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  1. #1

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    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



  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    says sold

  4. #3
    Yes that’s me. It’s on hold.
    having second thoughts after seeing fret side inlay binding cracks.
    im not sure if I’m defining this area of the guitar correct. I can’t seem to up load a pic they sent me of close up shot

  5. #4

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    Sound Pure is a reputable seller of archtops, so maybe a conversation with them about any issues, additional photos, or their return policy might give you more comfort before it is shipped.

    It looks great to me. Very similar to my '93 Golden Eagle.

  6. #5

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    Sound Pure is good. But: Could you return it if you don’t love it?

    That’s a lot of guitar to commit to untouched, though if you are set on a Heritage Eagle, good luck.

    Were I in your situation and in NJ, I’d arrange to visit Lou del Rosso’s Guitars n Jazz, where you can compare, in hand, Heritage, Eastman, Peerless, and others (he showcases more independent luthiers these days, it seems to me).

    It’s almost all archtop though. Mr Del Rosso is admirably scrupulous about classifying his guitars by size, nut width, scale and more. He also usually has consignment instruments whose owners want to move them and will consider offers. I’ve purchased a consignment Heritage 575 from him, as well as a new Eastman El Rey 4. Happy dealings with Lou.

    NJ is also much closer to Manhattan than to Raleigh/Durham, to underline the good sense of experiencing expensive guitars in hand. Good luck.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by vcd33238
    Thanks for the support, this is first time buying an archtop, and online.
    Woah. Step back a minute.

    When you buy a Strat you have a fair clue about what you might be getting. You have the chance to play somebody's Strat sometime and say, "Why yes, I like that geometry. It makes me ready to gamble $x,xxx that I will get a good Strat that I will like instead of a Strat-shaped packing crate." (And yah, we've all made that gamble, so we all feel it for you.)

    If you've never bought an archtop before, what makes you think you want a 16" solid-wood long-scale archtop with two set-in humbuckers?
    Because that particular Heritage Eagle may be the finest Heritage Eagle ever to fly outta Kalamazoo. But if (unbeknownst to you) the sound that's intriguing you is the sound of a 1950s ES-175 with short scale, laminated wood and P90s, that sound won't automatically come out of the Eagle.

    I'm not saying, "Take time off from work and go travel to SoundPure." I am saying, "Play some archtops and get some clues about what you like. That way you're not betting the farm, blind."

    Happy hunting and happy playing!

  8. #7

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    "Because that particular Heritage Eagle may be the finest Heritage Eagle ever to fly outta Kalamazoo"

    Hah, I like that line Sam

  9. #8

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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

    I


    I don't know what the price is but Heritage makes great guitars. The guitar is 24 years old so it will not be new and without some possible minor cosmetic things. The binding in general looks fine in picture and if the price is right this is great jazz guitar. Buyers have to realize that when buying guitars that are not new seldom are they really mint as such. Even new guitars can and have flaws if you want to get real picky. My thought is that since you have never bought an archtop proceed with caution and at least have a idea what you want. This guitar will be an acoustic archtop and much different than a built in archtop like a Gibson es 175. To me that and what you have to pay for the guitar is everything. PM if you want a fair estimate of a decent price.

  10. #9

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    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!

  11. #10

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    The binding on the neck is cracking because the wood has shrunk due to whether and temp changes and the frets have started to pop out the ends of the fretboard. They push against the binding and you get a crack. It's not a major issue and it shouldn't be felt during playing. Just make sure to clarify that with the shop.
    That being said it seems a lot of American archtops suffer from binding cracking and Heritage more than most.

    It would have been nice to know how much you paid for it because the shop is not doing you a favour. They know what they're doing and you are getting what you pay for + 30% mark up for the shop (Minimum). A lot of people here know their prices, although you seem to think you do too. Always worth asking here though to double check.

    If you buy the guitar and don't like it and can send it back, you've wasted postage.
    If you buy it and can't return it and don't like it, you can sell it but you will likely lose 30% of what you paid.
    If you buy it and like it, then happy days.

    You do what you like. I doubt anyone here still has their first jazz guitar because we all move on to something else after a while and we've all lost money along the way, especially at the beginning when you don't know much about them. You're starting out on a well trodden path and we all have fun.

    Good luck.

  12. #11

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    My big concern about the neck is that the binding and fret issue may be a sign that the guitar was kept in too dry an environment and is dehydrated. Neck shrinkage to the point of barely detectable fret ends is common and usually not a serious problem. But if the instrument was in a dry environment all its life and never humidified, all the wood is equally affected and it may need rehydration and repairs.

    I’ve only had this with one guitar. I kept my rosewood Larrivee parlor guitar on the wall next to our bed for years because I played it a lot every day. I kept a humidification device in it and ran a humidifier in the bedroom during heating season in addition to the whole house humidifier in our HVAC system. The bedroom had a 20’ vaulted ceiling and the RH ran about 30%, which had been fine for all my other guitars (including my Martin 0-16NY and D28) - but I kept all the others in their cases with humidification devices. After a few years, I noticed that the Larrivee’s binding was coming loose in a few places. It had a lifetime warranty, so I sent it to them. They kept it for 4 months because it had to be slowly rehydrated before they could properly repair it. And they charged me $325 because it was my fault.

    I don’t know SoundPure and have never done business with them. If they’re truly a top shop, they should have inspected the internals and be willing and able to discuss the above with you openly. A dehydrated guitar will usually not look, play or sound 100% and is likely to start showing more damage if not humidified and repaired as necessary. If you love this guitar at a distance, can return it if it’s not right for you, and are willing to risk transportation and inspection costs to find out, make arrangements with a good local luthier to receive it and go over it for you as soon as it arrives. If there’s nothing more than minor fret end protrusion and you love it in person, buy it. But I wouldn’t buy it as is with no return privilege and no possibility of inspecting and playing it.

  13. #12
    Dam.. that’s what I love about this site, a wealth of information. I wish I could add to it. Thanks guys for all the great advice. Rather put all my eggs in one basket with the small possibility I could not be happy with the one guitar “shipped” up to me to try out, then have to ship back, I decided to spend a couple visits to Lou’s up in summit nj. Before dropping $ 3-5k on a guitar I’ve been waiting years to get.
    Eastman, some Heritages seem to be there.
    Elferink, Trenier? guild , epiphone, are all there sometimes, maybe a campellone will show up. I think I have finally woke up and realized I should wrap my hands around the guitsrs neck and hear how it sounds and played , acoustically and electrically before buying and stop drooling over these pics on the web and not mail order on an impulse.


    The sound I’m looking for is that woody sound of Howard Aldens guitar, but the more electric bite of Kenny Burrells sound , and finally the chunk chunk 4 to the bar comping behind someone with just the acoustic side with amp off. Maybe I will play out someday in small cafe, coffee house or restaurant.
    Yeah I know I’m looking for the ultimate archtop and should by 3 different guitars. Not happening right now.
    So what I’m looking for is maybe a solid top, one floating humbucker etc. up buy the neck , 17 inch venitian cut? Maybe a vol & tone knob. I guess I’d consider a heritage 16/es175 cut. As long as it sounded nice acoustically also.
    Only thing I have now is a 70s Aria Pro II PE-180? I guess it’s a Gibson 400 copy.
    It’s ok.. but lacking acoustically.


    Coming from a classical and flattop acoustic world I think a fater neck may suit me well. So maybe the Heritage won’t feel as nice as the Eastman on my hands.
    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

  14. #13

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    Coming from a classical and flattop acoustic world I think a fater neck may suit me well. So maybe the Heritage won’t feel as nice as the Eastman on my hands.
    I have two Heritage guitars at the moment. One has a kind of modern shallow D neck profile (575), the other a classic 50’s chunky neck (Eagle). The Eastman’s I tried all had pencil thin/shallow necks. Bottom line, they are all different, you can’t know. Gotta play them, or buy with generous return policy.

    Oh and one may not always realize what’s best right away. The 575 I bought online and was initially dismayed at the neck profile. Until I discovered that this guitar is the easiest to play complicated jazz chords on… go figure.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by vcd33238
    Dam.. that’s what I love about this site, a wealth of information. I wish I could add to it. Thanks guys for all the great advice. Rather put all my eggs in one basket with the small possibility I could not be happy with the one guitar “shipped” up to me to try out, then have to ship back, I decided to spend a couple visits to Lou’s up in summit nj. Before dropping $ 3-5k on a guitar I’ve been waiting years to get.
    Eastman, some Heritages seem to be there.
    Elferink, Trenier? guild , epiphone, are all there sometimes, maybe a campellone will show up. I think I have finally woke up and realized I should wrap my hands around the guitsrs neck and hear how it sounds and played , acoustically and electrically before buying and stop drooling over these pics on the web and not mail order on an impulse.

    The sound I’m looking for is that woody sound of Howard Aldens guitar, but the more electric bite of Kenny Burrells sound , and finally the chunk chunk 4 to the bar comping behind someone with just the acoustic side with amp off. Maybe I will play out someday in small cafe, coffee house or restaurant.
    Yeah I know I’m looking for the ultimate archtop and should by 3 different guitars. Not happening right now.
    So what I’m looking for is maybe a solid top, one floating humbucker etc. up buy the neck , 17 inch venitian cut? Maybe a vol & tone knob. I guess I’d consider a heritage 16/es175 cut. As long as it sounded nice acoustically also.
    Only thing I have now is a 70s Aria Pro II PE-180? I guess it’s a Gibson 400 copy.
    It’s ok.. but lacking acoustically.


    Coming from a classical and flattop acoustic world I think a fater neck may suit me well. So maybe the Heritage won’t feel as nice as the Eastman on my hands.
    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
    An Ibanez JP20 has quite a flat back neck a good snap due to the string tension but is smaller and laminated, so does fall down a bit if a 17" solid top tone is what you're looking for.
    The closest feel you'll get to a classical neck imo is a country gent. Some of them are very nice but again not overly woody, due to bing thinner in the body.

    It sounds like you need 2 guitars.

    Guilds are phenomenal and at your price range pretty attainable. Go with a Westerly one.

  16. #15

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    My first classical teacher made the comment to treat a classical guitar and a jazz guitar as two entirely separate and different instruments. Aside from her being a dreadful teacher, i think she was right.
    Your classical neck facilitates polyphonic music, requires a studied and tried and true technique, and can support a variety of time period and literature styles.
    And our jazz guitars facilitate fast runs, crazy chords, and actually a pretty limited musical vocabulary.
    Bringing this up as you might want to separate your thoughts on the two. A thin jazz neck is such for a purpose. Just as a thick D neck is. But neither would satisfy in classical literature. And unless you’re Charlie Byrd, jazz played in proper classical technique is pretty challenging!)))
    jk

  17. #16

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    Lou probably has a few Eastmans that meet your specs perfectly. I got my 810CE7 from him and couldn’t be happier with it. I’ve known him for years - he’s knowledgeable, honest, and reasonable.

    1997 Heritage Eagle for sale on web - Need advice-95cc4546-b6b4-439c-bed0-d548878e29c8-jpeg

  18. #17
    I’ll try one more time here to upload the neck binding issue pic.
    Attached Images Attached Images 1997 Heritage Eagle for sale on web - Need advice-87a872cb-8207-4c91-b189-80c5ed7df85e-png 

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by vcd33238
    I’ll try one more time here to upload the neck binding issue pic.
    Urghhh.


  20. #19

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    Good to hear you’re making a field trip. Scrub your ears, crack your knuckles, roll your neck, take a little zen bell to ring between playing guitars!

    Although I live near Sound Pure, I’d love a trip to GNJ. If I tagged along, my historical reference playing list (to offer traditional sonic and haptic parameters) would include

    1947 D’Angelico 18”
    1969 Gibson Super 400 (2)
    1979 Guild Artist Award
    Palen #4 17”

    With those in my head, a $3-5k test list might include:

    2004 Triggs San Salvador
    1968 Guild A350
    2016 Eastman 910CE
    2016 Eastman 905CE
    Eastman Jazz Elite (16/17”, Lou’s design with set humbucker for ensemble gigging)
    Fatovich 17” D’Angelico style
    1998 Heritage tap-tuned Sweet 16

    And if Lou listened to what I was doing, then said ‘Come try this one,’ I would.

    You’ll check the GNJ videos, no doubt. Lots of fine players—one uncredited guy on a 7 string Palen looks deliciously like Bucky Pizzarelli—solo, duo, trio with bass. Fun aural research to be done!

    ——-

    NB: I now own just one deep-body/narrow-shoulder carved-top with a floating pickup; most of my instruments (except flattops and a Pedrini violin edge classicsal) are less than 2” deep. This concerns right shoulder issues, but these days I’m happier with smaller profiles and composing/ practicing feet up in a stressless recliner.

    So, if I were there with you, I’d tag along a while, then sidle away to try the Kistler 16“ Sakashta, typo-described as a “Craved Top” (ha ha, since it is exactly the sort of instrument to scratch my itch).

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzkritter
    My first classical teacher made the comment to treat a classical guitar and a jazz guitar as two entirely separate and different instruments. Aside from her being a dreadful teacher, i think she was right.
    Your classical neck facilitates polyphonic music, requires a studied and tried and true technique, and can support a variety of time period and literature styles.
    And our jazz guitars facilitate fast runs, crazy chords, and actually a pretty limited musical vocabulary.
    Bringing this up as you might want to separate your thoughts on the two. A thin jazz neck is such for a purpose. Just as a thick D neck is. But neither would satisfy in classical literature. And unless you’re Charlie Byrd, jazz played in proper classical technique is pretty challenging!)))
    jk

    "our jazz guitars facilitate fast runs, crazy chords,"

    1997 Heritage Eagle for sale on web - Need advice-283034095-jpg

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by vcd33238
    I’ll try one more time here to upload the neck binding issue pic.
    The binding appears to be cracked between frets as well. This is probably not just from minor fret protrusion that happened early in its life because the wood shrunk a little bit before stabilizing. To me, it increases the risk of its being much too dry unless it’s a general problem with the binding they used. If they all crack, it’s annoying but not a big structural deal. I don’t know anything about Heritage, so I defer to those who do.

  23. #22

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    From your close up pic… that fret looks pretty worn down to me.

  24. #23

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    You could try getting a hold of Wolfe Guitar in Florida.

    They claim to be the largest Heritage Guitar dealer in the world for the last 30 year.

    They currently have a 1999 Heritage - Golden Eagle - Antique Natural

    $4,595.00



  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by vernon
    From your close up pic… that fret looks pretty worn down to me.
    The wide, flat top is so uniform that it may also have been quickly leveled and polished without crowning. You’d have to see the rest to know if it was a quick ‘n dirty general touch up, a fast fix for one buzzing fret, or something else. From all the praise posted about the seller, it’s hard to imagine that they did a fast and furious fix on a fine instrument. If it’s substandard, it was probably a prior owner who cheaped out if there are any compromises. But I’d expect any reputable dealer of fine instruments to have found and addressed any such issues before putting it up for sale and either fixed them or disclosed them and adjusted the price.

    Of course, we’re all sidewalk supervisors here and could be unreasonably picky while trying to help. The poor thing may just be suffering from minor cosmetic degradation and ordinary wear, needing nothing more than a proper fret job and setup. Ya got to get yer hands on something like this to know - facts inform decisions. But I applaud the decision to visit GnJ and consider your alternatives.

    Buying guitars is like anything else - there’s never time to do it right, but there’s always time to do it again.

  26. #25
    I guess it would be wise to go to Gnj with a wad of cash or cc with a lot of room on it. I went to great American guitar show in Phila many years ago broke and just to look. Left sad and depressed looking at all those beauties.
    I promised my self I would never do that again unless I had $$ to buy. This will be the case. It would be like sitting a the bar watching them pour your favorite IPA, everyone sipping while your mouth is dry as sawdust and you have to walk away