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First-time Heritage Buyer - Questions


vp101
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Hi Folks,

My first post here.

I’m curious about the standard H-150 and thought I’d ask a few questions.

At a fundamental level, I’m looking for a good sounding and stable single-cut mahogany guitar. Truth be told, I am not really into ageing or any of the ultra-fancy tops. I just want a guitar that I can play for a long time, which will sound good, and which won’t give me any problems. Considering this, do the folks here think there are any advantages to the Custom or Artisan models over the standard line?

In terms of electronics, pickups, etc., how good are things on this front? I know that several people have swapped out pickups, pots, etc., but are the electronics and pickups on the core good enough and reliable enough to last a while?

I have always played guitars with maple necks. What level of stability compared to maple can I expect from Mahogany necks such as the one found on the H-150? Also, one of the things I have always heard about the single cut glued on neck guitar is that the headstock is prone to breaking. Now I understand of course that the headstock is not going to simply fall off. However, I don’t treat my guitar with kid gloves, most of my guitars have minor dings on a few places. Do I need to be concerned about the overall stability and durability of the instrument?

Lastly, how good is the case that comes with the standard H-150? Good enough for travel? And does it offer enough protection against baggage handler type of handling?

Thanks!

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I'll answer your questions in order:
- H-150 guitars are excellent out of the box. They sound good and feel awesome. As for Custom or Artisan models, I really can't answer that. People who get the Custom Core models seem to love them. I have a Standard that I love. If possible, go to a music store and try out a few to see what you like. And try to buy local and support mom & pop stores.

- The standard electronics are excellent. CTS pots with Orange Drop or similar caps are fine. Duncan 59's are great pickups. That being said, sometimes people prefer to swap pickups. I put a set of Mojotone 59 Clones in my 150. It's not because I don't like the Duncans. I just like these better. It's personal taste and changing pickups is not difficult. Will it make a difference at stage volume? Probably not. But I can hear the difference when I play at home. 

- Heritage necks are very stable. But like any Gibson type neck, they can break. So can Fenders. I've seen it before. I wouldn't be too concerned about it as long as you don't knock the guitar over or pretend to be a young Pete Townsend. 

- Heritage cases are made by TKL. They are very good. That being said, I would never trust my guitar to baggage handlers. It's legal in the US to bring the guitar onboard with you and ask the flight attendant to safely store it or put it in overhead. If you are going to trust baggage handlers, buy a flight case for it. And make sure to loosen the strings before you fly with it to relieve neck tension.

I hope this helps and welcome to the forum. FWIW, there is a really nice 150 available in the For Sale section. You can avoid sales taxes that way. 

Edited by PunkKitty
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Short answer: yes, a standard H150 is a solid gtr that will serve anyone well, who is looking for that type of instrument

Long answer: There's lots of variables in those questions, most of which come down to personal preference & musical style.

 If you are into traditional bluesy stuff, you might want unpotted pickups. If you're into modern higher gain stuff, potted pickups would probably be better.

 Another difference is the shorter scale of the neck, which feels different than a Fender. It's probably best to just get your hands on one & try it out, see if it works for you?

Angled headstocks are more fragile than flat Fender style. Neck stability is otherwise about the same, in my experience.

Edited by bolero
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Thank you so much @PunkKittyand @bolero Really appreciate the feedback. Just spoke with my rep at Sweetwater and looks like a standard H-150 in Dirty Lemon burst is something I should look forward to in the future. Unfortunately, I'm not in the US so will have the guitar shipped to my friend who will fly down with it. Can't wait! 

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