Heritage H535 old vs new

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by That guy, May 25, 2015.

  1. That guy

    That guy Member

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    If money were no object, which is a better guitar; late 80's h535 vs 2015 version? I'm thinking about buying one of these, one is a late 80's model, the other is a new 2015 model for $200 bucks more. I've never played either, yet, and will try before buying, and have been trying to decide between a Sheraton 2 (w. P90 pups), gibson 335, gretsch Chet Atkins, or epi casino (p90). Tried all of the above and actually liked the tone on the casino the most. Then just discovered the h535 line of guitars today and am loving the look of quality I see in all the photos... Figure putting p90s in one might sound good?
     
  2. duaneallen

    duaneallen Supporting Member

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    Most Heritages are good. My #1 is a 2000 model 535. The newer ones have thicker necks and probably better fretwork, but as you probably know, you've got to play them to be sure.
     
  3. That guy

    That guy Member

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    I'm guessing they will sound very different. Heard the older models have solid wood tops, the newer ones are lacquered?
     
  4. SouthpawGuy

    SouthpawGuy Member

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    The biggest difference will be the neck dimensions and p'ups / hardware. An '80s 535 will most likely have a slimmer Gibson '60s style neck, from the mid to late '00s the necks have been getting larger. I have two 535s, a '96 and an '07, the later models' neck is quite a bit larger.

    Stock pickups on an early one would have been Schallers with a Schaller roller bridge and tailpiece, again from the mid to late '00s stock would be Duncans ( '59s or Seth Lovers ) and more traditional style bridge and tailpiece. My '07 has SD '59s, the '96 had Schallers which I had replaced with SD P-Rails, so I have P90 / single coil / parallel bucker / series bucker independently on each pickup ... very versatile.

    As for construction 535s have never had a solid top, they have always been of laminate construction, and have always been nitro finished.
     
  5. Joe L

    Joe L Supporting Member

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    I concur with SouthpawGuy. My '96 H555 I bought new, ( basically same as H535) had Schaller pups and a roller bridge. While the neck is wide it is thinner front to back.
    I changed the pups to a set of a Fralin a Pure PAFs and changed the roller bridge to a Callaham tune o matic style one. The construction , fit and finish is impecible. And yes it has a nitro finish. My only criticism was that the guitar came through with a poorly cut nut which I replaced. Other than that , the changes I made to the guitar were made by choice not necessity. This is my main guitar and is a keeper.
     
  6. 73Fender

    73Fender Member

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    Southpaw has it right. I'm surprised that the op is seeing a price difference of only $200 between the late 80's and the newer one. I'd go with the newer one all other things being equal. And if the op wants P90s there is a model that comes with them from Heritage..I forget the #.

    I recently A/B'd my Nashville 59 335 with my Heritage 535 and they are just differnt shades of goodness..the Heritage was much less $ though.
    [​IMG]
     
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  7. jads57

    jads57 Supporting Member

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    I wish Heritage would bind their headstocks, change the stock pickguard design, and improve the hardware choices just like the guitar pictured above as std. They might make some fine instruments, but they need to improve their artistic/asthetic design. I'm sure this will offend many Heritage owners, but they need to hire a Art director instead of having the Janitor run the design dept.
     
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  8. Trebor Renkluaf

    Trebor Renkluaf I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse? Gold Supporting Member

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    Look at the picture above your post. ;)
     
  9. Trebor Renkluaf

    Trebor Renkluaf I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse? Gold Supporting Member

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    :huh
    H-535s have always been made with laminated woods - just like 335s. You 'might' be able to custom order one with solid woods, but I've not heard of that. They have always featured nitorcelulose lacquer finishes - just like the old days.
     
  10. Trebor Renkluaf

    Trebor Renkluaf I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse? Gold Supporting Member

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    Beautius Maximus!!! You're giving me GAS for a 535 again. I've had four, loved the tone of every one but that body shape is just too big for my small frame.
     
  11. Joe L

    Joe L Supporting Member

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    The H555 comes completely bound even the headstock. My 1996 Almond burst H555 is flamed, binding on the headstock and a wooden pickguard that matches the body. It has an ebony fretboard with pearl inlays. The H535 is basically a simpler dot neck design with a more simplistic beauty. The difference is really just aesthetic. Both are great guitars.
     
  12. Flyin' Brian

    Flyin' Brian Member

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    I love how people talk about what a company "needs" to do. Not offended, just amused.

    Heritage will build a guitar any way that you want it, or if they won't do something you want, they'll have a very good reason for not doing it.

    Example: My #1 is the Prospect in my avatar (a smaller 535). I specified the neck profile, fingerboard wood, inlays, color, binding, pickguard, hardware, pickups, and center block configuration. I could have change the scale, added gold hardware, had the neck unbound or the headstock bound. Anything reasonable.

    And to confirm what others have said, they've always been nitro, and have not had carved tops. The newer one the OP mentions probably has different pickups.

    And I have no affiliation, but I wouldn't buy a new Heritage from anyone other than Wolfe Guitars in Florida.

    There are some pretty nice looking guitars here:

    http://www.gbase.com/stores/wolfe-g...&sf1=12&sd1=1&sf2=7&sd2=0&make=heritage&grp=5
     
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  13. Scott Naylor

    Scott Naylor Supporting Member

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    +1 on Jay Wolfe for Heritage selection and support. My nĂºmero uno '09 H535 was sourced and spec'd by him. Chicago Music Exchange closer to home has been building up a fine representation of the Kalamazoo folks work as well.

    Has anyone else noticed used Heritage prices on the rise? That secret seems to be secret no more.
     
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  14. jads57

    jads57 Supporting Member

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    I guess my experience awhile back w/ Heritage and also w/ G&L was they were not that accomodating to custom orders. I'm glad to see that has changed w/ the newer owners. The original owners were more interested in going fishing at the time according to my local dealer. And again they are capable of making some fine instruments, I just find most of them asthetically and sometimes feel wise not to my liking. And while I'm certainly no fan of Henry J at Gibson, he seems to get the people who get the details correct. I actually wish I liked Heritage Guitars more!
     
  15. Flyin' Brian

    Flyin' Brian Member

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    ALL Heritage guitars are built to order. They don't build anything on spec. Dealers place orders for the models they want and the details that they want and THEN Heritage builds them. So if you go to a dealer and want something they don't have in stock, you place the order for what you want. Most people these days have absolutely no ability to wait for anything though. My custom order took 2 months, which is pretty reasonable.
     
  16. stevieboy

    stevieboy Clouds yell at me Gold Supporting Member

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    When some of you say "bigger necks" do you have approximate measurements?

    I probably would have owned a 535 or two by now if the necks were bigger. Extra credit for one of the P90 versions! But it's been a while since I tried one.
     
  17. jads57

    jads57 Supporting Member

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    Well unless my dealer was lying to me at that time in the 1990's Heritage was not interested in building other than stock models. I even went as far as having them reneck a H-535 w. a larger profile,bound headstock. Took way over a year to get it, and and when it arrived it was unplayable due to a backbow in the neck. They did offer to make it right or just offer me a H-550 which I accepted and moved forward. But I will say just like my experience with G&L I was soured by the experience, and have found other brands that work for me. I still try Heritages that are at music stores,mostly used, but again don't care for the necks or appointments. I'm glad they work for other players, but I haven't played any (Semi Hollow or Archtop)that would make me trade any of the similar model guitars I own.
     
  18. Elduderino73

    Elduderino73 Member

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    It's just the opposite for me because after owning two AS93s and a Sheraton I'd kinda like a bigger double-cutaway semi-hollow as I think I'd kinda like something even bigger....then again I am 6'-6".
    I want the same shape and proportions as an AS93 or Sheraton just scaled up.
     
  19. Trebor Renkluaf

    Trebor Renkluaf I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse? Gold Supporting Member

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    Heritage has always been open to custom orders - within reason. I've custom ordered several through the years and know dozens of others who have done the same. Perhaps your dealer wasn't into custom orders and wanted to sell you a guitar he had in stock.
     
  20. Flyin' Brian

    Flyin' Brian Member

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    Get a Prospect. It's 1" smaller across the lower bout than a 535.

    My Prospect is .86 at the nut. P 90s are always available.
     

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