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Heritage Owners Club

Johnny Smith Serial Serial #L24101


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On 5/3/2021 at 8:42 PM, Spectrum13 said:

Wow!

 

Nice woods,  how does it sound?

It sounds unbelievable acoustically, but that was to be expected, what was not expected was the sound of the pickup in combination with these woods.

Running Thomastik Swing 13’s, it is the best sound I have come across on anything I have ever played, that includes Gibbons L5 variants, byrdlands, George benson Ibanez, guilds etc

The guitar looks and plays incredible except for one issue which I will need to get fixed.

The neck is perfectly straight all the way along except for the very end of the fingerboard near the pickup, from the 18 fret the fingerboard has an interesting bow upwards 

Most people wouldn’t worry as the action is pretty good but for me I need it as low as I can get for chord melody playing and the guitar could play better.

 

I just paid 5k Australian for this guitar, half what I was going to pay for a Gibbons Johnny smith, I am super impressed and could not be happier.

This guitar is definetly a keeper.

 

 

 

Edited by twinkletoes
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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.

 

 

On 5/4/2021 at 9:18 AM, 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.

LOL, hilarious

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6 hours ago, twinkletoes said:

It sounds unbelievable acoustically, but that was to be expected, what was not expected was the sound of the pickup in combination with these woods.

Running Thomastik Swing 13’s, it is the best sound I have come across on anything I have ever played, that includes Gibbons L5 variants, byrdlands, George benson Ibanez, guilds etc

The guitar looks and plays incredible except for one issue which I will need to get fixed.

The neck is perfectly straight all the way along except for the very end of the fingerboard near the pickup, from the 18 fret the fingerboard has an interesting bow upwards 

Most people wouldn’t worry as the action is pretty good but for me I need it as low as I can get for chord melody playing and the guitar could play better.

 

I just paid 5k Australian for this guitar, half what I was going to pay for a Gibbons Johnny smith, I am super impressed and could not be happier.

This guitar is definetly a keeper.

 

 

 

Here are my thoughts about the neck.  I would take a precision straight edge and place it over the bowing then tighten the truss rod a little.  It's possible that the neck will straighten that far out but often not.  I take the truss rod nut off and grease the threads on all my guitars to preserve the truss rod function and would do that first in this case.  If that doesn't do it, you can level the upper frets a little.  If that isn't effective or viable, you can then either accept the guitar as is or plane the upper neck if it's fretboard rise.

I'm glad you like the guitar.  Johnny Smith broke off with Gibbon because of quality problems.  Heritage was not an inferior choice.

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