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Showing content with the highest reputation since 03/23/2018 in all areas

  1. 10 points
    When you consider the business history of Heritage Guitars, it was hard to imagine where it would go when the owners retired. It wasn't much of sellable business as they don't own the plant and have a long history of many periods of being on the verge of going entirely out of business. After the fire was a low point and after being resurrected when Vince joined as a partner and then that not working out. The original owners have said that in recent years they haven't collected a salary. There's not a lot of patents or marketing power associated with the brand. Now, don't get me wrong... I am a Heritage guitar fan through and through. I went to PSP events the last nine years in a row and was fortunate to spend time with the owners and workers from the plant each year. I'm just saying that even if some small investor bought the brand, there's no use to a business that's not profitable to an investor. It was a shock when PlazaCorp bought the plant and then the Heritage brand. They came out with plans that could not have been predicted for their scale and depth. There was no doubt that Heritage would be changed. And then the big shock when workers were let go. This was tough to take in. Really, it was the people that we all appreciated most when doing our annual pilgrimage to Kalamazoo. The changes are likely to make us proclaim that this isn't the old Heritage of Kalamazoo that we have grown to love and admire. But that was kind of a magical miracle to have existed like it did for so long. I'll cherish the memories even more as things are changed at Parsons Street. I'll say that I don't feel like I have all of the information to make decisions about how the new version will operate. I'll wait and see. I will visit the restored plant and look back at the fond memories of the time warp that was opened to us during the previous years. I've got plenty of Heritage guitars already, so my wishes for the future are for those former employees and their success and happiness going forward. They hold much of the magic that we witnessed at Parsons Street, along with the legendary founders of the company.
  2. 6 points
    Great post Paul. I had many used heritage guitars before this first video. First time to the plant. my wife and I visited them in 2008. It was the week before the first HOC. Marv gave us a private tour. While we were going through the factory, I mentioned to him I was a fan of the 170. I liked it symetrical appearance, but I didn't like how the neck joined the body. I also indicated that I prefer block inlays and like the idea of their Light Weight Chambered body. Marv smiled and said they were building a new H170 Second generation that would join the body as I described, came with block inlays, and proceeded to show me the prototype jig he mocked up. I asked him if the very first one was spoken for. He checked with vince, of the new owners. It was not and I met Vince, Jim, Ren and Marv. He proceeded to ask me what color I wanted. I referenced Willy Wonka (my wife rolled her eyes). I wanted dipped in gold, front back, neck headstock, etc. Before commiting, Marv recommended black lettering if the goldstock wAS TO BE WHITE. He had someone make up a sample while I was there. I loved the black contrast with the gold. I asked for black binding but was told know, they weren't doing it any more as they had issues. Marv also explained it would take about 18 hours more to finish it in all gold. He said the original finisher that did all the gold tops comes in once a week (Flloyd ) and takes care of the gold finish. He appologized but there would be an upcharge. I asked him what it was he said around $100 (before a discount). Marv also showed me how he rolled the neck and rolled mine to be somewhere between a 1960 and a 50's era which was just what I wanted after checking out a few necks. He said he would get started and it would be about 3 to 4 months which was quicker than usual . Marv wanted to release it early to some dealers so I had first dibs on the first one . I was called and my son and I picked it up (we picked it up in the exact date that was my late wife's birthday). I also added the HRW pickups. Ren was there for final setup. H170 Light Weight with HRW pickups, All gold custom neck guard, with Black they Heritage Logo. I call it 'MYSTIC JUJU' after my late wife. My son Jason LaFond captured these videos when I picked it up. Don't know if we will ever experience this personal attending again. Here is a picture of Ren fine tuning it with his secret sauce formula for the HRW pickups. Going to miss opportunities like this with the new heritage. But I got mine. Couldn't be happier.
  3. 5 points
    A lot of us have been lucky to get to know these people. Feeling sentimental on a Friday night. I miss the old shop but nothing goes on forever and I am glad Jim, Marv and JPs family got something out of it.
  4. 5 points
    Way to pull focus, Fred! Good distillation of so much of what has been written on the forum since Heritage changed hands. No speculation, here.
  5. 4 points
    All I know is I bought, in 1997, an H-550 for $1,500 that was uniquely custom, by my request: 1. No pickguard 2. No fretboard inlay 3. Golden Classic fretboard and neck 4. No pickups 5. No volume or tone knobs. They gave me the flamiest H-550 I've ever seen! I had a Gibson Charlie Christian pickup routed in, ordered bowtie inlays from Gibson, and did other things I thought would 'improve' it. When I decided to replace the clown burst with something more traditional, Marv Lamb laughed when he held it, and said they always wondered who bought the guitar that was, essentially, a shell. When he and another big dog demurred at taking the Christian out and putting it back in after refinish, citing possible top damage, they called Pete Moreno while I was waiting there. Pete finished it in a sort of cross between burnt amber and dark almond burst, for just $600, and he even fixed some internal cracks around the plug hole, for no charge! These are special people, and I really hope that they form a new company. I will definitely buy a guitar built by these fired employees.- Charles Bevell Bloomington, IN
  6. 4 points
    The 100th anniversary on 225 Parsons was in July, They delayed that celebration to Sept. in able to announce Meng, Meng's Company is in charge of distributorship as of Feb 1st 2018(Expiration of 2017 Dealer agreement). Plaza is in control of the Factory, Bandlab controls Distribution. Plaza controls Parsons St. and have Bill and Rendall in front office operations and public relations. Jim is still active making instruments alongside of Pete Farmer, Marv retired due to Health issues Dec. 2014. As far as any other Dealer info, I am out... I think there is info on the web if interested in Dealership. I don't think you would want to be involved if you knew what I know but make up your own mind. Behind all the smoke and mirrors, I have a lot of people I care about down there and I hope and pray for success on their behalf, On my own behalf I own a LARGE herd of guitars manufactured by my friends in the TRUE/old Parsons St. location and Sprayed in the famous booth that the 59's were painted in and I am happy! I Just wish Harmony was not moving into the original area that is 225 Parsons because I believe Heritage should be there but in the big picture there is more profit to be made marketing American Parson St. built Harmony guitars worldwide.
  7. 4 points
    Bingo. They were a company nimble enough to institute and keep up with small customized differences between guitars; doing so requires talented, experienced craftsmen.
  8. 3 points
    One build I was fortunate to receive at one of the PSPs. That's the desk of the old shipping department.
  9. 3 points
    Thanks John. I had mixed feelings and came VERY close to quitting many, many times. I didn't because I am perhaps more stubborn than most. You must know Heritage could not keep dealers nor distributers for any number of years due to their notorious QC issues. I did in fact enjoy extra discounts for volume and as Jim Duerloo stated to me many times when I complained- "this is why we give you a better deal Jay, (you pain in the ass you.)" I only stuck it out because I trained my guys to expect & correct Heritage issues and it became routine for us. Other dealers refused to do that, for the most part. Yes- I post truthful & glowing descriptions of Heritages we have for sale- POST correction & re-work. To reiterate- we no longer have to do any of this. I'm "SO" pleased with the many improvements the new guys have done...SO very happy! I just Plek'd a 2015 H535 & the scan looks like the Rocky Mountains! Even "I" wouldn't accept that! I've scanned some recent arrivals and they require no touch-up at all. To address your satisfaction with your Heritage's- You are prolly much like me, in that I'm just not all that fussy about fit & finish issues. I like what Zappa said "shut up & play yer guitar." I'm simply not that kinda guy BUT many of my customers are, and they will not accept shoddy workmanship. A manufacturer needs to present a product that will be acceptable to "all" types. I'm an old school player & I don't like low action- so I can play just about anything.
  10. 3 points
    Strip clubs and golf, sounds like more fun than hanging around with guitar nerds. That old crew, they really were on to it! Sent from my SM-J120ZN using Tapatalk
  11. 3 points
    In 2007 my wife, Linda, and our two daughters flew out of Nashvegas to Washington state to visit Linda's "sugly blister." The day they were to come back to Nashville my cousin's daughter from Muncie was in Nashville for an AAU basketball tournament. I drove up to Nashvegas to take photos of the basketball game and had a few hours to kill before my family got back. I went by the Gibson Nashville mega-store. Almost every nut was cut wrong. The nuts were mostly cut to short to fill the fretboard from top to bottom. This was Gibson's flag ship store. I was carrying my camera bag so I didn't play any of the guitars. You could see the flaws from six foot away. I didn't take any photos either. After seeing a proud Indiana basketball team get run over I just wanted to go home. A year later I walked the hallowed halls of 225 Parsons. I didn't see the same flaws I saw in Nashville. I see major Heritage dealers talking about quality control problems but custom guitars sold by small dealers seem to satisfy the unwashed. Major dealers talk about all of the work they have to do on new Heritage guitars. The small dealers can drop ship a new guitar and everything seems to work out. Odd... I call bullshit. You may be a medical doctor, a major Heritage dealer, a PHD or a New Jersey urinal cake salesman but you can't bullshit the people of this forum. There are a lot of people here, exempting myself, who are a lot smarter than you are. They may be teachers, insurance men, bed salesmen, physicist, etc... I call bullshit!
  12. 3 points
    Your mileage is way different than mine. I have owned over 25 Heritage guitars through the years and have not seen the fretwork problems you describe. Were there minor setup issues? Perhaps. But nothing radically bad in any way at all. Never replaced a nut either. I don't need to be an engineer with a PHd to notice the quality in the Heritage guitars that I own. So, if they can put out an even better product that what I have owned, more power to them. I will say, as many here have iterated, there was a certain kind of mojo about having the guitars built without automated machinery, and if the ones I have owned through the years were duds, I would not have kept them and I would not have continued to support the brand.
  13. 2 points
    I wouldn't let reverb pricing determine the trade. When I bought my 1964 J45 they totally got the price wrong, which ended up in my favor since I used that to negotiate. Look at Reverb's wild rises and falls in valuation on the J45.... https://reverb.com/price-guide/guide/179-gibson-j-45-1964-cherry-sunburst Besides that the Jet City, is a Chinese made amp with a high history of repair problems vs a USA made Mesa amp with a pretty good track record of reliability. Let tone be your guide!
  14. 2 points
    And a treat to meet you and listen to you play, Vince (you used my amp one of those years)! That was a highlight of the eight or so I've attended. Hope you and your charming wife are well and enjoying good health! Best wishes! Rob
  15. 2 points
    loved being there in 2010 and 2011
  16. 2 points
  17. 2 points
  18. 2 points
    This has been seen here before, but it now lives with me.
  19. 2 points
    Heritage Guitar video and pics Rhino Media <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<LINK TO VIDEO << For nearly a full century, the factory at 225 Parsons Street in Kalamazoo has been a destination for guitarists, music enthusiasts, historians, and anyone proud of a great American story. As Heritage embarks on a new chapter of this ongoing history, we are here to document and help tell their story
  20. 2 points
    I just pulled the trigger on the Mosaic; a good deal on Reverb.com.
  21. 2 points
    Some great amps featured here, and inevitably what's the "best" amp will be a personal thing. From my point of view, I have as good an amp as I could wish for with my 633 Drive King. It's versatile, great sounding and is the product of one man - Cliff Brown. Before setting up 633, Cliff was chief designer at Blackstar and before that chief designer at Soundcraft. As with any "boutique" product, an enjoyable part of the experience is the interaction with the builder and the personal service that goes with it. Every one of Cliff's amps will be tailored to the customer's needs. Anyway, here he is putting the Drive King through its paces...
  22. 2 points
    I'm pretty sure it's this guy. Here's mine:
  23. 2 points
    I definitely feel lucky to have met the founders and craftsmen at 225 Parsons Street, and to own some fine guitars built there.
  24. 2 points
    this is weird: I did a search for "Terry Haselden heritage guitar" yesterday, and some archived HOC pages from 2009 came up, with Jay saying a lot of the same things he is saying now but now I cannot seem to find them? in any case, after reading it, it appears to me Jay has been consistent with his opinions....at least for the past 10 years....and this is not some fabricated FAKE NEWS being sprung upon the world
  25. 2 points
    I am a total newbie. Got my first Heritage only a year ago; never been to a PSP; never met any of the folks on the Forum. I've only bought 1 Heritage new: a 2016 H-155M DC. Flawless frets, nut and action. I don't have a particular axe to grind, I just find this all a bit hard to swallow. 10 workers fired; 4 walk out in protest and the largest Heritage dealer posts that the quality has never been better and he no longer has to spend 2 -3 hours setting up each of his 2018 Heritage guitars. I think these are very good questions and I'd like to know the answers, too. The bottom line for me is this: There was no good reason - IMHO - to post anything about negative about previous ownership. Why would you go there on a public forum like FB? It doesn't matter one iota to your previous and prospective customers because, according to you, you've always delivered a superior product no matter what the factory sent you. But, since you did go there, I do want to know what Heritage's new management has done that has made the remarkable improvement with 14 less people. And "I would defer to the owners to answer your question specifically re- improvements." really won't do for an answer. You don't know? You didn't ask? You're not at liberty to disclose...?
  26. 2 points
    Usually, process change comes gradually so I am very curious about what specific changes in their process resulted in the "sudden" 100% increase in quality, or stated another way, the "sudden" elimination of all of the issues that were repeatedly present in all of the guitars that were delivered to Wolfe's shop. When Jay said the new owners implemented changes, what exactly did they do? Retrain the workforce? Implement a comprehensive QC program throughout every stage of production? Or did they empower the workers to halt the production process of a guitar if they noticed a problem along the way? And is this the reason for the purported trashing of 300 finished guitars ?
  27. 2 points
    Jay, my only question is.... Why would you stay, support, and SELL guitars from Heritage for 25yrs or so when you state that about everyone of them was so unbelievably SHITTY? I don't know any dealer that would continue to sell a product where almost everyone required 2-3hrs of work to make them functional. That seems like a lot of man hours. My only guess would be that your profit margins must have been well worth it for you to continue to be the largest Heritage dealer for so long. I have bought 4 new Heritages from Wolfe guitars. Three were set up from Jay and one I received directly from Marv at the factory instead of shipping it to Jay's store in Florida (I didn't see the need to fly it Florida and then fly it up North again to Ohio). The three I received from Jay were excellent as was the one I got straight from the factory from Marv with only the factory setup. I also bought 4 custom Heritage orders from a Heritage dealer in Ohio. I received them direct from the dealer straight out of the box the day they arrived from Heritage, with no dealer setup. All four of them were again, excellent. I don't deny that Heritage put out some lemons that needed some basic setup work. But EVERY guitar I have owned from EVERY guitar company, I have had to make adjustments to them to my personal specs. I guess I am extremely lucky (or something) if the 5 custom orders I received direct from the factory (with only a factory setup) only needed a slight change & adjustments in action to my personal tastes (which I have had to do with every of the 50 or so guitars that I have owned). Again I am confused as to why you continued to state all the glowing descriptions of Heritage Guitars on your web site and sell them for as long as you did if the quality was SO SHITTY. Being the world's largest Heritage dealer I assume the profits must have been pretty good for you to go through all that trouble. Good luck in the future with the new company. I am sure you will have continued success.
  28. 2 points
    There are a ton of true Dealer stories! Jay is in a business relationship with the New entourage and the words he speaks will be biased with business interests in mind. I will confirm that dealers have been a buffer with the QC to the public, out of 40+ I had ONE blown nut that needed replacement, fret inconsistencies were much more common. This does not mean too much because I believe most average buyers play setups that would not expose this weakness, however discerning players have known for decades their personal luthier would turn these guitars into performing BEASTS! Jay will be the biggest in the US, especially with new operating practices that are costing them dealers left and right! I like Jay and I hope his volume will allow him the keep some power with Corporate, the new Dealer agreement is definitely more suited to him. We all know Plaza and Bandlab have DEEP pockets, Heritage is just a tool to the latter(One wrench in a toolbox). I suspect there was a great deal to be had on 110 pieces seeing how there was a standing inventory in the mid 400's for NAMM delivery of their 2018 product line. This is also a good reason to part with half of your blue collar staff when you have too many guitars and not enough orders... the unfortunate side effect of poor business decisions. L.L. I have tried to help clear up some mis-info on the serials, They have been assigning them at time of order/built sheet and while they are supposed to reflect a date, in the new system they don't!
  29. 2 points
    ...and that post of Jay's was in response to a post in which the OP stated a number of "FACTS" which were anything but, including the "fact" that Parsons Street was currently building no guitars. Love the interwebs, wherein a fact is whatever any random knucklehead says it is.
  30. 2 points
  31. 2 points
    ...and the interest and inclination to do so, understanding the individual nature of players, instruments, and a player's relationship to his or her instrument, all magic which can't be quantified, but can be debated, like faith, ad infinitum.
  32. 2 points
    Yeah, the differences in some of the Heritage processes are subtle guitar to guitar.....like seriously nerd stuff, but it's the same stuff that rings true on guitars built up to the 80's as well as by independent builders. Look at 10 H150's, the tummy cuts, the top dish, bridge height & neck angle, neck carve, definitely the weight lol, edge contours, and some other little things are all going to vary if you measure/copy each guitar. The soft tooling process though, that's world's apart from Fender/PRS/Gibson/Suhr etc. Having a small staff that could do 30+ models and one-offs on the same line to a degree efficient enough to keep prices out of the stratosphere means you need skill on the line at various ends..
  33. 2 points
    I personally heard directly from Archie that getting a CNC is in fact the plan and that they will also continue to build by hand as they do now on a very small scale inside the old factory when the renovations are complete. I have nothing against CNC guitars and I don't believe one method of building is better than the other. I do love the Heritage guitars I own, and upon touring the factory I quickly developed a great respect for the people working there and the product they made. I too believe that "lean" takes the personality out of the instrument, especially in the case of Heritage. I plan on grabbing me a couple more before they commence to tarnishing the legend.
  34. 2 points
    Do not understand the setup and nut issues. While I did need to replace the poorly cut nut on my 2006 H150 the next five came with bone nuts that were cut well enough. Players can go as low as 8 to 13. Easier to file wider and deeper than fill the slots to go higher and narrower. Of all the Heritage guitars I played that I did not own, zero were setup as I set up mine. Some dealers offer a discounted plek as from what I read on this forum Heritage retailer contracts specify setup as a dealer thing. The factory has no idea what strings and action the buyer will use. With your degree and knowledge of guitars, if you can't do your own setup, why would it take more than one tech for that h150 to be playable much less assume you have the skills to run the factory. I don't get it. Main issues I see is the degree of custom offered that could only be done with skilled builders and not programmed CNC. My first custom Prospect was ordered with P90s thus no pattern to place on the top to route the pups, figure clearance and neck angle. Next try to get a factory to dust off the old 147 pattern, mix and match korina and maple, route for a staple and P90, configure for a wraptail then knock it out of the park. I realize this was too good to last and a deal of a lifetime. Compared to H building what I dared to dream up, replacing a poorly cut nut, or using a file and adjusting relief and bridge height was silly to complain about.
  35. 2 points
    I understand that Pete came and went a few times over the years. I have never met him. I have seen him once or twice, maybe around 2014 - 2016.
  36. 2 points
    Custom, we got custom. Started in 2014 and finished in 2015. Too much to list as custom hereabout I'll try. Gold GraphTech bridge, Gold Sperzel tuners, Gold Doyle Coils Humbucking pickups, Quilted Bigleaf Maple back with a Mahogny center strip, Sitka Spruce top, Spruce center block, 5-piece neck, Ebony fingerboard with 4mm pearl dot markers, bone nut, Transparent stinger (Ghost Stinger), RS Guitarworks electronics, 550 style bound Ebony pick guard, and Eagle and The Heritage pearl inlaid Ebony headstock. But the most customest thing about this Prospect is that the body is perfectly flat, not arched.
  37. 1 point
    At guitar shows as well as guitar stores. I just hate to go into a guitar store and have to listen to someone playing distortion at a volume of an outdoor event. I could never work at Guitar Center or Sam Ash, I'd go home with a headache after work every day.
  38. 1 point
    Ren says, "When you know what works, if it isn't broke, don't fix it"...... well, a number of the workers in the video are now gone.
  39. 1 point
    I go back and forth with best amp ever so I guess I have no idea with the best amp is:) I know one thing I like the lower power amps the older I get. Every time we crank the big amps in my studio something invariably vibrates that I pick up in the recordings, so my favorite amps to record are my little '69 Fender Vibrochamp (fender clean), Dirty Girl "Reverb" (supro raunch), and my '61 Ampeg Mercury (stones/faces raunch). Here are those little buggers....
  40. 1 point
    agree!! I consider myself lucky to have met & spent time with the folks at Heritage
  41. 1 point
    Just one point that I think needs to be considered, I'm under the impression that there was recently a dramatic spike in hiring, and the layoff was a correction. These 10 were not all long term employees. I may be wrong. I remember when I came to the brand in 2010, by virtue of falling for an instrument and learning about the company later, some guitar buds I shared my new infatuation with had impressions of poor quality regarding the brand. I, of course, was incredulous, and accused them of rampant ignorance. Didn't much matter to me. I had mine, and loved it. I wanted a guitar to play, not a collector's item or an investment. If my livelihood depended in part on the reputation of a brand, and that brand had, in some corners, a less than stellar reputation, and that brand went through a reboot, I would take the opportunity to make the market aware of the new direction, and encourage "ya'll need to take another look".
  42. 1 point
    I think those are honest and fair questions Leroy. I would like to know the answers as well.
  43. 1 point
    How's this for p90 tone.
  44. 1 point
    Here is a pic of my '96 535. I don't own it now. It had Schallers in it. Note the two screws. Very decent pups. Make you amp do it's work. ;^)
  45. 1 point
    WOW!!!! and what a great story too......millenium doublecut rescue!
  46. 1 point
    Wow, congrats!! The tuxedo look is killer. Any old H150 stuff in the pile? Sometime in the future I could see an H150 and me getting together..again.
  47. 1 point
    Are we talking about what amp we own, or what one we want? The best amp I own is a '67 Fender Princeton non-reverb. Though I did just get one that will take the top spot very soon. Amps I would like to own; Soldano slo 50, matchless chieftain, Sonic Machine Factory 35, Carr Rambler and that loud killer sounding amp that Greg owns.
  48. 1 point
    Screw that! For wide versitality the Heritage Colonial with alnicos can' be beat! How's that?
  49. 1 point
    Spectrum13 trumped me with amenities, regardless, this is my cold, dead hand, pre-225 darling.
  50. 1 point