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Gitfiddler

The Future Heritage of Heritage Guitars

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2 hours ago, FredZepp said:

I look at all the Heritage guitars that I bought and think about what I paid for them.  I realize that pretty much all of them were extreme bargains when I bought them.  My first 150 with a fantastic flame top was $1K.  Many were less than that.  Only the big archtop was a lot more.  

I don't feel like getting rid of any of them , so I have plenty of Heritages already. No shortage of guitars to play at this point.

 But I have to admit the new Dirty Lemon H-150's really call out to me.  They nailed that finish. 

Around 2008, I bought a mint condition solid black H-157 for a thousand dollars.  What's kinda freaking me out is that I currently seem to have absolutely no memory as to who I sold that guitar to. Usually I remember each guitar, where I got it and where it went. But that one, no clue and that kinda freaks me out because I usually remember stuff like that. (insert old geezer joke here.)

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Stories make the world great. 

 

Americans don't appreciate much, really, we tend to throw everyone under the bus with trashy pseudo logic when it suits a frame of mind because we're programmed that way from elementary school. I'd like to think I'm smart enough to grasp the scope of the matter that when certain good things die off it's not always for the better or for "progress." In many cases, it's a clear downgrade. 

I remember, 15 years ago, haunting two leftover Jazz/Music clubs on Chicago's south side for the weekly jams. The New Apartment & Velvet Lounge. They were a time warp. Running the jams were cats in their 60's, 70's, & 80's. Guys who had memories & experience from the days when the south side of Chicago was a mecca for live Jazz & Blues. Even better, they all played on the south side circuit back in the glory years and had friends/family who performed going back to the turn of the century! Most the players didn't become famous but they could all play their ass off, the right way, with a heavy swing & exciting dynamics that kept a crowd interested. 

Just being there late night watching the people's attitudes, the casual excitement of it all, the older folks tending the bar, the local clowns BSing. Watching some guy drive his beat up day job construction van to the curb, hopping out and walking in with a spring in his step two drumsticks in his back pocket. He gets up on the kit after the next break and just kills it, really really kills it with excitement & chops & emotion and after 30 minutes of pouring sweat he go gets a beer then chills at the bar. Music in the blood, in the community. 

And, to know that's about all that was left of something much bigger and of incredible importance. Everyone knows the story, the next generations preferred their stadium rockers, the players preferred impressing themselves more than anything, the interstates moved in and split up maxwell street while demolishing rows of clubs/homes, then the kids just wanted to rap & the schools stop teaching music and in the end the demand was small, local. 

So, eventually the "South Loop" started to be a thing so as prices/demand changed for the properties one club closed down & the other moved to a new location then became a DJ club. 

A lot of history died and at no point did anyone anywhere look at that little corner of the globe and say "hey man, this is important, we need some of this to still be around." It's ALL gone now aside from a few self funded corner museums. 

 

Heritage? Phhh. It was all that was left of the golden years of the American Archtop and arguably the American Electric. I mean that in the very direct sense of a true lineage. Many of the people there had family building instruments in Kalamazoo going back to the 30's, the town used to have a Gibson reunion every year etc. Stromberg, Epiphone, D'Angelico, and others all dead, bought, sold, shuttered, moved, outsourced etc. Well, the other names at least having zero tradition beyond someone buying the name & making a buck off it using the old logos/brand. And if ya ask the guys making the new buck they're always gonna tell ya things are better than ever, funny how that works. 

At the same time you can go to other places on the globe and see people/families doing certain traditions the way they always have going back centuries. And, with a market just big enough to stay afloat while no one in the tradition scours the investors in hopes to go flatulate with their mouths on the latest episode of "Shark Tank." "We make the best bread in all the land, let's sell our name and cash out!" 

So, what were we talking about? Oh, perfect fit and finish. Excuse me while I go Alibaba.com and buy that $150 single cut which will technically arrive with a perfect fit and finish because it's made without all them stupid old fashioned methods. Remember folks, brush your teeth with Colgate brand toothpaste, it whitens your pearls like no other! Also, don't forget to tune into the news at nine: there was a house fire in the hood, something in broccoli is good for your heart and let's insinuate that some folks aren't worthy of being treated like humans. 

 

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2 hours ago, HANGAR18 said:

Around 2008, I bought a mint condition solid black H-157 for a thousand dollars.  What's kinda freaking me out is that I currently seem to have absolutely no memory as to who I sold that guitar to. Usually I remember each guitar, where I got it and where it went. But that one, no clue and that kinda freaks me out because I usually remember stuff like that. (insert old geezer joke here.)

Okay:  Memory is the second this to go.  Can't remember what the first is...  

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On 11/8/2019 at 7:51 PM, deytookerjaabs said:

At the same time you can go to other places on the globe and see people/families doing certain traditions the way they always have going back centuries. And, with a market just big enough to stay afloat while no one in the tradition scours the investors in hopes to go flatulate with their mouths on the latest episode of "Shark Tank." "We make the best bread in all the land, let's sell our name and cash out!" 

 

I think that's a highly romanticized version of what's going on in the rest of the world. Take India, for example. The newer generation is abandoning much of that and rushing to the cities (and to the USA) as fast as they can. You can find some of that going on in Western Europe, but it's often highly subsidized.

Ultimately, those of us who bought used Heritages rather than save up a little more for a new one are as much to blame for the change in business model as anyone. They were sort of competing with themselves, in a sense.

The founders kept it going for a long time, but their approach wasn't going to work forever.

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1 hour ago, pro-fusion said:

 

I think that's a highly romanticized version of what's going on in the rest of the world. Take India, for example. The newer generation is abandoning much of that and rushing to the cities (and to the USA) as fast as they can. You can find some of that going on in Western Europe, but it's often highly subsidized.

Ultimately, those of us who bought used Heritages rather than save up a little more for a new one are as much to blame for the change in business model as anyone. They were sort of competing with themselves, in a sense.

The founders kept it going for a long time, but their approach wasn't going to work forever.

 

I don't think you're recognizing the scope here. 

 

Walk into any guitar store in the world or just your local guitar center. Take a look around and count how much of the stuff on the walls is based off of (with tiny changes for, ahem, legal purposes) and/or directly using shapes/designs/parts/etc developed right in the main building on Parsons street? We're talking millions of guitars made and a huge portion of their history lies right there in lil' ole Kalamazoo. Even the "modern" stuff is just tweaks on Kalamazoo stuff. Thus, given the immense impact Parsons street had on the guitar world it's wonderful that the building and people of whom some were multiple generations involved had still been there, in some fashion, working in the tradition many many years later the right way. 

I don't know a lot about India beyond a trip to the local restaurant so as to what world changing things developed there that branched out which compares to Kalamazoo as such I've no clue. 

I don't think I'm romanticizing the blunt facts of the matter. However, we can certainly quibble of the materialist approach of "who gives a **** an axe is an axe" which I understand that side of it too. 

But, damn, seriously, the impact of Parsons street and the people in Kalamazoo to the guitar world can't be overstated at any level of hyperbole. 

 

 

Oh well. 

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16 minutes ago, myoldfriend said:

sandD.jpg

Wow this makes my head hurt. 😞 

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On 11/6/2019 at 6:25 PM, davesultra said:

Yup. This is why I no longer have an emotional attachment to the brand. They’re just really nicely made guitars. 

Sorry, but I will ALWAYS have an emotional attachment to the brand, as long as they are making them at 225 Parsons St and as long as Marv, Ren, Jim are still hanging around. Those guys still love to relate to their constituents and they are proud of what is happening there. Had they just sold the whole enterprise to Ibanez or ESP and walked away entirely, I would have the feelings you have now. 

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On 11/6/2019 at 4:50 PM, Conneazoo said:

I'll keep eyeing older Heritages. Who knows I may even pick one up. 

If I'm buying new? 

PRS all day. 

Yup, and plan on paying EVEN more for that PRS. 

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On 11/7/2019 at 10:22 PM, Gitfiddler said:

True, and I was really upset when McDonald's got all uppity and increased their prices!  So I guess Heritage can raise their prices...as long as they let me 'super-size' my order.image.thumb.png.bc7a5984dc0f33fb87bf697b363ab1f9.png  

 

I am pretty happy, I get my two Egg McMuffins a couple times a week for 3 bucks and change. 

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On 11/10/2019 at 7:54 PM, myoldfriend said:

sandD.jpg

I am no good at geometry. 

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Supply and demand!  Point being I kinda agree with the prevalence of used widgets on the market causing a reduction in the demand for new ones.

Does not apply to tires or tacos, btw ymmv. 😀

Not necessarily good news for the folks in widget manufacturing, ya? 🤔

Edited by myoldfriend

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A 157 is TWICE the price it was a few years ago.   Horsesh!t.  No thanks. 

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I only bot two new heritage guitars in my life. I purchased a custom matched set 535 and 150 a few years back. Payed $4,000 for the pair.

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12 hours ago, Buckyrock said:

A 157 is TWICE the price it was a few years ago.   Horsesh!t.  No thanks. 

That’s nuts! Perhaps I’ll hold onto my 157 a while longer.

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On 11/12/2019 at 4:21 PM, ElNumero said:

Sorry, but I will ALWAYS have an emotional attachment to the brand, as long as they are making them at 225 Parsons St and as long as Marv, Ren, Jim are still hanging around. Those guys still love to relate to their constituents and they are proud of what is happening there. Had they just sold the whole enterprise to Ibanez or ESP and walked away entirely, I would have the feelings you have now. 

Yeah... I've been to the last 11 Parsons Street Pilgrimage events.  And the event has changed totally.  But one of the best parts of going in the recent years is to see Marv, Jim, Bill and Ren proud of what the plant is producing.  It was impossible to continue as it was.  Jim had obvious pride when they put in the new finishing room.  This new phase of Heritage has allowed a proper and well deserved retirement to these icons of Parsons Street.  Walking around with Ren this year , he's still a great piece of the long history of that plant. And it's still an exciting event to get to spend some time with these giants.  And I'd love to grab a dirty lemon 150 sometime..... 

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15 minutes ago, FredZepp said:

Yeah... I've been to the last 11 Parsons Street Pilgrimage events.  And the event has changed totally.  But one of the best parts of going in the recent years is to see Marv, Jim, Bill and Ren proud of what the plant is producing.  It was impossible to continue as it was.  Jim had obvious pride when they put in the new finishing room.  This new phase of Heritage has allowed a proper and well deserved retirement to these icons of Parsons Street.  Walking around with Ren this year , he's still a great piece of the long history of that plant. And it's still an exciting event to get to spend some time with these giants.  And I'd love to grab a dirty lemon 150 sometime..... 

And they are SMILING, so obviously they are very happy the way things turned out. As you said, this is something they deserve after 32 years of running this  business, enduring all the ups and downs, a plant fire, a downturn in the economy, competing with sales on the internet, etc. And I cannot be any happier for them!

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On 11/12/2019 at 4:21 PM, ElNumero said:

Sorry, but I will ALWAYS have an emotional attachment to the brand, as long as they are making them at 225 Parsons St and as long as Marv, Ren, Jim are still hanging around. Those guys still love to relate to their constituents and they are proud of what is happening there. Had they just sold the whole enterprise to Ibanez or ESP and walked away entirely, I would have the feelings you have now. 

No need to be sorry Will. Different strokes for different folks. And you are definitely correct about not selling out to one of the big brands. Like I’ve stated before, it lost that “Good ol’ Days” feel. But I understand that the changes they’ve made were necessary in today’s business environment. 

Edited by davesultra

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On 11/8/2019 at 3:27 PM, CJTopes said:

I was lucky to get a custom build when the company was still in transition. It was still affordable. Unfortunately something got screwed up ether on the order or at the factory and I didn't receive what I ordered. It was a partial blessing as I ordered a Prospect with a solid block and I got the standard floating block. I actually like that. But the neck isn't a 60s style like I ordered so I find it hard to play for a whole gig. It was my 50th birthday present to myself and I sold a nice 335 to get it. That was my one time shot at a custom made guitar for myself. I was thinking of selling my 336 and ordering one with  60's style neck but at this point it's way to expensive. So my opinion of Heritage guitars isn't as enthusiastic as it used to be. 

I understand what and why the company is doing things like they are. The days of getting a quality hand made guitar for a crazy good price is over. I'm glad I got mine when I did. 

Salute to the old Heritage guys.   

p

I guess I was even more fortunate.  I ordered mine before they transitioned and my dealer (thanks Guy!) did a killer job making sure my order was perfect.

I really have no complaints, but I couldn't handle a 60's neck.  After playing baseball necks for so long, when I pick up a modern Gibson Lester, it feels so foreign to me.  Same goes to many of the Heritages from the 80's through today.

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On 11/8/2019 at 7:51 PM, deytookerjaabs said:

Stories make the world great. 

 

Americans don't appreciate much, really, we tend to throw everyone under the bus with trashy pseudo logic when it suits a frame of mind because we're programmed that way from elementary school. I'd like to think I'm smart enough to grasp the scope of the matter that when certain good things die off it's not always for the better or for "progress." In many cases, it's a clear downgrade. 

I remember, 15 years ago, haunting two leftover Jazz/Music clubs on Chicago's south side for the weekly jams. The New Apartment & Velvet Lounge. They were a time warp. Running the jams were cats in their 60's, 70's, & 80's. Guys who had memories & experience from the days when the south side of Chicago was a mecca for live Jazz & Blues. Even better, they all played on the south side circuit back in the glory years and had friends/family who performed going back to the turn of the century! Most the players didn't become famous but they could all play their ass off, the right way, with a heavy swing & exciting dynamics that kept a crowd interested. 

Just being there late night watching the people's attitudes, the casual excitement of it all, the older folks tending the bar, the local clowns BSing. Watching some guy drive his beat up day job construction van to the curb, hopping out and walking in with a spring in his step two drumsticks in his back pocket. He gets up on the kit after the next break and just kills it, really really kills it with excitement & chops & emotion and after 30 minutes of pouring sweat he go gets a beer then chills at the bar. Music in the blood, in the community. 

And, to know that's about all that was left of something much bigger and of incredible importance. Everyone knows the story, the next generations preferred their stadium rockers, the players preferred impressing themselves more than anything, the interstates moved in and split up maxwell street while demolishing rows of clubs/homes, then the kids just wanted to rap & the schools stop teaching music and in the end the demand was small, local. 

So, eventually the "South Loop" started to be a thing so as prices/demand changed for the properties one club closed down & the other moved to a new location then became a DJ club. 

A lot of history died and at no point did anyone anywhere look at that little corner of the globe and say "hey man, this is important, we need some of this to still be around." It's ALL gone now aside from a few self funded corner museums. 

 

Heritage? Phhh. It was all that was left of the golden years of the American Archtop and arguably the American Electric. I mean that in the very direct sense of a true lineage. Many of the people there had family building instruments in Kalamazoo going back to the 30's, the town used to have a Gibson reunion every year etc. Stromberg, Epiphone, D'Angelico, and others all dead, bought, sold, shuttered, moved, outsourced etc. Well, the other names at least having zero tradition beyond someone buying the name & making a buck off it using the old logos/brand. And if ya ask the guys making the new buck they're always gonna tell ya things are better than ever, funny how that works. 

At the same time you can go to other places on the globe and see people/families doing certain traditions the way they always have going back centuries. And, with a market just big enough to stay afloat while no one in the tradition scours the investors in hopes to go flatulate with their mouths on the latest episode of "Shark Tank." "We make the best bread in all the land, let's sell our name and cash out!" 

So, what were we talking about? Oh, perfect fit and finish. Excuse me while I go Alibaba.com and buy that $150 single cut which will technically arrive with a perfect fit and finish because it's made without all them stupid old fashioned methods. Remember folks, brush your teeth with Colgate brand toothpaste, it whitens your pearls like no other! Also, don't forget to tune into the news at nine: there was a house fire in the hood, something in broccoli is good for your heart and let's insinuate that some folks aren't worthy of being treated like humans. 

 

Did someone not get their coffee today?

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On 11/9/2019 at 12:03 PM, skydog52 said:

I don't recall an H150 CM having dot inlays as a standard feature.... Oddly, the description says trapezoid inlays.

I also, never heard or seen of a Henry Johnson model or a David Paul.

I've only seen one Kahuna and it was in blue.

Anyone know what happened to the Heritage Basses that were made a couple years before they were sold to the new owners?

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