Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Posts 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    Here is a (pretty sure) one-off 15" Johnny Smith. Awesome. If the price wasn't a bit high for me, I'd buy it. No affiliation whatsoever, but I had the opportunity to buy this same guitar several years ago for less and missed it by a few bids. Anyway, here 'tis.

    Heritage "The Rose" Johnny Smith Model | Reverb

    A Very Special Heritage JS-johnny-smith-15-jpg
    Last edited by Woody Sound; 02-11-2020 at 12:47 PM.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    Is the 15" the body width or the headstock length?

    Just kidding. It's a beaut.

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by lammie200
    Is the 15" the body width or the headstock length?
    The "handle" of the "oar" is probably 25". I don't know how big that actual paddle end is.

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    Big enough to brag about is my guess.

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    Shazam!

  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    Heritage made some variations on the JS. There were two 18" guitars that I know of. There were also a pair of 15" without the abalone inlays on the fretboard.

    I have suspected for years that these "bastard" variations were without Johnny's approval and may have been a factor in Johnny leaving Heritage and going to Guild. I do know that Johnny was quite fussy about his model.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Grass
    Heritage made some variations on the JS. There were two 18" guitars that I know of. There were also a pair of 15" without the abalone inlays on the fretboard.
    Ah, so there are two of these floating around.

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    i have three heritage js they are a 17" bout and a 25" scale

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by iron mike
    i have three heritage js they are a 17" bout and a 25" scale
    That's how they are supposed to be. They have a block under the full length of the fretboard, cross bracing, and thinner tops.

    Johnny made several trips to Kalamazoo to make sure the design was right. The one I've heard about in particular was in choosing the optional "rose natural" finish. Gibson would call this Chablis I believe.

    Johnny had worked with several of the Heritage owners when they were with Gibson. The reputation of Johnny was that he was finicky, which was a factor in Johnny's departure from Gibson in Nashville. Johnny began discussions with JP Moats and Marv Lamb at Heritage about having them build his signature guitar. Aaron Cowles, who also had worked with Johnny but who was now a private luthier, agreed to tune the bodies. Johnny wanted abalone fretboard inlays and a rose on the headstock. He also wanted the body built to Gibson's specs but with black hardware. The finishes were to be natural, antique natural, some traditional burst and rose natural, a new finish for Heritage.

    Several guitars were built for Johnny to inspect. One problem was getting the exact shade for rose natural. Marv sprayed several samples, but they weren't subtle enough for Johnny. There was too much red. They were discussing this in Marv's office. Johnny looked around and pointed to the butt of a Playboy centerfold that Marv had on his wall. Johnny wanted that shade. That's how rose natural was settled.

    My theory is that over the years Heritage drifted away from the original design of the Johnny Smith to the point that Johnny separated from Heritage. Notable exceptions were the two 18" and two small ones, a quilted blue, and a bright cherry.

    Heritage Johnny Smith Rose 2002 Rose Natural | Reverb

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    That''s a nice looking guitar in general imo, but the mix of black and gold hardware seems an odd choice to me.

  12. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by wengr
    That''s a nice looking guitar in general imo, but the mix of black and gold hardware seems an odd choice to me.
    Probably not original tuners. AFAIK, the Heritage JS models had all black hardware.

  13. #12

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Grass
    Johnny looked around and pointed to the butt of a Playboy centerfold that Marv had on his wall. Johnny wanted that shade. That's how rose natural was settled.
    Mark, that's a great story but I will never be able to look at 'rose natural' the same way again.