Sunday, 6 November 2011

Heritage USA Red, White and Blue Little One travel guitar
Heritage Guitars was founded in 1985 by former employees of the Gibson guitar factory following Gibson's re-location to Nashville. Unsurprisingly, most their guitars are distinctly Gibson-flavoured, although this Heritage Little One would seem to be an exception as it's not obviously a Gibson-derived design. Body and neck are made of multiple laminates of dyed wood to give a very striking red, white and blue design.

The seller tells us that:
The idea behind the Little One series is to have a practical-sized guitar for someone who travels and performs. It is not neck heavy like some SGs. The Red, White and Blue version is a highly customized Little One. They will not make any more. The hardware is top notch!

The wood is the amazing part of this story. It is similar to maple in density but more water resistant. It is used in high end firearm stocks, archery bows, and for some military applications. Thin slices were soaked in vats of dye until the color filled the wood. The slices were then glued together. The laminate block was then cut at an angle to give the striped appearance. The neck itself consists of over 30 laminates. Note in the control cavity that the dye is completely through the wood.

There is no finish on the wood. It is impervious to water. Heritage recommends applying furniture polish to it twice a year. The neck is stronger than maple and should never crack.The tone is bright and is full spectrum with great lows and highs. The sound is amazingly good and is NOT a compromise.
I am reminded of the Gibson "Zoot Suit" SG which employed similar dyed laminates in its construction.

Currently listed on eBay with a starting price of $1,295 and a Buy It Now of $1,895, and currently with no bids and just over a day and a half to go before the auction finishes (at the time of writing).

G L Wilson

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