Price Paid for Heritage H-535:$1300 USD
Description of Heritage H-535:This is your typical semi-hollow bodied guitar along the lines of the Gibson ES-335. In fact, it was built in Gibson's old factory on the same machines as the coveted vintage guitars of today. Two humbuchers, 30-way switch, Schaller TOM bridge, single binding on the neck top and back. Faded Cherry color which is a custom color for Jay Wolfe of Jay Wolfe Guitars. He is their biggest dealer and a great guy.
Heritage H-535 Tone Rating:9/10
Comments about Heritage H-535 Tone:Acoustically the guitar sounds very loud and woody. Plugged in, it has the fat tones you'd expect from a guitar like this. Neck pickup is a bit muddy when used overdriven, but surprisingly to me, the Schaller pickups are good PAF replicas. The carbon comp tone caps are fairly typical of that type of cap. The tone rolls off fairly quickly. I had some good copper foil and oil caps put in and it improved the range of the tone controls. The bridge pup is a great rock/blues pup. Has an edge like you would expect. I played this guitar side by side with a '66 ES-335 and the 335 sounded a bit mellower, but the H-535 had everything the Gibson did.
Heritage H-535 Quality Rating:10/10
Comments about Heritage H-535 Quality:The guitar is pretty lightweight. It weighs in at a bit over 8lbs. If you've picked up a recent Gibson you will be pleasantly surprised by the feel of the Heritage. The hardware is first class. The Schaller TOM bridge is very well made. The Heritage Guitars are all Nitro finished. Very thin, so expect some wear, but the Nitro is one of the reasons this baby sounds so great. The wood has lots of wide flame in it; top, sides and back. The special color is faded cherry, which is enough different from the standard Gibson red to catch your eye and hold your interest. Very beautiful color. There was one little spot on the neck binding that had a little stain on it, but I scratched it off with my fingernail. I would expect this guitar to last a lifetime with normal care. Very solid. The neck is on the meaty side. Since they are made/shaped by hand at the Heritage factory, there will be slight differences in the necks. Very comfortable to hold and play. Frets seem to be a medium sized wire, maybe 6150. I bend the strings, all of them and the setup with low action didn't hinder the bending in the least. I put some Pyramid 10s on her to begin, but the Pyramids seem to be made differently than in the past and were way too flexible. I got some Strings from a friend called SOBs. They are great pure nickel strings, but they are a bit less loose feeling and work great for me. The neck on this is stable and I've had no tuning problems at all. I love it.
Heritage H-535 Overall Rating:9/10
Heritage H-535 Pros:This guitar was made in the same factory, on the same machinery and in some cases by the same people who put together all of those vintage pieces that people are paying upwards of $10K for now. Nitro finish (you have to go Custom Shop or Historic to get nitro from Gibson), excellent hardware and pickups. All of that at half the price of a Gibby. Just won't have the Gibson headstock . . . oh, I didn't mention that if you get a bone nut put on your Heritage, the straight string pull won't wear it out like it would on any Gibson.
Heritage H-535 Cons:Non CTS pots and carbon comp caps are a pain to replace, but the competition won't use the good stuff either.
Submitted by: Ned Renz
Playing Experience: over ten years
Musical Tastes: blues, classic rock, country, pop