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Collings vs. Merrill
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Does anyone remember the Collings vs. Merrill test that Phoenix did back in the early days?

Here is the link to the reference:
Collings vs. Merrill

Phoenix was a moderator here as was Rockerbob. I haven't even seen much from our forum leader, Ed these days either. At any rate, Phoenix did a nice comparison between two guitars and somewhere on my Mac I downloaded it and have it. It might be fun to share again with this current group for those who have not heard it.
 
Posts: 1844 | Location: Elgin, IL | Registered: October 05, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Both Collings and Merrill are making very different guitars than they were in 2002. Collings are voiced a little lighter now, making them more tonally complete and "musical" in their tone to my ear, and Merrill guitars are generally much more refined instruments now but also have a significantly higher neck angle than the original shallow angle instruments made back in 2002.
 
Posts: 252 | Registered: July 09, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Swan:
.. and Merrill guitars are generally much more refined instruments now but also have a significantly higher neck angle than the original shallow angle instruments made back in 2002.


Exactly what difference does the neck angle make? Does this make the action higher on the guitar? Add any tension to the strings? Not sure what the diff is.
 
Posts: 1844 | Location: Elgin, IL | Registered: October 05, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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What Pheonix was complaining about on the old 2002 shallow neck angle setup was that there wasn't much saddle left above the top of the bridge to get a low action setting. It was my experience as a dealer in those days that some of these early guitars needed neck resets not too long after they were made, which really upset a lot of customers back then. The steeper neck angle used now allows for very low action with good saddle height left.
 
Posts: 252 | Registered: July 09, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'm hoping Mr. Merrill will also chime in, but I've heard that the steeper angle is partially responsible for the prominent bass he's able to obtain.

Phoenix sent me a WAV file of that shootout just after he recorded it - I'll try to find it and make it available.
 
Posts: 5432 | Location: Chicago | Registered: May 08, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi guys,

I felt that I should clarify my reasoning for the change of neck set on my guitars. The old '30's Martins had a shallow neck set compared to modern specs. They also had low saddles when new and high action to boot. Having been one of a handful of fully authorized Martin warranty centers back in the early eighties, I had access to Martin's spec sheets and action requirements. Most players today would find such action to be unbearable. In the beginning of my building journey, I was anal enough to copy every aspect of the prewar Martins only to discover that not too many people appreciated all of those details. Having realized that fact,I then made a concession to modern players and playing styles by angling the necks back by half a degree and using a slightly taller saddle. With the Martin prewar design and materials being used, a builder needs to be aware of the amount of torque load on the top. Too much will actually dampen the top and stifle the responsiveness and is the reason why some guitars actually sound better with light gauge strings rather than mediums. The Martin prewar design was not flawed as some folks believe. The real culprit was heavy gauge strings which was virtually all that was to be had back in the day. Martin got tired of honoring the warranty aspect of bridge regluing and compression fretting to straighten the necks. I try very hard to provide players with the vintage vibe and sound without the vintage price tag!

Thanks for allowing me to participate.

Jim
 
Posts: 56 | Registered: December 10, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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thanks for the post Jim.


------------------------------
A bunch of Collings & Merrills & some others.



 
Posts: 1001 | Location: Damnear, Ga | Registered: November 23, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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How cool is that. That a great builder like Jim Merrill actually visits with us every once in awhile and participates in some of our inquiries.

Thank you Mr Merrill...for being our friend.
 
Posts: 3390 | Location: Chicago | Registered: January 20, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Jim Merrill Jr.:
I try very hard to provide players with the vintage vibe and sound without the vintage price tag!


Jim - your explanation(s) help us understand how the above statement could be true. I'm entirely sure that the process is even more difficult than most of us understand.

Thanks again for taking the time to post!
 
Posts: 5432 | Location: Chicago | Registered: May 08, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Jim,

As always, a pleasure to hear from you. Our thanks to you for taking the time to comment.

JC
 
Posts: 286 | Location: Gulf Coast Alabama | Registered: December 28, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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very cool, jim.
peter
 
Posts: 536 | Location: Jackson Hole, Wyoming U S A | Registered: January 04, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I did a Collings vs. Merrill shootout some time ago, comparing an early Clarence White Brazilian model with a very early Merrill C-28 Brazilian. I recorded a few clips and uploaded them. These guitars are very different but both great. The Collings has much more in the way of overtones and cutting trebles whereas the Merrill emphasizes the uncolored fundamental tone, with great volume, balance and projection.
 
Posts: 372 | Registered: December 07, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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