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  1. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by steve burchfield
    ... I forgot to mention the "hand rolled" neck I was was supposed to be grateful for was way too big to be very comfortable...
    I like this part - a Heritage neck that was too big!

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  3. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by jads57
    Just stating the truth about Heritage guitars from my over 30 years of playing and owning them. While Gibson has had their share of clunkers as well,they also have stellar guitars available as well.
    Can't say I've ever felt that way about any Heritage I've ever played.

    I also think I've played enough great Archtops vintage, boutique,etc to recognize the difference.
    For those of you who have not played a great Gibson, Campellone, Buscarino,Megas, Comins, D'Aquisto, etc. Play one and then post your feelings about Heritage again.

    I also think the newer luthier Pete Farmer is a huge improvement to Heritage builds. The old guys would rather go fishing than deal with any custom orders from my experience. And that was just about a 1950s profile neck request.
    And finally 8 months later, when my 535 was done the neck was twisted and unplayable.
    While it is true that any guitar company can have their share of 'clunkers', when one purchases a new guitar where issues arise, why not send it back? If your new H-535 had a twisted neck, did you return it to the dealer or direct to Heritage? Did Heritage or your dealer make things right?
    Do you still own this 'unplayable' guitar? What's the rest of the story?

    The only custom ordered guitar I ordered from Heritage (a sunset-burst H-525) included a 50's profile neck and other add-ons. Marv Lamb rolled the perfect neck for me, and executed the other upgrades perfectly. However, if it were not satisfactory, I would have returned the guitar in a heartbeat.

    On another occasion I bought a used H-535 from Wolfe Guitars. After I received it I noticed wear to the upper bout, likely from the previous owner's heavy perspiration. I complained to the dealer, who contacted Heritage on my behalf. I received a call from one of the former owners, Vince Margol, who asked for photos, which I did. He said to ship it back to Kalamazoo and they'd refinish the guitar at no charge. The guitar was NOT under warranty but they refinished it beautifully and returned it within 30 days.

    When guitar companies build hundreds or thousands of instruments a year, there are going to be a few dogs. But when customers receive stellar service and incredible instruments, its great to hear their stories and share the good vibes. That should be the case whether the 'new guitar day' is Heritage, Gibson, Ibanez, or one of the top tier luthier builds.

  4. #53

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    I’m thankful I got a chance to acquire a Heritage Eagle. After playing it for a few years I made the decision to have it refretted evo gold. I’m hoping one of my grandchildren will one day enjoy playing it as much as I have. Fantastic archtop! Way above my “play grade.”

  5. #54

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    My 535 was sent back to have a larger neck installed , work done by Jack French. It took 7 to 8 months at least and then it came back that way.
    I had a choice send it back again or settle for another guitar. I took the H550 which was their Tal Barlow which had a medium large neck.

    That was the best Heritage I owned for awhile. I could not deal with the larger body size.
    Last edited by jads57; 05-22-2021 at 07:16 PM.

  6. #55
    I am a med. sized man had I have been larger maybe that neck would have been comfortable to me. Buying guitars based on pictures not played is sometimes not a good idea. Its subjective. One mans junk is another mans jewelry. I wish my experience with Wolfe guitars and Heritage "refinishing" would have been similar to what I just read but unfortunately it was not. My understanding is that they have had different ownership and management through the years. I wrote a piece recently praising the Nashville detective bureau for returning my Gibson Johnny Smith in the seventies. I have had music stores who didnt even know me let me take an amp home for the weekend to try it. Like any business the guitar biz has good and not so good going on .IME

  7. #56

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    I have had similar problems to those mentioned by Burchfield, and others.

    They never seemed to bother with fitting the bridge base to the top (on arched tops). Just take a bridge out of a box, and put it on the guitar. I had one with a pointed burr/bump on the bottom of the bridge, such that the bridge was tilted forward! And that dealer in FL sent it to me like that, hahaha!!! Also received a 575 with a sunken top (it was new!).

    Since Heritage were half the price of Gibson, I assumed it was worth $100 - $150 set up work upon receiving it. My Super Eagle had a finish flaw on the top, but I liked it anyway, and played it. Just thought it was strange that they would not notice, or not care about these things.

    However, I played gigs with a H535 and a Super Eagle and enjoyed them. Those are the two models that I felt Heritage IMPROVED over the Gibson design (lighter weight and a little thinner).
    And, after the frets were filed, the bridge was sanded etc, they were very nice. If I had a chance to acquire another Super Eagle, I would be interested in it.

    My Gibsons have needed work, as well. If I dig the instrument sound, and feel, then it's worth owning.

    I have never found any "magic" or "mojo" in any guitar or gear, no matter the builder/company or the cost.
    Well, the late 50's Blonde D'Angelico Excel cutaway I played WAS the best of all, but not for $28,000 it wasn't !

    Super Eagles are cool!

  8. #57

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    the two newish Heritage guitars I have are flawlessly executed/finshed etc. - both from European retailers.

    the wood is really super too - though you may notice that some of the backs aren't quite as flamey as many L5's. (the colouring on both guitars I have already gone into)

    The L5CES style Eagle Classic is only 3'' deep and a half inch less 'tall' too. makes a huge ergonomic difference for medium sized player.

    The necks on both guitars are obviously better than I'm used to (even after a diet of top end archtops) - I can't decide whether I prefer the fatter or the thinner one.

    the sound/feel/amplifiability - on both guitars is obviously better than I'm used to. fat bottom end and middle - but no muddiness or feedback proneness. lovely thick top end too but super-clear and ringing. (I use no pedals etc.)

    It turns out today that I unfairly criticised the eagle classic in posts above - saying that once I'd fitted the KA floater into the sweet 16 the smaller guitar sounded bigger and more satisfying than the larger guitar.

    this is wrong. I tweaked my amp and the bigger guitar does sound bigger - with fuller bass. these Seth Lovers are so good that even though I now have two KA mounted pickups I won't be putting them into the guitar in a hurry.

    So - for the record - the Eagle Classic (with stock pickups) holds its own against the Sweet 16 (with KA floater).
    Last edited by Groyniad; 05-24-2021 at 05:54 AM.

  9. #58

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    I got an Eagle Classic originally because I thought I heard this huge fat sound in Rich Severson's you tube clips when he's playing the full size instruments (I got his Quilter too - and I'm thrilled with that as well)

    the best sounding one of all was a new blond Eagle Classic...

    That turned out to be a great reason to get one!

    Hard to find clips which you feel you can interpret reliably. Musicians Friend's clips - for example - just totally confuse me. Not Rich's. So I think his clips of that new blond Eagle Classic should give a pretty good idea of what I mean by how musical and satisfying this thing is. He actually compares it to a great sounding old L5CES which he plays in the same clip - and the clips are good because he plays well and has a good recording set up.

    When I got the guitar home and put it up against my L5 beating 175 and 135 (swanky 125 '56) - it sounded even bigger than I hoped it could. (The 175 and 135 took about 14 months to win out over the L5. The process happened much more quickly when the Classic went up against the 175 and 135.
    Last edited by Groyniad; 05-24-2021 at 05:29 AM.

  10. #59

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    My only Heritage was a late 90's blonde/natural Golden Eagle. It was a dream guitar. There was literally nothing wrong with the guitar. I did hanker for a hotter pickup, and they shipped me a new pickguard with their (then) hotter pickup plus a volume/tone control at no charge! They also engraved my truss-rod cover with my name. I did the swap and discovered that perfection can actually be enlarged upon.

    The only time in my life I ever regularly played for audiences, even a year every week at an open jam where I was the "house" guitarist, that Heritage Golden Eagle played and sounded wonderful. I did solo, ensemble, indoor, outdoor, plus playing at home.

    I had a major economic crisis some years back and sadly had to sell that guitar, using an eBay reseller. However necessary, I have grieved that guitar ever since and wondered where it ended up. Periodically I actually go on Reverb and other places hunting, hoping my old guitar will turn up and I might be able to buy it back.

    When I called Heritage about the pickup, the guy talked to me for about an hour, just talking guitars and music. He volunteered the information that they'd engrave the truss rod cover for me, and even made the pickguard without that forward pointing spike. Totally kind and thoughtful, everything I'd have expected not from a "factory" but from a custom luthier.

    I don't question the experiences of others, but only report my experience with Heritage as stellar.

  11. #60

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    I was driving across the US in 2001 and stopped in Kalamazoo. They gave me a little personal tour around the factory. I talked with Bill Paige (I think his name was).
    They were friendly people. It was enjoyable.

    Yeah, I would like to find my Chestnut Sunburst Super Eagle which I sold years ago in one of my "non-earning" years!

    It's good to hear from Groyniad that the quality and finish work are excellent with their recent models.
    Although, he mentions that it is heavy. How heavy is it?

  12. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by jads57
    Just stating the truth about Heritage guitars from my over 30 years of playing and owning them. While Gibson has had their share of clunkers as well,they also have stellar guitars available as well.
    Can't say I've ever felt that way about any Heritage I've ever played.

    I also think I've played enough great Archtops vintage, boutique,etc to recognize the difference.
    For those of you who have not played a great Gibson, Campellone, Buscarino,Megas, Comins, D'Aquisto, etc. Play one and then post your feelings about Heritage again.

    I also think the newer luthier Pete Farmer is a huge improvement to Heritage builds. The old guys would rather go fishing than deal with any custom orders from my experience. And that was just about a 1950s profile neck request.
    And finally 8 months later, when my 535 was done the neck was twisted and unplayable.
    Too bad you never owned these 2. Oh well, you missed out!

    Two good things about Heritage guitars-77eac5a9-5520-4438-8957-5ac31df5c7d7-jpegTwo good things about Heritage guitars-91267fbb-9b2d-467b-ab2b-402eb8c73b0b-jpeg

  13. #62

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    I'm glad some of you ave fou d the right Heritage. I tried and tried, but never could find one that worked out for me. The good thing is there are plenty of choices these days. So it works out well for all of us and our different needs and tastes.

  14. #63

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    2B, I've not seen that black one before! Would love to play it. I expect it's long gone?

  15. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by skykomishone
    2B, I've not seen that black one before! Would love to play it. I expect it's long gone?
    Yep. I was new to guitars and flipping like crazy back then. I owned it before I owned a L5CES or Super 400. I must have owned a 100 arch tops. And sadly the black non cutaway is one I regret selling. It was truly special. The positive thing is that it sold to a jazz guitar student, so not so bad an ending to that story. But it took me 9 years to replace it with a Heritage 17” that’s equally as good. You should come by and play this one! And bring the L7!

    Two good things about Heritage guitars-e10bc471-3bd0-4a08-85db-bdb647674d6b-jpeg

  16. #65

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    2B, THAT is really nice!
    I mean like really, really nice.
    JD

  17. #66

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max405
    2B, THAT is really nice!
    I mean like really, really nice.
    JD
    2B's lone arch top! Still, not too bad. She's a keeper.

  18. #67

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    what an incredible looking guitar! (the picture immediately above from 2b)
    is it 17 or 18 lower bout? wow!

    I wanted to post these pics. to get across how dynamic the colouring is - how responsive to light/lighting.

    I just put this nylon saddle bridge on it and it is now the thickest creamiest thing ever - by a mile (with those two heavy pickups to weigh it down and thicken it up) - without any shortage of sparkle or clarity. with either a quilter or an Evans its jazz heaven.

    and someone asked about weight - it is very heavy. I can't imagine a guitar this size being heavier. It cut off the blood supply to my right leg before I realised it was going to kill me (my leg got bad - slowly and mysteriously - over a month or so) and I had to start using a strap properly.

    first thing mr Severson says about it in his video is that it is noticeably heavier than the L5CES.

    its weight has to be part of its magic recipe.

    Two good things about Heritage guitars-img_7392-jpgTwo good things about Heritage guitars-img_7412-jpg

  19. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by Groyniad
    what an incredible looking guitar! (the picture immediately above from 2b)
    is it 17 or 18 lower bout? wow!

    I wanted to post these pics. to get across how dynamic the colouring is - how responsive to light/lighting.

    I just put this nylon saddle bridge on it and it is now the thickest creamiest thing ever - by a mile (with those two heavy pickups to weigh it down and thicken it up) - without any shortage of sparkle or clarity. with either a quilter or an Evans its jazz heaven.

    and someone asked about weight - it is very heavy. I can't imagine a guitar this size being heavier. It cut off the blood supply to my right leg before I realised it was going to kill me (my leg got bad - slowly and mysteriously - over a month or so) and I had to start using a strap properly.

    first thing mr Severson says about it in his video is that it is noticeably heavier than the L5CES.

    its weight has to be part of its magic recipe.

    Two good things about Heritage guitars-img_7392-jpgTwo good things about Heritage guitars-img_7412-jpg
    Gee-orjuss guitar! Also, nylon saddles are da bomb! I had them in my '64 ES-345TDSV and only replaced them with steel b/c my local was out of nylons. Really kind of a well-kept secret.

  20. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by Groyniad
    what an incredible looking guitar! (the picture immediately above from 2b)
    is it 17 or 18 lower bout? wow!
    That’s my former 17” non cutaway Golden Eagle. It was far more striking in person. It had the nicest abalone inlays ever that complimented the guitars appearance. They knocked it out of the park with that guitar.

    Two good things about Heritage guitars-9847c744-75d0-4126-a754-0177fe1afe6b-jpeg
    Two good things about Heritage guitars-b495ec92-0bda-4cdb-a9ea-21896a989a57-jpeg