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 Heritage Johnny Smith The Rose
   

The Heritage

 

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Notes: The former Gibson artisans Marvin Lamb, Jim Deurlo, Bill Paige and J.P Moats founded the Heritage Company out of the shut down Gibson factory in the mid 80ties. The intention was to bring back the glory of the good ol' days of the Kalamazoo plant and soon the Heritage guitars had a reputation of being certainly as good and maybe even better than Gibson guitars. Meanwhile, Heritage celebrated their 30th anniversary and the art of handcrafting fine American made musical instruments continues at the Heritage Guitar Company in Kalamazoo, Michigan

Materials: 17" wide body with handcarved bookmatched fine grained solid spruce top with X-bracing and lots of medullar rays, highly figured solid five-piece neck with three pieces of curly Maple and two Walnut stripes, 17 degree headstock pitch, highly flamed solid Maple back and sides, multiple bound 25" scale Ebony fretboard, nut width 1 11/16", 20 original frets, Abalone block inlay position markers and Rose inlay on front of headstock, 7-ply binding on body front, 5-ply neck and headstock binding, flamed Maple pickguard with 5-ply binding, triple bound on body backside, single bound f-hole, polished bone nut.

Hardware: Hardware completely original including the black 6-finger tailpiece, Ebony slanted bridge and base plate, one Heritage floating Jazz pickup mounted to the pickguard with volume pot, original black tuners.

Facts: Built in 1996 in Kalamazoo. The Rose Model label is signed by Johnny Smith. The close grained top with splendid medullar rays is X-braced, the neck has a 25" scale and a 17 degree headstock pitch and the finish is blonde. What more can we expect ?

Condition: The guitar is in very good shape overall for its age of two decades. It has been played a lot and therefore it has signs of usage but nothing wild. The frets are original and still have lots of life in them

Playability: Action is currently setup low though without buzz and the neck profile is a slight D. The neck is straight and plays without any effort.

Tone: The voice is open and clear, with cutting treble, silky mids and big bass with very good projection. Plugged in, the instrument convinces with very jazzy sound qualities

Case: Original "The Heritage" marked HSC with reddish plush interior in very good condition. The exterior is in mint condition. All 5 latches, hinges, feet and handle work fine. Original key is included in the case

Setup: This instrument is strung with flatwound strings (.012-.054). The intonation is perfectly adjusted, fingerboard and bridge oiled, body and neck cleaned and hand polished.

To Summarize: By the end of the 80ties Johnny Smith decided to end the partnership with Gibson. We don't know whether he was no longer satisfied with Gibson or what his reason was. But when the former Gibson artisans Marvin Lamb, Jim Deurlo, Bill Paige and J.P Moats have taken over the old Kalamazoo plant and this big heritage from Gibson to build again the best guitars the world has ever seen, he must have felt that the time was right to move towards Heritage to make his Johnny Smith signature model. So, it is only consistent that Heritage's production philosophy is:
He who works with his hands is a laborer
He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman
He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist
 

















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