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Sad Days At Heritage Guitars

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

  1. deytookerjaabs

    deytookerjaabs Friend of Leo's

    Jun 5, 2015
    Nashville
    Oh....Okay, now your Gibson reissue was defective (and you didn't notice the 1 piece back? haha, oh man, the lies are adding up and I keep catching more of'em), your Heritage was a "Dud" and you pump the tires of Korean D'angelico's (I call them Samicks) while pretending Gibson's are "ghost built" then you inflate the price points even though we all know R8's can be had for 4k and a smidge less brand new.




    Well, that's funny, Heritage did actual Ghost Building of guess what...D'Angelico's:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    I'm sure they were duds tho too...or at least if we could find a way to pointlessly squeeze some "big boy words" like tangential in there to appear smart while we shift the conversation back to "COLLINGS COLLINGS COLLINGS" that would make a swell post.
     

  2. cnlbb

    cnlbb Tele-Holic

    903
    Jun 19, 2014
    United States
    I don't have a dog in or care about the ghost building argument. (Seems easy enough to prove/disprove, and either way it doesn't change the quality that eventually came out of the factory.) Additionally, I let you have your own opinion CV aside. (Which on this forum everyone is/can be an expert.) Looking at this thread, I kinda think you're looking for a fight. Best of luck in that.
     

  3. deytookerjaabs

    deytookerjaabs Friend of Leo's

    Jun 5, 2015
    Nashville



    You don't see the evolution of the conversation?


    Thread has nothing to do with Collings... @D_W_PGH claims he had a Heritage but it was a "dud"... Collings gets brought in.

    He says Les Pauls have 2 piece backs and are ghost built unlike Collings

    I corrected him pointing out Reissue spec was 1 piece backs and that there's zero truth to the ghost building statement.

    All of the sudden...YES, his memory kicked in...he had a Reissue Les Paul too...but it was defective! Just like his Heritage was a Dud! (so he must have bought it before realizing it had a 2 piece back? Or, before he found out they were ghost built)

    and then, back to Collings, back to Collings, back to Collings.




    There's a pattern here, and within it are loads of false statements always bringing it back to Collings.
     

  4. bcorig

    bcorig Tele-Meister

    397
    Mar 11, 2018
    Chino Hills CA
    That’s Jonathan Winters
     
    drf64 likes this.

  5. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Friend of Leo's

    Dec 6, 2015
    Wisconsin
    Maybe you don't put much stock in a name, but a lot more people claim this than it can possibly be true of, given what companies pay for a name.
    If you don't care about the name, would you even buy a D'Angelico?
    They're just more of the same thing everyone sells. Then again, maybe they sell in spite of the name. I'd think a guitarist who knew anything about D'Angelico would be embarrassed to be playing the guitar equivalent of a kia with a rolls royce grill.
     
    Bulldoggio likes this.

  6. NC E30

    NC E30 TDPRI Member

    16
    Oct 15, 2015
    North Carolina

  7. juxtapolice

    juxtapolice Tele-Holic

    592
    Mar 31, 2011
    Jersey City
    I have a heritage and a Gibson. I have an LsL and a fender. A good guitar is a good guitar. Doyle Bramhall Jr plays a heritage, seems to
    work for him. I'm not picky so
    long as it's tonefull, road worthy and I can play a full gig with it. When I sough a les Paul, the heritage came out on top, when I sought a 335 the gibby did and fender for the tele, LsL for the strat, Novo for the J master style.... idk, play one and choose
     
    Electric Warrior likes this.

  8. Doug B

    Doug B TDPRI Member

    Age:
    64
    95
    May 29, 2017
    Canada
    Sorry about Heritage, but I guess the closest company in size and quality to the old Heritage is Collings Guitars in Texas. Fingers crossed that they stay true for a long time.
     

  9. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    52
    Jan 23, 2007
    Denmark
    Gibson sell some rather stupid priced guitars , IMO. So does some smaller companies.... Im not interested in buying anything that expensive anyway , so how they compare really dont interest me. Gibson also offer some lower priced models , and some at barely more than entry level prices.

    I have 4 Studios , they deliver anything I want from a Gibson. Once setup to my liking , they deliver everything I want/need from a Les Paul.
    The idea that a guitar must have certain specs , wood or whatever to be " just good enough " is a mystery to me.....I love to look at different models online , but I dont need all the fancy stuff myself......We use these tools to make music , right ?
     

  10. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Tele-Holic

    Age:
    41
    814
    Aug 28, 2018
    Pittsburgh
    I'm not talking about dangelicos made in recent years, I'm talking about the original dangelicos when they had a master and apprentice style type shop. Your immaturity about comments, and inability to think about what things could possibly be is causing you to provide inaccurate answers.

    here's the skinny on the heritage (golden eagle) guitar that I got - it was better than a dangelico ex-ss from korea. Solid top, maple sides and back (heritage). production plywood guitar (korean dangelico). I expected a perfect guitar with a woody tone and very nice figure when I got the guitar from heritage. I got a guitar with tool marks under the lacquer, the sides had large patches of no figure at all and the figure on the back was minimal. The background of getting a guitar that was left after a german dealer cleaned them out is why that is. I am being polite and honest in saying that I would bet that I didn't get their typical guitar, I got one of the worst. They probably weren't in a position to cull it due to tool marks being left on the top that maybe they didn't see until they'd sprayed it. If you made guitars, you'd understand how such a thing can occur. I got the guitar.

    I expected the dangelico guitar to be mediocre like an early 2000s epiphone. it is not in the class of a heritage golden eagle, it's just a common plywood guitar. The fit and finish on it, aside from that, is at least as good as the golden eagle that I received (the binding, the quality of the finish job, the lack of marks (the same thing that marked a spruce top probably wouldn't mark plywood - since you're a master chicago builder, I shouldn't have to explain that to you, either).

    So, based on the price and what you'd expect, an average person would think "wow, a fabulous guitar for $800" with the dangelico, and they'd think "wow...I'm kind of disappointed" in the heritage guitar, but I should've held off buying one at the time after the told me all but a few left the room with the dealer. I immediately thought that when it arrived "gaahhh...I just got one of the ones the dealer/dealer network didn't want, I should've thought about why they didn't take 100% of the guitars that were there". As you say, they sell a lot to european buyers.

    If you are not aware that a whole lot of guitars were made by dangelico in NEW YORK, and not under a factory type setting like heritage has, not sure what it would take to enlighten you. You come across as a self-professed expert. I'm just reflecting on what i've learned vs. what I knew as a happy young professional, or before that, a college student buying my first expensive guitar (the dud '61 reissue - I sold it as salvage on ebay in 2004 for $552. that hurt).

    I have no clue why I'd have to lie about anything, having actually done and seen the things is much easier to remember.

    I bought the Gibson SG in 1996 at Links Music in hanover, pa - a gibson A.D. $2000 list price, $1200 if you bought with card, or $1062 if you bought cash. I bought cash. I traded two decent saxophones to be able to afford it, looked it over, played it a little bit (it had a lot of fret buzz, but the action was set low). In those days as a 19 year old college freshman, I wouldn't have known what wood it was made of, let alone that there were two piece or three piece guitars, or one piece. I also would've figured if the frets looked a little odd, "it's gibson, there's no way its' a dud". The first two stores that I took it to for a setup, one each the subsequent years also set it low because that's what I asked for. It continued to buzz and had semi-dead notes above the 12th fret (maybe the filing of the frets on the low side - first four - did actually solve a problem there, too). Senior year in college, I took it to a guitar shop in state college and told the counter guy I'd never been able to get it set up right, he looked down the neck and said "It's toast - the neck is wavy in an S shape. You could potentially have it pressed for $200, but no guarantee it would fix it, or you could get a new neck". I emailed gibson back then, all they could say is "that sounds like a sad story, but nothing we can do for you now that you've had it a few years".

    I didn't play in a band in college, only in high school, so the fret buzz for dorm jamming wasn't an issue, just turn up the gain.

    That should be enough for you.

    And, by the way. I'm cheap. I've never been to collings or met anyone from there. I bought a bourgeois in 2006 because I didn't want to pay collings price (that didn't turn out to be a problem). In nashville, I went to the gibson store hoping they'd have a '59 paul marked down (it was literally in some mall that looked like outlets). Nope, tag price. $8999. I looked it over, but I still don't see what was $9K back then. I see they're still about the same price -I guess they didn't sell well at that.

    I only ended up buying a collings guitar because I wanted to see, as a builder, how tight they actually were. I bought a cheap used 290, and expected it to feel sort of like a gibson. Instead, it turned out to be perfectly made. I've bought two more used since then. Both, again, perfectly made.

    I'm not old enough to have bought original dangelico guitars, but I made a comment to a friend of mine that I thought I'd have trouble carving a solid top guitar with workmanship any better than the korean guitar that I'd bought (Of course I can buy better materials, that's not hard - it's expensive, but not hard). He remarked that the originals weren't perfect, either ("like a factory guitar would be"), and that you "can tell that a lot of the work was done by hand". Here he is - you can see some of his hand work (this is 20 years old). You would have no clue what to do if you talked to him - he'd probably write you off as superstitious like a lot of buyers.

    http://www.cybozone.com/fg/wilson.html#contact

    I bounce what I'm thinking off of him about certain things to make sure my expectations are reasonable. He's critical and harsh, but honest. He likes gibsons, but I don't think he cares much if workmanship is poor, he'll just fix it if needed.

    I don't know anything about collings' operation (just watched my first youtube video of some of it yesterday, but it doesn't show much). I would assume that it is mostly CNC/Plek type work, but with extreme attention to things like wood selection. There must be a fair amount of hand finish work, but it is sparing, or the crispness of the cuts would be lost, and you would see undulations somewhere in the finish. If you went somewhere for two years, you should know that, but I have no clue what you learned where you went - maybe you learned how to do production work at one spot. I am learning to build entirely by hand. I am amazed that if collings can tool up and do whatever they do, Gibson can't seem to do it for two guitars in a row.

    I haven't doubted that you're honest, I don't see any reason why you should doubt that I am, either, even if you don't like my opinions. Asserting that I'm dishonest is rude and childish. I guessed some things when I started posting here, because heritage went off my radar for a while after losing so much on a

    the absolute most convincing guitars or really any products, to me, are the ones where I think they're pulling someones' leg (like collings' prices - they're expensive) and then I find out I was wrong. The worst in the other direction are where I hear some narrative, and as a young fanboy trust in a brand, and get screwed by it.

    Perhaps you can correct me now and tell me that Dangelico and Daquisto never actually built any guitars in New York, and that Heritage built them all.

    Whatever you say, it won't change the fact that Collings does better work than Gibson, and you can get it for less dollar for dollar. If you've had a bad experience with a C-suite employee or four that intruded on your gibson and heritage fandom by repeating something a dealer told them about collings, I'm not your guy. If Gibson could match Collings, I'd probably still have all gibsons.
     
    bcorig likes this.

  11. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Tele-Holic

    Age:
    41
    814
    Aug 28, 2018
    Pittsburgh
    that is a perfectly reasonable thing. I don't want to give the impression to anyone that a *properly* made gibson will leave something to be desired. The workmanship of collings being better is really a matter of taste - do you expect to get something great because you paid the price for great. The fact that collings is much more consistent may be of more utility for a risk averse buyer.

    But a collings isn't a gibson, and if someones' taste is that they don't like the boutiquey guitar names because they connect those with a huge class of white collar buyers who aren't great players (which is what I have heard at a local store here "most of the buyers are corner office, and if they go to a jam, they play cripple creek 500 times", I think that's fine, too).

    I was in that crowd of buyers, I want to play the guitar angus young is playing, not one with someone else's brand on it - that's what got me in trouble as a young uneducated buyer, but it's not going to burn everyone. I also thought the collings type guitars were for posers. Now, I guess I'm a poser. Not a great player, but with a huge desire to build, and an appreciation for guitars all across the spectrum. Unless they're expensive an inconsistent or unimpressive.
     
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  12. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Tele-Holic

    Age:
    41
    814
    Aug 28, 2018
    Pittsburgh
    I hope heritage stays around for a while, but i'd really have hoped that the old style could've stayed around with new enthusiastic builders who built like the older guys did. If they don't, there will always be someone else.

    There are more talented builders out there, and making guitars is fairly low capital investment if you're willing to starve a little bit to see if you can make it - anyway, more talented builders than there is a market for them.
     

  13. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Friend of Leo's

    Apr 3, 2015
    Winchester, VA
    Hard to argue that Heritage doesn't make excellent guitars, and that appears to be the current goal with the new owners. What Heritage needs is what they've always lacked: effective marketing.
     

  14. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Tele-Holic

    Age:
    41
    814
    Aug 28, 2018
    Pittsburgh
    In my opinion, that is a narrative given to employees to make sure you don't have a crisis. A savvy buyer will already have a plan to get rid of that, but they will wait several years to roll it out. They may not want to keep the older employees and the older methods, especially if someone is advising them (someone with knowledge), but they also can't afford to have the entire place walk out and reincorporate as a new business somewhere else.

    It's just the nature of things - not at all exclusive to guitar making. The buyer who offers the most money is also rarely going to be the buyer who wants to keep things the same the most with minor improvements. The latter type of person may exist, but they won't be able to compete.

    3-5 years is generally what I've seen for major drastic changes. In two with heritage, learning what we've learned from one fanboy and a couple of news articles, the changes that have occurred so far are pretty drastic. Only speculating, but I'd be surprised if they didn't continue based on a timeline that was put in place (but not fully communicated) a long time ago. I hope for the sake of the current employees, that any future changes are just "necessary modernization" and not at the cost of the employees.
     

  15. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Tele-Holic

    Age:
    41
    814
    Aug 28, 2018
    Pittsburgh
    It's too bad they didn't learn that part from Gibson. Gibson was savvy as a company long before they left kalamazoo. The changes the new owners are making (unless the price list suddenly drops) look like they're designed to widen the gap between production cost and street price. Not an unreasonable goal for a business, but it can get in the way of sentimentality.

    Before the internet, Gibson's marketing was super effective. It was only in the late 90s or so that people were able to start putting collections of Gibson purchasing experience together. After I had my problem with a guitar from them, I made it a point to ask dealers what their experience was, and they were all full of stories about guitars with problems. One of the local A.D's here said, "I don't know, I guess you don't want any guitar that they make on a monday or a friday".

    (they're not that bad, of course).
     
    3-Chord-Genius likes this.

  16. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Friend of Leo's

    Apr 3, 2015
    Winchester, VA
    Perhaps I am oversimplifying things here, but it looks like when Gibson left Kalamazoo, they took the name and the marketing skills with them, leaving the guitar building skills behind. And I'm only saying that because my own personal experience with a horrible Nashville Gibson Les Paul Custom from 1982. When I bought it, I was ignorant and ignored the flaws because I just wanted to own a Gibson, until a friend of mine whose dad worked for Gibson in Kalamazoo told me that guitars like mine would have been tossed in the garbage.
     

  17. TheGoodTexan

    TheGoodTexan Doctor of Teleocity

    Apr 28, 2003
    Nashville, TN
    There was a period of a few years (?) where both the Kalamazoo plant and the Nashville plant were both operational and producing the same exact models. During that period, some Kalamazoo employees did indeed make the transition to Nashville. When the final axe fell on the Kalamazoo plant, some of the remaining employees there were still given the opportunity to keep their job by moving to Nashville.
     
    3-Chord-Genius and viccortes285 like this.

  18. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Tele-Holic

    Age:
    41
    814
    Aug 28, 2018
    Pittsburgh
    Apparently by 1994 when my guitar (which didn't manage to find my checkbook until Spring 1996) was made before the building skills re-arrived there. I don't know if the age of the 1990s guitar is why, but I've noticed that Heritage and Gibson guitars sell better if they're later than that.

    I remember reading articles in the early 2000s about Henry's emphasis on quality, and figured he'd recently bought it. He didn't. I don't know why it took so long for an emphasis on that.

    I do remember their emphasis on sending cease and desist letters all over the place, especially to harmless makers - like banjo makers using bell-shaped truss rod covers (and not putting Gibson on a peghead). Gibson threatened those makers, promptly jacked up the price of their own banjos and then after making a big legal stink, quit making them entirely shortly after that. All of that harassment for nothing.
     

  19. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Friend of Leo's

    Apr 3, 2015
    Winchester, VA
    I should add that while my 1982 Les Paul Custom was of horrendous build quality, my 1992 Les Paul Standard was nearly perfect - on the same level of my 1986 Heritage H-140. I'd say the build quality of both those instruments was equal.
     

  20. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Friend of Leo's

    Dec 6, 2015
    Wisconsin

    It sounds like you wouldn't be too interested in this thread. And yet...

    I guess some people think it's silly when someone pays "too much" to get the best sounding guitar they can afford, while some of us think it's silly to buy 4 of the same model.
     
    twotone60 and 3-Chord-Genius like this.

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