NEW Waterloo WL-14 Scissortail

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The Waterloo WL-14 Scissortail was inspired the Kalamazoo “Oriole” guitars that Gibson made in the early 1940s. Like the vintage models, the Waterloo Scissortail has a solid spruce top and solid maple back and sides, a combination of tonewoods that produces excellent projection and focus while retaining a smooth, woody tone. Like other Waterloo models, we think this one sounds much better than the guitar that inspired it and that the bird on the headstock has a bit more regional class. A natural finish coupled with distinctive tortoise-style binding sets this instrument apart from other WL-14 models. This Waterloo model is a staff favorite and you can even find one in the personal collection of one of our repair crew.

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Waterloo guitars are made in Austin, Texas by Collings and the production of Waterloo models share much of the same production tooling. The Waterloo brand is leading a new movement in American acoustic guitars, which is to reissue modern interpretations of “budget brand” guitars of yesteryear instead of reissuing rare and expensive models. This less-is-more approach preserves both sound and playability but strips away most decorative trim and the time-consuming efforts that go into achieving a perfect, glossy finish. Waterloo guitars are designed to be fully functional but are much lighter in weight.

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The tuners, for instance, are open-back gears with celluloid buttons that are simple but work just fine. The satin finish on Waterloo models will often show the pores in the wood, and the wood grain itself, because the lacquer is so thin. Instead of expensive pearl inlays you get a neat painted stencil on the headstock, etc. The Waterloo brand itself pays homage to Gibson’s Kalamazoo models of the 1930s as “Waterloo” was the original name given to Austin in 1839 when the site was chosen as the capital of the new Republic of Texas.

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