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Collings Waterloo 14L

Collings Waterloo 14L

Price: $--SOLD

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the flagship Waterloo

Loaded with character and gently priced, Collings' Waterloo 14L really amazes. It will remind you of all the old Kays, Harmonys and Stellas. The difference here is that Bill Collings made the Waterloo very player friendly. Great action and a wonderful feeling big V neck make this a guitar that is hard to put down.

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The WL-14 is the flagship model of the Waterloo guitar line and the inspiration that started it all. Keeping true to the design and style of the era, the WL-14 is available in "ladder" bracing (L) as well as "X" bracing (X). The ladder bracing option provides woody and open tone, with midrange honk that's perfect for fingerstyle blues. The "X" braced version retains tighter focus and balance across the tonal range.


Loaded with character and gently priced, Collings' Waterloo 14L really amazes me. It reminds me of the guitars I grew up with, all the old Kays, Harmonys and Stellas that were packed into my fathers music store in Philadelphia. The difference here is that Bill Collings made the Waterloo very player friendly. Great action and a wonderful feeling big V neck make this a guitar that is hard to put down. I invite you to read this interview with Bill Collings to really get what this guitar is all about. Here is the link to the whole interview, below is an excerpt:


Interviewer: What was the inspiration behind Waterloo Guitars?

Bill Collings: I've always been infatuated with guitars. Guitars of all kinds. Not just the expensive ones. When I first started working on guitars, there was always the holy grail. It was usually a mid-'30s Martin or Gibson that people were after. It was never the ladder braced guitar or the off-brand guitar, but there was always something intriguing to me in those cheaper guitars from the '20s and '30s. You could pick them up and they had character. The problem was that they rarely played well. If they had played well, a lot of them would still be played today. But since they didn't, these are the guitars that got put in a closet or shoved away in an attic somewhere and forgotten about.

You have to remember that, during the depression, the majority of guitars were sold through mail order catalogs under all kinds of different sub-brand names built by the major guitar companies of the time. They may have been a fraction of the price of the company's main brand, but they were what people could afford and what the companies did to stay afloat. The guitars had simple appointments and weren't built from the most gorgeous wood. They didn't sand the braces. They didn't clean up their excess glue. They were made quickly and were all about function. Some really great guitars were made that way and these were the guitars that ended up in the hands of the influential players of the day.

Right now, I think there's a rebirth of different guitar sounds and tones. People love guitars and all their factions. Every which way there is. I wanted to bring back the voice of some of these old depression era guitars in an instrument that would actually play. There's an awesome space there to explore and enjoy.

If you'd like to find out more about this item, just call or e-mail me. It would be my pleasure to talk to you about it.

Bill Collings moved from Ohio to Texas in the mid 1970’s. Spurred by a lack of interest in medical school, this move enabled him to combine lifelong interests in both guitars and tools into the challenge of stringed instrument building and repair. After a couple of years in Houston, several guitars and a few banjos later, he headed west to southern California. Making it only as far as Austin, where he shared shops with fellow luthiers Tom Ellis and Mike Stevens. From there, he set up his own small shop in a wooden "one car" garage. His reputation for outstanding quality and meticulous attention to detail quickly spread. In 1989, he rented a 1000 square foot space and hired two helpers. Fast forward to present day where Collings craftsmanship is respected by professional and amateur musicians alike…anyone on the quest for quality. Some of these include artists; Keith Richards, Lyle Lovett, Pete Townshend, Emmylou Harris, Andy Summers, David Crosby, Chris Hillman, Joni Mitchell, Don Felder, John Sebastian, Lou Reed, John Fogerty, Tim O'Brien, Pete Huttlinger, Kenny Smith, Brian May, Joan Baez, John Prine, Nigel Tufnel of Spinal Tap, and Steven Spielberg to name a few. You owe it to yourself to try one.

Serial #WL348
Topsolid spruce
Back/sidessolid mahogany
Colorvintage-style sunburst
Bindingivoroid, top and soundhole
Bridge pinsebony
TunersGolden Age Restoration
Bracingladder (L)
Pickguardtigerstripe celluloid
Body finishsemi-gloss nitrocellulose lacquer finish
Necksolid mahogany
FingerboardIndian rosewood
Bridgeebony with 2 3/8" spacing
Nut1 3/4" ebony nut
Saddlebone cutthrough-style
Neck supportT-bar
Fingerboard inlaysmother-of-pearl dots
Neck profilevintage inspired strong V shape
Logostenciled Waterloo
Scale length24 7/8"
Fretwiremedium 18% nickel-silver
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