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Heritage Owners Club


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Everything posted by MartyGrass

  1. That first pic looks like he's getting the guitar out of a mausoleum. The finish is a masterpiece.
  2. I prefer to relic my own the old fashioned way. You combine your favorite musician buddies, a small basement party, and unlimited beer. Give it about six hours. Nature will do the rest.
  3. Oddly, in Kalamazoo there's only one place to PLEK, and they aren't doing it for the public. Ann Arbor Guitars has an excellent reputation. They do the filing, leveling and polishing by hand. One of the luthiers there, who's been doing this a long time, said that the PLEK machine requires someone very skilled to run it. The luthiers at Ann Arbor Guitars believe they can match or exceed what a decent PLEK job gives. Plus they can do more, like adjust the bridge height and cut the slots. Elderly Instruments also has skilled luthiers. I'm not against PLEKing. In fact I've had
  4. I've been very impressed with ThaliasCapos, a family owned company that makes fancy truss rod covers. They are sturdy, well made and pretty. I've bought some for my G-brands (Gibbies and a Guild). I was so impressed I ordered some Gretsch TRCs. The MOPs that sometimes come with Heritages are beautiful but can be fragile. These are half the price and are backed by two thin layers of wood. I've been working with Andrew, one of the craftsmen at ThaliasCapos, to produce Heritage as a line for TRCs. He sent me a template that looks good for size but needs a slight tweak on screw hole
  5. Dave, you may be on the wrong side of the Michigan but you're on the right side of this discussion. Here is my new car getting relicked.
  6. Heritage does a pretty thorough job of relicking the finish. The paradox is that if there are few finish checks the guitar is discounted. Go figure.
  7. Roy Clark was one of the best guitarists ever. He would not take crap guitars. May he rest in peace. Ren Wall worked on Roy's personal instruments, at least one solid body, two different styles of his namesake hollow/semi-hollows, and probably more. Apparently he was quite a character, according to Marv Lamb. Here he is playing a difficult piece. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxDQQDF6j0Y Here he's playing the same thing on the TV set of The Odd Couple. There's nowhere to hide. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xssnp7R51A Lastly, here he is playing his Heritage Ro
  8. That is so true. When I adjust bridge height and the truss rod tension, I often have to put a capo at the first fret to eliminate the nut slotting factor. I then file the slots down. The hardest part of doing that is to not take too much off. Often you do a little, replace and tighten the string, assess, remove the string then take a little more off. Getting the nut slots cut right for the strings you use does make a big difference. Some of the wooden bridge saddles are not 12" arcs. Usually its the middle string slots that need to come down for more even action. I don't think
  9. I have to agree with you. I learned to file slots on nuts and bridges along with doing a setup. I found this to be a useful skill with other brands too. But Heritage seemed to nearly always benefit from this.
  10. I have seen more consistency in the last few years. PLEKing is a plus. My opinion is that every year produced superb guitars. Every year. There were some average and below average guitars as well. I evaluate each instrument on its own. I hear people point to trends they identify about soldering, neck characteristics, finish quality, etc. There are so many exceptions that if I were to buy an instrument, I'd not assume anything based on the year. Humans like to think that there are good batches, runs or years in a lot of things, particularly guitars. I would not trust that.
  11. This extraordinary guitarist was a Heritage endorser and had his own Heritage model. He disappeared years ago. His model guitar was a thinline H-550 with a Bigsby. He could play the hell out of it in a Chet Atkins way. But he did some more up to date stuff as well. His guitar didn't sell well. He then got a Gretsch model named after him, which also didn't sell well. He had a tough patch in his life when he lost his wife and child in a car accident. He later had a brain tumor, but as I recall that was successfully removed. If you haven't heard him play, here's one of hi
  12. I believe the guitar is improved with a gold finish. Black and tan, especially translucent black with tan, is a little shocking on the eye. Gold and tan seems glorious.
  13. Here is one from the first batch made in 1992. It looks well cared for. I think it lives in Chicago.
  14. The reverse design is more eye catching to me than the standard. But the standard has a strap button on the horn like a strat. My Firebird was a reverse. This is what mine looked like. You can see it was functional but not elegant.
  15. If you are going to use Half Rounds or Brite Flats, here's a helpful trick. Before putting the four wound strings, pull each string through clenched steel wool to smooth out the surface. Maybe 6 or so pulls through the steel wool should do it. If you don't the strings will feel rough. You can buy a cheap plastic fretboard protector from StewMac and put that between the strings and the fretboard then use fine steel wool or fine sandpaper just to smooth the surface of the strings your fingertips will be gliding over. Johnny Smith used to do something like this to maintain brightness
  16. Firebirds are not popular any more. Gib-son sold new ones for about $1K recently, and the used market is bountiful. Strats are about in the same lane and more comfortable and affordable. Marv's builds are in a different league. They are custom made instruments that are very playable and are works of art. I would put them in the collectible category.
  17. Speechless. Great, and I mean great, story.
  18. I have an affection for this model. My first guitar was a Firebird V at age 12 or 13 I got from a neighbor. I played that a lot. I then lucked into a ES-345. It may have been an even trade. Years later I began to appreciate the genius of the Firebird design, but many of them were not built to the highest quality back then. Marv's without exception were works of art. In my teen years I never liked the Les Paul design. The Firebird felt more comfortable, as did the Strat. I'd be happy with a Marvbird with humbuckers or P-90s. The Firebird pickups are too bright for me.
  19. Yep. Despite this photo he used a Tele for the Led Zepplin first album. I had always assumed it was a ballsy LP. .......................................................................................................................................................................................... For the recordings Page played a psychedelically painted Fender Telecaster – a gift from friend Jeff Beck after Page recommended him to join the Yardbirds in 1965, replacing Eric Clapton on lead guitar. Page played the Telecaster through a Supro amplifier, and used a Gibbons J-200 f
  20. Heritage never had a reputation for flattops. As I recall Larrivee built the bodies and Heritage did the rest. But that was a long time ago. I've never heard a negative thing about Heritage's flattops. My impression is that the best hope for success at Heritage was to focus on electrics and archtops. Heritage made basses and mandolins, too. They gave them up for the same reason most likely.
  21. I can tell you found your holy grail in a pickup. That saves years of fussing. In a way I envy the guys in the 1930s. They either played acoustic or electric. If they chose the latter, it was a Charlie Christian almost always. That still is a popular pickup among Telecaster and some other guitars. Life was simpler then.
  22. Some will be familiar with the background. Gretsch moved its factory to Japan around 1990. The Gretsch reputation had been deteriorating over the previous decade. By most reports the quality of Gretsch builds went up and stayed up at the Terada plant. There were some custom builds by Steve Stern and Gene Haugh made in America but at a high price. In the early 1990s Fred Gretsch III wanted to continue the Gretsch Synchromatic archtops with a very high quality level. He made an agreement with Heritage to build a limited number, 10 I'm told. This was around the time Heritage was also g
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