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  1. As 2018 comes to a close, the band I play in, Route 62 has had two changes of personal and we are re establishing our selves on our playing circuit and we're happier than we've ever been. Our old guitar player's wife cost us all just short of £2000 but we are now 18 months rid of them both and we no longer hear anything from them. Robin has been playing guitar with us just over a year and has fittted in well, he uses three guitars on stage, a Les Paul RI, a Strat and a Tele. Our Drummer, Graham, is well and truly in the driving seat and fits right in with us personality wise. He's brought a great sense of humour to the band and we like having him around.

    This year we have added a few new venues to our customer base and have gone down well at each of them, getting return bookings. Over here in the UK you get to play the same place three times a year if you are very lucky,  and we have two venues that give us three gigs each. We are aiming to play 26 dates next year, not a lot, but we are al family people, with the exception of our bass player who is divorced, his kids have grown up and he more or less lives alone. He would play three nights a week every week if we would, the band helps him with the loneliness he often feels. However, we now have a very happy line up and for the first time ever we feel that all of us are friends and there are no strains in any of the band relationships. 

    For myself, the year has brought two big challenges. At the end of April I was made redundant from work when the company I worked at started making cutbacks, and I was one of them. The second challenge has been losing my driving licence. This has been because of an accumulation of penalty points on my driving licence. Over here in the UK road side cameras have proliferated alarmingly and if you are one mile an hour over the speed limit they get you. This leads to an automatic 3 points on your licence. Get twelve and you are banned from driving. I was driving 50,000 miles a year with work and just before a lot of points came off my licence I was caught by a camera over the limit. I thought I was in an area with a higher limit than it has and was making an effort to stay within that limit unaware that I was completely wrong. Well, you could say it's my own fault and the courts banned me from driving but I have tried to be very careful and I really do believe (along with any one I speak to) that these cameras are not about safety but are about raising revenue. Even the police refer to them as revenue cameras.

    Not having a driving licence has impacted on me in two ways. First of all it has severely affected my job search and I firmly believe I'd have been back in work by now. The second way it has affected me is the inconvenience. I really do not mind being a passenger, but I now depend on others in the band to help me. A couple of years ago our car broke down and had to go to the repair shop to be put in working order again. not one of the band offered me any help and I had to hire a car ( I was out of work then also) and fuel it. It took more than my share of the gig money to go and play the gig. Not one of the band offered to share a bit more with me and had I just cancelled the gig (due to unforseen circumstances) every one would have lost their share. However, this time, Robin sent every one an e mail telling them that as a band they needed to be willing to help me. So, my wife drops me at all local gigs, and if it's not local she take's me to Robin's house and we go in his VW van and he brings me home from the gig. Also our drummer has brought me home, so it's a different experience for me and no one has said it's my own fault. I've had lots of support from the guys.

    We finished the year with our last gig on Saturday night at a Club in Wakefield, the next town to us. It was only a twenty minute drive there, and it's the third time we have played this venue. They have a new Concert Secretary at this venue and he told me that they are looking for a band to play for the last Saturday of the year next year. Our normal fee for this club is £400, but as it is the New Year event they will pay £1000. So, that will be our biggest fee to date if we get it. Years ago in the UK when the pub and club scene was really in full swing, a semi pro band, if good enough, could ear some really nice money pro rata to what they can earn today. But things change and the industry that led to the organisation of many of these clubs has died. Over here there was lots of coal mining and engineering plants, which have all gone. the Clubs we play are what we call in the UK "Working Men's Clubs" where working people can come out as couples and enjoy entertainment and a social life at greatly reduced costs. Often the clubs had their own Snooker, Pool, Soccer, Crown Green Bowling and other sports teams which would be involved in the local community. They still provide a great night out for people but they are getting thinner on the ground. However, the bigger ones are surviving for the time being. In their hay day, some of the clubs would book top singers such as Tom Jones and other big names and they would be packed. Something else you may find interesting is that the Clubs formed a "Federation" where by if you were a member of one club you could visit another club without paying an entry fee. The Federation of Clubs owned it's own brewery in the North of England called "The Federation Brewery" and distributed beer to the clubs of the federation at greatly reduced prices compared to the big commercial brewery's and the saving was passed on to the club members. Today the aim of the clubs is to plow the profit's back into the club so the members can enjoy a less expensive night out and it is certainly noticable that when we buy drinks we pay 30% at least than when we play in bars and pubs.

    During 2018 I have taken more notice of pedals and how they are used to a better effect. I'm not talking about having a lot of them for the sake of it, but for enhancing the sound. My friend now plays in Wishbone Ash and I've noticed how he and Andy Powell use pedals to great effect. So next year I'm going to try and enhance my own sound just a little bit where it is applicable, and that it the key word - Applicable. I don't use a lot of pedals but for some songs I'd like to combine two or three - for example, the end solo of Throw Down The Sword uses reverb, overdrive and boost. I'd like to be able to switch these on all at once and off together. I am also hoping to get a new amp and guitar. The Amp I would like is a Fender 30 watt Vibroverb which has a beautiful clean tone. I play on a clean setting and use the OD pedal when I need to, I don't channel switch. I will sell my Fender Hot Rod then the Vibroverb will be the number one amp with my Peavey Classic 30 as my back up amp. 

    Now for guitars. I have over the years had a hankering for a PRS but never really had the money. I've always admired them as a quality product and I've decided to try and get one by the end of next year if things go well enough for us. I will never buy a guitar over the needs of our family or home, and over the last few years I could have had several very nice guitars with the money we have elected to make our home a nice place to live in. But if I can, I will save my gig money next year, sell off one of my guitars and buy the PRS I've wanted. There are other guitars I would like just as much, such as a Gretsche Country Gentleman but what has made me settle on the PRS is that every time I have picked one up and played, my playing has been more fluid. On a personal level I find them very comfortable to hang on a strap and stand up for 90 minutes with one round my neck. I know there are other great brands out there, and I would enjoy any one of them. But I am talking about a working tool here that earns me money and the PRS has come to the fore for that reason. when I win the lottery I'll buy a couple of nice H150's, a Music Man Sihouette the Gretsche, and have a few more hand built ones to my speck by top luthiers. Until then I will just make do with the PRS. I've got to find the right one, but the fun is in the search, the work is in the practice and the playing.

    The band always takes January off from gigging for a couple of reasons. First of all, every one has spent up over Christmas, the bills are coming in and it's cold so the venues are all about empty. Secondly, we use January to rehearse new numbers for our set list and now we need two different set lists. One for pubs and bars and a seperate one for the clubs which demand a different type of set. The song I am looking forward to playing most is Blowin' Free by Wishbone Ash, it's a song we all love in the band and to me it fills me full of joy. 

    We finished the year off with a great gig and had to play a twenty minute encore at a club that is known for letting you know if they don't like you and they would have let us play for linger had we done so. But finishing on such a high note has made me look forward to next year and the gigs we will play. I hope you all have a great Christmas and that the new year brings everything you need.

    Thanks for reading, and best wishes to all,

    Mark.

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    bolero
    Latest Entry

    BLOG...

  2. I generally don't do much recording now. I know I should, but I prefer a live performance, and it's done, however good or bad. I was asked by a pal to do a jazz rhythm track to compliment his Hammond B3.He's making a C.D., so when he sells it, shortly, he'll have a record of how great it sounded. All the instrumental work was done, even an original guide track I'd put on, but it was an ad lib track that was O.K., but could be better. So, I listened & wrote a chart, that I hope compliments the arrangement. What to use ? Well, I was going to take my 575,but at the last minute, I opted for the Gibson L5,because we are both Jimmy & Wes fans, and when I played in his organ band, that's the guitar I played. Decision 2...what amp ? Well, again I had my Fender London Reverb lined up, but last weekend, it developed a fault on the input. I can't believe it.. I only bought it in 1985/6.So,I pulled out a trusty Fender Tremolux head I have, mated it with a smaller Fender 2 x 10" cab and Bingo.. great sound...Jimmy & Wes roar again ! The job was done in 2 takes, then the reminiscing started. The studio was Fairview in North Cave, East Yorkshire, U.K. This is the studio where Mick Ronson ( who I knew) did his early recordings,Heatwave (Boogie nights etc) demoed their first album & singles, with Rod Temperton, Trevor Bolder ( Spiders) Bill Nelson ( Be Bop Deluxe) and many more used to record. So, the owner Keith Herd & I go back right to the beginning ,50 years ago. He's compiling a C.D. of some of the best tracks, which will be released shortly. So, today I had a different project. A couple of friends round to learn some of the Great American songbook....Night & Day, Under my Skin, I Remember You, My Funny Valentine, and Milton Nascimento's 'Bridges' were chosen. Me on guitar, this time the Heritage 575,through a Guild acoustic amp, my Tremolux was used by the keyboard man on his Nord setup, and our vocalist. Yes, we need a bass & drums, but we are working arrangements currently .So, more recording on a portable to hear what works. Tomorrow, I'm in a Rock 'n Roll band, playing a local pub. This is a pub I first played on Monday, May 6th,1963..true.I have my diary. It's a great venue for me, as I was resident there for a couple of years, all that time ago....and....there are still some of the customers who used to watch my band of the day ( Tony Martin & the Mods) play there. Incredible.

  3. Played at a very dear frend's funeral with my good friend and fellow musician Frank Janssen.

    Because we did some singing, I needed the Fishman once more.

    First use of the mike on that one. Mike and guitar sounded very very good!

    So the feedback issues must have been due to the small room and not-so-smart place of the amp. Thanks for the advice!

    We did the entry music, improvising around a Dutch song from the sixties (verdronken vlinder -drowned butterfly-, by Boudewijn de Groot).

    And we did two songs, Dutch translations:

    - 'De gedachten zijn vrij', Die Gedanken sind frei -my thoughts freely flower-, check Pete Seeger;

    - and 'Als jij me lief hebt', If you love me, check Malvina Reynolds.

    Used the guitar for a jazzy lead in the entry; for a steady rythm in the second, a more biting bluezy playing ijn the last one.

    The occasion was sad; but this 575 is great!!!

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    falcon47
    Latest Entry

    After years of drooling over these guitars, I've finally gotten my hands

    on a beautiful '04 Prospect. It has the red sunburst finish, which I have never

    seen on another one. I knew it was going to be good, but it's better than that.

    The neck is just right, and it has Lollar humbuckers, immaculate condition.

    I had to trade a nice guitar plus an amp for it, but I'm a happy boy!

     

    I might still be interested in an H-555, if anybody has a nice one in immaculate

    condition, and they'd want to take some at least partial trades for. (Not the Prospect)

     

    I was thinking about adding a Bigsby, but still not decided on that. Any thoughts on

    that would be greatly appreciated. At 65, I'm more into collector mode now.

    However, this Prospect will get played and so will the 555 if I ever end up with one.

     

    I simply cannot believe people will pay so much for a Gibson 339, when they could

    have a smaller body guitar like the Prospect, with 10 times the quality.

     

    Glad to finally be in this group.

  4. Saturday I sold my Peavey Bandit to an older gentlemen that recently lost his job. He had been on the prowl for a Peavey Bandit USA Red Stripe model because they sound better than the older USA models. Couldn’t help but agree with him. As we sat there for nearly an hour talking about guitars, amps, and the thirst that can never be quenched for obtaining them, I told him something about my guitar buying. As I looked about the floor in the living room, I had a brand new Fender Stratocaster, a Reverend Six-Gun III, and a Martin MMV. I told him the longest I’ve had any of those was three weeks. But I said, my wife cannot complain about my buying guitars for one very good reason. In a way, they have provided for my family. And it has a lot to do with The Heritage and PSP.

     

    The week of PSP VI, I had a job for nearly eight years as a Senior Traffic Engineer with MetroPCS before they were “merged” with T-Mobile. I was called in the Human Resources Director’s office and with him was my boss and our Vice President of Network Operations. I thought it was really odd and found it immediately worrisome. And just like that it was over; I was told that T-Mobile has looked at all the markets and decided that Traffic Engineers weren’t needed. All the Traffic Engineers were to be laid off in 60 days. It didn’t matter what I really did for my job above and beyond my job title or how I was the senior engineer with the most knowledge and experience. What matter was my official job title. So for the second time in ten years, I was out of a job. Of course, that overshadowed my plans that week, the week of PSP VI.

     

    I packed my old HFT-445, loaded up my car, and headed off to PSP. I picked up Slammer from the airport on the way there and checked in the hotel for the night. Seeing all the guitars on display in the conference room that night and all the people I admire and consider friends really helped me to forget my own problems for a while. The next day, I was walking through the factory and saw so many unique instruments. Then there was the smell of the old wood dust, the sound of the machines sanding down necks and carving tops; it was just amazing. Undoubtedly, I had forgotten my problems, at least for now. I took my Heritage HFT-445 out of its case and held it proudly outside that factory for the group photo. 225 Parson Street, the birthplace of many guitars of rock stars. A place that should be a national monument. A place where it’s not the end of line, but just the beginning.

     

    I was in front of a factory who has seen its own end, its doors closed, people sent to Nashville or laid off, and left to rot. But a few people chose to stay; chose to open those doors again and start over. Marv, Ren, Jim and few others gave that old building and the equipment inside basically a reset button, a new lease of life. Perhaps there was some hope for me too. Perhaps, I’ll be able to restart my career and pick-up the pieces to begin again.

     

    The Saturday after PSP VI, I was still at the hotel when an ex co-worker from MetroPCS sent me a text message about his latest bass guitar purchase. He had quit on his own a few years ago, but he was happy with his decision. He asked how I was doing and I told him what happened. He demanded I talk to his wife immediately. He gave me her cell number and said I have to call her right now. She, of course, was a HR manager at General Motors. It never dawned on me to call her since I knew nothing about cars nor was I an electrical or mechanical engineer. I called her, she asked about my bachelor’s degree and my knowledge of Microsoft Office. She had me look up a specific job on the GM website and how to adjust my resume to highlight certain skill sets. That following Friday, I had a job interview. Less than a week later, I had a job offer. When my time was up with T-Mobile, I left on a Friday and started my new job at General Motors the following Monday. That was just about two years ago now.

     

    Last December sparked a heated conversation that banned members and damaged relationships to other members of the forum. The site shut down for several weeks and when the lights turned back on, things changed. One of those things was PSP. There was a looming question of will there be another PSP again. One could only hope.

     

    I decided to step up and see what I could do. I didn’t know if I would fail or not, but it wouldn’t hurt to try. I called the VFW Hall to see if we could play there. Thankfully, they were excited to hear from us and not have to pay a band. We were able to play live music again and entertain some veterans at the same time. It was a win-win for everyone. I had help from Pressure to get a PSP VIII Logo setup. Called a friend from church about having shirts made with the logo. Obtained a guest list of all those who were going to be there. Guy was able to get the Factory to participate again. I received lots of help from a lot of people to make PSP a success. I cannot take credit for it all.

     

    PSP VIII came and went like a whirlwind. It was over just like that. As I woke up still tired and exhausted on Saturday, I checked my email and found someone wanted my Peavey, so I had to pack up and head home quickly. My family had left a few hours before to head out east on a vacation with my mother-in-law; so I had the house to myself and enjoyed the quiet stillness of home that night. No amps, no guitars, no beer, no sound; just peacefulness. I could have died a happy man knowing how much everyone enjoyed PSP this year. As I look back, I will always remember the great times I had at this PSP and the ones before. Someone asked why I did all this; it’s very simple really. The Heritage brought us all together. It’s the people who bring us back. That's PSP. Enjoy those beautiful Heritages everyone. There is a lot of history in your hands.

     

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    As a very proud but still relatively new member to the Heritage family, I'm wondering if anyone can please explain why some serial numbers on Heritage guitars are hand written while others (like the one on my gorgeous 2002 Burnt Amber H-555) are stamped onto the back of the head stock? Just curious!

  5. I still believe I can get the number of 6 string electric guitars down to two or three.

    But Im way past thinking its easy.

     

     

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    After a five month wait, I just received my custom ordered Heritage golden eagle what a sweet beauty! I'd like to share a photo with club members but I'm a computer dummy. I have a camera and can put the photos in a comuter file and have sent photos to e-mail addresses but that's the extent of my knowledge. Any suggestions on how I do it?

  6. It is time for Rolling Thunder again (tomorrow). Kinda like the Superbowl of motorcycles for the Washington DC area. This is where half a million motorcycles from around this country, Canada and other countries as well descend upon our nation's capital for "The Ride to the Wall". Meaning we ride as an organized group to the Vietnam Veteran's memorial in Washington DC.

     

    The event is a protest, a demonstration with the point being that we remember those who served our country during a time of war and never returned home, and to demand that our government achieve 100% accountability of all those who are prisoner of war (POW's), missing in action (MIA's). Even now, Sgt. Bowe R. Bergdahl was captured in 2009 and is American's only known living Prisoner of War in Afghanistan. We remember our soldiers and we want them returned to us.

  7. blog-0730972001398966232.jpg

    Dear Heritage team,

    I am writing you because I'm quite unhappy about a guitar that I bought not so long ago. Indeed, I bought this year a H535 model that sounds amazing and has beautiful back and sides but the job on the binding and black dots on the edge is just disgraceful for the price I paid. I bought it new on eBay from Route 7 Music. I have a 1993 Heritage H575 Custom that looks and sounds amazing and I'm sad to be disappointed by this new one.

    From a sound point of view, I have nothing to say, it's amazing. But it's hard to put love into an instrument that has very visible defaults on it, I don't play it that much because of these problems. I am a French professional guitarist based in London UK and all my friends told me that they wouldn't have bought this guitar if they had seen these annoying details. Me neither but the pictures on eBay didn't show them well.

    So here it is: my true disappointment.

    I will attach some detailed pictures. You'll clearly see the neck/body junction that looks cheap with the binding default and other close plans on the whole body contour. What about the control quality at end of the factory process?

    I was wondering how the warranty was working with you guys: Can I have this guitar restored or is there a way to repair these imperfections somewhere? I put a Bigsby on it and I would like to keep it as the back and sides look amazing but I would be more happy if I could have this issues fixed.

    Sorry again for this message,

    I love your guitars, I even sold two Gibsons because I always preferred your artworks but this time, it's too much disappointment for me not to complain to the owners and to the Heritage staff.

    Best regards,

    Maxime Raguideau-Obadia

     

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    Can anyone tell me their thoughts on a 525 as a jazz box...

  8. Guest
    Latest Entry

    Spring is here and I'm once again looking for new ways to stir up creativity.

     

    This spring I'm challenging myself into writing and recording with more frequency and less self-scrutiny. Bottom line is that practice makes perfect if I ever want to grow as a musician and as a songwriter.

     

    I've been leaning on newer music for inspiration lately and so far, so good! I've once again turned my music room into a unkept mess of cables.

     

    Thank you Modern Music.

     

     

    http://www.heritageownersclub.com/forums/topic/26565-modern-music-wye-oak/

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    jimisonic
    Latest Entry

    Greetings Heritage owners! I have owned several Heritage instruments and I have 3 at this time. I began playing in 1960 and had several local bands during the 60's. My first guitar was a cheap flat top and my first electric was a bright orange Framus that I used for several years. Because I was born and raised in Kalamazoo I knew about Gibson and the factory at 225 Parsons St. all of my life. My first Gibson was a cherry 335. Soon I had a Melody maker and eventually I owned 2 Les Paul's. First a 1967 Gold Top and then a 1977 Blond. Now I play a 1992 H-550 Antique Sunburst, an H-555 Custom in butterscotch translucent and a "one of a kind" Heritage Bass. My Heritage flat top is now owned by my son. It is an H-440 in cherry with gold machines. I have all of my instruments displayed on string swings in my home and my collection is limited to guitars made in Kalamazoo. I am a big fan of Fender tube amps and I have restored a 1973 Princeton Reverb and a 1979 Twin Reverb. I also have a completely refurbished Ampeg B-15N "flip top" amp. My entire life was spent in the music business as an A/V salesman and store owner, a weekend DJ for weddings and parties and a homeowner/hobbyist. My wife and I have been together for more than 45 years and we have two grown sons and two grandsons. If anyone has questions about music, sound reinforcement or A/V problems, please let me know. Jim

  9. This time we were lucky enough to have Aaron playing with us - he drove up, basically from Huntington WV. He arrived just in time to help us set up on the KIA stage. We had hoped to play a couple songs at the soundcheck to dial in the sound and get reacquainted, but no dice. The powers that be rushed down the stairs when we started to play and said we had to stop playing because they were able to hear us while they were talking on the phone. Oh well, so much for that - we just decided that we'd just have a quick beer to calm the nerves and hit the stage when it was time to start. We were pretty loose and casual for sure, but at least we enjoyed actually getting together and playing for the first time, really in about ten years. Our arrangements changed on the fly and we tried not to get in each other's way... and the room is difficult acoustically.

     

    Here's a video of Devil Ray one of Dan's originals from quite a while back. I just played harp, giving Aaron free rein to improvise on guitar.

     

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    grammerman
    Latest Entry

    Hello everyone,

    I am new here and hope to become a friend.

    As you may have guessed from my name, I was friends with Billy Grammer and collect his fine flat top guitars.

    After Billy ended his long time affiliation with Gibson, he chose Heritage as his guitar, whenever he played electric guitar.

    Billy was a true "Guitarist"! He only played the BEST! He endorsed Heritage. He preferred the H555, and owned several.

    This has sparked my interest in Heritage. I don't own one yet .. but hope to soon!

    I have the opportunity to buy one he owned. It was made at the custom shop just for him. All I need is to save up the money.

    While I an saving .. I would value any guidance, advise, and general knowledge that any of you might be willing to offer.

    Thank you for your time,

    Grammerman

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    I received my Heritage H40 acoustic guitar in the year 1976. I have been trying to find out more information about this type of guitar. I came upon this web site and I was hoping for some help. The only information that I came upon this information as follows:

    *****The Heritage guitars was marketed by Unicord (the parent company of Univox) as a budget line of guitars. They were probably made in Korea and there were 4 models. Two were nylon string: the H20 Standard size had a spurce top, mahogany body, slotted head and no fret markers(13.5", $49.50) and the H25 Grand Concert Size (14.5", $66) which was nearly the same thing except size and price. The other two were steel strings: the H30 Grand Concert Size (14.5", $51) with spruce top, mahogany body, flad head, fret dots, Martin style pickguard and pin bridge with screw adjustable saddle, and the H40 Dreadnaught (15.5", 64$), nearly the same. ****

     

    Is this correct or does anyone know more about this kind of Heritage acoustic guitar. Thank you for your help!!!!!!!

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    It's morning in CA. I just looked at the HOC member map and there's a good group here in CA. I've been here for 20 years as a resident. Have also resided in Japan, Florida, Massachusetts, New Orleans LA, New York, and my hometown is Charm City, Ballmer MD. As a 6 yr old kid I was the early riser in my house. I'd switch on WMAR at 6:55 am so I could gaze at the test pattern, followed by jets, ol glory and the anthem, and then "The Early Riser" himself, Mr. Stu Kerr. He presented as the station janitor and welcomed early arriving viewers to his show. I remember cartoons and give aways. You could send him a postcard and he would call you up and ask you a question. If you got it right you win a prize. If you got it wrong you win a prize. I scored a camera and a bat as I recall. The camera was a 126mm (?) plastic box w/ a plastic lens. Now I take pictures for a living with a magnesium alloy computer with very nice lenses thank you very much. I no longer have the bat, sadly, but I still swing my bat from the last softball league i played in (highest caliber coed league in Pleasanton, CA) My kind of league, slow pitch- where do ya want it pitching. I led off with a .750 average for the year, all singles. Most teams put their weakest fielders in right. So I let the ball get deep and punch it over the second base-person's head and stroll to first. My bat? Wonder Boy of course.

     

    What is the Portal page? I just looked at it today and don't have it figured yet.

  10. So, there's a scofield jsm100 up on ebay. seller says it has a solid wood top. i write to seller, ahem, you describe your guitar as a 335 type (laminate top) and your listing (jsm 100) as a solid maple top and bottom, but ahem, your guitar has a laminate top. seller responds saying his boss at the store where he teaches guitar says it's solid so it's solid. Here's the problem, young americans don't know the diff from a solid piece of carved wood and plywood. I am depressed. has it come to this??? come on kid, really?, you don't know... and, i'm not a solid wood fanatic, i like laminate. laminate is amazing. works great in semi hollows, but geez kid,

     

    this on the same day as a beautiful h530 w/ Bigsby comes up on ebay and the seller intends to ship it in bubble wrap and a gig bag. like that is sufficient protection. common sense says a hard case inside a box might do it but bubble wrap and peanuts to protect a hollow body guitar with a Bigsby on it???

     

    i need a drink.

  11. Music has always been a strong presence in my life. It has always been around. There are lots of musicians on both sides of my family: my paternal grandfather played acoustic guitar; my mom's youngest brother plays guitar, there are professional musicians on both sides of the family, my parents are very decent singers, so is my sister, I consider myself very musical, my wife is a classically trained pianist (and she plays a lot, too), our children are very musical as well. I grew up with a ton of music: Beatles, Stones, Motown, Samba, Rock'n Roll, Jazz, Reggae, Flamenco, Zydeco, Fado, Gospel, Tango, Blues, Bossa Nova...

    My paternal grandpa played fun songs on his acoustic, Italian songs mostly, and I enjoyed his music, but it was my uncle, my mom's youngest brother, who really made me want to know more: he had an electric guitar, I can't remember which make and model, probably not a good one by today's standards, by I was fascinated by the buttons and controls and how loud that thing got! My uncle had a cover band, mostly Beatles and Stones, some other 60's stuff, really, really cool stuff. I watched a couple of Beatles movies and bought my first album (Help) at 8 years of age. At 10, I decided the Beatles were always going to be cool, but the Stones won my preference as my number one band. Along with Mick Taylor, Keith Richards, Ron Wood and Brian Jones, my two other main influences are Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix. I am not talking about who I have ultimately come to admire and learn from. I am talking about those who inspired me to pick up a guitar. By the way, guitar was my second attempt at music. I first started at 12, playing the piano, but I could not find one single blues/boogie woogie piano teacher anywhere, and my "classical-music-only-do-not-insist" teacher was strict and I left after a year, without having learned what I wanted. But I managed to learn something, and I did have fun. I found out I could figure out melodies, right hand in piano talk, and I also decided that I liked piano a lot, but it wasn't really the instrument I wanted to learn. That's when I started to listen to a lot of guitar music again, after a progressive rock period. All of a sudden my life was full of high gain music: Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, AC/DC, JHE, Zappa, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Van Halen...so I got myself a guitar. It was a Giannini (Jazzmaster replica) that was actually pretty decent; not great, but a good beginner level electric; got a teacher that was very cool, my friend to this day, and took lessons for three months, then I moved, sold my guitar and bought a guitar that was too much of a hype and almost ruined my musical life. It was the mid-eighties and EVH was all the rage if you were a guitar player. Quite frankly, how dumb of me, what was I thinking? I really liked VH (and still do), but never wanted to play that kind of music. I never liked the Floyd Rose and for 15 years I had only that one Kramer (still have it), a guitar that never really stayed in tune. I removed the tremolo bar pretty much as soon as I bought the thing. But I never wanted to sell it, and I lived in a place where having a second guitar is almost unheard of, so I was kind of stuck with a bad guitar, and so my playing was very off and on. Had a few bands, but never liked the ego thing, I am more for balance and harmony and prefer to stay from unnecessary conflict, so never really got into the band thing too much, but jammed a lot with friends' bands, which always seemed to work well.

     

    Anyway...

     

    I bough a Schecter in 1999. Once again, I wasn't paying attention: I wasn't aware of the "shredder guitar" thing, didn't know about Korean-made guitars. The fact is that I developed a skin irritation that seemed to have come from the strings, but my fingers looked corroded like an extreme case of being under water too long, nothing was ever diagnosed but the thing was painful and I didn't play from 1999 until 2009. Until then, all I ever knew were the three months of beginner lessons and some failed attempts at re-starting. Too busy raising a family, working too much, no time, maybe you know what I am talking about: excuses.

    I felt bad one day, after answering "yes, I play a little guitar" to the casual conversation question "Do you play an instrument?" and decided that I did love playing music and playing guitar, and that it was important to me to keep doing it, but I also came to the realization that I would have to decide whether I was a guitar player or a guitar owner. I would not have to reach any specific level of playing, just do my best to

  12. Well I just got off the phone with Ren Wall of Heritage Guitars. He's the person at Heritage that Jay Wolfe and myself have been talking to about the different things that I wanted on my guitar. I guess Ren is one of the answer men from Heritage. Anyway we finally got all the details finished and the order is made. So know I just have to wait for Jay to give me the full price of the guitar so I can pay half. They told me in the begining that it was a third up front and then pay in full when done. But I would rather pay half now ( I paid 600 to get things started) so I don't have such a large payment at the end. The guitar that looks a lot like the 339 to me was the Millinum DC. So I got it in Trans Black, All Gold hardware ( Even the Knobs),and the Three P-90's ( Center one Reversed). Three volume and one tone ( Like on the Zephyr Blues Deluxe). I know that the Zephyr didn't do very well but I love mine and The sound of a 339 with the pickup set up should make this one tight sounding Guitar. I asked Ren for pictures for my Blogs as the guitar is being built so Y'all can share it with me.

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    Since trying out a Heritage guitar in a shop in the late '80s, I had wanted one. After graduate school, university position, getting a start with our family, I was able to save money for purchase of high quality guitars. I renewed my guitar tech hobby in the late '90s, bought, fixed up, and sold many Korean guitars... working up to higher end goals. My collection slowly grew, 71 Gibson SG, 78 Gibson ES 345, 78 Gibson Les Paul Custom... These ladies are beautiful...

     

    In 2007 I purchased my first Heritage, an H575 Antique Natural finish. I hated the Schaller pickups, replaced them with Seymour Duncan Sh-1 '59s, set up a coil tap... put in a tusq nut, this guitar is a beauty and can cover a variety of jazz to rock to country tones, plays wonderful...

     

    But.. I still was looking for the higher end... sold off all my cheapies, taught overload classes at the university, made some $ doing guitar mods and repairs... saving...

     

    Last fall I found her... Golden Eagle... she is a dream... but she needed a bit of work. This is a thinline model. Label is Heritage Custom Shop... on the label is the name original customer?), and details "Alm brg" (Aluminum Bridge?), HRW pu (HRW pickups).

     

    Jim, the guy who had the guitar before me, said he used it for Ted Nugent-like rock tone (ala Gibson Byrdland) and it is clear that Jim used this guitar extensively, while seemingly taking good care of it. However, I have had to make some small repairs. The previous owner had stuffed the guitar with foam and installed foam f-hole covers to lessen amp feedback, I removed these, plus some two way tape installed inside the guitar.

     

    When I received it, the Golden Eagle had a problem with noise... clearly there was a grounding problem. The wiring harness had been altered by a previous owner. The neck pickup tone pot had been replaced with a very cheap alpha 250k pot, and the ground solder had come loose. I replaced all the pots with high quality CTS 500k audio pots. Furthermore, it was clear that someone had altered the pickup wiring, with messy connections made to convert the original four wire leads to two wires. Finally, as all the shielding had been removed from wiring harness control cable, I rewired the entire thing.

     

    I used high quality 3 conductor shielded cable for the entire harness, keeping the shielding intact for the entire harness, from the pickup switch through the pots, to the input jack (I removed the input jack wire with the bridged connectors..., replaced with high quality shielded cable, much quieter... is this bridged connector setup, noisy and clunky, really necessary?)

     

    While the HRW pickups are very interesting, I need much more tonal versatility, playing soft jazz to hard rock jazz fusion... my favorite setup comes from the use of Seymour Duncan Triple Shot pickup rings... they have two mini switches on the ring, which allows you to select either coil, plus series, and parallel coil combinations for a humbucker pickup. I installed two bridge, archtop triple shot pickup rings, then a Seymour Duncan SH-2 Jazz pickup in the neck, and a Seymour Duncan SH-11 Custom Custom pickup in the bridge. With the triple shot pickup rings, the tonal variety of this guitar is simply amazing and very simple to work.

     

    There is a gold Gotoh Nashville style bridge on the original Heritage rosewood bridge mount, which I assume is a replacement made by a previous owner.

     

    One of the last modifications I have had to make on my Golden Eagle is a nut replacement. The previous owner had installed a stone nut (yes, made from marble mineral). While very interesting, this nut really over-emphasized high pitches and harmonics, and while that may have been good to sound like Ted Nugent, my needs point to more subtlety and variety. So I replaced the marble nut with a tusq nut.

     

    After some minor truss rod adjustment and fretwork, this Golden Eagle was ready for my jazz and rock work. After this happy bit of shop work (I was trained as a guitar tech working in a music store in the early '80s... made a living doing guitar setups and mods through college days, and it is my big hobby today...) my Golden Eagle is quiet, responsive, has incredible tonal variety and versatility, and plays like a dream.

     

    Cosmetically, this guitar shows clear signs of valued, but moderately heavy use, during the last 5 years. I replaced the black speed knobs with more traditional and high end Gibson 60's style gold-faced black knobs. I have carefully rubbed out the finish and touched up minor scratches.

     

    I can honestly say that this is one of the very best sounding and playing guitars I have played. Friends and colleagues agree. Way to go Heritage...

     

    ... and while I continue to enjoy building solid body Fender knock-offs during summer vacation, and playing my Gibsons is wonderful, there is nothing quite like the Golden Eagle for me... all of us guitar players know the feeling when you play a guitar that feels like there is a direct connection to the creative part of your subconscious, when creative desire seems translated automatically into musical tone... this happens to me almost every time I play Golden Eagle... truly, a guitar romance in progress...

  13. While on vacation this week, I realized that I had strayed a great deal from the intent of the blog starting with the ending of lessons with Sal. From there, I got more and more into learning songs than practicing theory (although I still do this fairly regularly). Throw that in with engineering school starting for me and I just simply don't have the time to invest in this as I want to and once had.

     

    Thanks to all that followed it!

  14. The HOC has been growing leaps and bounds! lots of cool people, lots of sweet Heritages!

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