What’s a Waterloo?
Although Waterloo guitars are presented as a separate brand, they 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. The tuners, for instance, are openback 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.