Jump to content
Heritage Owners Club

Recommended Posts

I don't think I mean to be unsettling, but maybe I do.  There is a dark side to the Core headstock design.  Let me explain.

Decades ago the Heritage factory owners decided on a headstock.  There were a few features they believed to be important that others have taken contest with.  The first was to make it relatively light to minimize the forces favoring neck dive.  The second was the 17 degree angle for string security in the nut slots.  The third was the straighter string course from the nut slots to the tuning pegs.  That favored a return to pitch after string bending.

Heritage was soon inundated with the ugly headstock comments.  The original owners dug their heels in an unapologetically maintained the design.  The olive branch they offered to those who wanted something different was to make a one off headstock design of their choice as a custom option with an upcharge.  A decade then another then another passed and they held firm.  Most of the negative comments calmed down on guitar forums and the headstock was normalized for the most part due to its constancy.

Is there a new argument for a headstock redesign?  I'm not aware of one.  If it's because the new design looks better and may sell better, that is the argument the Heritage founders resisted for over 30 years.

Quite a while ago there was a different controversy that the factory owners did acquiesce to.  Some guitarists wanted a long tenon in their instruments, not the trimmed ones Heritage was using.  Gibbons had the long tenons.  There were claims that the untrimmed long tenon transmitted neck vibrations better to the body and improved the tone.  The owners disagreed.  On a split decision Heritage rolled out the long tenon H-150s.  Marv Lamb said it actually saved Heritage a step not to trim the tenon.  I don't believe Heritage felt like leaving the tenon long harmed the instrument, so this minor redesign didn't compromise anything.  I mention this because the owners weren't entirely unmovable.  But the headstock design was a different story.  Their position was that if you didn't like the headstock, don't buy Heritage.

I personally believe the Core headstock is aesthetically more appealing than the traditional Heritage headstock.  (I can use the term traditional because it's been 35 years.)  The new headstock can be viewed as a "micro-betrayal" of the founding fathers.  I get that it is expected that a company adapts to the market.  It would have been better for this to have happened in the mid '80s if it was to be.  If Heritage was to bend with the wind back then, it may not have had to be sold to an international corporation.

In summary, the new headstock is cool.  There is a shadow side to it that should be documented for the record because the obvious question is why this headstock wasn't the standard in 1985.

The Heritage headstock is compared to some others below.  Is it really worse?

 

 

 

 

98a4e4aaa88d25b05dd371f1335ca26d.jpg

IMG_1708.jpg

unnamed.jpg

  • Like 2
  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 63
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Forgive me.  The only issue regarding the Heritage headstock is one of subliminal cognitive dissonance in those for whom it's an issue:  It's not the Gibs*n open book headstock.  And the hilarious iro

What's not to like?

I don't think I mean to be unsettling, but maybe I do.  There is a dark side to the Core headstock design.  Let me explain. Decades ago the Heritage factory owners decided on a headstock.  There

Posted Images

All those headstocks leave a little to be desired aesthetically, but none of them are deal-breakers. FWIW, I think G&L has probably the ugliest shape of all.  I always questioned why the word “The” was included on the traditional headstock. That always seemed weird and kinda stupid to me. Was there an agreement with Gibbons that they had to use “The Heritage” in the logo?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have no issue with "The Heritage" as the moniker for the guitar.   They were maintaining the heritage of guitar building in Kalamazoo,  and that seemed to mean a lot to the owners.   More power to them. 

As for the shape, that didn't bother me a bit.  I'm not a slave to the Gibby open book design.   It functions perfectly fine.  Aesthetically, I prefer the bound headstock with the diamond in the center, which is partly why when ordering my first guitar,  I went for the H157 over the H150 or even the H150 Deluxe.  I like the inclusion of the inlay on the core guitar.   I think it would be a nice addition for all the guitars, except maybe the H137, since that's basically a stripped down model.

I don't get the big deal of the G&L headstock.   I've got two, and never gave it a second thought.   Headstocks just aren't that big of an issue, unless you're talking about the ugly Tyler or Langcaster guitars.   The Langcasters a lousy looking and functionally bad.   As a rule, I don't care for pointy guitars so a lot of old Dean and BC Rich guitars are out.    Otherwise,  as long as it works and doesn't weigh the guitar down, its fine by me.

People get bent out of shape over the weirdest things sometimes.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

The original Heritage didn't sell to an international corporation. Archie Leach did.

As far as the headstock I have no problem with it.  Besides one. I think they should bound every one. My personal tastes really.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, TalismanRich said:

... As a rule, I don't care for pointy guitars ...

I have similar feelings about pointy guitars. I had a Made in USA G&L ASAT and it was excellent, but it was exactly this point that I found to be odd, aesthetically. 
 

295A09A2-64EF-4346-B3E0-41BF1E4BA67F.jpeg

Link to post
Share on other sites

I never took issue with the original Heritage design, nor did I find it “ugly”. Doesn’t bother me at all that the new owner(s) changed the design for the Core series. AFAIC The “New” Heritage isn’t the same as the old Heritage anyway. Nowadays, they’re  just another guitar company to me.  No longer do I have any sense of an “emotional” connection to brand.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree the others are certainly more “pointy”; I just find the G&L “point” on the otherwise rounded shape out-of-place and not especially pleasing. For the record though, I don’t hesitate to buy and enjoy G&L, Heritage, PRS, etc, despite the head stocks that I find less attractive.  I buy guitars primarily based on the tone I can get, the neck shape, good playability, etc.  Headstock shapes are (generally) not a deal-breaker for me.  

Curious though: I have (recently) noticed some G&L guitars with a non-pointed headstock. Looks better, IMO.  Are these a special model?

 

 

576E52C0-6430-4B17-8C49-23464FE53E2D.jpeg

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, cobo said:

Agree the others are certainly more “pointy”; I just find the G&L “point” on the otherwise rounded shape out-of-place and not especially pleasing. For the record though, I don’t hesitate to buy and enjoy G&L, Heritage, PRS, etc, despite the head stocks that I find less attractive.  I buy guitars primarily based on the tone I can get, the neck shape, good playability, etc.  Headstock shapes are (generally) not a deal-breaker for me.  

Curious though: I have (recently) noticed some G&L guitars with a non-pointed headstock. Looks better, IMO.  Are these a special model?

 

 

576E52C0-6430-4B17-8C49-23464FE53E2D.jpeg

Possibly somebody handy with a bandsaw.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Jeez I just enjoy the sound of both early G&L and old Heritage guitars. No matter what guitar I am playing, I am

not thinking about the headstock design. What is the issue here?100_3436.thumb.jpg.83ced7899c20b102b80aac84a39e6ad3.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

There was that one fellow that took a Heritage H150, then added wings to make it look like a Les Paul headstock.   It was wasted money in my eyes, but if he was happy, and spent his own money, who am I to cry foul?

Heck,  I've even heard a rumor that companies are taking perfectly good new guitars and making them look old and worn out!  :laughing7:

Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the new headstock and I liked the old one as well. The headstock binding on either one gives it class.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, help me understand.  Now there is a different headstock shape, new name (The Heritage) and inlay ONLY for Heritage 'Core Collection' models?

And the Standard models retain the former headstock design and name (THE Heritage)?

Bound Heritage headstocks are considered 'Custom'?

What about the different sized Heritage headstocks (Small, Medium, Large) of yore?  Are they still available as a 'Custom' only guitar?

I'm totally confused.  :icon_scratch:

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, cobo said:

Agree the others are certainly more “pointy”; I just find the G&L “point” on the otherwise rounded shape out-of-place and not especially pleasing. For the record though, I don’t hesitate to buy and enjoy G&L, Heritage, PRS, etc, despite the head stocks that I find less attractive.  I buy guitars primarily based on the tone I can get, the neck shape, good playability, etc.  Headstock shapes are (generally) not a deal-breaker for me.  

Curious though: I have (recently) noticed some G&L guitars with a non-pointed headstock. Looks better, IMO.  Are these a special model?

 

 

576E52C0-6430-4B17-8C49-23464FE53E2D.jpeg

Wasn't the F100 G&L's very first model? I remember them from the early 1980s.

Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, bobmeyrick said:

Wasn't the F100 G&L's very first model? I remember them from the early 1980s.

Aha! It was - more info here.

Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, Gitfiddler said:

OK, help me understand.  Now there is a different headstock shape, new name (The Heritage) and inlay ONLY for Heritage 'Core Collection' models?

And the Standard models retain the former headstock design and name (THE Heritage)?

Bound Heritage headstocks are considered 'Custom'?

What about the different sized Heritage headstocks (Small, Medium, Large) of yore?  Are they still available as a 'Custom' only guitar?

I'm totally confused.  :icon_scratch:

I’m scratching my head too.  Shape hasn’t changed.  And for the record there was an Inlaid “The Heritage” in 1985.  I had one.

The bound headstock, special inlays, and truss rod covers were always an option.

Most controversial design was the Circle H.

Anyone who knows about Heritage and sees the Custom Core model will distinctively know it’s a Heritage and the slight change also is a quick way to know it’s a higher end Heritage.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/17/2021 at 11:42 AM, TalismanRich said:

I have no issue with "The Heritage" as the moniker for the guitar.   They were maintaining the heritage of guitar building in Kalamazoo,  and that seemed to mean a lot to the owners.   More power to them. 

As for the shape, that didn't bother me a bit.  I'm not a slave to the Gibby open book design.   It functions perfectly fine.  Aesthetically, I prefer the bound headstock with the diamond in the center, which is partly why when ordering my first guitar,  I went for the H157 over the H150 or even the H150 Deluxe.  I like the inclusion of the inlay on the core guitar.   I think it would be a nice addition for all the guitars, except maybe the H137, since that's basically a stripped down model.

I don't get the big deal of the G&L headstock.   I've got two, and never gave it a second thought.   Headstocks just aren't that big of an issue, unless you're talking about the ugly Tyler or Langcaster guitars.   The Langcasters a lousy looking and functionally bad.   As a rule, I don't care for pointy guitars so a lot of old Dean and BC Rich guitars are out.    Otherwise,  as long as it works and doesn't weigh the guitar down, its fine by me.

People get bent out of shape over the weirdest things sometimes.

I get enough HEADstock every day when I look at my gorgeous Heritage guitars. No bent out of shape here. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, ElNumero said:

I get enough HEADstock every day when I look at my gorgeous Heritage guitars. No bent out of shape here. 

Is that when you pull it out of the closet once in awhile to shake the dust off?

Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, rockabilly69 said:

I didn't like the Circled H, the Core headstock I really like.

I think it looks good on some but not all Heritages.

CEO of Reverend has an Orange H155 with the Circle H headstock.

Looks like a hot rod guitar to me.

A45E0A4F-A21A-4FFC-B764-FFB08358DBCC.jpeg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally didnt like the circled H headstock,but woudnt reject a great guitar because of the headstock 

labeling,nor probably the shape of the headstock.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now



×
×
  • Create New...