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ElNumero

Change at Heritage Guitar

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I received a promo email from Heritage recently (first one I think; I signed up for the mailing list as soon as they put that up.)  It said they were taking custom orders.  Anyone else get that?

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10 hours ago, Buckyrock said:

I stand corrected on the address - although I'm confused by this statement from Heritage: "Our current public entrance to the building is at 1100 N. Edwards St on the west side of our building. This is where everyone should enter the building, as other entrances are closed.".  Doesn't sound like 225 Parsons Street to me - that's not the entrance I've used in the past.  My opinion, anyway.

Harmony *may* be a different company on paper, but it sounds to me that some resources are shared (ownership, buildings).  I would have liked the team focused on just Heritage.  Even if by "team" it refers to only one guy at the top.  My opinion, anyway.

 

Yes, I'm certain that they are not building guitars in the old building. I was just pointing out the the company ProCo (who made my Rat pedal) was also located at the address of 225 Parson street. But they were located at the corner farthest away from the railroad tracks, so it seemed to me that the whole block had that address. If they own the whole block, I'm sure there's no harm in making an entrance on the other street behind the old building.

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11 hours ago, pressure said:

Heritage guitars are still made at 225 Parsons St. Harmony guitars are not made by Heritage, Harmony are another company.

Richard, I don't understand this statement.  Harmony & Heritage are owned by the same company Bandlab Corp (Meng) and at NAMM they were introduced together.  The former head of Gibson Custom shop was hired to get Harmony off and running at 225 Parsons St.  

Where did you hear that Harmony is not made in the same building as Heritage guitars? 

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I didn't say they weren't made in the same building just that Harmony guitars we're not Heritage Guitars even though they are owned by the same investors. I worked for an international corporation that had multiple companies located in the same building but we're separate companies.

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On 10/12/2018 at 2:11 PM, jaywolfe said:

FYI guys-  ALSO had another sit down with the Heritage Marketing team yesterday and they have listened to us all and are lowering the prices on their soon to be available Harmony geetars- made at 225 parsons, Nitro finish, Mono gig bag, in-house made pickups, etc. Don't see them coming in sub 1k (which I suggested) but they're making them now. I requested model mix & prices.

Serious question......What exactly has the "Heritage Marketing team" accomplished in 2018???  NOBODY is out there talking about Heritage Guitars....NOBODY......hell, even the old school super fans here at the HOC seem to have dramatically lost interest over the last few years! 

 

And the whole "Harmony Guitars" thing..........WTF is this Meng guy thinking????  Who reboots a once cheaply made novelty instrument and then expects to people to pay over 1K for it???? NOBODY.

It'd be like rebooting the YUGO and selling them for 100K.

 

926538001_ScreenShot2018-10-15at9_14_34AM.jpg.943d926a9ba11e90f1cd4dd9270140eb.jpg

 

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29 minutes ago, Polo said:

And the whole "Harmony Guitars" thing..........WTF is this Meng guy thinking????

Darned if I know. Maybe there's a magic charm in the new "circle H" logo that will popularize both Heritage and Harmony?

Think of the potential. More "Half-baked" ideas and "Half-assed" guitars. 

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The Harmony thing is odd, afaik Harmony was just another licensed brand for the Chicago made mail order & small shop guitars; Supro, Valco, National, Danelectro etc to which there's already a bunch of companies in the game. Although the new guitars are certainly not reissues I'd think they'd have been better off with a new name versus lumped into the re-branding game but that's just me. The history of Heritage was at least a real company, not an office licensing a name out to a separate factory. 

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4 hours ago, Polo said:

And the whole "Harmony Guitars" thing..........WTF is this Meng guy thinking????  Who reboots a once cheaply made novelty instrument and then expects to people to pay over 1K for it???? NOBODY.

It'd be like rebooting the YUGO and selling them for 100K.

10 years ago, I would have said the same thing about Supro.   When I was growing up, Supro guitars and amps were closer to Harmony than to Gibson of Fender.   Valco made amps for both companies.   Valco also made guitars for Harmony and Supro.  You bought a Valco made Supro or National amp until you could afford the big boys.  

Today,   a new Supro amp will run from $800 - 1700.    The new guitars start at $700 and go up to $1200+.   

Apparently there is a market.

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8 hours ago, pressure said:

I didn't say they weren't made in the same building just that Harmony guitars we're not Heritage Guitars even though they are owned by the same investors. I worked for an international corporation that had multiple companies located in the same building but we're separate companies.

Not trying to argue semantics, but I would say that Harmony & Heritage are owned by the same company, Bandlab, but are different divisions within Bandlab.

Epiphone was/is owned by Gibson, but a different division of Gibson.   At least Epiphone was produced in a different factory from Gibson guitars (even a different country). 

Heritage & Harmony guitars will/are produced in the same factory.

Again, just trying to clarify to those that don't know the whole situation.

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I’m a little late the discussion with the entire pricing conversation but an interesting reality check is to look at an inflation calculator. In 1959 a sunburst Les Paul was $375 and in inflation adjusted 2018 dollars it would be $3.253. A Stratocaster in 1959 would be $200, that same guitar in 2018 would be $1,735, in inflation adjusted dollars.

I don’t think you can reasonably expect prices on the ground in 2018 to be less than 1959. Sure there are efficiency increases in today’s production but the materials today are more expensive with more governmental restrictions on everything to Rosewood and nitro finishing to electroplating of metal parts. At best it is probably a wash cost wise to make a guitar in 1959 vs. 2018. If you want a USA made guitar then expect to pay the reasonable price for it. If you want made in Mexico prices then buy an MIM Strat or Tele, they are great guitars, I have several. But I never expect any company to compete with MIM, Korean or Chinese pricing for a USA made guitar.

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13 hours ago, ThroBak said:

I’m a little late the discussion with the entire pricing conversation but an interesting reality check is to look at an inflation calculator. In 1959 a sunburst Les Paul was $375 and in inflation adjusted 2018 dollars it would be $3.253. A Stratocaster in 1959 would be $200, that same guitar in 2018 would be $1,735, in inflation adjusted dollars.

I don’t think you can reasonably expect prices on the ground in 2018 to be less than 1959. Sure there are efficiency increases in today’s production but the materials today are more expensive with more governmental restrictions on everything to Rosewood and nitro finishing to electroplating of metal parts. At best it is probably a wash cost wise to make a guitar in 1959 vs. 2018. If you want a USA made guitar then expect to pay the reasonable price for it. If you want made in Mexico prices then buy an MIM Strat or Tele, they are great guitars, I have several. But I never expect any company to compete with MIM, Korean or Chinese pricing for a USA made guitar.

 

 

First off....a Les Paul Standard was $265 (which is the apt comparison to an H-150) thus adjusted from 1959 to present is $2300, you simply used a Les Paul Custom as reference calling it just a "Les Paul." .............I caught that. Also, those were MSRP top dollar suggested prices for catalog distribution, many parts of the country went significantly below those prices if you're familiar with original receipts on vintage pieces...which I know you are. So, under 2K adjusted for inflation was probably about what the average of a 'burst Les Paul was. That was also a time when it was normal for buyers to be able to make payments on instruments without having to take out a loan or line of credit, a laid back layaway was typical in musical instrument shops really until a while after the credit card era. 

 

 

Wellssss..... here's another Reality Check, thanks to wage stagnation, materials cost, and technology we've been able to produce many products at cheaper prices on all sorts of domestically manufactured goods. Certainly can't say Heritage has taken advantage of mass production but in materials & wages I bet they did okay. That said, for a long time the guitars were a solid deal. 

 

The latest articles I've read discuss average incomes just coming back to what they were in 2008! Wages have been...well, yeah. But, wasn't that long ago a new H-150 could be had for $1500 new, now they're 66% higher. 

 

Question, are people making 66% more money than they were when an H150 was $1500?

 

Economist E.F. Schumacher once said:

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.


I feel we can say this of guitar manufacturing: anyone can make for tighter tolerances in woods/parts/assembly/weights/etc and increase their price convincing a consumer of their "superior product." But, it takes a genius or some sacrifice to go the other direction. 

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I will tell you heritage is not investing in there work force. After talking to heritage i was surprised how low they pay there workers . I went to great lengths to get a job in the buffing dept. I own my own metal finishing shop with over 30 years of experience. They  told me sure it would be a good fit till,,, they told me how much per hour I would get ,,, 10$ . You have to be kidding me but that was the top pay it would go up but not that much. Which reminded me when ,Pete m ,told me he used to help out and Wire up the guitars but for 10 he stoped doing it.   I was ready to pack up and sell my house to work for heritage but boy did I hit a brick wall! They should of stayed the way they were just managed better.

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4 hours ago, deytookerjaabs said:

 

 

First off....a Les Paul Standard was $265 (which is the apt comparison to an H-150) thus adjusted from 1959 to present is $2300, you simply used a Les Paul Custom as reference calling it just a "Les Paul." .............I caught that. Also, those were MSRP top dollar suggested prices for catalog distribution, many parts of the country went significantly below those prices if you're familiar with original receipts on vintage pieces...which I know you are. So, under 2K adjusted for inflation was probably about what the average of a 'burst Les Paul was. That was also a time when it was normal for buyers to be able to make payments on instruments without having to take out a loan or line of credit, a laid back layaway was typical in musical instrument shops really until a while after the credit card era. 

 

 

That's not far off from what a 150 costs now, is it? Les Pauls bursts have been a bubble market for a long time. The Memphis custom shop was cranking out reissues like crazy, and I predict that those are going to crash big-time in the near future. Gibson's margin on those (at $5-10k) must have been astronomical. The cost of manufacture simply isn't that much higher than any other setneck guitar.

I didn't do a comparison that far back, but looking at prices for early '80s Les Paul Customs and mid '80s USA Jackson Soloists, the current MSRP for those was about consistent over time, adjusted for inflation.

Now, though, you'll see parents buying a $4,000 guitar for their teenager. A new LPC was just a dream for me sitting way high up there on the wall at the local music store in 1984.

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On 10/16/2018 at 9:58 AM, deytookerjaabs said:

 

 

First off....a Les Paul Standard was $265 (which is the apt comparison to an H-150) thus adjusted from 1959 to present is $2300, you simply used a Les Paul Custom as reference calling it just a "Les Paul." .............I caught that. Also, those were MSRP top dollar suggested prices for catalog distribution, many parts of the country went significantly below those prices if you're familiar with original receipts on vintage pieces...which I know you are. So, under 2K adjusted for inflation was probably about what the average of a 'burst Les Paul was. That was also a time when it was normal for buyers to be able to make payments on instruments without having to take out a loan or line of credit, a laid back layaway was typical in musical instrument shops really until a while after the credit card era. 

if you wanted the case it was more than that...

NUJYbTj.jpg

 

 

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We're talking a pretty fancy outsourced cases in terms of how those were built, cases have come a long way since then! I was pretty much just pointing out that inflation is simply one metric in a bigger picture. 

 

But, if we dig deeper... Comparison to 1959 is crazy talk. Like, if you consider the whole operation. In the "interviews" section of Gil Hembree's book a female employee starting on the floor rim sanding was paid $1.65/hr her first day on the job in '55 which is about $15. If you read the rest of the interviews it's clear people had lots of room for movement, pay went up quick with experience/tenure and many employees had family members come work there, they also had full benefits etc. The sales staff & higher ups all made bank too. Beyond that, consider the scale of the in-house operation. Think of all the things they designed & produced in house in '59 that most places just buy today, that was old school manufacturing: lots of dirty man hours from polishing tailpieces to cutting sheets of royalite etc went into each instrument....you know..all the stuff people advocate Guitar companies shouldn't do! 

 

Here's one: in 1965 a pack of Fender "Light Gauge Rock'n'Roll" 10 gauge strings was $3 bucks. In 2018 you can get a set of GHS Boomer 10's, practically the same strings that are wound in the USA right in Michigan with pretty much the same processes done in the 60's one string at a time, for about $4.19 shipped to your door. Inflation is just one metric. 

Edited by deytookerjaabs
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Unfortunately,  back in 1959, all my first communion and Christmas money wouldn't have paid for the case of a LP std, much less the LP itself.    Just like today, a 6 year old can hardly afford a new LP or H150! :rolleyes:

When I was taking lessons back in '64-65, it wasn't the Les Paul or SG that caught my eye.   The cherry red ES335 in Dee Well's showcase was the object of my guitar desires.   Who cared about Les Pauls?   They didn't even make them any more!   

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5 hours ago, TalismanRich said:

Unfortunately,  back in 1959, all my first communion and Christmas money wouldn't have paid for the case of a LP std, much less the LP itself.    Just like today, a 6 year old can hardly afford a new LP or H150! :rolleyes:

When I was taking lessons back in '64-65, it wasn't the Les Paul or SG that caught my eye.   The cherry red ES335 in Dee Well's showcase was the object of my guitar desires.   Who cared about Les Pauls?   They didn't even make them any more!   

Yep.  In 65 I took my first lessons and it was all about the red ES335 (I ended up with a red hollow Silvertone.)  By 69 my palate had matured, I was all of 14, and it was the sunburst that I longed for.  After all of the years and all of the guitars, damn if I never got that guitar!  Since getting my 535 I just don't seem to want one any where near as bad.  I wish the new Heritage well and hope they figure it out one way or the other and make some good guitars.

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On 10/15/2018 at 9:37 AM, Polo said:

Serious question......What exactly has the "Heritage Marketing team" accomplished in 2018???  NOBODY is out there talking about Heritage Guitars....NOBODY......hell, even the old school super fans here at the HOC seem to have dramatically lost interest over the last few years! 

 

And the whole "Harmony Guitars" thing..........WTF is this Meng guy thinking????  Who reboots a once cheaply made novelty instrument and then expects to people to pay over 1K for it???? NOBODY.

It'd be like rebooting the YUGO and selling them for 100K.

 

926538001_ScreenShot2018-10-15at9_14_34AM.jpg.943d926a9ba11e90f1cd4dd9270140eb.jpg

 

And I don't know if you recall, but one got blown right off the Mackinac bridge decades ago to meet it's fate in the cold waters of Lake Michigan!

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10 hours ago, ElNumero said:

And I don't know if you recall, but one got blown right off the Mackinac bridge decades ago to meet it's fate in the cold waters of Lake Michigan!

Will never knew you owned a Yugo.

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12 hours ago, ElNumero said:

And I don't know if you recall, but one got blown right off the Mackinac bridge decades ago to meet it's fate in the cold waters of Lake Michigan!

So that explains what happened to you.  LOL!

 

 

As for the rest of this thread, some of you need to relax.  

Stop spewing hate towards owners and other members.

If Harmony is made side by side with Heritage, does it really matter?

Are we expecting Heritage value, quality, or perception to decrease? 

Heritage ghost built for other manufactures in the past, doesn't anyone remember the prototype room?

If they can make a high quality guitar for less than $1,000, more power to them.  

If you don't like what they are doing, don't buy them.  Let your money speak for you.

Heritage should be making something for $1000, like a single dogear, wrap around tailpiece H-137 but they don't.

So they will make Harmony guitars. 

It doesn't cheapen my 150 or 535.

Let's get back to being civil and respectful shall we?

 

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"…the employees are being escape goated as to the reason for the drop in quality"

I'm pretty sure the employees meant to say "scapegoated".

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11 hours ago, soybean said:

"…the employees are being escape goated as to the reason for the drop in quality"

I'm pretty sure the employees meant to say "scapegoated".

2l8sjj.jpg

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