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History can be a very powerful tool – Look forward from 1955/56, when the guitar became such a driving force within popular music and you’ll find 4 names are very prominent – Gibson, Fender, Gretsch and Rickenbacker  – Even today, such brands and their relevant designs, are still very influential, even amongst a host of custom builders, small luthiers and boutique guitar companies – I for one are spoilt after spending around 50 years, playing, selling, buying and owning many fine guitars, both old, new, used or vintage, so very easy to be influenced by such prestigious and classic guitars – Yet every so often I come across a more ‘budget’ based guitar, that out performs its price tag and maybe even any pre-meditated expectations that we might have towards such a make/model – I recently came across a £200 Yamaha Pacifica that was certainly such an example – All such models are good value for money, but this one was certainly better than the rest – The same applies to this used Heritage H140CM, from 2001 – I’m not saying it is the best LP based guitar you’ll ever find or play – I’m not trying to imply that Heritage Guitars are either superior or inferior – But I am saying that when I picked up this H140 Gold Top, it surprised me how good it felt, played, performed and sounded – When you consider that today, select Far Eastern Epiphone LP’s come with a price tag that is north of a £1000, then £1139 for a USA built Heritage appears to offer a lot of guitar for the money

Heritage Guitars have never really earned a big reputation – Based on their heritage (yes pun intended), with a home at Parsons Street, Kalamazoo, as well as owned/built by a number of former Gibson employers, from a golden era, then maybe such guitars should never be such a surprise package – But as I said earlier, the big 4 brands are so dominant thanks to their unique history – The Heritage H140CM is essentially an LP albeit with a bit of a twist – Thinner body – Heritage offer the H150, that is far closer in spec to a traditional LP, but the H140CM comes with a slimmer one piece mahogany body, with the usual carved maple top – One plus point is weight as this H140 comes in at only 8lbs and 4oz – And again solid mahogany body – So no Swiss cheese holes or any other form of weight relief – Note a traditional 24.75″ scale length as well as the vintage spec’d 17 degree headstock – One piece mahogany neck, with an unbound rosewood fingerboard and 22 medium jumbo frets – Grover Machine heads with kidney buttons – Easy string load tailpiece, so loads/anchor from the top, not thru’ – Schaller bridge with ‘roller’ saddles – Original strap buttons have been replaced with Schaller locking buttons – Also note a change to the pick-ups – Original spec on many such models is a pair of Schaller humbuckers that can tend to be a touch plain/flat, especially overdriven blues/rock styles – Now spec’d with a Bare Knuckle in the neck position – Sorry I can’t ID the exact model – Along with a Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates in the bridge position – More on this below – Price includes a deluxe + original deluxe case as well as a relevant tag – Re-strung with 10-46 gauge strings and set-up with a sensible easy action that responds to a light touch, so much so that 10-46 gauge strings, to me, feel very slinky, so it would easily handle a set of 10.5-52 or 11-49 gauge strings

Condition wise :- Used but not abused is maybe a fair overview – So maybe more for a player, rather than a collector, wanting a case queen example – No fret wear and no fingerboard nail wear – Look at the body, or the gloss gold top finish and you’ll find the odd scar, slight ding or graze, but nothing nasty or excessive – Probably more aged than what Gibson call VOS, but less wear and tear what Fender Custom Shop tag as Relic  – Plenty of natural played in character and at least you can play it without having to be worried about it collecting any additional grazes

Playability and tonal character :- Easy to say it feels and plays like an LP and indeed it does – Yet equally not all LP’s are identical – Different models, different years and era’s creates such variations – The C neck profile is more chunky than slim, but not Fat 50’s chunky as per many Custom Shop R9 based models etc – More akin to what Gibson tag as a 50’s profile on their regular production models – Easy action that responds to a light touch and you could easily move up a gauge or two if that suits you – Tonal character :- First comment goes to its ‘out of phase’ wiring when both pick-ups are on together – So a touch of that famous Greeny/Moore LP – Remember that if you turn either vol pot down towards 8 or 9, then the out of phase character is diminished, as one pick up now becomes the dominant option – What I found interesting is that the guitars natural tone, once you plug it into the amp, is tighter and maybe less fat/big, than what you’d expect from many LP based guitars – Certainly less moody – Almost as though it is in fact closer into tone to an SG – And maybe this is partly influenced by the thinner mahogany body – Closer listening and playing and it is probably fair to say that it sits in between an SG and LP – It is fat and warm, but equally more tight and focussed – The neck pick-up can be lush, warm and smooth with plenty of soul and emotion for those Kossoff and BB King based blues licks – But the bridge pick-up has more of a tight sound, with a healthy bite, that has a strong hint of a good Tele bite and balls about it, albeit with more depth – Great for power chords and riffs and kicks when it needs to, or will sing when you load the amp/pedal with plenty of overdrive/gain – In some ways if I imply it has certain tonal attributes that you can hear amongst famous players and bands, then equally that might imply that that is all it does – When in fact any rules, pre-meditated thoughts and self implied boundaries are there to be broken – But think Brit Pop, Black Crowes, Blondie, Faces and hopefully that will give you some idea of how it might sound – Either way it offers a lot for its price tag

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Guitars4You is not another corporate high street guitar store - My selection of premium grade guitars is about quality not quantity. Every guitar has been selected, inspected and approved by me, with particular attention to the set-up and playing performance. Every sale, phone call, email and mail order transaction is handled by me. A journey that is now over 40 years old, has fuelled my knowledge, experience, love, devotion and passion for exceptionally fine guitars.