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A Short Ladder Braced Test Track


BluesKing777
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Thanks JZ!

 

I guess once the company I work for realise the error of their ways.....I could be making some kind of living, but last time I tried that was pretty ordinary and ended up really skinny with no guitar, no car, owing rent etc. Now, I am fat, got a car, house and guitars everywhere. Ha ha.

 

But I just love this Waterloo ladder braced! And it is like buying a new guitar in 1935 or something but in perfect playing condition. Well done, Collings! Thanks Bill - on a promo video, a guitar seller said that after playing the prototype, Bill came out gushing all over the place and said: “Listen to this, just listen to THIS!” Rightly so.

 

A friend played it and didn’t like it, loved the V neck though....he wants the all mahogany X braced one.

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

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I think what Collings, Todd Cambrio and Mike Hauver have proven is that ladder braced done right can result in an amazing sounding guitar. For years my favorite ladder braced guitar has been my early 1930s Schmidt-made spruve top mahogany body Galiano jumbo (15" lower bout). I have never played a guitar as warm and sweet sounding as that instrument. It has finally, however, met its match in the 1942 figure 8 Harmony H165. The Harmony has a clarity and a bit of chime associated with an all-mahogany guitar combined with the fundamental and immediate sound of a ladder braced instrument. Plus the thick V neck on it makes all others I have played run for cover.

Edited by zombywoof
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In the stranger than strange category, Hauver apparently stopped building his Stella Gambler with birch because starting around 2016 he found it increasingly difficult to source the wood. Good quality birch has apparently gone the way of old growth red spruce. But I will always wonder how many would turn their nose up at something like a 1920s or 1930s Schmidt Stella concert - the guitar which has become synonymous with the pre-War blues.

Edited by zombywoof
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Thanks Tom!

 

I will listen in my nice headphones later on today - 8.30am Monday morning here....

 

And Zomb, the difference between the Waterloos X and L and the other guitars you talk about is that I have never, ever, ever seen one of those for sale here to try, whereas the Waterloos were....ha..in a shop with 2 of each....

 

BluesKing777.

Edited by BluesKing777
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Love those Waterloos. The WL-14 Scissortail in Maple is definitely in my sights for a future acquisition...

 

 

That model is X braced, Jinder. You probably know that but I thought I had better mention it, it could be more like an L-00 in maple! (The Ladder braced is more like a K'Zoo KG14, except in tune!)

 

PS..your fault - I have the only Sunrise pickup in the world, new, for sale, heading this way. [biggrin] It is with the 'assembly kit', so to make it like the 'dangle out the front' thing, I will have to do some soldering. I want to try it in various guitars....

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

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Thanks again, Tom, I listened to yours tracks with nice Sennheisers. And I see you pinched Lightning Hopkins' hat!

 

While I would take the L1 for historical purposes (RJ), I way preferred the 'full' L2, and I love my own (52) LG1.

 

But it should probably be pointed out for newer players that you are not going to get the big D chord ala Neil Y with any of these guitars! :blink:

 

But fingerpicking the Freight Train family of tunes - perfect!

 

Hey, I spoiled myself rotten by having both an X braced Waterloo WL-14X and the ladder braced Waterloo WL-14L, great to play and also an easy comparison. A friend who also owns a Gibson Blues King L-00 loved the X and not so much the L, matter of fact, I had to pry the X back off of him!

 

Both exactly like I like! Fat V neck, sound great.... [woot]

 

 

9VC9WLbh.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Hey, anyone want to head to Brooklyn and Retrofret, you can make your own comparison - they have a 37 L-00 (X) and a 37 K'Zoo KG14 (L):

 

 

http://retrofret.com/product.asp?ProductID=2899

 

 

http://retrofret.com/product.asp?ProductID=7814

 

 

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

Edited by BluesKing777
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Thanks again, Tom, I listened to yours tracks with nice Sennheisers. And I see you pinched Lightning Hopkins' hat!

 

While I would take the L1 for historical purposes (RJ), I way preferred the 'full' L2, and I love my own (52) LG1.

 

But it should probably be pointed out for newer players that you are not going to get the big D chord ala Neil Y with any of these guitars! :blink:

 

But fingerpicking the Freight Train family of tunes - perfect!

 

 

BluesKing777.

 

Indeed. It sort of depends on how your music interacts with the instruments. My alternating thumb style has the back beat a bit father forward than pure ragtime, which IMO is a good match to the old gospel we like as well as stuff like the Carter family and other traditional mountain materials. A lot of people don't realize Maybelle Carter also played that style -- her rendition of Cannonball Blues is a good example. It also transitions smoothly into folk revival materials -- think Tom Paxton.

 

Oddly I guess the small mahogany body Gibson whose tone calls out to me for non-band applications is our disreputable 59 LG-1 -- pretty much identical to my stolen LG-1 from the 6os. I am not sure why it appeals to me -- its prewar and wartime cousins can pretty well eat its lunch power-wise. I just like its thump -- not too raw but not full either.

 

I am drawn at different times to the high lonesome raw singing styles of the Carters, the still raw but fuller bluegrass styles, but also the more full and mild folk revival styles too. My wife has a folk revival voice as well. We do a lot of bluegrass, and the only Gibsons that work there are a few of the mid 30s Js -- I often use our 1935 Jumbo on stage and all the RW Js would work but they are a bit pricey for a summer bluegrass stage in the south. In general because Gibsons in general don't possess Martins' signature power midrange, they can't really fill the back beat role of a bluegrass rhythm guitar.

 

But even small Martins have big midranges and can work pretty well because the low end in bluegrass is covered by the bass. Listen to the midrange on this 1934 00-40H.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTDPHksfQLM

 

It also works well for folk revival style vocal backups -- fills the space.

 

http://vimeo.com/269119333

 

Best,

-Tom

Edited by tpbiii
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Hey, I spoiled myself rotten by having both an X braced Waterloo WL-14X and the ladder braced Waterloo WL-14L, great to play and also an easy comparison. A friend who also owns a Gibson Blues King L-00 loved the X and not so much the L, matter of fact, I had to pry the X back off of him!

 

Both exactly like I like! Fat V neck, sound great.... [woot]

 

 

9VC9WLbh.jpg

 

 

BluesKing777.

 

 

 

I pressed record and played both Waterloos from the photos with a similar tune.....I wonder how many here could tell the difference from the X braced to the ladder braced?

 

Though when playing, my friend said: "This is mine" to the X...immediately. Playing is different than listening, I guess.

 

 

 

 

https://soundcloud.com/bk7-3/eh-777a

 

 

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

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I pressed record and played both Waterloos from the photos with a similar tune.....I wonder how many here could tell the difference from the X braced to the ladder braced?

 

Though when playing, my friend said: "This is mine" to the X...immediately. Playing is different than listening, I guess.

 

 

 

 

https://soundcloud.com/bk7-3/eh-777a

 

 

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

 

First guitar is the ladder, second is the X...they’re ASTONISHINGLY close though! Both sound wonderful in very slightly different ways. The second guitar had slightly more featheriness in the mids which lends a touch of lightness. What a great pair of guitars to own!

 

Playing devil’s advocate here...if you had to keep just one, which would it be...?

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First guitar is the ladder, second is the X...they’re ASTONISHINGLY close though! Both sound wonderful in very slightly different ways. The second guitar had slightly more featheriness in the mids which lends a touch of lightness. What a great pair of guitars to own!

 

Playing devil’s advocate here...if you had to keep just one, which would it be...?

 

 

 

Keep just one? You'll break the Internet with such talk... [biggrin]

 

 

It is all I can do not to buy the all mahogany WL-14mh they have at the shop - another wonderful guitar!

 

 

BluesKing777.

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