Heritage Les Pauls?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by motis1953, Jan 22, 2008.


  1. motis1953

    motis1953 Member

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    I have a Heritage 535 w/Seth Lover pickups that is easily twice as good as a recent Gibson product that I sold. I am looking at buying a P-90 Goldtop guitar. I have a Warmoth Strat that I built with all Lollar pickups that sounds amazing. Does anybody have any firsthand experience comparing a recent Gibson reissue '56 or '54 with a new Heritage Goldtop w/Lollar P-90's? Having never owned a Les Paul I'm totally unfamiliar with the issues presented by the length of the neck tenon in these guitars and what difference a shorter tenon would have on the sound. Does the Heritage have different construction? Every Gibson owner I've talked to that has a new Goldtop reissue seems very happy. From what I read on harmonycentral.com Heritage owners are also very satisfied. Can anybody shed any light on the subject? My main criteria is that the instrument has a bigass neck and doesn't weigh more than 8.5 lbs. Thanks
     
  2. Mutley

    Mutley Supporting Member

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    Hello motis. I have a Heritage H157 that I was able to have some custom touches included in its build. Mine has buckers too, but I have played a lot of Heritage and Gibby and for the $$ Heritage is the best custom shop out there. I have a 9 lb. LP Custom with a big a** neck that I wouldn't ever let go of. It is a very detailed quilt top that I was lucky enough to get from the folks at Kalamazoo all done up for a very reasonable price. I supplied the pups and RS upgrade kit and Heritage was nice enough to put them in at the factory. 8.5 lbs. is pretty light so you might have to wait a while, no pun intended. I wanted mine at that weight too, but it sounds so good I don't even think about the extra 8 ounces. Talk to the folks at Wolfe Guitars, Jay gets the best wood (he's Heritage biggest dealer).

    I've owned both. In fact while we were waiting on the right top for mine to show up my wife surprised me with an LP that ToneQuest Report was selling and had used to test out a lot of amps and stuff. It was awesome and I wondered if the Heritage would make it very long once it was delivered. All I can say is there is a nice guy who works for an airline down in Miami loving his '93 LP '58 RI and I'm playing the Heritage. It does have unpotted Holmes buckers in it and is crisp and percussive on the neck pickup, pure Dickey Betts in position 2 and killer bridge pup LP. All I could ever want. I have a 535 also. It is loaded with Antiquities (I like unpotted buckers) also killer. Dollar for dollar, well I don't want to :horse
     
  3. jamison162

    jamison162 Member

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    I just bought a new H-150 Goldtop right before christmas; currently with WCR Darkbursts. It rocks!!!!!
     
  4. rooster

    rooster Member

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    There's a big thread on the whole neck tenon thing. It's not so much the length of the neck tenon, it's the fit of it. The short tenon from G***on has a rounded bottom that they use to rock into position, and then fill it with glue, so it only contacts well on the sides, and the bottom of the channel is more-or-less filled with glue. On the G***on long tenon, it's a flat bottom with lots of wood-to-wood contact, but it's much more difficult to build; they have to fit the neck precisely to the body. Heritage uses a shorter tenon, but it's flat on the bottom, and carved to fit the neck to the body. Lots of wood-to-wood contact.

    Sure G***on's long tenon is great workmanship, but you don't get that much more out of it than a well-made shorter tenon. It's all in the fit.

    rooster.
     
  5. Mutley

    Mutley Supporting Member

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    Ahhh, very interesting Rooster. I had heard that now that you mention it, at least the G***on part. Did you take the Heritage factory tour or have you performed surgery on a Heritage? If it was the latter I sure hope it was successful.

    Ned
     
  6. motis1953

    motis1953 Member

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    Thanks for the info friends. Very helpful.
     
  7. shadowbox

    shadowbox Supporting Member

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    If it's possible for you, get out and play a few Heritage LPs. I have one and it's all what mutley said and then some. It's absolutely a keeper, and it beat out every Gibson I was able to play when making my decision.
    Good luck!
     
  8. rooster

    rooster Member

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    Actually, I talked with Bill Paige and Rendell Wall at some length when I was putting in my custom order for my black-and-tan. That was something I was concerned about. I knew about the G***on part from the pictoral on the sectioning of a LP down the middle to see the tenon match-up. This is not to say that LP's are all inferior; many sound great that are part of their standard line. I'll just stick with Heritage for tone and playability vs. price point, and for political reasons, which won't be mentioned.

    rooster.
     
  9. JohnCovach

    JohnCovach Supporting Member

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    Just to reinforce what's already been posted here, I have a Heritage 157 (their LP Custom) and it's a superb guitar. Mine's a goldtop and it still has the Schaller pickups, which I expect I'll be swapping out soon.

    I have several other Heritage guitars as well as a few Gibsons and I have to say that a used Heritage is about the best bargain you're going to find. At what these guitars go for (even on ebay), they are a steal.
     
  10. motis1953

    motis1953 Member

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    Consensus appears to be unanimous. Frankly, I'm surprised Gibson users didn't didn't lash out like Cobrasnakes.
     

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