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  1. #1

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    hello everyone - I've been in this non-posting state for ages. I've had this guitar for a year now and I thought I'd stop sulking and tell you all about it. I've been practicing very heavily on it for ages - through lockdown, so all honeymoon issues are way behind me.

    (I can't upload any pictures - help?)

    I've played many many archtops - mainstream jazz, small usually drummer-less groups.

    what archtops have I used?

    175 type:
    modern 175
    re-issue 175 (59 VOS)
    re-issue 175 (54 VOS)
    es 135 1956 (keeper)
    jim hall Sadowsky x 2
    es 150 (not a 175 type really but - its laminated)

    Ibanez gb10

    boutique type:
    Andersen - little electric Archie; streamline; model 17
    commins classic
    campelone - standard 17'' thin line; standard 16''

    L5 type:
    new L5CES

    Apart from the '56 es 135 I have, the brand new Heritage Eagle Classic seems to me to be obviously better than all of these.

    'obviously better'?

    Sound: lush, fat, thick, round - best high register melody notes (thickest, least abrasive and metallic sounding): it's not just the sound - it's the fact that I can play lush chords from the bottom of the register all the way up without anything booming or feeding-back or being muddy. The balance from low to high - and the absence of boom/mud is phenomenal. much more reluctant to feedback than I'm used to: sounds great at lower volumes - works in small rooms at medium volumes without feedback.

    - balance low register to high register (nothing too loud or dominating in either register across the range - and voices balance in chords up and down the neck)
    - balance brightness and richness of tone - its silvery and bright enough for clarity and woody and rich enough for smoothness


    Feel: best neck ever by a million miles. I'm now converted to the 25.5'' scale length - but the whole neck geometry - the string spacing - the action - the fretwork - the feel of the neck itself, is better than anything I've had before. I suspect the fretwork is maybe the most important thing.

    look: best sunburst. fabulous maple on rims - lovely top; average plus back.

    pickups - these Seth lover PAFs seem obviously better to me than the gibson pickups on my new L5 CES. (which I no longer have)

    small details:

    best pick guard I've ever had (better than Andersen's!) - more solid feel - perfect materials.
    headstock: easier to play F chords because headstock shoulders are better shape (I'm not having THAT conversation). greater weight of headstock feels better; greater angle feels better too.

    3'' rims - seem way better to me than 3 3/8'': easier to sit with for hours; less boomy bass.

    sunburst heaven

    better ornamentation than L5. what!? - yes - better, because less showy. the wood and the sunburst mean the guitar is more impressive to look at than my gorgeous L5CES - the decoration is more tasteful and the colouring is much better.

    the guitar has converted me from gibson to heritage; and from 16'' laminates to 17'' solid guitars. I rejected my L5CES when I got the 59 VOS and then the 54 VOS. There was no competition for my be-bop needs. And then the Heritage blew the 175s right off the bandstand.

    It has made me realise that I want a guitar that works! I don't care SO much about the sound - I just want it to stay out of my way so I can (learn to) play. No guitar has stayed out of my way anywhere near as well as this new Eagle Classic. Even though I adore my 50's 135 and can't make sense of selling it - I never play it.

    my hunch is that Heritage have decided to standardise a small number of their best selling guitars and make sure that quality control is very high - so as to what? - save the company? I guess so. I would be really amazed if someone could find an L5CES type guitar to give me that could out-perform this one - whatever the price.

    so thanks Heritage!

    anyone fancy a near mint '54 VOS 175 with two p90s (the best 175 type instrument I've had - excluding the 135)?
    Last edited by Groyniad; 10-28-2020 at 11:10 AM.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    I'm glad you're happy with your instrument. I've been pleased with the dimensions, also.

    I wonder how the stars aligned with this particular instrument for you to bond so well. That happened to me long ago with the ES-345. The it was the Howard Roberts. In both of those instances it was because it was the only guitar I had and could get for a long period of time. I could not consider anything else so I didn't.

    The current Eagle Classics are the top of the standard line of Heritages. There should be excellent woods and workmanship on them.

    Here's a video.


  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Groyniad
    hello everyone - I've been in this non-posting state for ages.
    Great to see you back!

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Groyniad
    hello everyone - I've been in this non-posting state for ages. I've had this guitar for a year now and I thought I'd stop sulking and tell you all about it. I've been practicing very heavily on it for ages - through lockdown, so all honeymoon issues are way behind me.

    (I can't upload any pictures - help?)

    I've played many many archtops - mainstream jazz, small usually drummer-less groups.

    what archtops have I used?

    175 type:
    modern 175
    re-issue 175 (59 VOS)
    re-issue 175 (54 VOS)
    es 135 1956 (keeper)
    jim hall Sadowsky x 2
    es 150 (not a 175 type really but - its laminated)

    Ibanez gb10

    boutique type:
    Andersen - little electric Archie; streamline; model 17
    commins classic
    campelone - standard 17'' thin line; standard 16''

    L5 type:
    new L5CES

    Apart from the '56 es 135 I have, the brand new Heritage Eagle Classic seems to me to be obviously better than all of these.

    'obviously better'?

    Sound: lush, fat, thick, round - best high register melody notes (thickest, least abrasive and metallic sounding): it's not just the sound - it's the fact that I can play lush chords from the bottom of the register all the way up without anything booming or feeding-back or being muddy. The balance from low to high - and the absence of boom/mud is phenomenal. much more reluctant to feedback than I'm used to: sounds great at lower volumes - works in small rooms at medium volumes without feedback.

    - balance low register to high register (nothing too loud or dominating in either register across the range - and voices balance in chords up and down the neck)
    - balance brightness and richness of tone - its silvery and bright enough for clarity and woody and rich enough for smoothness


    Feel: best neck ever by a million miles. I'm now converted to the 25.5'' scale length - but the whole neck geometry - the string spacing - the action - the fretwork - the feel of the neck itself, is better than anything I've had before. I suspect the fretwork is maybe the most important thing.

    look: best sunburst. fabulous maple on rims - lovely top; average plus back.

    pickups - these Seth lover PAFs seem obviously better to me than the gibson pickups on my new L5 CES. (which I no longer have)

    small details:

    best pick guard I've ever had (better than Andersen's!) - more solid feel - perfect materials.
    headstock: easier to play F chords because headstock shoulders are better shape (I'm not having THAT conversation). greater weight of headstock feels better; greater angle feels better too.

    3'' rims - seem way better to me than 3 3/8'': easier to sit with for hours; less boomy bass.

    sunburst heaven

    better ornamentation than L5. what!? - yes - better, because less showy. the wood and the sunburst mean the guitar is more impressive to look at than my gorgeous L5CES - the decoration is more tasteful and the colouring is much better.

    the guitar has converted me from gibson to heritage; and from 16'' laminates to 17'' solid guitars. I rejected my L5CES when I got the 59 VOS and then the 54 VOS. There was no competition for my be-bop needs. And then the Heritage blew the 175s right off the bandstand.

    It has made me realise that I want a guitar that works! I don't care SO much about the sound - I just want it to stay out of my way so I can (learn to) play. No guitar has stayed out of my way anywhere near as well as this new Eagle Classic. Even though I adore my 50's 135 and can't make sense of selling it - I never play it.

    my hunch is that Heritage have decided to standardise a small number of their best selling guitars and make sure that quality control is very high - so as to what? - save the company? I guess so. I would be really amazed if someone could find an L5CES type guitar to give me that could out-perform this one - whatever the price.

    so thanks Heritage!

    anyone fancy a near mint '54 VOS 175 with two p90s (the best 175 type instrument I've had - excluding the 135)?
    I have missed you sir! Glad to have you back!

  6. #5

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    Welcome back, Groyniad! It's great to see someone really bonding with a fine instrument, such as your Heritage Eagle Classic. I think getting that perfect feel under your hands allows you to forget everything but the sound coming from your instrument (it is understood that the guitar/amp symbiot is the instrument) so that you can just play. Congratulations, and play it in good health!

  7. #6

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    I suppose a lot of those "bests" on your list are subjective, but in my opinion one is pure fact: Heritage sprays some of the best sunbursts in guitar making history. The burst on my 575 is soooooo good. And that's their budget model!

    Nice to hear a fun story about a cat loving his guitar. Thanks for sharing.

  8. #7

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    Congratulations on your Heritage Eagle Classic! It sounds like you've found the love of your life. Play it in good health for many years!

    Standard Eagle Classic Hollow Electric Guitar with Case, Original Sunb
    – Heritage Guitars

  9. #8

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    Don’t dare declare a Heritage greater than a L5 for the Gibsonites will go ballistic!

  10. #9

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    Sunk costs innit

  11. #10

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    Great to see that you're well, Groyniad! How's the mead in Ethiopia?

    Glad you're enjoying your Heritage Eagle Classic. A good guitar is the one you have in your hand.

  12. #11

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    I seriously thought some classic rock Eagles chords were going to be analysed. I'm very relieved.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by A. Kingstone
    I seriously thought some classic rock Eagles chords were going to be analysed. I'm very relieved.
    Ain't nuthing wrong with dem Eagles...


  14. #13

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    Wow, what a glowing review.
    I really can’t wait to see this guitar. Sounds like it the perfect guitar.
    Nice to see you posting again Groyniad. It’s so nice to hear someone being really positive. Love it.
    Joe D

  15. #14

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    Groyniad, welcome back!! What an enthusiastic post....what about the vids?

  16. #15

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    Eagle Classic changes game-img_5797-jpg
    oh I just had to wait for it to upload....
    thanks for all the friendly posts guys!

  17. #16

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    I missed off the list of guitars that I've tried an early '50s 175 with 1p90 that I gave up for a Jim Hall Sadowsky - after long comparative testing! (I find that hard to believe now).

    Later I gave up a LS 17 (Sadowsky) - which I also forgot to include in my list - for a new L5 CES. that makes more sense.

    I've never had more than three guitars (I don't think) - usually just 2, and I've always been searching for what you might call 'the one'.

    it's hard to say whether that quest is for fools or not. sometimes you have to know when to give up and get on with something else - other times it pays to keep the faith and keep searching. so no easy answer there.

    I never took Heritage seriously - god knows why. I think because they looked a bit 'western'. Perhaps also because they're cheaper than Gibsons and boutique archtops.

    It was Rich Seversen's video clips with his quilter and his 17'' heritage archtops that made me take them seriously.

    its by far the heaviest guitar I've ever had.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky
    Great to see that you're well, Groyniad! How's the mead in Ethiopia?

    Glad you're enjoying your Heritage Eagle Classic. A good guitar is the one you have in your hand.

    the tej (honey wine) is really something. Their vodka type thing - areke - is crazy too.