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  1. #151

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Archtop
    Sound? Terrific. All notes perfectly defined. Deeeeep basses and chiming high ends.
    Dynamics? A lot. That's usually the weak point of a solo performance.
    Sensitiveness? As much as in a Napolitan song.
    Technical skills? Plenty, and tastely used to serve your sensitiveness.
    Suit? Perfect match.
    Thanks buddy to share this with us.
    Have a wonderful Xmas.
    Freddie, Wow! Thank you sir! That was a great post to read first thing in the morning.
    The pleasure was all mine! Merry Christmas.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank67
    Oh man Joe, that sounded awesome! That totally made my day. Masterful, authoritative playing and what a huge, beautiful sound that guitar has, absolutely incredible! (Incidentally, my wife made a similar comment to Vinny’s :-))
    What do you find wrong with the pickup? It sounds really good to me - crisp, clear and balanced. Fixing the electronics did improve the sound of this already great sounding guitar (it was the exact same on my SE - pickup wrongly wired - sounded much better after my luthier fixed it. I hope these things have improved now at Heritage under the new ownership).
    Thank you Frank. Tell your wife that Santa Guiseppe will play for her anytime.
    The guitar has a wide range of sound. It’s at its best with a drop D. Johnny would approve.
    The broken stock Heritage pickup is operating as a single coil. The coil on the bridge side is dead. Already poorly shielded, now it picks up all types of interference in my signal chain. I think the majority of the tweety sound is generated by my computer. But this is my only guitar that picks up the sound.
    After speaking to Kent Armstrong he told me he has been trying to talk Heritage into using his pickups for years. No go. They think their solution is the best for them. Oh well.. what do we know..

    Quote Originally Posted by Bluedawg
    Very nice ...
    Can you recommend a good place to get a transcription of that and any other JS Christmas arrangements?
    I need to work up a few Christmas tunes myself
    Thanks Bluedawg.
    Ive been working on this song for 2 years. I learned it by ear. Along the way, I’ve been transcribing it into Excel as I learned it. I will make it into a pdf and post it here. Give me a day or so.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #152

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    Quote Originally Posted by 73Fender
    That was beautiful, thank you. What amp were you using?

    I love that Heritage too. I have a few including a 575 I bought 10 years ago hoping to get into more jazz. One day when the demands of life are less (career and kids etc etc) I hope to be lucky enough to do so. For now I noodle around a little when time permits and I'll start to visit here more, great site.

    I wasn't aware Joe's grave was in NJ, one day maybe a pilgrimage would be in order. I saw him once in a small room at Kean College during my short tenure as a music major there in 76 or so, incredible to say the least.
    Thank you. I am not using an amp. I go direct into my Zoom G3 and into my PC.
    One day I will try and mic my amp. I’ve wondered about that. But I still need an interface to covert the signal to digital, I’m afraid I will still need my G3.
    Yes Joe Is buried at the Resurrection Cemetary in Piscataway.
    This is the best site on the Internet. Lots of great people here.

  4. #153

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    Hey guys,
    So I set the Heritage aside for a day, just to give my other babies some love. I remembered I changed the strings on my Gibson JS about two weeks ago and haven’t played it since. She was overdue.
    All things being equal, new strings, same environment.. My luthier actually made the HJS easier to play. Not by much. And I thoroughly enjoy the Solidity if the GJS. With new strings, I hear that same swirling of sound in the body on the GJS. The 17” Gibson feels like a runner in my hands. I almost feel like breaking out some VanHalen on it.

    I am finding the diversity of having very different guitars at my side is very pleasing. I think I am appreciating it more now. I don’t find myself thinking about what I don’t have. Quite frankly, because I really don’t WANT anything else now. God, I am so fortunate to have these beautiful guitars and thank you for giving me the ability to play them.

    Thanks guys. Like always, being able to share my musings with my bro’s really enhances this whole experience for me.
    Thank you.

    Joe D

  5. #154

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    Irving Berlin must have imagined you playing that song when he wrote it. Your playing is faultless and serenely harmonious, the melody never gets buried by the arrangement.

    I love hearing you play. Buono Natale to you and yours.

    Tony D.

  6. #155

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    You won't find a cleaner, better sounding recording on all of youtube. 5 star stuff!!!

    What a blessing to experience the gift to play that expressively - The best holiday gift! The only disappointment was that the recording ended. You sound equally eloquent at fingerstyle - You should record more FS. Thank you for the early holiday cheer JD...what a blessing!!!

  7. #156

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bornot2bop
    You won't find a cleaner, better sounding recording on all of youtube. 5 star stuff!!!
    What a blessing to experience the gift to play that expressively - The best holiday gift! The only disappointment was that the recording ended. You sound equally eloquent at fingerstyle - You should record more FS. Thank you for the early holiday cheer JD...what a blessing!!!
    That was beautiful 2b.
    I remember I was afraid of the 18” body. You gave me a pep talk. You said, Joe you can handle it. I am glad I listened. I pulled my old dreadnaught out of its case tonight and played some Earl Klugh. After 10 minutes I put it away and reached for the ultimate acoustic guitar, the HJS18. What a difference. Really the ultimate guitar.
    Thanks for the wonderful words 2b.
    And thanks to everyone else here who so graciously commented so positively about my videos. Thanks boys.
    JD

  8. #157

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    Quote Originally Posted by 73Fender
    No amp eh? Wow I would have guessed old tube amp with reverb. I have no clue what a G3 is but it sounds good. Thanks again. Inspiring on several levels.
    Actually, I must come clean on something.
    I use this wonderful little Zoom G3 for nothing but recording. On previous videos, I only used the equalizer (No EQ adjustments - completely flat) and I bumped up the volume just to give my recording some good clean volume. But I noticed the "touch of Reverb" that I had turned on was not generating any reverb at all. So I clicked on the Fender Twin amp simulation. I reduced the gain down to virtually nothing because I didn't like the sound. So, for the 1st time, I actually did use amp simulation in my recording. Because of my settings, I don't think it alters the sound all that much. Just gives it more volume.
    You have a very good ear to be able to detect the presence of a tube amp lingering in the sound.
    Thanks, Joe D.

  9. #158

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    Well that settles it Joe, now you need to get a Twin Reverb. They even have a line out that sounds great direct into a board.

  10. #159

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    After playing the HJS18 for about 3 months straight, I played BooBoo last night. It actually took me a while to get use to it. It felt kinda clunky in fact. One thing is for certain. You really get use to the shorter scale and the neck profile on the JS's. I could not hit the stretchies with the Tal. But it didn't take too long and BooBoo was singing. The Tal is a really great electric Jazz guitar. Acoustically dead by comparison to the JS's.
    But the bottom line is, The HJS and GJS really have the perfect recipe for a guitar build - for me. Johnny had a good sense of what would work. His signature guitars are the easiest playing guitars I've ever tried. When he and McCarty put pencil to paper and designed his signature guitar, it wasn't just some bullshit cosmetic treatment. It was a meaningful design that achieved very tangible results.

    I'm done for now. I promise I will shut up about my precious guitars for a while. Thanks everyone. This is fun.

    Joe D

  11. #160

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max405
    After playing the HJS18 for about 3 months straight, I played BooBoo last night. It actually took me a while to get use to it. It felt kinda clunky in fact. One thing is for certain. You really get use to the shorter scale and the neck profile on the JS's. I could not hit the stretchies with the Tal. But it didn't take too long and BooBoo was singing. The Tal is a really great electric Jazz guitar. Acoustically dead by comparison to the JS's.
    But the bottom line is, The HJS and GJS really have the perfect recipe for a guitar build - for me. Johnny had a good sense of what would work. His signature guitars are the easiest playing guitars I've ever tried. When he and McCarty put pencil to paper and designed his signature guitar, it wasn't just some bullshit cosmetic treatment. It was a meaningful design that achieved very tangible results.

    I'm done for now. I promise I will shut up about my precious guitars for a while. Thanks everyone. This is fun.

    Joe D
    Why ever would you shut up about these glorious guitars? I see no need whatsoever to be silent in the presence of such majesty. Sometimes I set all my Gibsons (and Epiphone Elitist Broadway) out and just sit with them, amazed at the turn of fortune that brought them all into my life. It would be hard to justify that I "need" these, but this is what I choose instead of art, season tickets to sports events, expensive wines and spirits, and fast cars. My indulgence, and I love it.

    So do you, and your genuine respect for the instruments, the players, and the tradition they created for us is inspiring to me.

    So RAVE ON. Lots of crazies on this forum, you fit in perfectly!

  12. #161

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    Haha.
    Good one Lawson.
    I was just telling folks that I was gonna stop giving updates on every little thing I do.
    Its kind of important to me, but it might wear out some people.

    Thanks Buddy.
    Joe D

  13. #162

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max405
    Haha.
    Good one Lawson.
    I was just telling folks that I was gonna stop giving updates on every little thing I do.
    Its kind of important to me, but it might wear out some people.

    Thanks Buddy.
    Joe D
    They don't have to read what they don't want to read!

    We need a constant inflow of positive stuff to keep the forum on balance. We need to be reminded of the love we have for this music, for the players, and yes, for the instruments themselves.

    Yesterday I had all my 16" laminated archtops in one room, playing each one in turn. It was a delight. Did I "need" to do that? No. Was it absolutely awesome? Oh yeah.

    Heritage Johnny Smith-es1x5-family-jpg

  14. #163

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    Oh my god what a great picture!
    I LOVE THIS ONE!!!!!
    Heritage Johnny Smith-figures-jpg

  15. #164

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max405
    Oh my god what a great picture!
    I LOVE THIS ONE!!!!!
    Heritage Johnny Smith-figures-jpg
    That one's my recent CME acquisition. It's very nice. Here's another:
    Heritage Johnny Smith-es175-figured-1-jpg

  16. #165

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max405
    After playing the HJS18 for about 3 months straight, I played BooBoo last night. It actually took me a while to get use to it. It felt kinda clunky in fact. One thing is for certain. You really get use to the shorter scale and the neck profile on the JS's. I could not hit the stretchies with the Tal. But it didn't take too long and BooBoo was singing. The Tal is a really great electric Jazz guitar. Acoustically dead by comparison to the JS's.
    But the bottom line is, The HJS and GJS really have the perfect recipe for a guitar build - for me. Johnny had a good sense of what would work. His signature guitars are the easiest playing guitars I've ever tried. When he and McCarty put pencil to paper and designed his signature guitar, it wasn't just some bullshit cosmetic treatment. It was a meaningful design that achieved very tangible results.

    I'm done for now. I promise I will shut up about my precious guitars for a while. Thanks everyone. This is fun.

    Joe D
    Wise words Joe! It is so true - the HJS is really very different from any other Heritage (or Gibson) I have. It is not just a Golden Eagle with different cosmetics. It is a unique and highly functional design - such an acoustic canon - and what a pleasing tone combined with effortless playability. JS really knew how to design an absolutely fantastic guitar! I just spent a few hours with my HJS and I *love* it. Play your unique one in good health for a long time to come!

  17. #166

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    Joe D, you are absolutely correct in johnny smith having a strong involvement in the design of his "signature" guitars...he was very particular that things be done right..one of the reasons the deal with guild went sour...johnny wanted the top cut the way d'angelico used to do it...guild had their own way and refused to compromise..so johnny called the deal off...he was always looking for the best design and also the most consistent quality control...he'd sever his endorsement if he felt his standards werent being met..even years down the line


    he was a total guitar genius!!...in every aspect

    cheers

  18. #167

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    Love hearing about 'every little thing' and your guitars JD. You and a few others keep this part of the forum going. A few of us grew fond of the gear page because of the stories Patrick would tell...even the drama was fun. I'm sorry to say that this section of the forum hasn't been the same since his passing. But you and Vinny have kept this space going...without your continued input the gear section would be pretty dull...my .02

    Happy T-day to all!

  19. #168

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    I posted a few months ago that I received Jay Wolfe's personal Heritage Johnny Smith. It arrived with the floating pickup broken due to it detaching during shipment and shearing the wires.

    This has been a bit of a saga. I replaced the Heritage pickup with another one, but that one only had one functioning coil.

    The guy who now makes Heritage's floating pickups works out of his basement. He is an excellent luthier and a skilled pickup builder. He made for me what Heritage now uses as a floater, and it is called a "Tone Bar". This is usually a fairly low output humbucker. He told me to try it and let him know what I thought. He promised to make changes until I got what I wanted.

    I brought it back to him after playing it a few days. It seemed too bright for me.

    We spent over an hour with him taping on similar pickups with different inductance and resistance. We taped them to the top of the Johnny Smith and to the top of his 1953 ES-175 with a single pickup P-90. All of them were good. The last thing I tried was simply playing the 175 with its old P-90. That was the sound I wanted. It really was the old Wes and Kenny sparkly tone.

    The pickup builder, Rob, is a very intelligent and creative sort. He's now making a P-90-like pup that fits the size of a floater. There is a space limitation that will affect magnet placement and size. He also thinks he'll need to use 43 gauge wire to get the resistance high enough. It should be ready in 10 days.

    I post this here because Joe may switch pups some day. Two of the finest floaters I've heard are the Kent Armstrong single coil and the RC 1100. The JS and BJB pups are superb also but they don't have that single coil shimmering.

    I start another thread when I have something to report.

  20. #169

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    MG,
    Priceless information MG. Wow. Nobody digs down like you do.
    I hope your guitar turns out the way you want it. I really appreciate the info that you shared. Once its done, I sincerely hope you hang on to it. This is my third HJS and I think I've finally grown up enough to actually be able to appreciate the guitar for what it is. My good man MedBlues knew exactly what he wanted to do with the 1st one I had. And he still has it and loves it. I think you and I need to live with one of these for a long while. Johnny didn't just slap his name on these guitars because he needed the cash. He had a hand in its development. And yours is the only one that he was actually photographed with. I absolutely know he would have loved the sound of the 18". He might not have been comfortable climbing on it to play it, but he would have loved the sounds that it made.

    One day when I do replace the pickup, I will go (oddly) in a very different direction. Because the 18" HJS is such a magnificent acoustic guitar that now plays better than any guitar I've ever owned, I might add a dark pickup to current enclosure (tell Kent Armstrong what I want and let him have at it..) and then add the Barbara Transducer to the bridge saddle. Then the guitar will give me 2 very different sounds in true stereo (2 amps). I think the sound would be incredibly unique and the guitar would not suffer from any invasive modifications, so its dynamics would not change. It will be a true orchestra. The shimmer of the Barbara will act like "strings" over a deep, throaty jazz guitar. I cant wait to try this. In due time..

    Thanks again MG. I look forward to your next thread about your terrific Johnny Smith.

    Joe D

  21. #170

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    I agree. The Kent Armstrong on the Super Patrick sounds just fine to me. I believe it's one of these:

    * WD Music Products - KENT ARMSTRONG® HANDWOUND P-90 RESIN CAST 6 POLE BLACK - BLACK

    "Hand wound by Kent Armstrong at his USA facility, these single coil P-90 tones are reminiscent of the golden era of archtops. The coil is tapped along the winding length to allow selecting from two different output signals. Resin casting allows for durability and a discreet clean appearance. This pickup attached to the underside of pickguard using string adhesive or two-part epoxy. Features include: Dual Alnico V magnets, effective string span of 2 inches ctr/ctr of the 6 Allen head polepiece screws. Output can be selected as 11K, or 7K by following the included diagram. Price $160.00"


  22. #171

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    Wasn't the McCarty pickguard setup a floating P 90?

  23. #172

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    Could not agree more. He's built quite a few different pickups and always has focused on the resulting sound, not the materials and layout.

    The pickup he's building for me will have pole magnets (barrels) that are flush with the top of the case. He'll wrap some coils with different wire (42 and 43 gauge) with different wraps. He can then tape the new pickup next to his old P-90 on the 175. He'll come as close as he can for that sound.

    What distinguishes this guy from other pickup makers is that he loves to experiment and it's a hobby to him, even though he's been doing this for 20 years. I very much enjoy spending time with him to learn how he alters the variables in pursuit of a sound.

    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    interesting!!!..not surprised tho...p90 is classic tone...but very dependent on it's design..its unusual!!..to try to match it with a floater is tough ie. hopeless (i think)...totally different dimensions!...you might get some tones, but not others...

    still any step forward is a good one

    just dont concentrate on the numbers...resistance figures mean little with different pickup designs...trust your ears!


    cheers

  24. #173

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    Kent wound his standard single coil floater for Patrick. Usually there is a bypass switch to drop the ohms. Patrick opted to not have that switch. The pickup sounds really special.

  25. #174

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    I'll add one more thing on pickups before we return to our regular programming.

    Heritage does not have a standard neck set. It's done by hand. The clearance between the strings and the top differs among the individual instruments. That creates challenges for the floating pickup builder.

    Heritage pickups are on the shallow side so they fit. Kent Armstrong used to, and probably still does, took the Heritage pickup and rebuilt it. That ensures the new pickup will fit. Kent is a wizard and get alter the magnets, design, the wraps, and the wire chosen to meet the goals of most players.

    His single coil floater is not a Heritage rebuild. It cleared Patrick's guitar just fine. It also has adjustable poles. I wouldn't change a thing, and I didn't.

    The pickup being built for me for my HJS will be different. The pole pieces are the magnets. The clearance is crucial because active pole pieces need to be a greater distance from the strings so as not to alter tuning or dampened string vibration. Once the magnets are fitted, he will experiment with bobbin windings.

    On a side note, he showed me how a metal back plate affects impedance a lot. This back plate is undesirable to me because of the brightness it causes. Gibson used this back plate on Firebirds to get that sound.

    I have a fundamental knowledge of electronics. Still, when I have had discussions with Kent Armstrong and my new buddy in Kalamazoo, I recognize my huge ignorance factor. Both of these guys told me to judge the results by the sound, not the specs. But they know how to use the specs to get into the right ballpark of tone. I remain in awe.
    Last edited by Marty Grass; 11-30-2017 at 01:18 PM.

  26. #175

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    I spoke to Ken Armstrong week before last. During our phone call he stated he still rebuilds Heritage floating pups.