Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups darrenriley.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

Sad Days At Heritage Guitars

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by deytookerjaabs, Feb 24, 2018.

  1. cnlbb

    cnlbb Tele-Holic

    942
    Jun 19, 2014
    United States
    I can't like this post twice, so I'm simply quoting the entire thing hoping that people who glossed over it the first time with read it here.
     
  2. deytookerjaabs

    deytookerjaabs Friend of Leo's

    Jun 5, 2015
    Nashville


    You want to spread 100% bull****?


    Because, that's what that post is.

    At the Colling's Price point Gibson Les Pauls have true mahogany one-piece backs, NONE are ghost built, and the overall shtick is the same old "I'm now an expert in guitar building and I know what's best" which is a tired hack of a narrative.
     
  3. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Friend of Leo's

    Apr 3, 2015
    Winchester, VA
    Yep. And I'm not sure what production methods Gibson is currently utilizing, but I'm pretty sure they're more automated than Heritage has been, and people are buying Gibsons in spite of the high prices. If Heritage starts producing guitars like Gibson is, and starts marketing effectively, I think they'll do just fine.
     
  4. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Friend of Leo's

    Apr 3, 2015
    Winchester, VA
    The new ownership is not going to invest $$$ into Heritage without a good, solid business plan. If that requires keeping the classic Kalamazoo production image intact, they will do that somehow. Right now Heritage has a relatively small but loyal group of fans. This can be built upon.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
  5. deytookerjaabs

    deytookerjaabs Friend of Leo's

    Jun 5, 2015
    Nashville



    Basically,



    They moved out of the main iconic Parson's location to a modernized brand new production facility full of goodies on another part of the campus. Then, they hired a bunch of mostly young folks with some experience here or there & turned the production into an efficient assembly line without moving to automated CNC while using many of the old methods.

    Somewhere in there a lot of tenured folks with diverse experience were let go but some of the original stalwarts remain doing supervisory or other tasks. The only custom builder left is Pete Farmer who apprenticed/worked at Heritage for quite some time.

    So, that's the basic change; from a soft tool place of 7 or so serious builders plus experienced support staff who pumped out anywhere from 50+ models & custom creations to streamlined more efficient methods with newcomers building a few basic models while still using much of the old tooling.

    Most of their orders have been international for decades fwiw, I think over 50%.



    Old place:



    New place:

     
    3-Chord-Genius likes this.
  6. bcorig

    bcorig Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    585
    Mar 11, 2018
    Chino Hills CA
    1E51C892-F638-4C80-9ECE-42FD7E6BCA65.jpeg Got my 555 Y2K with all Gibson Hardware with Schallers.
    2K shipped from Ed Roman when he was in CT.
    ES 335 cost 3.2K.
    Great guitars.
    Sorry to hear the news.
     
    drf64 likes this.
  7. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    42
    Aug 28, 2018
    Pittsburgh
    What do you do for a living, are you in sales?
     
  8. Dan R

    Dan R Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    60
    Mar 17, 2003
    Charleston, SC
    Alright, I must chime in. I had a 2000 Heritage Prospect (a bit smaller than a 335 type) with the fancy Variphase circuit. It cost an extra $300 for that feature. Totally useless, but they said I need Seymour Duncans to make it good. Anyway, a great guitar and I loved it.

    It was stolen and I actually got it back, only to sell it later. It was one I had to let go due to finances. These things sometimes happen.
     
    Mincer likes this.
  9. noah330

    noah330 Friend of Leo's

    Feb 10, 2009
    Maryland
    no in regard to the amount of imported junk they make.
     
  10. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    42
    Aug 28, 2018
    Pittsburgh
    Ahh, I think they have to do that to maintain market share. I think Gibson will, too. To be honest, got a les paul faded off of reverb this year, it's cheap, it had burstbuckers in it, and I knew I could finish off anything that wasn't right on it.

    It was made with so little care (not surprisingly, given the price) that it really needed to be finished. It needed attention to the neck to remove a seam (the neck is wider than the fingerboard - apparently that's common), it needed contouring done, and a hump had developed in the neck - not typical body hump but a strange short radius bump around the 15th to 18th fret. I got rid of that, and it's a fun guitar to play and it's really light (no maple).

    But, if they had the same guitar made in mexico or korea or at a well controlled factory, it could be as good or better than mine is after I did the work to it, with better finish work, and better profitability.

    Fender had a debt problem. Apparently they couldn't issue an IPO, and in another thread someone (can't remember who) remarked to me that they had dropped their debt $50MM in five years, which sounded odd. I looked today, and it looked like they sold off part of their business in 2015, and I'd imagine that's where the debt paydown came from. Fender still has $100MM of debt. They'll probably have to take on more in the future at some point due to facility upgrades or something of the like, or perhaps something overseas.

    But, I think they're doing what they need to do to make good guitars and good business decisions. the mex stratocasters and telecasters are great for the price, and the american guitars are effectively half the inflation adjusted price that they were 50 years ago, and for the price, the quality and the finish work are really great.
     
    drlucky likes this.
  11. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    42
    Aug 28, 2018
    Pittsburgh
    The second one is sterile enough to remind me of kiesel, and loud like a cabinet factory.

    The factory that I worked in was open, completely managed to the hilt with every piece of inventory, and clean like that. It felt like there was no humanity in it.

    The vibe that comes from the old beach machinery and the interaction between the maker and the machines (I have used some of that machinery, not in a factory, but in someone else's shop - it has personality, humanity that stamped steel CNC machinery doesn't) - it's completely gone from the second one.

    I wonder what they'll turn the old factory into...corporate meeting space?

    What a shame.
     
  12. william tele

    william tele Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 7, 2009
    Kansas City, MO
    I'm about 64. I've never heard of or known anyone who owned one of these guitars. I think that when most hobby specific people know of a brand it will blossom. Or bloom...which ever of these descriptors you are most attached to.
     
  13. cnlbb

    cnlbb Tele-Holic

    942
    Jun 19, 2014
    United States
    I don't care what you think, and Gibson builds nice guitars. But yeah, after I started working with wood and instruments I picked up a Collings and was blown away by the craftsmanship. Even I'm not sure if it's worth the price, but it's a dedication to craft that impresses me.

    But again, it's cool if you don't feel the same way. No guitar or idea or thing is going to impress everyone, and there's no reason it should.

    edit: I should add that I'm with you most of the time. There are a lot of boutique guitars out there that I don't see it in. That cost nearly or more than a Collings and while they're good they're no better than an eastman off the shelf (which I should mention is what I own and love, and would never trade for any guitar because it's mine and there's none like it) but I do see a special in some Collings (not all), and some other guitars. They certainly don't have a a monopoly on craftsmanship. And to be completely honest, I've played a waterloo that was a downright dog.
     
  14. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Friend of Leo's

    Dec 6, 2015
    Wisconsin

    Why, do you know the new owners?
    People go out of business all the time. There are plenty of unintelligent people in business.
     
  15. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Friend of Leo's

    Dec 6, 2015
    Wisconsin

    I've played two collings acoustics, and a waterloo. The collings were amazing. I played a lot of very expensive dreads and jumbos next to them, and the two different style collings were #1 and #2 by a very large margin. I was really amazed how much better they sounded than everything else. I didn't evaluate any cosmetics, or anything to do with craftsmanship other than sound. That was enough to justify the price, if I had the money. I still think I may finance one some day.
     
    william tele likes this.
  16. drf64

    drf64 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Age:
    54
    Jul 24, 2009
    Ada, MI
    There's Roy Clark. Everybody kind of feels like they know Roy Clark.

    [​IMG]
     
    drlucky, bcorig, bottlenecker and 5 others like this.
  17. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Friend of Leo's

    Apr 3, 2015
    Winchester, VA
    Why do you ask if I know the new owners? If I did, wouldn't I have said so?

    People go out of business all the time; I was simply saying that people who invest in a company to save it usually don't put plans in place that will cause it to fail.
     
    Telemarx likes this.
  18. william tele

    william tele Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 7, 2009
    Kansas City, MO
    Everybody loves Roy. I just was observing that a milquetoast, lifetime, semi acquainted follower of instruments isn't aware of a Heritage guitar or owner in my whole circle.
     
  19. Electric Warrior

    Electric Warrior TDPRI Member

    Age:
    38
    11
    Jan 7, 2018
    Michigan
    I have a recent, oddball semihollow Heritage that I traded for a while back. I'm 99% certain it was one of those that was destined for the firepit. Somehow it got out the door without a "2nd". There are fit and finish imperfections, but nothing that affects sound or playability. However, those defects would be unacceptable at the MSRP (and this would be a custom model, so god only knows what it would cost).

    But I gotta say, it plays, feels, and sounds like a dream. So I guess my bottom line to anyone is if you see one hanging somewhere, give it a shot. As an LP Standard owner, I assure you that when I sit down with the Heritage, I never get to thinking about the headstock. Plus, there are deals to be had on the used market and you might find one at accessible price - though prices seem to be drifting upward.
     
    drlucky and william tele like this.
  20. aerhed

    aerhed Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    59
    Dec 24, 2016
    Boulder, WY
    I'm from MI and when Heritage was new my main mom pop store had a dozen on the wall. They do tend to stay at home though because owners usually value them
     
    william tele and titan uranus like this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.