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  1. #1

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    There are two used Heritage Eagle Classics listed at a big-box online retailers website, one in transparent blue with a floating pickup and pickguard mounted controls (I'm still waiting for pictures regarding the other one)

    I am currently in the market for an archtop to be used as an acoustic and have been considering a Loar, but these Heritage guitars have got me interested.

    Who can tell me more about the Eagle Classic model?
    How would it sound played purely acoustically?
    Is $1495 a good price, seems to have them listed much higher

    Thanks in advance!


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  3. #2
    If you plan on playing it mostly acoustic and like the blue finish (I do), that Blue Classic will do you well. Normally, the Eagle Classic has two mounted humbuckers (think L5-CES). I am partial to Heritage guitars and may be biased (like my amps), but I think that is a great price for a unique guitar. I have sold two eagle classics with 2 humbuckers over the past few years and got between 1800 and 1900 between shipping fees, paypal fees, etc. if that helps.

    I also like blue which is uncommon however, Heritage seems to make it work quite well for an archtop. I don't think you will find them very often under 1500.

    As long as the retailer has a return policy, I don't think you can go wrong. Good luck

  4. #3
    Here's a photo the employee sent, Its the standard 45 day return policy

    i am waiting for the other store to email me pictures of their Eagle Classic, which is almond sunburst before I make any decisions
    Attached Images Attached Images Good Price for a Used Heritage Eagle Classic?-image-jpg 

  5. #4
    both of mine were almond sunburst and gorgeous finishes. you have a good problem/good decision to make.

    Don't see too many eagle classics with floaters and based on your description (acoustic), I see a blue guitar in your future

  6. #5

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    A. Heritage are probably the most underrated, unknown, high quality, fairly priced gits around.

    B. Blue is THE Bomb!

    I thought Heritage were sold through a sort of limited network of dealers, I have never seen one new in a LGS.

  7. #6
    Here are some more photos of this Eagle Classic

    im trying to find out a bit more about it, the back seems very plain vs the much more flamey backs on other Eagles I have seen, is it possibly an all Mahogany model? Also the very plain inlays on the fingerboard (is this a sign of it being an Eagle Classic?)
    i was told it was a 1997

    im assuming that this is all solid wood/carved?

    the dimensions are the standard 17"x3", 25.5" scale
    Attached Images Attached Images Good Price for a Used Heritage Eagle Classic?-image-jpg Good Price for a Used Heritage Eagle Classic?-image-jpg Good Price for a Used Heritage Eagle Classic?-image-jpg 

  8. #7

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    Correct on "solid wood carved."

    The "O" makes it a 1998 year guitar

    It does appear more like a Mahogany I've previously owned, except for the tuners. Since the tuners and tailpiece don't match I'm assuming the tuners were an aftermarket install.

    Still, a solid guitar at a decent buy. I'd stay away from the blue if you're not all in on it, as it will be more of a challenge to sell should you not bond with the guitar.

  9. #8

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    Both at Guitar Center so the 45 days return should be no problem. The guitar definitely shows some where, which has the price making sense. I have seen the blue guitar for sale recently... eBay, Reverb,... I don't recall. At least it looks like the same guitar. Doesn't mean anything negative, rather the seller likely traded the guitar. That stated, blue guitars are harder to sell. Just something to consider if resale is in your future.

    Good luck with your decision.

  10. #9

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    Have you offered $1350 yet? No reason not to. As folks have mention blue could make it harder to sell; don't think they don't know that too - try to use that to your advantage. Blue would not make it harder to sell to me though.

  11. #10
    I'm still waiting for the pictures of the other sunburst one before I make a decision

    also trying to decide on this VS Loar LH700

  12. #11

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    Lol, as a person who's owned a Loar and owns a Heritage, you're choosing between a cheeseburger and a dry aged ribeye.

    Mind you, a cheeseburger hits the spot if you want a cheeseburger.

    But seriously, Heritage...steps and steps above.

  13. #12
    From reading posts on the forum I knew you had owned an LH600, It was actually some of your posts that steered me towards the LH700 (and hoping to further avoid quality issues).
    Which Heritage model do you have now, and how would you say it compares to the Loar acoustically ?

  14. #13

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    I wouldn't really compare them, they are different guitars with different purposes, for me. I have a H-575, which is an electric guitar.

    I'm just talking in overall quality, workmanship, materials. The Heritage's are on par with just about anything in the world. The Loars are not bad guitars, just not in the same league.

  15. #14

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    Completely agree. Don't compare an LH700 to a 575. Totally different guitars with completely different voices. If you do 4 to the bar the LH700 will smoke a 575. You've already seen youtube videos of the LH700 I'm sure. Acoustically the '700 has a superior voice to the 575. As it should for it's depth is 3 3/8" vs. 2.75" for the 575.

    Having owned a 575 and LH650 my choice would be for the LH700, because I enjoy acoustic playing. If I'm into an electric archtop mainly I'd select a 575 with a humbucker.

    You can do anything you want with the LH700, but you'll likely need to fine tune the guitar to your taste...meaning dialing the guitar in via a pro setup, and adding a pickup. Good luck!

  16. #15
    I was actually comparing to an Eagle classic with a floater not a 575, I was thinking that the 17x3 body and no pickup routed in would give it a nicer acoustic voice than the Loar

  17. #16
    I bit the bullet on this one, they helped offset the shipping cost, threw on a set of .013 flatwounds for me and said it should ship out tomorrow

    i am excited and hoping that this cures the itch for an acoustic archtop
    worst case, I have 45 days to return it for my money back
    Attached Images Attached Images Good Price for a Used Heritage Eagle Classic?-image-jpg Good Price for a Used Heritage Eagle Classic?-image-jpg Good Price for a Used Heritage Eagle Classic?-image-jpg Good Price for a Used Heritage Eagle Classic?-image-jpg 

  18. #17

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    You're gonna put flatwounds on a guitar you want to be an acoustic archtop?

  19. #18
    Damn! I just told them to put them on out of habit ! I completely spaced

    What at stribgs would you recommend?

  20. #19

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    Great find ! No bling, but much of class ! And for what seems to be a fair price.

    As for the strings, it depends on the use you'll make of this guitar. When you mean acoustic, is it just for home practicing alone, or will you consider gigging ? Take the time to try different kind of strings to find the right match between the guitar, the strings and you.

    Happy NGD !

  21. #20

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    That is indeed a heritage eagle classic, spruce top, mahogany back and sides, and neck, with a floating pickup. Heritage denotes the "eagle" as a model, which can have a floating pickup, a neck pickup, or two pickups. You can have it built any way you wish. The next step up would be the golden eagle, with the same body size specs, but fancier bling. The super eagle moves up into the 18" body size. They ran a decent amount of the spruce topped mahogany back and sides the last 15 years. Yours will sound amazing and a top notch buy for $1495. Seriously, try all kinds of strings-rounds, flats, different sizes and makes. Everyone has a different experience. Some of the top builders will tell you to put acoustic bronze strings on an archtop and mic it. You will find a set that works well with your ears, amp, guitar.

  22. #21
    Just curious, what effect on tone the mahogany back and sides have vs maple
    also, are the sides and back laminated or all solid wood on these

  23. #22

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    However, I've never once seen a "Heritage Classic" with simple beige binding, dot inlays, rosewood fretboard, and unbound pick guard. However, most Heritage Mahogany's appear like this guitar, save for the gold pickguard and tuners. Find me another "Heritage Classic" with simple beige binding and an unbound pickguard and I'd have to reconsider. Generally, The Heritage Classic is only one step down from a Golden Eagle, featuring most the extra trim a GE has save for 7 ply top binding. This guitar, if it's a Classic, is the most scaled down base model looking "classic" I've ever seen. If I was buying this guitar I'd have to authenticate it's "classicness" via Heritage. Because to me it appears like a base model Mahogany Eagle with a spruce rather than a Mahogany top. It's nearly identical to the base model Mahogany I owned years ago. And definitely looks nothing like the Classic Jack Zucker sold here on the forum weeks ago.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by tfling
    Just curious, what effect on tone the mahogany back and sides have vs maple
    also, are the sides and back laminated or all solid wood on these
    To the best of my knowledge Heritage does not make a "laminated" seventeen inch archtop outside of the H550 model, and every one of those has inset humbucker pickups, and not floating pickups.

    The guitars in both photos project solid wood guitars.

  25. #24

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    Maple tends to be brighter and tighter, mahogany tends to be warm and full with a definite woody tone. Like a nice mahogany flat top the tone can be very complex with on old time woody vibe. My favorite combination for a flat top, would love to get a 'hog & spruce archtop.

    your guitar is from 1994, mahogany and spruce Eagles were more common in the 90's, I believe it was a standard model at the time. Check the label when it arrives, might be an "Eagle" and not an "Eagle Classic".
    Last edited by MaxTwang; 10-27-2016 at 01:10 AM.

  26. #25

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    It will sound amazing! The spruce and the mahogany are a killer combo.

  27. #26

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    Look on reverb--there is a heritage eagle classic--single bound body--a few differences. About $3200. Upgraded block inlays. Set neck humbucker.. I won't pretend to be an expert about anything, however, I can assure you one thing after more than 20 years of visiting and buying directly from the boys in kazoo--the only consistency about the old heritage company was inconsistency. It was not uncommon to ask Jim, Marv, name to the employee, a question and you were almost certain to get different answers to the same question on the same day. Compound this with various custom shop options, customer requests, and let the fun begin. The core of this thread is the buyer is getting a eagle level instrument. Spruce top, mohagany elsewhere at a fair price. It may or may not have a label tagged eagle or eagle classic on the sticker. Regardless, it is the exact same guitar at heart--same jigs, same machines, different levels of bling. Two options for you--go visit kazoo and heritage. Talk to the old boys. Or, call Jay or Graham. Be it a blessing or curse you can order a heritage any way you like and have the accompanying sticker. One thing I have learned is to take internet experts at face value. I can recall a great debate a few years ago about heritage guitars and tap tuning. A few experts swore heritage never labeled their guitars tap tuned. Well, I have three with those labels. They also swore Aaron did the tuning. In the early days he did. Pete farmer took that over years ago. The reason I know is that I did face to face deals with those people and worked with them directly. In the end, it really doesn't matter though, right? It just adds to the fun.

  28. #27

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    If you're getting that second Eagle (the brown one) from GC Towson Md location, I spent some time with it a couple of weeks ago. It sounded wonderful, to me but I seem to remember the neck looking kind of funny (dip) when I sighted down it on the treble side. I think this is the same guitar in the photo shown here, but I could be wrong. There is something about the spruce top/ mahogany body and neck combination that sounds wonderful to my ear. I have the 575 mahog/spruce 4pt HRW. I like that guitar more than the Gibson Johnny Smith I owned for 25yrs.

  29. #28

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    Yes, look on Reverb -

    Heritage Eagle 2002 Amber Burst | Gear Depot | Reverb

    Note the true Heritage Eagle Classic with white binding, bound pickguard, etc. Note that the Classic's overall finish, outside of multiple binding on the headstock, fretboard, body, and pickguard, very closely resemble a Heritage Golden Eagle. Note how the OP's photos don't resemble a "Classic." Notice the difference in the presentation of the guitar. Heritage "Classics" I've seen over the years never feature the lesser beige binding. However, the lesser stripped down Eagle generally always possess this beige binding, and an unbound pickguard as featured in this thread.

    All Heritage fans know that Heritage made guitars to a customers liking. But that does not mean a stripped down Eagle qualifies as a Classic. It's likely the dealer selling this archtop came up with the idea to call the guitar in question a "Classic." If I sold that guitar I'd call it a Heritage Eagle.

    We simply disagree as to what constitutes a Heritage Eagle Classic. And that is okay

  30. #29

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    Sounds like a truss rod adjustment might be in order. Only tighten a 1/4 turn at a time and wait at least overnight before making more changes. I wait a couple days myself.

  31. #30

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    Could be a truss rod, hard to say without seeing it up close. If it is, I tend to use a quarter turn only if the neck really needs a lot of adjustment. Otherwise I only turn maybe 10 degrees or so at a time, often less. It takes awhile sometimes, but I feel it's worth it. If the truss rod is old, it's perhaps rusty, and can snap unexpectedly, or maybe just crush the wood or pop some glue. It might just be me, but I'm pretty cautious with adjustments. I speak from experience when I say replacing a truss rod is a real pain in the posterior, as well as the pocketbook.

  32. #31

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    You're right, we should say if you don't know what you're doing take it to your tech. I am my own tech so I get those jobs anyway.Not hard on the pocket book but sometimes a pain in the potentiometer. Going slow is excellent advice.

  33. #32

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    Curious how this played out for the OP - did the guitar arrive and are you bonding?

  34. #33
    I have been meaning to write this long winded post for about a week now, but am just now finding the time. First, a group shot - Eastman AR371CE with a Gibson 57 Classic installed, Heritage Eagle, and Loar LH-700
    (Spoiler alert: the Eastman has the best fretwork, and is the easiest to play out of the 3)
    Good Price for a Used Heritage Eagle Classic?-img_5981-jpg

    The Loar arrived first - The uncomfortable (to me) strong V-shape neck was not as pronounced on this one, the case was high quality, the finish was good - except for the always unfinished spot under the cantilever of the fingerboard. The woods are apparently AAA quality, and although the top was very plain, there was some mild flame on the back and the neck. It was strung up with some (assuming) .012 80/20s. The sound was deep, and very round and fat, and had a satisfying bark when strummed hard, the natural reverb inside the body was amazing, a very lively guitar, that was mellow enough to be used for chord melody and fireside strumming. Judging by the serial number, I believe it was produced in November of 2006
    Good Price for a Used Heritage Eagle Classic?-img_5970-jpgGood Price for a Used Heritage Eagle Classic?-img_5968-jpgGood Price for a Used Heritage Eagle Classic?-img_5969-jpg

    The next morning the Heritage arrived - I should preface this by saying that I have always wanted a big cutaway acoustic archtop after seeing the covers of old Johnny Smith albums. After digging the guitar case out of ~25lbs of packing peanuts, I opened the case and decided to plug in. I had GC install .013 chromes on the guitar prior to shipment, and as an electric guitar -it was fantastic! It completely changed my opinion on floating pickups, and was easily the fattest sound I have ever gotten out of my old Polytone. It made my Eastman sound like a toy - But...I was looking for a purely acoustic guitar, so I put on a set of 80/20s so that I could adequately compare it to the LH-700. The top is spruce, back sides, and neck appear to be mahogany - I believe that it was built in 1994, the label inside lists the model as Eagle ASB. As a purely acoustic guitar, the Heritage had a very quiet, almost nasal voice. Louder than my Eastman, but nowhere close to the body of the Loar, and not loud enough to be used as an acoustic living room guitar. I also found the 3" depth uncomfortable - I would have preferred the 3 3/8" that Gibson uses (good information to have for the future though)
    Good Price for a Used Heritage Eagle Classic?-img_5972-jpgGood Price for a Used Heritage Eagle Classic?-img_5985-jpgGood Price for a Used Heritage Eagle Classic?-img_5986-jpg

    I thought that the choice was pretty clear, I wanted to love the Heritage, but wished it was deeper, and maybe bigger (Super Eagle?) and had a better acoustic voice, the Loar had finish issues which bothered me, and a plastic strap pin, which I found a bit cheesy on a $1500 guitar, but the real downfall was the neck angle - This Loar didn't really have one, the bridge was screwed down all the way, and the action was still on the high side. I only paid $1079, but I was fundamentally against paying for a neck reset on a brand new (restock) guitar, so at the end of the week, the Loar shipped back to Musiciansfriend , and the Heritage back to GuitarCenter.
    Good Price for a Used Heritage Eagle Classic?-img_5984-jpgGood Price for a Used Heritage Eagle Classic?-img_5983-jpgGood Price for a Used Heritage Eagle Classic?-img_6013-jpg

    I really loved the voice of the LH-700, and am hoping that they have improved their neck angle consistency a bit since this one was made (2006 I believe). I am debating trying another one in the future, as it seemed like a good fit. Sorry for the novel and the crappy iPhone pictures - I'm off to continue the hunt for my next archtop!
    Last edited by tfling; 11-11-2016 at 12:04 AM.

  35. #34
    When I shopped for/bought these before, I could easily find many examples (even at Guitarcenter used) for ~$1400-1800

    now I can’t seem to find any of the plain Eagle, or Eagle Classics

    I’m thinking about selling a ‘55 ES-125 and a ‘49 Epiphone Zenith to fund one

    has there been more demand for these lower models recently, or possibly just pandemic related not as many people selling?

  36. #35

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    I found my Super Eagle about a year ago and at the time there were about 5 or 6 for sale on Reverb and by a few dealers - by fall 2019 all were gone and only a couple of very high-priced specimen remain, to this day. Not too many of these guitars are built to begin with and for my part I don't plan a re-sale any time soon. The pandemic has nothing to do with it - yet - but I suspect come the fall and winter 2020/2021 we'll see a lot more good guitars on the market, when musicians need to generate some $$/€€ to compensate for the loss in income ....

    About 2 months ago there was an all-mahogany Eagle on ebay for about € 1500.00 , an absolute steal .... be patient and keep a steady lookout, something will pop up.

  37. #36

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    These Heritage guitars have all increased in value. That Eagle you observed at $1800 is now over $3000. People are sitting on them because Heritage is no longer producing them. Make sense?

  38. #37

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    Exactly the same metric is happening with Gibson archtops.

    Absence makes the heart grow fond.

  39. #38

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    It seems like the prices are going up even for the models that are still being made. I noticed used H-535 prices are up. Thinking I might sell mine under the circumstances.

  40. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bornot2bop
    These Heritage guitars have all increased in value. That Eagle you observed at $1800 is now over $3000. People are sitting on them because Heritage is no longer producing them. Make sense?
    For 'only' $4,299 and up, Heritage will gladly make you a brand new Eagle Classic. MUCH more if you want any added bling. :-)

    Eagle Classic - Hollow Body Guitar | Heritage Guitars

  41. #40

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    There's "1" Eagle at guitar center. Looks like a Mahogany model with dual hum buckers, and a rosewood fretboard. You could bring it in to your guitar center and it won't cost you anything to give it a try. I'm thinking $1700 would buy it. That's it.

  42. #41

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    Damn glad I bought my Heritage back in 2012.

  43. #42

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    All archtop prices are skyrocketing. Very hard to find anything decent now under $5K. Even a good used 175 is mid 3's.

  44. #43

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    Here in Italy on the largest local musical instruments marketplace just one for sale for 3.600€:

    HERITAGE EAGLE CLASSIC - #6571759 - su Mercatino Musicale in Chitarre Semiacustiche

    As a side note, a good number of sellers are adding a note of the kind "selling for necessity"... Sad times.

  45. #44

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    I dunno .. Now isn't really the time for buying used guitars. In my part of the world the used market has almost died in these pandemic times. I'm would say the number of guitars going up for sale daily is under half of what it normally is .. at least in my part of the woods

    Still at some point given how times are people will be needing money and deals will be had. I "need" a nice CS Tele

  46. #45

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    Or possibly people realize what great guitars they are and thus are holding on to them.

  47. #46

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    Where are all the used Heritage Eagles? Scooped up by discerning archtop lovers, of course!