Heritage h-555: Run Away or Towards

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Grant Austin, Nov 15, 2016.

  1. Grant Austin

    Grant Austin Tele-Meister

    Age:
    39
    Posts:
    268
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2016
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    (disclaimer: I am not selling this instrument. I am not affiliated with the shop. No skin in the game but GAS.)

    I am thinking of buying this: https://reverb.com/item/3266328-heritage-h-555-w-bigsby-2005-3-tone-sunburst

    I'm a little worried about all the discoloration and pitting on that Bigsby. In some of the pictures the frets are almost black.

    I talked to the seller and he said they've cleaned it up and the frets are nice and shiny. No evidence of smoke or water/humidity damage.

    I'm still a little skeptical.

    Any thoughts and opinions on whether I should tempt fate?

    There's a minty looking '87 h-535 for around the same price on that site that I could always pursue instead. But no bling!
     
  2. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

    Posts:
    24,798
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Location:
    Around
    Beautiful guitar. Love heritage. Stew mac has gold bigsby $336. FYI
     
  3. Martinp

    Martinp Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,328
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Westbury, N.Y.
    no advice, but it sure is pretty
     
  4. Grant Austin

    Grant Austin Tele-Meister

    Age:
    39
    Posts:
    268
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2016
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Thanks for the info.

    I'm not worried about the hardware as much as what else it might indicate.

    Maybe the simple answer is true: it got played a ton and sweated on a ton.
     
  5. Revv23

    Revv23 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,051
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2009
    Location:
    Michigan
    I think that bigsby looks great.
     
  6. Big Burly

    Big Burly Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    460
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Gold plated hardware loses its plating with not a lot of use, frequently.

    I'd jump all over that guitar! Better than Gibsons, as good or better than custom-shop Gibbys.
     
  7. Tele Fan

    Tele Fan Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,246
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    Location:
    Louisville, Ky
    Looks fine to me. The frets probably just need a good cleaning and the wear on the bigsby looks normal. Heritage makes a fantastic guitar.
     
  8. Flaneur

    Flaneur Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,240
    Joined:
    May 24, 2010
    Location:
    Scotland
    Towards. ;)
     
  9. BopT

    BopT Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,838
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Location:
    Chicago
    I am not a fan of gold hardware it pits easy and then flakes. If I bought that guitar I would replace the hardware it would look good.
     
  10. voodooblues

    voodooblues Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,157
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2012
    Location:
    Berwyn, Il
    Maybe I'm missing something but I'm not sure what the hold up is. That guitar is gorgeous
     
  11. k.l.k

    k.l.k Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    542
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2013
    Location:
    cali
    It only took me a year or two to rub all the gold plating off the top corner of my bridge pickup on my golden eagle. that stuff just wears off. doesn't bother me. looks pretty cool.

    since they have two different guitars, i'd just call them and ask for more about each one. detailed description may help you to decide.
     
  12. Stingfan73

    Stingfan73 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,496
    Joined:
    May 9, 2012
    Location:
    The East Coast
    What I've heard, by people who if I don't unquestionably trust, I certainly don't have automatic reflexive reason to doubt or dismiss... is that guitar for guitar, the Heritage guitars are every bit as good as a Gibson... for less money on the used market. And perhaps on the new market. They simply don't seem to command the same resale as a Gibson, but are purportedly, every bit as good, if not better than some Gibsons. In other words, if you don't care about the name on the headstock (or resale value relative to Gibson), it's a BUY.
     
  13. Deeve

    Deeve Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    8,217
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Ballard
    Looks good to me.
    My LP Custom* has that cursed gold hardware (no Bigsby though) and yes, it has wear spots in all the places you'd expect.
    I don't know feature diffs between 535 and 555 - "better" trim/inlay?
    There are several Heritage 535 models available on same site, and their prices seem to be appx 1800-2300.
    So this 1700 isn't far from the range AFAIK.

    I already have a thin hollow Gibson**, so I'm feeling GAS immune right now, but it looks nice enough, if you really want something w/ gold hdw.

    Peace - Deeve

    *mid 70's Norlin - boat anchor
    **orange label Trini Lopez std, if you care
     
  14. Tacotuesday

    Tacotuesday Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    200
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2016
    Location:
    Pacific NW, US
    Yowza! That's a looker. :)

    This. I don't see anything to be concerned about, and the seller looks to be a pro outfit with 100% positive feedback. I can think of worse guitars to buy.

    Maybe a member in Nashville can look at it in person for you?
     
  15. deytookerjaabs

    deytookerjaabs Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,738
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2015
    Location:
    Nashville
    I just saw that guitar two days ago, but it was a minor glance as I've got a bigsby guitar already. It's a very pretty example and 555's are a high end build. Do it!

    I quickly picked up the two other heritage 535's they have on the wall, very well built and with the right strings/setup would kill it I'm sure. Still, I'm spoiled with my current 335 and was just kicking tires during a few free hours after which I walked out feeling like I'm not missing anything.
     
  16. Grant Austin

    Grant Austin Tele-Meister

    Age:
    39
    Posts:
    268
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2016
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Thanks everyone for the good points. NGD imminent.
     
  17. INFANT

    INFANT Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    895
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2011
    Location:
    Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada
    That is one gorgeous guitar! I hope you bought it as it looks like it sold. :(
     
  18. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    55,121
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2007
    Location:
    New Orleans, LA + in the
    This type of construction, plating, you simply have to accept the discoloration and eventual loss of the gold on there. Varies from player to player, how quick it degrades but it IMO is part of the ownership/use experience of a guitar with gold plated hardware.

    Enjoy!
     
  19. Frank'n'censed

    Frank'n'censed Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    11,811
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2011
    Location:
    Parts Unknown
    Beautiful instrument...noting it's price makes me feel better about my purchase.

    2016-06-29-23-18-56.jpg
     
    Stingfan73 likes this.
  20. voodooblues

    voodooblues Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,157
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2012
    Location:
    Berwyn, Il
    I bought a 535 about 10 years ago. Since then I've had multiple luthiers tell me "NEVER SELL THIS GUITAR". They are great guitars, and less $$$ than Gibson.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.