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This Heritage H-150 features:
Since Gibson pulled up stakes in the 80's, Heritage Guitar has been the keepers of the Kalamazoo torch, crafting guitars the old way in low volumes. That was both their charm and their Achilles heel. New owners (BandLab) and investment have brought better quality, consistency, and to the relief of many, shorter lead times. With more marketing savvy and social media presence, the New Heritage is working to spread the good news.
We had started our LP-style endeavor by taking on the semi-hollow bodies but now the H-150 is here to stay on our shelves. The Heritage H-150 is an unmistakable design that the folks at Heritage have perfected in terms of construction and performance. At 9.6 pounds this H-150 is the quintessential slab guitar, and while the weight my scare some, it's perfectly balanced and sits comfortably on the shoulder. The long tenon neck, ideal headstock pitch and extra thick curly maple top create a perfect recipe for natural resonance and harmonic content. Heritage has mastered the art of making the materials work for the guitar and the H-150 is a perfect example of that.
As with all new Heritage guitars that we've experienced, the H-150 hits a home run in terms of fit finish and setup. It comes equipped with Seymour Duncan '59 pickups, which are one of our fave Duncan sets. The neck tones are warm but percussive, with plenty of snap even on the wound strings. The output is strong enough to easily coax some natural crunch out our our Little Walter '59 head, but these pickups turn down surprisingly well. In fact, we really liked the tone with the guitar volume turned down around six. It sounded more openly chimey, and less bass heavy, but still drove pedals very well. Moderate levels of gain produced a zesty crunch that retained admirable note separation and texture.
Ditto for the bridge pickup: The route to best tone is not necessarily with the controls dimed. We liked the volume rolled off similar to the neck pickup and maybe a little tone roll-off too. This results in nice clarity, articulation, and the Duncan '59 still has plenty of attack without sounding too aggressive. Even so, there is still plenty on tap to drive pedals, and the H-150 punches out thick crunch with lots of harmonic detail. Response is very even, without a hint of upper midrange nasal honk or snarl.
Both pickups together produce some of the sweetest and cleanest tones around, and we always urge players to delve into all the possibilities. Good quality electronics help a lot in this regard, and the CTS pots have a nice taper and usable range. If you just play this guitar wide open on one pickup, you are missing a lot.
The Mahogany set neck is a not-too-bulky late 50's style measuring approximately .860" at the first fret tapering gently to .932" at the 12th. The nicely rounded C profile provides ample palm support; and it's more generous than a Slim 60's neck, but without feeling as if you are grabbing a bat. The medium frets are smoothly finished to a fairly low height of around .035", providing action that feels sleek and speedy.
While nobody is surprised, the H-150 is a total home run and a testament to the quality of Heritage Guitars. It's inspiration and history is known worldwide, but this design debuted in the same factory 61 years ago and Heritage is continuing the legend for guitarists everywhere. It's construction and materials give it a classic vibe, and it easily straddles both rock, jazz, and even hard rock with amazing ease. You owe it to yourself to check out what's new at Heritage Guitars.