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  1. #1

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    I was recently looking at a 1988 heritage. Just curious if there is anything that should be concerning about heritage from that era (i.e. build quality, necks separating etc...)?thanks in advance

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  3. #2

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    Mine's a little older, but based on it I think you can be pretty confident this will be a high quality instrument.

    Someone else might confirm, but I do think some of the 80's necks were on the thin side, a sign of the times I suppose. Someone else would know better.

  4. #3

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    I've always found Heritage guitars to have thin necks and unesthesticaly pleasing. Although there a couple of exceptions. But it really is a personal choice in what appeals to you. Also some the pickups and hardware(Schaller) were quite strange to me as well.
    If you like Norlin Era Gibson's you will probably like them.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by jads57
    I've always found Heritage guitars to have thin necks and unesthesticaly pleasing. Although there a couple of exceptions. But it really is a personal choice in what appeals to you. Also some the pickups and hardware(Schaller) were quite strange to me as well.
    If you like Norlin Era Gibson's you will probably like them.
    There's Heritage's out there with all types of neck profiles, so if you can get pics that'd be helpful. But I do think the "regular" profile in the 80's was slim.

    The neck on my 575 is a "hand filling" C, definitely not thin (but not as fat as my tele either)

    As for not aesthetically pleasing, I suppose you can't please everyone...

    1988 Heritage H-575-fb_img_1582225112890-jpg

  6. #5
    nice looking guitar. the one I was looking at is currently listed on ebay. I would attach a link but I am at work and can not access that website from work.but ? its the only 1988 on there.thanks

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by wiscart1900
    nice looking guitar. the one I was looking at is currently listed on ebay. I would attach a link but I am at work and can not access that website from work.but ? its the only 1988 on there.thanks
    Just searched for it. Dang, that's an absolute beauty. I dig the split parallelograms too...don't see that much. Leads me to believe this guitar was built for somebody, as opposed to being a stock model. So the neck might not necessarily be a standard profile...I'd ask the seller what's up.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by wiscart1900
    I was recently looking at a 1988 heritage. Just curious if there is anything that should be concerning about heritage from that era (i.e. build quality, necks separating etc...)?thanks in advance
    Heritage guitars are handmade by very experienced luthiers. That said, they typically were made to a high standard, but the original founders had their ideas of design, aesthetics, hardware and function. Most of the guitars are based loosely on Gibson products. Also, Heritage did a LOT of custom builds, making almost each guitar unique. The cost of upgrades or custom features was a bargain compared to today.

    To your point about concerns about build quality, neck issues, etc., Heritage guitars seem to hold up very well over time. That said, you would be wise to carefully inspect any used guitar before purchasing, since its life after leaving the factory is an unknown factor. A perfectly built guitar that is subjected to wide variances in temperature, moisture, abuse, or lack of care, will undoubtedly have issues.

  9. #8

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    the one I have (1995) had an issue with the tailpiece: was not exactly in the middle of the bout (around 1 cm on the left)
    I could see pictures of one or two having the same problem, just be careful,
    the neck is the better I ever had (not so long hands)
    question: what is the specifity of the Schallers (on mine too), not fitted for jazz?
    cheers

    Envoyé de mon SM-A520F en utilisant Tapatalk

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by tootZ
    the one I have (1995) had an issue with the tailpiece: was not exactly in the middle of the bout (around 1 cm on the left)
    I could see pictures of one or two having the same problem, just be careful,
    the neck is the better I ever had (not so long hands)
    question: what is the specifity of the Schallers (on mine too), not fitted for jazz?
    cheers

    Envoyé de mon SM-A520F en utilisant Tapatalk
    I think the Schallers are great...I've never heard anybody complain about my sound.

  11. #10

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    Dare I suggest, at that price I'd buy an ES175. Oh wait, I did...

  12. #11
    I think in many respects you are probably right, I just have always found the size of the 575 to be very comfortable. Less deep body, 24.75 neck.

  13. #12

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    Best thing about them is they share a lot with Gibson guitars, great feedback resistance, stage guitars really. My favorite fretboard scale also. There 's a used left handed one for sale where i live at a great price... but i have two solid wood carved top archtops already and really i should get me a laminated, 175 type one...

  14. #13
    what I should also ask seeing as that Gibson 175 discussion came up ? what is a fair price for these. I see on reverb prices all over the board from 1300 to 4000. I know condition varies in guitars but it seems like many of these are pretty similar builds. I don't see a "vintage" heritage adding much value to these guitars like it would other brands potentially

  15. #14

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    From strictly a utilitarian point of view I concur with most of the above opinions. But I generally disliked many of the Norlin era Gibson's produced as well. I do stand by the thin neck description or at least med /slim no shoulder assessment.

    For me these guys are definitely capable of producing some fine instruments, but they seem to lack the feel and looks of the better Gibson's.
    On the other hand Bob Benedetto has improved many of Gibson's designs .Especially the ES-175. in the Bambino guitar!

  16. #15

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    Because Heritage was (and still is) willing to accommodate customer requests for custom features, it is pointless to comment on Heritage guitars without having detailed specs or handling the instruments.

    I played many of them over the years and didn't like their necks (mostly too small for me), until I found one quite by accident that I did like, and grabbed it. I found another that I thought I'd like based on available information, and I grabbed it, knowing that I could always return it if it was not "as advertised" - it is a great guitar.

    I have found a few others I liked, but my grabbing days are mostly behind me. The ones I have are as good as or better than any comparable Gibsons that I have played, and I have played a lot of Gibson archtops over the past 45 years.

    As far as neck dimensions go - just ask the seller for measurements as well as a description of the neck profile or shape. If you don't know how to interpret that information, just ask here. Plenty of members can talk you through it.

    I've posted these before, but....pix!

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by jads57
    From strictly a utilitarian point of view I concur with most of the above opinions. But I generally disliked many of the Norlin era Gibson's produced as well. I do stand by the thin neck description or at least med /slim no shoulder assessment.

    For me these guys are definitely capable of producing some fine instruments, but they seem to lack the feel and looks of the better Gibson's.
    On the other hand Bob Benedetto has improved many of Gibson's designs .Especially the ES-175. in the Bambino guitar!
    Heritage's version of the ES175 (H575) was updated and upgraded to a similar-sized archtop, but with solid top/back/rims...and as many custom options as the customer could afford.

    These two 575's have medium neck profiles as well as numerous custom upgrades. I found them wandering in the wild used guitar market, asked a few questions and could not be happier with the purchases.



    This H535 Custom has a very thick D shaped neck profile, Ebony board and custom finish...


    This H525 Custom was a special order (by me) to have a "Fat 59" neck profile and a bunch of other custom options. It was personally hand built by Marv Lamb to my specs.


    Here's Marv, one of the oldest former Gibson employees, who survived the Norlin years and later became one of the founding owners of Heritage Guitars. They could and still can build whatever the customer requests, albeit for much more money than in the early days of the company. So, feel free to call them and ask about custom upgrades and more.


    Also, if searching for an older Heritage, simply ask the current owner about its features. There's a good chance there were a few customer requests fulfilled by the old Gibson and 'Norlin' era builders at 225 Parsons St., Kalamazoo, MI.
    Last edited by Gitfiddler; 02-21-2020 at 12:21 AM.

  18. #17

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    I also owned a few as wel from H 535,Roy Clark, Millenium, H 550. So I'm not unfamiliar with them Played many Golden Eagles and a couple Sweet 16's and Super Eagles as well.
    Again they are capable of doing good work, but just didn't bond with them for the reasons I mentioned before. Also not all Gibson's were great either,but there's a certain feel and aesthetic design that appeal to my taste and playing.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammertone
    Because Heritage was (and still is) willing to accommodate customer requests for custom features, it is pointless to comment on Heritage guitars without having detailed specs or handling the instruments.

    I played many of them over the years and didn't like their necks (mostly too small for me), until I found one quite by accident that I did like, and grabbed it. I found another that I thought I'd like based on available information, and I grabbed it, knowing that I could always return it if it was not "as advertised" - it is a great guitar.

    I have found a few others I liked, but my grabbing days are mostly behind me. The ones I have are as good as or better than any comparable Gibsons that I have played, and I have played a lot of Gibson archtops over the past 45 years.

    As far as neck dimensions go - just ask the seller for measurements as well as a description of the neck profile or shape. If you don't know how to interpret that information, just ask here. Plenty of members can talk you through it.

    I've posted these before, but....pix!
    Wow, that blonde is spectacular! Is that a spruce top and not maple? I typically do not like the natural finish on maple but that guitar is a beauty.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Betz
    Wow, that blonde is spectacular! Is that a spruce top and not maple? I typically do not like the natural finish on maple but that guitar is a beauty.
    Standard wood use by Heritage:
    1 - Super Eagle - Spruce top | maple rims, back, neck | ebony board
    2 - Super Patrick - Spruce top | maple rims, back, neck | ebony board