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2020 - 2023 H-150 Std or H-150 CC Artisian Aged


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I haven't had a Heritage guitar in years.  Sold last one (back) to Brent.  I've had many over the years.

I am looking at a couple.  Each fall within the years 2020-2023.  They are:

Custom Core Artesian Aged H-150 <looks to be faded  hcb>    $3000 + 8.5% tax           H-150 Standard Dirty Lemon  $1800     Both in excellent condition.  Both with OHSC.

My experience is with H-150s from the late 80s to early 2000s FWIW.  I'm leaning toward the Std but wonder if the extra $$$ is worth it to go with Custom Core?

When did Heritage start the 'Custom Shop'?  I thought all their guitars were essentially custom shop...

 

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I have a 2011 H150 Goldtop with p90s. I love the guitar and cannot imagine that there is a better guitar for me out there. I have no doubt the CCs are killer and I’ve play a few at a shop about a year and a half ago. They are very nice but they were not tonally better than mine, not worse either but different. I don’t subscribe to lighter is better. I feel that each individual guitar is its own beast and deserves to be played and judged and passed up or bought based on sound, playability and looks and for me it is in that order. My guitar is 9.4 pounds so it isn’t light but it sustains, resonates and has a very natural reverb to it that comes through the amp. My advice is to play the guitars (if you can) and try to decide which one is the best for you without letting the higher end appointment affect your thoughts. If you can have someone else play the guitar acoustically so you can hear them that is a great way to go. I would buy either one as long as it does it all the way I want it too. Either way they will both be excellent guitars as far as construction is concerned. 

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35 minutes ago, zguitar71 said:

I have a 2011 H150 Goldtop with p90s. I love the guitar and cannot imagine that there is a better guitar for me out there. I have no doubt the CCs are killer and I’ve play a few at a shop about a year and a half ago. They are very nice but they were not tonally better than mine, not worse either but different. I don’t subscribe to lighter is better. I feel that each individual guitar is its own beast and deserves to be played and judged and passed up or bought based on sound, playability and looks and for me it is in that order. My guitar is 9.4 pounds so it isn’t light but it sustains, resonates and has a very natural reverb to it that comes through the amp. My advice is to play the guitars (if you can) and try to decide which one is the best for you without letting the higher end appointment affect your thoughts. If you can have someone else play the guitar acoustically so you can hear them that is a great way to go. I would buy either one as long as it does it all the way I want it too. Either way they will both be excellent guitars as far as construction is concerned. 

Agree.  I'm also looking into a Don Grolsh set neck.  Never had one of those.  Heard good things.  We'll see.  FWIW I did communicate with Bill who has the H140 3 pup I once owned.  Passed as the finish was sanded off the back of neck.

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For me, the advantages of the Custom Core over a Standard 150 are:

-guaranteed weight of being under 8.5lbs (which I heard from a dealer that Heritage is no longer guarantying the weight, so make sure you ask for a CC weight) Mine is 8.4lbs.   (I personally believe and have heard through my own experiences, that lighter guitars are more resonate and alive.)

-I also believe and have personally experienced that "aged" guitars sound more open, drier, and resonate to me.  I think the checking of the nitro allows the body to vibrate more. 

-I prefer the "feel" of the aged CC as it feels old and broken in.

-I prefer the look of the CC headstock.

-I trusted the advice and direction on the CC build of Edwin Wilson, formerly of Gibson Custom Shop.

***PLEASE, these are only my opinions, yours may vary.  I have owned 4 standard 150s and currently my CC Aged 150.  Was it worth the increase in price for the CC over a standard? For me, yes it was, for the reasons listed above. *** 

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I really can’t say with any certainty that my CC sounds better than any of the Standard models I’ve owned over the years. I happen to be (talent wise) on the very low-end of the spectrum of players. I can say that I do really like the feel of the neck shape, and the finish. While mine is not an Artisan Aged model, the standard CC finish is very Gibson VOS-esque. Plus the hue of the Goldtop is much closer to the old Gibson style.

Edited by davesultra
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1 hour ago, Kuz said:

For me, the advantages of the Custom Core over a Standard 150 are:

-guaranteed weight of being under 8.5lbs (which I heard from a dealer that Heritage is no longer guarantying the weight, so make sure you ask for a CC weight) Mine is 8.4lbs.   (I personally believe and have heard through my own experiences, that lighter guitars are more resonate and alive.)

-I also believe and have personally experienced that "aged" guitars sound more open, drier, and resonate to me.  I think the checking of the nitro allows the body to vibrate more. 

-I prefer the "feel" of the aged CC as it feels old and broken in.

-I prefer the look of the CC headstock.

-I trusted the advice and direction on the CC build of Edwin Wilson, formerly of Gibson Custom Shop.

***PLEASE, these are only my opinions, yours may vary.  I have owned 4 standard 150s and currently my CC Aged 150.  Was it worth the increase in price for the CC over a standard? For me, yes it was, for the reasons listed above. *** 

I've heard people say that heavier guitars resonate more,   I've heard that lighter guitars resonate more.   Clearly there isn't a consensus about that.   I'm of the opinion that there's more involved than weight.   However, for me lighter guitars are a plus in the "stand and play" department!  I was playing my 157 yesterday, and after 30 or so minutes,  I had to stop.  But it sounded killer while it lasted.  20 years ago, that wasn't a problem.

I've got a bunch of guitars and none of them have checking, including a 1947 BR3 lapsteel.   Equating checking with the guitar vibrating really doesn't make sense.  That's actually the first time I've ever even heard anyone say that.  The nitro coating is incredibly thin and it would be next to impossible for it to restrict the wood from carrying vibration.   My belly pressing up to the back would dampen far more vibration than any coating.

The look of the CC headstock is a nice improvement.     

The Don Grosh looks really interesting.   I've played a couple of Grosh guitars and they were excellent instruments.   I don't know that I've ever seen that model.  The ones I've seen were Strats and Teles. 

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I too don’t necessarily subscribe to the notion that lighter guitars sound “better”.  But I can say that my neck & shoulder appreciate the fact that mine is 8.6 lbs. I have seen a few of the more recent ones weigh in at a little over 9lbs.

Edited by davesultra
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1 hour ago, TalismanRich said:

I've heard people say that heavier guitars resonate more,   I've heard that lighter guitars resonate more.   Clearly there isn't a consensus about that.   I'm of the opinion that there's more involved than weight.   However, for me lighter guitars are a plus in the "stand and play" department!  I was playing my 157 yesterday, and after 30 or so minutes,  I had to stop.  But it sounded killer while it lasted.  20 years ago, that wasn't a problem.

I've got a bunch of guitars and none of them have checking, including a 1947 BR3 lapsteel.   Equating checking with the guitar vibrating really doesn't make sense.  That's actually the first time I've ever even heard anyone say that.  The nitro coating is incredibly thin and it would be next to impossible for it to restrict the wood from carrying vibration.   My belly pressing up to the back would dampen far more vibration than any coating.

The look of the CC headstock is a nice improvement.     

The Don Grosh looks really interesting.   I've played a couple of Grosh guitars and they were excellent instruments.   I don't know that I've ever seen that model.  The ones I've seen were Strats and Teles. 

 

1 hour ago, TalismanRich said:

I've heard people say that heavier guitars resonate more,   I've heard that lighter guitars resonate more.   Clearly there isn't a consensus about that.   I'm of the opinion that there's more involved than weight.   However, for me lighter guitars are a plus in the "stand and play" department!  I was playing my 157 yesterday, and after 30 or so minutes,  I had to stop.  But it sounded killer while it lasted.  20 years ago, that wasn't a problem.

I've got a bunch of guitars and none of them have checking, including a 1947 BR3 lapsteel.   Equating checking with the guitar vibrating really doesn't make sense.  That's actually the first time I've ever even heard anyone say that.  The nitro coating is incredibly thin and it would be next to impossible for it to restrict the wood from carrying vibration.   My belly pressing up to the back would dampen far more vibration than any coating.

The look of the CC headstock is a nice improvement.     

The Don Grosh looks really interesting.   I've played a couple of Grosh guitars and they were excellent instruments.   I don't know that I've ever seen that model.  The ones I've seen were Strats and Teles. 

He started building these set necks in early to mid 2000s.  This is around '04-'05.   He mostly builds strat & tele types.  Discontinued set necks due to labor itensity.  Rumered to have started again 2017.  Not sure on that.  His recent shop info does not have the set neck model listed. I think the top and inlays are a bit much, but his guitars areworks of art as well.  I have never seen any set neck with neck binding, wrap tail or anything other than MOP dot inlays.  He used Brazilian for fretboards.

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2 hours ago, TalismanRich said:

  Equating checking with the guitar vibrating really doesn't make sense.  That's actually the first time I've ever even heard anyone say that.  The nitro coating is incredibly thin and it would be next to impossible for it to restrict the wood from carrying vibration.  

I have heard Greg Koch say many times that the Fender relic'd guitars sound better due to the wear & checking of the finish that allows for more vibration than a NOS guitar with no checking or aging. ( I have also heard Tim Peirce, Jason Isbell, Joe Bonamassa, and other players echo the same sentiment).  I am paraphrasing, but they believe the finish is thinner on aged/checked guitars and believe the aged/relic'd guitars are more open and vibrate more. 

I do believe there are incredible and amazing non-reliec'd guitars.  My experience has been comparing 10 or so Cust Shop Strats & Teles (aged vs non-aged) the aged ones sound more open, louder, and resonate.  

I am not trying to convince anyone, this has just been my experience.    

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On 1/18/2024 at 2:43 PM, michaeljames said:

Agree.  I'm also looking into a Don Grolsh set neck.  Never had one of those.  Heard good things.  We'll see.  FWIW I did communicate with Bill who has the H140 3 pup I once owned.  Passed as the finish was sanded off the back of neck.

The finish was worn off the back of the neck not sanded.

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Switched gears all together...It's Dirty Lemon Burst...Built by apprentice of Tom Bartlett (Bartlett Guitars)  I feel guilty about posting this, but I couldn't help myself.

First of all this guitar is not an original 59 Les Paul ,it is a Full scale replica of the model.,The wood I used are Eastren curly maple (hand carved ) for the top.the fretboard in genuine Brazilian rosewood ,the body is genuine one piece Honduran mahogany..the binding is from the original Italian company who made it for the original Les Paul's.The side dots are red tortoise material from the 50's  ,the inlays ( period correct)and inlay pockets are hand cut.The dyes are Analine ,like the originals  and bleed trough a very little like the originals, the finish is nitrocellulose lacquer.the hardware is new but slightly aged , Kluson single line single ring tuners. abr1 bridge nickel ,stop bar are the lightweight historic spec ,(all hardware is from the original maker's company and are all vintage spec. The finish is aged,faded  and checked naturally.the pickups are Seth Lover  high output  in both positions the capacitors are Luxe "Bumblebees",the pots  are CTS  calibrated 500k.
The frets are medium jumbo, with no wear except for the levelling and re=crowning I did after they were installed )(there is a month's work put into one of these plus  the cost of the components.no CNC or robotic tools were used ,signs of the hand  craftsmanship are visible ,and a plus in it's value.The guitar is around the 9 lbs mark.  very nice tone ,low action,plays in tune ,nice sustain, cant go wrong with this one of a kind beauty, that plays and sounds like the very very expensive originals.The guitar comes with a generic new LP  case .the guitar has almost no play time on it. Plays like a dream...hand built like the originals .

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On 1/18/2024 at 12:43 PM, michaeljames said:

Agree.  I'm also looking into a Don Grolsh set neck.  Never had one of those.  Heard good things.  We'll see.  FWIW I did communicate with Bill who has the H140 3 pup I once owned.  Passed as the finish was sanded off the back of neck.

I’ve never played a Don Grolsh but I’ve always wanted to. It’s probably a killer guitar. 

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I’ve never heard that a relic’d guitar sound more open or better than a non relic’d one before. I can say that with about 40% of the finish rubbed off my 150 neck it does sound different now than when it was new. When I move my hand over the bare areas or scratch my fingernail on them it is louder than on the non bare areas. The guitar is more open than before but is that from the finish wear or the play time over the years and many hours of vibrating in front of a loud amp? Maybe a combination? It makes sense that a factory aged guitar could have more resonance and openness. I’ll never sport a guitar that wasn’t aged through real life and preferably from my real life; however, I do like to look at some of them because when done right they are quite beautiful. 

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