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  1. #76

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    The fact that Marty had it to Heritage just recently for some adjustments and a little upper register fret finishing was part of the attraction. Lou Del Rosso had a lovely blonde HJS but this one is just really very, very special. Hard to believe in 6 months I went from having not much to this. Each piece I came across is unique and gorgeous and plays very well... I AM TRULY BLESSED...

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  3. #77

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    So I tuned her up and adjusted the action, these are TI14s, I think the guitars been spending too much time in a case, not getting played. I'm correcting that tomorrow. I think I stress d myself making one more purchase. It's time to exhale a long while. I've sure scored some amazing dream guitars. And yes the first couple tunes are for Mom, as an good Irish lad would know.

    Heritage Johnny Smith-image-jpgHeritage Johnny Smith-image-jpgHeritage Johnny Smith-image-jpgHeritage Johnny Smith-image-jpg

  4. #78

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    BM and MG:
    Am I correct in understanding that the 18" HJS is the same as an acoustic Super Eagle with a 25" scale, 1 3/4" nut, and Rose hardware/trim?

  5. #79

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammertone
    BM and MG:
    Am I correct in understanding that the 18" HJS is the same as an acoustic Super Eagle with a 25" scale, 1 3/4" nut, and Rose hardware/trim?

    You gotta realize I am a little hamstrung in answering your question: both the instruments I have are custom builds. The HJS18 I have is 3 1/2 inches deep, just measured it. The flamed out Super Eagle I got earlier in the week is 3 inches deep. If I shot from the hip answered you (at this moment in time) I would say the custom Super Eagle is my current favorite. But I haven't had a chance to acquaint myself with the 18 inch HJS... I think I'm gonna call the flamed out custom Super Eagle Big Bertha, after the huge rail mounted artillery piece from WWII... And this 18 inch HJS Rosie, like the Jackson Brown song Rosie. Now I'm outta here for a little while.

    Big

  6. #80

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammertone
    BM and MG:
    Am I correct in understanding that the 18" HJS is the same as an acoustic Super Eagle with a 25" scale, 1 3/4" nut, and Rose hardware/trim?
    If that's true, that means Heritage would have pulled out all the stops for this single guitar, for I've not seen a single other Super Eagle with a 25" scale, and 1.75 nut. Some builder request had some pull. I'm wondering if BM's guitar was built personally for a dealer, and not a customer, as so many other Heritage guitars have been.

    Quote Originally Posted by BigMikeinNJ

    You gotta realize I am a little hamstrung in answering your question: both the instruments I have are custom builds. The HJS18 I have is 3 1/2 inches deep, just measured it. The flamed out Super Eagle I got earlier in the week is 3 inches deep. If I shot from the hip answered you (at this moment in time) I would say the custom Super Eagle is my current favorite. But I haven't had a chance to acquaint myself with the 18 inch HJS... I think I'm gonna call the flamed out custom Super Eagle Big Bertha, after the huge rail mounted artillery piece from WWII... And this 18 inch HJS Rosie, like the Jackson Brown song Rosie. Now I'm outta here for a little while.

    Big
    3.5 " in depth? Are you certain BM!? That's akin to your former S400. If that's true yours is now the second deepest archtop build of any Heritage guitar I'm aware of. With that extra depth, your guitars acoustic volume must be exceptional! Funny, I don't recall Mark mentioning the guitars depth, for I'd have taken special note of that, as most SE's are 3" in depth. And a single humbucker SE I recently sold had a depth of 3.25", which after experiencing that guitar for several years I believe is a depth more suited for the SE. It was a noticeably different guitar at the greater depth.

  7. #81

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    Just measured it again:

    JS 3 3/8 (a little more toward 3 1/2)
    Super Eagle custom 3 on the nose

    Remember these are custom builds, what can I say.

  8. #82

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    From a small factory builder's perspective, different rim depths can typically be used with the same jigs and production processes, with very little alteration to production work flow.

    Same for using a 25" scale neck on a guitar body that typically uses a 25.5" scale neck - so long as the neck joint design is shared between models, it is as simple as swapping one neck for another. The bridge will sit .25" closer to the neck/body joint, which is inconsequential to production workflow.
    Last edited by Hammertone; 09-15-2016 at 01:04 PM.

  9. #83

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammertone
    BM and MG:
    Am I correct in understanding that the 18" HJS is the same as an acoustic Super Eagle with a 25" scale, 1 3/4" nut, and Rose hardware/trim?
    I doubt it. I have both, a HJS and an acoustic super eagle. Even if my HJS would be 18", which it is not, it would not feel close to the SE. The top on the HJS is more resonant, the neck (understandably) feels different. The HJS is more crisp/throaty/bright (for the lack of a better word). I guess Big Mike is now in a position to directly compare the 18" versions, bit my anticipation is that they're different. The different depths certainly also contribute.

  10. #84

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    Well I meant to say something yesterday but with lawyers and bankers calling and the guitar coming in late I was plumb tuckered out. I was just playing the 18 Rosie and singing real old Elvis songs. Yeah I may not be making Johnny Smith's spirit happy doing it but It's Now Or Never sure sounds good outta this HJS. JOE I can feel the difference in comfort in the 25 inch neck. It's nice.

    But the laugh out loud moment is the top has a flaw. And it doesn't anger me, actually it made me think of our dear friend Patrick and his problem when making the 18 inch Unity and probably the Super Patrick. Finding a billet large enough for an 18 inch guitar that doesn't have a flaw pop up when doing the carve. Here she is, like I said when I see it I think of the guy I never met, never talked to, Patrick. This photo is for you Paisan...

    Heritage Johnny Smith-53e472c2-d888-40b3-b8ca-fae090931ef1-jpgHeritage Johnny Smith-img_8647-jpg

  11. #85

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    Big, that is not a flaw. It's a beauty mark!

  12. #86

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    If it's the mineral streak you are referring to, that is an important little spot..
    MG and I actually used that mark to identify this as Don Deans guitar. True story.
    And yes, 25" scale = magic.

  13. #87

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    It is a thinner top compared to the usual Super Eagle. This is a tap tuned acoustic guitar with a floating pup.

    Heritage cannot go deeper than 3 3/8". But these are handmade instruments to a large degree. It could be slightly deeper by accident.

    When I took the guitar to Heritage for a setup and to get the history on it, they remembered this one because it was built for a friend of a couple of the owners. They didn't see the mineral streak as a flaw and neither did the buyer, Don Dean. BTW, Aaron Cowles didn't see mineral streaks as a flaw, but Patrick didn't like it during the build of the 18" Unity. But that's a different story.

    The spruce on the HJS is tight grained with very nice silking. These features are said to be indicators of better tonewood. It is slower growth with a higher density. Further, Aaron tap tuned the guitar and presented it to his old friend, Don Dean.

    Another bit of trivia, this was one of the last guitars the Don kept as he was dying and liquidating his huge primo guitar collection for medical bills.

    Further again, it says something that when I brought the guitar to Heritage 20 years after it was built that the factory owners said, " Hey, that's Don's guitar."

  14. #88

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Grass
    It is a thinner top compared to the usual Super Eagle. This is a tap tuned acoustic guitar with a floating pup….
    OK. So the 18" HJS is the same as a fully acoustic Super Eagle that has a tap-tuned, x-braced top by Aaron Cowles, but with a 25" scale, 1 3/4" nut, and Rose hardware/trim. Except for variations in rim depth, of course.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Grass
    ...it says something that when I brought the guitar to Heritage 20 years after it was built that the factory owners said, " Hey, that's Don's guitar."
    Kewl.
    Last edited by Hammertone; 09-15-2016 at 10:18 PM.

  15. #89

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    Attachment 35795

    Forget the 6 fret stretch. Just look at the comfortable playing position Don was doing this in. Effortless. God, I would love to have been in on that little jam session.
    That guitar was in Legendary company. Don played with Merle Travis. Hung out with Scotty Moore, was friends with Chet Atkins and had a collection of over 100 guitars.. Super 400's, L5's, guitars that Billy Byrd played..And the guitar that he was left with on his dying day?? This marvelous 18" Heritage Johnny Smith. With a Rose on the pickguard. Wow.

    Mikey and MG, you guys are lucky.
    JD

  16. #90

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    Thanks to wintermoon, I've located a 1993 HJS via Artisans Guitars in Franklin, Tennessee. I usually visit their site frequently, but had not seen it. It was literally just listed yesterday (I believe) - also listed on ebay I learned later. Its the antique finish (which is what I was looking for - I am partial to blondes, what can I say?) The original pickup was replaced by an Armstrong, but the original is included in the sale. The tuners are Grovers - gold, not black - so I can only assume they have been replaced. Its in excellent condition, well maintained. I really didn't think I would find one so quickly - I know they are rare and don't come for sale very often. So when I saw it, I called the store with lots of questions and when I was satisfied, got it for a fair price. It will be here on Saturday and after spending a couple of hours with it, will decide if its gig worthy immediately - got a gig on Sunday and would love to use it.

    Thanks to all for responded to my original post with comments - I owe wintermoon big time for this one. I'll post pics (assuming how I can figure out how to do that) some time soon.

  17. #91

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    glad to help Fred,
    I'd come hear you debut it but have a gig as well
    hope it works out!

  18. #92

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    Cool guitar! I think these are your pics?


    Heritage Johnny Smith-heritage-johnny-smith-jpg

  19. #93

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    Fred,
    the Heritage Johnny Smith is probably one of the best values in the jazz guitar world.
    Ive told everyone here it was the best guitar I ever played. That one unseeded another Heritage, which was the DA2 that adorns Stringswingers avatar. Now it's the 2nd best guitar I've had since I was lucky enough to get my Gibson JS.
    I was thinking of selling mine because I didn't think I'd ever play it again. Well, all I had to do is pick it up again. Like my 1st HJS, it's a smooth playing, sweet sounding love making jazz music machine and it ain't going anywhere!
    i am sure you will love yours. It's always just right.
    Enjoy!
    Joe D

  20. #94

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    Yep, that's it. Thanks for posting the pics!

  21. #95

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    Jim - I thought about this one, too. But wanted to hold out for a JS. Heritage is a great guitar. I 'VE got a 2001 575, a slightly smaller version of a Gibson CES 4. Mine is a second - for reasons I have never understood. It's just a very responsive instrument. One day I will share the story of how I acquired it. That story alone is priceless.

  22. #96

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    Congrats Fred! Heritage makes a fine guitar.

    I tried a Heritage 535 years ago. Compared to the Gibson 335, it was very bright so I sold it (and went back to the Gibson 335). A few other Heritage guitars that I played were also brighter than their Gibson counterparts. I now realize that Heritage, by design builds their guitars lighter, with thinner tops, which in a way is befitting of their name. That is how it was done in the 20's and 30's. I think it is MOST important to not overcrank the fingers tailpiece or use too heavy of a string gauge with a lightly constructed Heritage guitar, otherwise the top will sink (I know of a few guys who had the tops sink on their Heritage guitars and now speak disparagingly about the Company).

    Joe D. Sold me his Heritage built D'Angelico II New Yorker earlier this year. It was carved with a thicker top. by design than the usual Heritage carved archtop (JP Moats wanted it to be as much like a D'Angelico as possible) and it is in fact, as warm a guitar (My preference) as any Gibson that I have played. So those guys at Heritage do build them with various degrees of "fragileness".

    Let us know how you like it. (It is a Heritage Johnny Smith, what's not to like?)

  23. #97

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    Quote Originally Posted by FredH
    Jim - I thought about this one, too. But wanted to hold out for a JS. Heritage is a great guitar. I 'VE got a 2001 575, a slightly smaller version of a Gibson CES 4. Mine is a second - for reasons I have never understood. It's just a very responsive instrument. One day I will share the story of how I acquired it. That story alone is priceless.
    The "2" on the back of the headstock is more common that you might think.
    There was some inside shenanigans going on and some allowances were made for this type of thing to happen (sorry, that's as far as I'll go with that explanation). You are right. Most of the time, there is absolutely no difference in the quality of "2" guitar and a guitar without the 2.
    If there is nothing wrong with the guitar, In the 2nd hand market, there should be little to no difference in the resale value.
    Credit should be given to the person who actually discloses the fact that a "2" exists on the back of a headstock. Some people and some dealers, don't even disclose such a thing. And the "2" is in some cases is very difficult to notice, if you are not actually looking for it.

    JD

  24. #98

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    Congrats Fred! Heritage makes a fine guitar.

    I tried a Heritage 535 years ago. Compared to the Gibson 335, it was very bright so I sold it (and went back to the Gibson 335). A few other Heritage guitars that I played were also brighter than their Gibson counterparts. I now realize that Heritage, by design builds their guitars lighter, with thinner tops, which in a way is befitting of their name. That is how it was done in the 20's and 30's. I think it is MOST important to not overcrank the fingers tailpiece or use too heavy of a string gauge with a lightly constructed Heritage guitar, otherwise the top will sink (I know of a few guys who had the tops sink on their Heritage guitars and now speak disparagingly about the Company).

    Joe D. Sold me his Heritage built D'Angelico II New Yorker earlier this year. It was carved with a thicker top. by design than the usual Heritage carved archtop (JP Moats wanted it to be as much like a D'Angelico as possible) and it is in fact, as warm a guitar (My preference) as any Gibson that I have played. So those guys at Heritage do build them with various degrees of "fragileness".

    Let us know how you like it. (It is a Heritage Johnny Smith, what's not to like?)
    Most of the issues I've heard about owners of Heritage archtops have been with early issue Heritage guitars from the 80's. I've owned some 30 of them. I've placed TI Bebop 14's on every one of them. Nary an issue.

    Yes, some Heritage archtops are brighter than other makes I've owned. And as you've noted that is by design. And its been my experience with the Heritage archtops I've owned that the Heritage guitars were far more acoustically vibrant, lively, and more pleasing to play acoustically.

    If an archtop is functional, there is no such thing as a bad archtop, imo. For $3k, on the used market, compared to any other made in America carved wood archtop, a used Golden Eagle is a steal...that's without mentioning the obvious comparisons to its Gibson counterpart, which to my mind aren't valid comparisons for an L5 couldn't be more different than a Golden Eagle in my experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe DeNisco
    The "2" on the back of the headstock is more common that you might think.
    There was some inside shenanigans going on and some allowances were made for this type of thing to happen (sorry, that's as far as I'll go with that explanation). You are right. Most of the time, there is absolutely no difference in the quality of "2" guitar and a guitar without the 2.
    If there is nothing wrong with the guitar, In the 2nd hand market, there should be little to no difference in the resale value.
    Credit should be given to the person who actually discloses the fact that a "2" exists on the back of a headstock. Some people and some dealers, don't even disclose such a thing. And the "2" is in some cases is very difficult to notice, if you are not actually looking for it.

    JD
    I hear you Joe. But, in my experience, any guitar with a "2nd" on the rear of the headstock will take a hit, and face greater scrutiny. If that weren't the fact I'd own one of the many Gibson ES175 CC's floating around for the past 2 years with "2nd's" on the read headstock. Apparently there were many of those that circulated from Gibson. I've seen some half dozen of them just this year alone. I've yet to see a single one sell.

    Fact is, if you have an option for a guitar with a 2 on the headstock vs. an archtop without, which are you going to buy? A reseller doesn't need the hassle of dealing with a 2 on the headstock, especially in this tough market. Buyers lowball sellers as it is...imagine how much less buyers want to offer with a 2nd. It's not worth the hassle from my perspective. But what do I know, I've only sold a few

  25. #99

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    Yes, the Dot 63 that I mentioned previously was an Epiphone Elitist, modeled after the Gibson 335. It is a heavier guitar, comparable to the Gibson model I played. I've never played the Heritage version, as I have come to appreciate more a full bodied archtop. I'll let you all know about my new acquisition. From what I've read, its a pretty light guitar and since I will be using it for jazz stuff, I prefer lighter strings, although acoustically they do not sound as full as heavier ones. Thanks for the kind words.

  26. #100

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    Quote Originally Posted by FredH
    So I just got back from Princeton Record Exchange where I scored a bunch of really inexpensive jazz CDs, from Coltrane to Johnny Smith. Right now, I am listening to JS work his wonders on Round Midnight and I am waiting from my own JS to be delivered. I am in hog heaven...
    Did it sound anything like this??