essential guitar to check out'.


We now offer you the chance to check out for yourself at The Fellowship of Acoustics, because we have several Waterloo models in stock. Of course the flagship WL14, made of sitka and mahogany. In addition, and this is probably an EU exclusive, we managed to lay hands on a special edition Scissor Tail with maple back and sides, which gives this Waterloo a crystal clear sound and combined with the spruce top killer looks.



Due to its great success, Waterloo has now expanded the line to include the WL-S. Made of cherry, with a stunning Iced Tea Sunburst and a slightly shorter neck (12 frets to the body). An awesome instrument! To be sure, we added a 'Vintage  inspired' label on the website. Just to avoid misunderstandings, because at first glance you might think this one is really from the '30’s.



Want to know more about Waterloo? Feel free to come and play one at our store in Dedemsvaart. They really are 'incredible fun!'



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