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  1. #1

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    This is the famous Guitar owned by Don Dean. Don had a collection of over 200 high end guitars. Many Super 400’s, Merles guitars, Chets Guitars.. But when he passed away, this was the last guitar he had. Under his bed, in the case. I hope when I am sleeping, Don sneaks the guitar up to heaven so he can awe his friends with it once with it. Don, I will leave the hanging wall display case unlocked for you buddy..

    Heritage 18" Johnny Smith-img_4030-jpg
    Heritage 18" Johnny Smith-img_4040-jpgHeritage 18" Johnny Smith-img_4039-jpgHeritage 18" Johnny Smith-img_4044-jpgHeritage 18" Johnny Smith-img_4031-jpg

    I’ve been blessed to have made friends with some really extraordinary people on this site. There are people who look after my sorry ass. I am not much of hunter, and even less of a bargainer. Our resident Heritage guru MartyGrass, helped me with the purchase of all my HJS’s. He remembered my hankering for an HJS with a rose on the pickguard (yeah, I know who can forget). Mint condition HJS’s are rare. Finding one with a Rose inlay in the Pickguard is even more improbable. It was a very expensive option on this guitar so not many were made. MG called me one night and said there is a beautiful sunburst HJS with no Rose on the Ohio Craigslist. He suggested I consider it. I did and I bought it the same day. That guitar is GREAT. Well, a day after I bought the sunburst HJS, Martygrass found this guitar. He made a trip down to Kentucky and came home with it, for me! He didn’t expect me to pull the trigger on the sunburst so quickly. He eventually sold the guitar to our beloved Big Mike. Big Mike is a wonderful and unique guy. He should be called GentleMikeofChi. Mike is one of the kindest gentleman I’ve ever met. I find so much enjoyment watching him fulfill his bucket list dreams. Just like he makes sure that homeless animals don’t get discarded, he made sure I got this guitar. He is a gem. Black Opal from Mintabie. He will know what I mean.. And he has had numerous opportunities to move it on to other people. Nuf said. Thanks MartyGrass and Mikey.

    I received this beautiful guitar from Mikey in excellent condition. It was built in 1996 and kept in wonderful, original condition. My ungreatful ass stripped it of all the DNA passed onto it by other humans - with a deep polish and 2 coats of Virtuoso topped with a coat of Pure Carnuba. I used my old standby TI jazz swing 12’s and I am glad I did. I like the 12/50’s. I feel the reduced string tension puts less strain on the neck. My soft playing style favors the lighter strings too.
    A while back I spent a weekend with Patrick’s 18” Unity before I shipped it to Vinny. The 1st thing that jumped out at me was the way the notes “swirled” around the guitar when you played them. Each note was a chord and each chord was a symphony. The 18” HJS projects the same complex tones. It’s a high to midrangy guitar, and that’s with flatwounds on it. It’s a symphony, plain and simple. My GJS is a focused and responsive lead instrument in the symphony. Its output is clear and defined, just like Johnny’s playing. The 18” HJS is the entire symphony. If there was ever a guitar that qualified for a premium Barbera Transducer, it is this one. I will have to investigate that further.

    The intonation is spot on. The neck is true all over, with just the right amount of relief. It is a fast neck that is maybe an eyelashe deeper than my other HJS’s. Very close to my GJS in that respect. It takes low action well. The 18”x 3-3/8 body is surprisingly comfortable to play. Vinny pointed out its because the upper bout tapers down a little. This thing is LOUD! A new set of strings make loud, crisp sounds. My previous HJS’s turned TI’s into “thumpy”flatwounds rather quickly. I hope that doesn’t happen with this guitar. I like the brightness.
    As with anything new, its gonna take some time to learn this guitar. It will challenge my abilities and make me better. This guitar was not made for me, it was made for Don. But its gonna be an absolute thrill to get to know it.

    Here is a video of the Guitar. Pardon the noise from a grounding issue. Once I get that sorted out, I will delete this video and post many more.


    The quest will never end. But along the way, some great friendships that I’ve forged here gave me the opportunity to try some of the greatest guitars ever made. This one is right up there. And once again I have a label, hand signed by one of my heros right next to my heart. Thanks for looking.
    Joe D.

    Last edited by Max405; 09-15-2017 at 04:20 PM.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Just... exquisite.

  4. #3

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    I really hope this serves you well. You make this instrument sing beautifully.

    I noticed that there is good sustain on the high notes.

    This is a big ass guitar, the way the old school guys had them made. May it carry on forever.

  5. #4

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    BTW, your photography skills are superb.

  6. #5

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    One last thing. This is the only Heritage Johnny Smith built like this. The rose is different and bigger on the pickguard. The f hole has triple binding. It is 18" across- one of only two made that size. And it is the deepest one ever made.

  7. #6

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    I need a cigarette, and I have not smoked in almost 25 years.

    Congrats. May she inspire your playing for many years to come....

  8. #7

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    That is beautiful. Thanks for sharing the photos & story.

  9. #8

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    Great story, wonderful instrument, excellent playing, well done Joe.

  10. #9

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    Awwwright! Joe , you deserve this magnificent guitar, and you will do it justice. Congratulations, and play the dickens out of it in good health!

  11. #10

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    Joe,
    What a gorgeous guitar ! This forum certainly has an inner circle of terrific people as you noted.

    There is something special about the voice of an 18" guitar - and your version of "My Romance " certainly brings out the best of this instrument .

    Wishing you many hours of enjoyment - and Heritage 18" Johnny SmithHeritage 18" Johnny Smithto Mike and Marty.

  12. #11

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    I loved all the videos and JS guitars you have had the courtesy to demonstrate here / on Youtube but let me tell you that no other JS guitar has nailed the JS sound as much as this one does. And your playing is just wonderful, you do it so much justice! It's like hearing Johnny play, absolutely incredible. Please never let that one go. Congrats & enjoy this guitar in good health!

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    Just... exquisite.
    Graci!

    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Grass
    I really hope this serves you well. You make this instrument sing beautifully.
    I noticed that there is good sustain on the high notes.
    This is a big ass guitar, the way the old school guys had them made. May it carry on forever.
    It's well made and the neck is good for me. It's not as shallow as my other HJS's and the HDA. Don was a big guy. He makes the Tal he plays look like a Les Paul.. thanks MG.
    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Grass
    BTW, your photography skills are superb.
    Thank you buddy. Trying to match up to 2b and Archtop Heaven..
    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Grass
    One last thing. This is the only Heritage Johnny Smith built like this. The rose is different and bigger on the pickguard. The f hole has triple binding. It is 18" across- one of only two made that size. And it is the deepest one ever made.
    Thanks MG. And thanks for finding the little screws for the truss cover..
    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    I need a cigarette, and I have not smoked in almost 25 years.
    Congrats. May she inspire your playing for many years to come....
    SS, I gots me another 18! This one is a lot different than yours. Your top is thicker. Your neck is a hair shallower. We are both happy hombre's..
    No cigarettes! Go get a garden pizza with garlic, red onions, diced tomatos, basilico, olive oil, vinegar, salt pepper and oregano with a little mozzarella, no red sauce.. then get a bottle of Pinot Grigio. No cigarettes! Thanks Marco.
    Quote Originally Posted by M-ster
    That is beautiful. Thanks for sharing the photos & story.
    You got it buddy. Thanks.
    Quote Originally Posted by ESCC
    Great story, wonderful instrument, excellent playing, well done Joe.
    Thank you sir. The pleasure was all mine.

  14. #13

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    Joe, listen to what Drifter says.

    I'm not sure this is exactly the JS tone, but it is one of them. And even if others dispute that, it sounds great- not really good, not monster- truly great as in historic.

    I don't think your HJS sounds like your GJS. The HJS has more range in its tone. My point is that these guitars complement each other. It would be pointless if they were the same.

  15. #14

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    Thanks as always Joe.

    There's always a kind word from you and then there's the good stories too.

    There is much to be learned by paying attention to you.

    Then of course there's your playing, and here again is another wonderful example of how these instruments were meant to be played.

    Nice going Joe, and thanks again for your contributions here.

    Dennis

  16. #15

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    Thou shalt not lust after thy neighbor's guitar.

    guess I'm going to hell.

  17. #16

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    There's the HJS, then there's the: 18" HJS!!
    That guitar has tone as rich & smooth as melted French butter!
    A hearty congratulations to you!
    (I confess that I'm in love with 18" Heritage archtops). Your's sounds great!


  18. #17

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    Great to see you fell in love with it in person, you've been waxing poetic for the right HJS with a Rose for too long. It didn't seem right to me that I had what I was sure was the perfect foil to your GJS just sitting in my closet relatively unplayed. Glad it got there in one piece and that the romance is in full bloom...

    Big

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by TedBPhx
    Thou shalt not lust after thy neighbor's guitar.

    guess I'm going to hell.
    I'll meet you there!

  20. #19

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    Hope in Elizabeth, NJ

    "From the train
    it’s a city of roses
    and rose keepers,
    bald men in spectacles
    and torn shirts.
    There are miles of roses
    in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

    Backyard arbors
    shadowed by refineries
    and the turnpike,
    jungles of scrap,
    still brown water, and poisoned marsh.
    None of this matters
    to the rose keepers of Elizabeth.
    From the backyards of row houses
    they bring forth pink roses, yellow roses
    and around a house on its own
    green plot, a hedge of roses, in red and white.
    Surely faith and charity
    are fine, but the greatest of these
    is roses."

    And now...another Rose in NJ, none finer than yours bro! Congrats, you're already making some sweeet music with that rare 18" HJS!

  21. #20

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    WOW that axe has it all ! Gorgeous tone and looks.

    Mikey your heart is bigger than the Grand Canyon !

    Mark, Dick Tracy has nothing on you !

    Thank you both for taking care of our boy !

    Trust me behind that beautiful 18' maple back is another piece of wood.

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Grass
    One last thing. This is the only Heritage Johnny Smith built like this. The rose is different and bigger on the pickguard. The f hole has triple binding. It is 18" across- one of only two made that size. And it is the deepest one ever made.
    Cool guitar. Beyond the variation in inlay/plastic/tailpiece and (in this case) increased rim depth, what are the differences between this and an acoustic Super Eagle? Shorter scale & wider nut or is there something else?

  23. #22

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    The Abalone on that axe is beyond beautiful. Holy Moly.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by vinnyv1k
    Mikey your heart is bigger than the Grand Canyon!
    Joe, reminds me of Bill Evans playing a ballad - His playing too was all from the heart. Beauty personified!

  25. #24

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    Joe,

    Simply put--a wonderful marriage of guitar and guitarist. You make that guitar sound as it should. AND, it is a superb instrument.

    Heritage had it all going on with this guitar. Congratulations.

  26. #25

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    Joe,

    I hope you found the TI GB12 flats and the GB picks he sent me in the case pocket.