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Johnny Smith Serial Serial #L24101


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HI Guys 

I have just purchased this guitar, it is my first serious Archtop.
I have been scouring the images of Johnny Smiths and this one seems a little different.
It has two controls on the pickguard, Gold Pickup, Not Black on the back of the headstock.
has tap'd written inside.
I don't have the guitar yet it is on its way to me but was wondering if anyone knew anything about it.

Any help greatly appreciated.

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Edited by twinkletoes
Forgot an image
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Congratulations you have a special one there. Tap tuned top Johnny Smith Rose model. Not a lot of those out there!

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12 minutes ago, skydog52 said:

Congratulations you have a special one there. Tap tuned top Johnny Smith Rose model. Not a lot of those out there!

Thanks Skydog, appreciate it, do you happen to know if it is it unusual to have no black colour behind the headstock, and to have a gold pickup?

I Haven't yet seen any other photos without a black headstock rear.

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That has some beautiful wood on it.

The tone control was an option for somewhere around $20.  The gold pickup also was an option for floating archtops in the 1990s from Heritage.  You'll see them on Super Eagles and Golden Eagles as well.  Some HJS had the black stinger on the back of the headstock and some didn't.  A general rule is not to cover beautiful wood.  If the wings on the headstock match or augment the appearance, it's a shame to cover them up.

Here's an old HJS of mine with a tone control on it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muKvlvDh7os

The tap tuning option is an interesting discussion.  In a sense they are all tap tuned.  One of the senior carvers would do a top like this.  They would tap and feel it until the carve seemed symmetrical but not necessarily a certain pitch like D.  Some guitars were ordered tap tuned.  Aaron Cowles would take the top plates to his shop about 20 miles away and do his magic.  The plates are returned to Heritage and the guitar assembled.

Ren Wall, who has worked at Heritage since the beginning, has a HJS that has gigged a lot with.  He said it sounds perfect but was not tap tuned.

Tap tuning by Aaron Cowles is a good thing for an acoustic guitar.  Some it doesn't make a meaningful difference but it won't hurt except maybe a little more tendency for feedback.

Ken Rambow made the pickup.  Gold cost a little more.  The argument against it is that it may shield some of the higher frequencies a bit.  But it looks good.

In summary, your guitar is a great instrument, perhaps one of the best Heritage ever made.  The back of the headstock is better being shown.  The tone knob is a useful option.  The gold pickup won't harm anything and may, in theory, favor jazz tones.  Tap tuning means that the hands of another master builder was involved.

The wood is the best.

Enjoy.

 

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24 minutes ago, pressure said:

Some of the Heritage Johnny Smiths were tap tuned by Mr. Marv Lamb.

There was a friendly rivalry among Marv, Aaron, and Hutch on tap tuning.  Pete Moreno said they each did it differently yet respected each others work.

Aaron built archtops and flattops.  If you asked him how much does he charge for tap tuning he'd say they all are, why wouldn't they be?

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4 hours ago, twinkletoes said:

Thanks Skydog, appreciate it, do you happen to know if it is it unusual to have no black colour behind the headstock, and to have a gold pickup?

I Haven't yet seen any other photos without a black headstock rear.

Certainly a Custom Shop Beauty. With the flame on that maple I'm glad there isn't a stinger on it. Enjoy!

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On 4/28/2021 at 10:30 PM, MartyGrass said:

That has some beautiful wood on it.

The tone control was an option for somewhere around $20.  The gold pickup also was an option for floating archtops in the 1990s from Heritage.  You'll see them on Super Eagles and Golden Eagles as well.  Some HJS had the black stinger on the back of the headstock and some didn't.  A general rule is not to cover beautiful wood.  If the wings on the headstock match or augment the appearance, it's a shame to cover them up.

Here's an old HJS of mine with a tone control on it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muKvlvDh7os

The tap tuning option is an interesting discussion.  In a sense they are all tap tuned.  One of the senior carvers would do a top like this.  They would tap and feel it until the carve seemed symmetrical but not necessarily a certain pitch like D.  Some guitars were ordered tap tuned.  Aaron Cowles would take the top plates to his shop about 20 miles away and do his magic.  The plates are returned to Heritage and the guitar assembled.

Ren Wall, who has worked at Heritage since the beginning, has a HJS that has gigged a lot with.  He said it sounds perfect but was not tap tuned.

Tap tuning by Aaron Cowles is a good thing for an acoustic guitar.  Some it doesn't make a meaningful difference but it won't hurt except maybe a little more tendency for feedback.

Ken Rambow made the pickup.  Gold cost a little more.  The argument against it is that it may shield some of the higher frequencies a bit.  But it looks good.

In summary, your guitar is a great instrument, perhaps one of the best Heritage ever made.  The back of the headstock is better being shown.  The tone knob is a useful option.  The gold pickup won't harm anything and may, in theory, favor jazz tones.  Tap tuning means that the hands of another master builder was involved.

The wood is the best.

Enjoy.

 

Thank you so much MartyGrass, what helpful and detailed information.

I just learned a bunch.

such knowledgeable people here 

 

thanks again

 

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On 4/28/2021 at 10:30 PM, MartyGrass said:

That has some beautiful wood on it.

The tone control was an option for somewhere around $20.  The gold pickup also was an option for floating archtops in the 1990s from Heritage.  You'll see them on Super Eagles and Golden Eagles as well.  Some HJS had the black stinger on the back of the headstock and some didn't.  A general rule is not to cover beautiful wood.  If the wings on the headstock match or augment the appearance, it's a shame to cover them up.

Here's an old HJS of mine with a tone control on it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muKvlvDh7os

The tap tuning option is an interesting discussion.  In a sense they are all tap tuned.  One of the senior carvers would do a top like this.  They would tap and feel it until the carve seemed symmetrical but not necessarily a certain pitch like D.  Some guitars were ordered tap tuned.  Aaron Cowles would take the top plates to his shop about 20 miles away and do his magic.  The plates are returned to Heritage and the guitar assembled.

Ren Wall, who has worked at Heritage since the beginning, has a HJS that has gigged a lot with.  He said it sounds perfect but was not tap tuned.

Tap tuning by Aaron Cowles is a good thing for an acoustic guitar.  Some it doesn't make a meaningful difference but it won't hurt except maybe a little more tendency for feedback.

Ken Rambow made the pickup.  Gold cost a little more.  The argument against it is that it may shield some of the higher frequencies a bit.  But it looks good.

In summary, your guitar is a great instrument, perhaps one of the best Heritage ever made.  The back of the headstock is better being shown.  The tone knob is a useful option.  The gold pickup won't harm anything and may, in theory, favor jazz tones.  Tap tuning means that the hands of another master builder was involved.

The wood is the best.

Enjoy.

 

Thank you so much MartyGrass, what fabulous information.

this was exactly the information I was looking for, it has helped me a lot.

such a great, friendly and knowledgeable group.

 

awesome

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3 hours ago, twinkletoes said:

Thank you so much MartyGrass, what fabulous information.

this was exactly the information I was looking for, it has helped me a lot.

such a great, friendly and knowledgeable group.

 

awesome

Well, you can say that again!

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On 4/28/2021 at 9:24 AM, pressure said:

Some of the Heritage Johnny Smiths were tap tuned by Mr. Marv Lamb.

Most were done by Aaron Cowles of Aaron’s music service! 

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Wow!

 

Nice woods,  how does it sound?

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Congratulations! Even better in person.

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You definitely wouldn't want to cover up that beautiful wood with a black stinger.   She looks super...   a Rose by any other name!

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That guitar look like a Chinese fraud. As a collector of fraudulent Chinese guitars, I will take it off your hands for $500.

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33 minutes ago, rwinking said:

That guitar look like a Chinese fraud. As a collector of fraudulent Chinese guitars, I will take it off your hands for $500.

But why would China use Michigan maple??  Oh, to make the scam even subtler.

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Congratulations.  Enjoy that beautiful instrument.  

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