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Heritage Opinions Wanted...

glaswerks

Member
Messages
1,327
I have been wanting to get a decent 175 or 335 style guitar (leaning toward the 335 style)

A pro player friend suggested looking at the Heritage H-535 or H-575. He thought they were "a Gibson done right".

I wanted to get a few opinions on the Heritage guitars and see how they stack up against the other brands.

Thanks
 

RJLII

Member
Messages
10,262
They're really nice. Hand made in the Parsons Street plant by the folks who made the classics. Their H-535 (like an ES-335) is every bit as good as the Gibson version, if not better. They also regularly take custom orders if you want particular pickups or a special wood or finish package. You might check with the guys here too: http://www.heritageownersclub.com/forums/index.php
 

Phil M

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,579
I have been wanting to get a decent 175 or 335 style guitar (leaning toward the 335 style)

A pro player friend suggested looking at the Heritage H-535 or H-575. He thought they were "a Gibson done right".

I wanted to get a few opinions on the Heritage guitars and see how they stack up against the other brands.

Thanks
I'm not a Heritage fan nor detractor. Just calling like I see it; hope that's OK.

First, I don't buy the whole "Heritage are Gibsons done right" thing. I know the backstory to how Heritage was started, I just don't think they're superior instruments. I've played a lot of examples of each and think both companies produce good guitars, as well as some flawed ones. Second, I don't care for Heritage's Les Paul type models. I know two dealers who feel the same way. I've owned one and played 1 or 2 dozen others over the years.

That said, for whatever reason, I think their hollow and semi-hollows are very nice. Since resale stinks, I'd recommend looking for a used one. You'll likely get a good deal ... let the other guy take the beating.
 

khromo231

Guest
Messages
457
I've owned two Heritage 535's. Neither were keepers. They just didn't sound good, they were kind of lifeless, they were very uninspiring. Both of them had the stock Schaller pickups in them, but I never got the impression that swapping the pickups was going to help those guitars. They sounded wrong. They did have good action, for what that's worth!

I still have a 575. That one is a keeper, and it still has the Schaller pickups.

My experience with the Les Paul models was similiar to Phil's. I've picked up half a dozen or so, and put them all down within one or two minutes. To my ears, they were very consistently dead.
 

shark_bite

Member
Messages
5,189
Can't speak to the Heritage LPs but that's really irrelevant here, considering the OP says he's looking for a hollow or semi-hollow body guitar.

Anyhoo... that said, I've had my Heritage 535 for about a year now. It's the first guitar I've owned that I know I cannot sell. I almost never use it, but when I do I always find myself wondering why I don't play it more often. They don't sound bad with the stock Schallers, but they really benefit from a pickup swap. Mine came with SD 59s, but I didn't really like them so I went with Duncan Antiquities. Night and day better-sounding. In fact, I'd say you'd be hard-pressed to find a better sounding 335-type.
 

Copper_Head

Member
Messages
513
I had a H-535 and totally loved it. Totally blew away anything Gibson I played at the same time.
It replaced a stolen Epiphone Sheraton.
 

Pietro

2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy
Messages
16,441
I've had two heritages and two Gibsons.

The Heritages were better. I miss them a bit.
 

Guitartim

Member
Messages
777
Gibson and Heritage can both make incredible guitars or real dogs. I own both brands but have selected the best of the bunch at the time of purchase. The Gibsons Custom Shop guitars are their best, and even they are not as consistent as they should be...especially at the stupid high prices they demand. All of Heritage guitars produced these days are 'custom shop' level in my opinion.

Heritage offers a more handmade instrument with more custom options throught their entire product line.

Also, Heritage's 'solid wood' archtops are a bargain compared to most anything on the market these days including Gibson.

My recommendation is to play as many guitars you can get your hands on before dropping your money on one.
 

bobcs71

Member
Messages
4,465
I have a Heritage 535 that I purchased new in 2003. It has been my primary electric guitar since then. The sound and action are excellent. It came with Seth Lovers. I can't say enough good about this particular guitar. My feeling was that it was a little better than a new Gibson and cost me less $. I did own, swap pickups & sell a 335 in the past. Neither are a bad guitar in my opinion.
I also owned a Heritage 137 (solid body) that I didn't bond with.

I wonder how my 535 would sound through a Glaswerks amp...
 
Messages
442
I have one of the Les Paul style Heritages, with the Shcaller pickups. I think it sounds great, but the neck is too thin for me. It was one of the early ones--late '80s or early '90s, I think. I moved on to other guitars with fatter and wider necks, but I still have it. If you want to hear what it sounds like, go here: www.hernextfriend.com/music.html and scroll down to the bottom ("Cats", "Isolde" and "Rain Days")--all of the electric guitar parts were the Heritage. Those cuts date from '04-'05.
 

Flyin' Brian

Member
Messages
30,070
Like any guitar you have to play them to know. I think that they're very very good instruments and rival much more expensive and better know guitars.

I currently own two, a Prospect and a Sweet 16 and have owned an H-137 and an H-575 as well.
 

AnthonyL

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,451
Call Jay at www.wolfeguitars.com He's their biggest dealer and orders his with Duncans or Lollars, as well as vintage style bridges. He always has many in stock and has video demos of a lot of them...
 

clay49

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,566
I had a custom order made about 4 years ago...picked the top, pickups, etc. When I got it there was noise in the pots (static when you turn them)...I opened the pot cavity and out tumbled a quarter cup of sawdust!!! I then opened the truss rod cavity to do some adjustments and found that the truss cover was anchored in epoxy...not the wood. I was very disappointed...such poor workmanship and poor inspection before it left the factory.

I understand that they have shaken things up and have new owners or new management...hopefully quality control has been beefed up 200% or so.

Another detractor for me, and I realize that it has nothing to do with the way they play, is the weak, pointy headstock, with the cheapo silver silk-screened "The Heritage" that looks like it was designed by one of the builders 7 year old kid....I think that they could come up with a better, fatter headstock and do some MOP inlays with a more modern font, IMHO....
 

Flyin' Brian

Member
Messages
30,070
Call Jay at www.wolfeguitars.com He's their biggest dealer and orders his with Duncans or Lollars, as well as vintage style bridges. He always has many in stock and has video demos of a lot of them...
Yep. I had a Prospect special ordered through him two years ago. Ebony board, better inlays, tone pros hardware, chunky neck carve, several wiring changes, including upgraded pots and switches and more. Got it on schedule. I picked it up at the factory. It was perfect and under $2 grand.

Wolfe is the way to go because he gets the best that Heritage has to offer.
 

Presc

Member
Messages
1,281
I really like my 535. It plays and sounds very good - stock Schallers and might consider giving them a change for a Lollar or Fralin to see how far this thing can go but at the same time why mess with success? It has a beautiful top and back, nice finish work, very "3D". This one is 8-9 years old now and the binding has yellowed a bit and it looks really good.

Especially when you consider I picked it up in mint shape off the Emporium for $1200, it's even better. I was bummed because I couldn't afford Gibsons new or used, but I thought the Epi Dots/Sheratons sucked. This is as good as the Gibsons I have played but I saved some serious coin :)
 
Messages
11,975
I don't necessarily agree that a Heritage is a Gibson done right. I know Jay@wolfeguitars.com and I will say he is an excellent person to deal with(in fact he's less than 30 minutes from where I am typing). I have played the Heritage 335 equivalent. It's a nice guitar. Better than a Gibson? YMMV.
 




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