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  1. #26

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    GE's are super archtop's. I've owned 7 of them. I'd not hesitate to buy that GE if the price was right. And it's Spruce and Maple, not Mahogany. It's one of the first 1000, which had the registered serial number on the back.

    Some of these came with D shaped necks. They weren't all skinny necks. Remember, each Heritage was ordered as a custom guitar.

    I never bought a single one of the 100 or so arch tops I've owned out of a store. Nor did I know what size neck I'd prefer. I ordered all of those guitars online, not having an opportunity to play them until they arrived. I never got burned on a guitar. And yes, a Heritage is a much better guitar than an Eastman.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by jads57
    Not a huge Heritage Golden Eagle fan here. But if you got it at a low price good for you. My problem with them is the pencil thin necks and the feedback issues since they are very thin tops and backs.

    Guitars with floaters are generally acoustic instruments first and used in lower volume situations. When the tops are thicker like a Gibson L-5CES you have more available headroom to work with.
    And the plywood or laminate models like Tal Farlow,ES-175 etc are even better for playing in a live louder situation.

    Welcome to the Archtop world!
    They often are thin but not close to always. I agree that it's worth trying it first if at all possible.

  4. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by vcd33238
    Heh guys I need a little help here.
    I’m kinda new here to this forum.

    I found a used heritage eagle on pure sound web page. It’s a 1997. Living in N.J. I have to have it shipped to me to try it out which is not good for starters. The pic up on their web look ok, a little artificial. I asked for them to send me some fresh pics. The neck binding around the frets seems to be cracking . And thoughts ?
    Thanks for the support, this is first time buying an archtop, and online .
    I tried to attach a pic here of neck.
    Bill

    Heritage Golden Eagle Autumn Burst Archtop #N25901 - Used

    Hi Bill - it's not uncommon to see those little cracks in the fingerboard binding at the fret ends - sometimes a fingerboard can dry out a little too much - when this happens, the wood shrinks and the fret ends can protrude a little, push out on the bindings and cause those little fractures - if it's not too severe, it's not a big deal.

    I've owned a few Heritage Golden Eagles and found that the quality can vary slightly - but a good Heritage is a very nice guitar - I'd feel comfortable buying the guitar provided you can return it if you don't like it -

  5. #29

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    Bill: Have a look at the new thread titled Buscarino Prodigy. (Not a floating pickup, but a Buscarino.)

    Though when advice comes from a Mr Campellone, or 2B with his vast experience in owning/playing, it’s safe to ignore anything else I say. ;-)

  6. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by MCampellone
    Hi Bill - it's not uncommon to see those little cracks in the fingerboard binding at the fret ends - sometimes a fingerboard can dry out a little too much - when this happens, the wood shrinks and the fret ends can protrude a little, push out on the bindings and cause those little fractures - if it's not too severe, it's not a big deal.
    What concerns me is the binding break between frets. I’ve never seen this in one of my guitars and assumed it suggests more than minimal dehydration. Are board binding cracks away from the frets usually as benign as those at the fret ends? Thanks so much for your input - your experience dwarfs that of most of the rest of us!

  7. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by nevershouldhavesoldit
    What concerns me is the binding break between frets. I’ve never seen this in one of my guitars and assumed it suggests more than minimal dehydration. Are board binding cracks away from the frets usually as benign as those at the fret ends? Thanks so much for your input - your experience dwarfs that of most of the rest of us!
    Hi Bill - when I posted my original comment, I hadn't seen the pic showing the binding cracks between the frets - well, the cracks aren't pretty, but still, maybe not a serious issue assuming that the fingerboard has stabilized by now and the bindings, though cracked, are still securely attached. Even if the bond does fail in a few spots, it could be fixed pretty easily with a little super-glue. It is a cosmetic defect, though, so the guitar should be priced accordingly -

  8. #32

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    Even the piano player in the crowd recognized that guitars issues were minimal. Criticism here is overrated.

  9. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by MCampellone
    Hi Bill - when I posted my original comment, I hadn't seen the pic showing the binding cracks between the frets - well, the cracks aren't pretty, but still, maybe not a serious issue assuming that the fingerboard has stabilized by now and the bindings, though cracked, are still securely attached. Even if the bond does fail in a few spots, it could be fixed pretty easily with a little super-glue. It is a cosmetic defect, though, so the guitar should be priced accordingly -
    Thanks, Mark. I certainly value your knowledge and trust your judgment. I try to base my decisions on probability, which always has a margin of error. The MOE around the assumption that those binding cracks are purely cosmetic and not indicators of a bigger problem is reflected in your statement that they are “…maybe not a serious issue assuming that the fingerboard has stabilized by now and the bindings, though cracked, are still securely attached”. “Maybe” and “assuming” are the qualifiers that can really come back to bite us if not investigated further.

    The key to reducing that MOE is information. As I and most others lack your experience, I’d really appreciate your stretching this a bit further. My big concern is that these findings may be telling us that this guitar suffers from serious chronic dehydration. I’m assuming from personal experience with two such guitars that if this one is dried out and in need of rehydration and repair, that it would probably be evident from at least a few signs of similar shrinkage in body, bracing etc.

    Is this a reasonable concern? If so, how would you go about determining if this or any guitar needs such attention? Are there measurements that might help? Would mirror inspection of bracing, kerfing etc provide you with useful information? Can you use a moisture meter to measure the state of hydration of a guitar?

    Dehydration is a plague on guitars. I visited the Bozeman shop soon after Gibson was in full swing there, and they had huge problems from the dryness that affected even their new instruments. I think we’d all really appreciate knowing more about the issue, including what can be done to identify it as an occult problem in a potential purchase. Thanks!!

    David

  10. #34

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    So it’s off to see Lou in a couple weeks , buy him lunch and spend an afternoon playing some of these. Thanks again for the knowledge.
    Bill
    Be sure to report back—pics, the more narrative the better, etc.

  11. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by nevershouldhavesoldit
    Thanks, Mark. I certainly value your knowledge and trust your judgment. I try to base my decisions on probability, which always has a margin of error. The MOE around the assumption that those binding cracks are purely cosmetic and not indicators of a bigger problem is reflected in your statement that they are “…maybe not a serious issue assuming that the fingerboard has stabilized by now and the bindings, though cracked, are still securely attached”. “Maybe” and “assuming” are the qualifiers that can really come back to bite us if not investigated further.

    The key to reducing that MOE is information. As I and most others lack your experience, I’d really appreciate your stretching this a bit further. My big concern is that these findings may be telling us that this guitar suffers from serious chronic dehydration. I’m assuming from personal experience with two such guitars that if this one is dried out and in need of rehydration and repair, that it would probably be evident from at least a few signs of similar shrinkage in body, bracing etc.

    Is this a reasonable concern? If so, how would you go about determining if this or any guitar needs such attention? Are there measurements that might help? Would mirror inspection of bracing, kerfing etc provide you with useful information? Can you use a moisture meter to measure the state of hydration of a guitar?

    Dehydration is a plague on guitars. I visited the Bozeman shop soon after Gibson was in full swing there, and they had huge problems from the dryness that affected even their new instruments. I think we’d all really appreciate knowing more about the issue, including what can be done to identify it as an occult problem in a potential purchase. Thanks!!

    David
    If the guitar were subjected to prolonged severely dry conditions, then yes, there would be obvious signs other than cracks in the fingerboard binding - you might see pronounced sinking of the finish (especially on the spruce top, producing a "corduroy" effect), distortion in the contours of the top or back, distortion in the neck, necessitating radically high or low bridge setting, etc.

    While fingerboard binding cracks at the fret ends are typical of lateral wood shrinkage, cracks between the frets are more mysterious - they should not be caused by lateral shrinkage, and if the fingerboard had shrunk along its length (which I don't think I've ever seen), the binding would buckle rather than crack.

    As for measuring wood moisture content of finished guitar, I have no experience with this. The only moisture meter I've ever used operates by inserting a pair of pins into the wood, and obviously you don't want to do this on a finished guitar - there are "pin-less" moisture meters, too, but having no experience with this type, I don't know how accurate they are - hopefully someone else can provide better information.

  12. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by MCampellone
    While fingerboard binding cracks at the fret ends are typical of lateral wood shrinkage, cracks between the frets are more mysterious - they should not be caused by lateral shrinkage, and if the fingerboard had shrunk along its length (which I don't think I've ever seen), the binding would buckle rather than crack.
    Great info - thanks so much!

    I bought a new ‘73 Les Paul Custom (in 1973), and the binding on the treble side of the neck started separating from the fingerboard within a few months despite good humidification. There were no binding cracks at all and the frets ends were imperceptible. It played very well and there was no twist or bend in the neck. I had it looked at by the repair tech at the authorized dealer from whom I bought it and he tried to reseat it with whatever glue they used back then. But the same small space (less than a mm wide and spanning the distance from the 2nd or third fret to the 5th or 6th) opened up again, so I left it alone and played it that way for years. I asked a fine local luthier to look at it and he told me the same thing. But I still have no idea why that happened, and neither did they.

  13. #37

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    @Mark Campellone: can you explain what “corduroying” is/looks like? Thanks.

  14. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark M.
    @Mark Campellone: can you explain what “corduroying” is/looks like? Thanks.
    Pronounced shrinking of the finish leaving a highlighting of the vertical lines of the wood, like a corduroy coat. That’s my guess.

  15. #39

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    Here is mine from 97 back in the years when I had one, like 10 years ago or so, and fumbling over I Hear A Rhapsody and Yesterdays.



    Stream HGE demo 2 by Epistrophy | Listen online for free on SoundCloud
    Last edited by Epistrophy; 10-28-2021 at 09:11 AM.

  16. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark M.
    @Mark Campellone: can you explain what “corduroying” is/looks like? Thanks.
    The "corduroy" effect in spruce occurs as a result of extreme dryness - the dark winter growth grain lines in spruce are relatively hard and dense - between the dark grain lines is the lighter colored summer growth which is relatively soft and spongy and more reactive to environmental conditions. Under very dry conditions, the softer summer growth will shrink down more than the winter growth lines, and of course it pulls the finish down with it, producing "ripples" across the grain lines which you can see and feel - here's a pic where the light reflections make the ripples evident -

    1997 Heritage Eagle for sale on web - Need advice-img_4096_1_1-jpg

  17. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by MCampellone
    The "corduroy" effect in spruce occurs as a result of extreme dryness - the dark winter growth grain lines in spruce are relatively hard and dense - between the dark grain lines is the lighter colored summer growth which is relatively soft and spongy and more reactive to environmental conditions. Under very dry conditions, the softer summer growth will shrink down more than the winter growth lines, and of course it pulls the finish down with it, producing "ripples" across the grain lines which you can see and feel - here's a pic where the light reflections make the ripples evident
    Wow! My Larrivee’s similarly beautiful spruce top had none of that, and they rehydrated it over a few months before repairing the loose binding that caused me to send it to them. How much time and effort does it take to restore a guitar like the one you pictured to health? Does such dehydration affect the sound?

    This kind of knowledge is invaluable, Mark. Most guitarists I know have no concept of the work a luthier puts into even a seemingly simple repair. I hope your input here helps those who don’t do so come to value such skill and effort more appropriately. Too many fine instruments suffer when their owners ignore problems or try to get them fixed on the cheap.

  18. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by MCampellone
    The "corduroy" effect in spruce occurs as a result of extreme dryness - the dark winter growth grain lines in spruce are relatively hard and dense - between the dark grain lines is the lighter colored summer growth which is relatively soft and spongy and more reactive to environmental conditions. Under very dry conditions, the softer summer growth will shrink down more than the winter growth lines, and of course it pulls the finish down with it, producing "ripples" across the grain lines which you can see and feel - here's a pic where the light reflections make the ripples evident -

    1997 Heritage Eagle for sale on web - Need advice-img_4096_1_1-jpg
    Aah, so it is the ripples ACROSS the grain lines you are referring to. I see it now! Very interesting. Thanks, Mark!

  19. #43

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    It’s another thing to look for when buying a used instrument.

  20. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by nevershouldhavesoldit
    Wow! My Larrivee’s similarly beautiful spruce top had none of that, and they rehydrated it over a few months before repairing the loose binding that caused me to send it to them. How much time and effort does it take to restore a guitar like the one you pictured to health? Does such dehydration affect the sound?

    This kind of knowledge is invaluable, Mark. Most guitarists I know have no concept of the work a luthier puts into even a seemingly simple repair. I hope your input here helps those who don’t do so come to value such skill and effort more appropriately. Too many fine instruments suffer when their owners ignore problems or try to get them fixed on the cheap.
    If an instrument has been built under proper environmental conditions (50% humidity), then minor dehydration symptoms like corduroy effect will often correct themselves once the guitar is brought back into a normal environment - I haven't seen minor dehydration having any negative affect on sound - sometimes it improves it : )

  21. #45

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    Just a thought for you: consider your amp.

    I have a 1976 Aria PE-180, that I love, though admittedly mine is in particularly good condition. You're right about its unplugged acoustic tone being a bit dead (as you'd expect from a slightly overweight laminate Super V copy).

    I just wanted to tell you that my Aria's tone jumped up to a whole 'nother level when I got my little 10" Mambo jazz amp recently.

    I'm not sure if you said what amp you're using, but if you're not quite ready to buy the Eagle or somesuch, and planning on
    doing some more hands-on research, I was thinking you might ease your GAS symptoms in the short term with a better/different amp. It'd still be an investment for when you get your new guitar.

    Incidentally, with the Aria, I sometimes find myself switching from just neck pickup to both pickups. That can make it a bit more acousticy and balanced and less mid-rangey, which some nights can better fits with what I want. Worth a try perhaps.

    Whatever you decide, be safe and enjoy the journey.

  22. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by MCampellone
    .....As for measuring wood moisture content of finished guitar, I have no experience with this. The only moisture meter I've ever used operates by inserting a pair of pins into the wood, and obviously you don't want to do this on a finished guitar - there are "pin-less" moisture meters, too, but having no experience with this type, I don't know how accurate they are - hopefully someone else can provide better information.
    They're very accurate. Steve Andersen loaned me his a number of years ago when he helped guide me through processing a monster (4' dbh, diameter breast height) western Bigleaf maple bole that I needed to take down next to my shop into the proper cuts and drying for guitar parts. I ended up buying my own, being useful in other woodsy endeavors. I have no affiliation with Wagner, but they're great moisture meters.

    The technology sends an electromagnetic field into a fairly large cross-sectional area of the wood, not just the surface where a traditional pin type penetrates. The literature says it goes 3/4" into the wood, and you select the species. It seems to work.
    Attached Images Attached Images 1997 Heritage Eagle for sale on web - Need advice-20211028_121125-jpg