David Paul is one of the top fingerstyle guitarists in the world today. Inspired by the music of Chet Atkins, David performed in his first recital at age eight and played with the Garden State Orchestra at age ten as a guest soloist.
The New Your Times wrote "He is the most creative finger style guitarist on the planet".
Guitar Player Magazine - "The closest living guitarist in sound, feel and approach to Chet Atkins"
The late Chet Atkins said, 'David Paul will become one of the best guitarists in America and has the same sense of approaching a song as I in sound and arrangements.'
In 2005 Heritage Guitars produced the 'David Paul Signature Guitar", and a quite unique issue of that model is featured here.
The Heritage Story –
Heritage is celebrating over 35 years of handcrafting fine instruments in their famous guitar factory at 225 Parsons Street in Kalamazoo, Michigan, which was formerly owned by The Gibson Guitar Corporation. Heritage Guitars Inc. has achieved the status of being one of the premier guitar companies in the world today, still creating guitars by hand the way they did in the 1950’s. Much of the machinery that Heritage uses today has been in use for over 60 years in the famous Parsons St address.
The inspiration to establish Heritage Guitars began when the Gibson Guitar Corporation closed its Kalamazoo factory in September of 1984 and moved all production to its new plant in Nashville, Tennessee. At the time, many of the employees were asked to relocate to Nashville. However, since their families had spent many years in Kalamazoo, it proved difficult for some to just uproot and move. So three long term Kalamazoo locals, Jim Deurloo, Marvin Lamb, and JP Moats, decided they wanted to continue the tradition of handcrafting beautiful, high quality guitars. In 1985 when the company was incorporated, 2 other former Gibson Guitar Corporation employees, Bill Paige and Mike Korpak, joined as owners.
The founders’ most valuable resource was the experienced group of craftsmen they could draw from to commence operations. The owners themselves had more than 25 years each of guitar making experience. Heritage started operations in the oldest of five buildings formerly owned and operated by Gibson, and most of the machinery that Heritage still uses today was purchased from Gibson.
A video introduction to Heritage – https://youtu.be/ewOCghxndo0
The current owner of this guitar bought it privately some years ago and recently wrote to Heritage for some background on this guitar. Here’s what came back from Heritage –
“The David Paul Artist Model is basically a H-550 Thin version. We only made about 5 – a very limited run.
Two HRW pickups
Toggle and Master Volume on upper bass horn
This guitar has a custom H-555 fingerboard inlay patter.
The original was a beautiful blue. Yours might be the only one finished in Trans Red. Georgeous.
Cost if built today would be well over US$5000”
Laminated curly maple top, back and sides
Solid maple neck
Bound slab ebony fretboard
Cream coloured bindings to f-holes
Master Volume control custom mounted on upper bass side
Grover Imperial tuners with bean buttons
HRW 4-pt humbuckers
Nut Width is 1 11/16”
Weight is 9.9 lbs
Besides the cosmetic embellishments, the main difference between the H-550 and this model is that it is two inches deep rather than three. It also has a maple body block running from the neck to the base for added sustain without feedback.
With a Venetian cutaway body boasting a full 17" wide lower bout and 2" deep body, the David Paul model channels a tonal breadth somewhere between a Gibson ES 335 and a Heritage H-550. The guitar speaks cleanly in every register, with great note separation and a particularly smooth and sweet neck pickup.
The slab ebony fretboard, not to mention the immediacy and ideal tension on the top provided by the full 25 1/2" scale, provides a glassy, articulate note attack, perfect for complex Jazz chord voiceings.
The maple neck has a slender C profile carve at the nut, gently tapering to a slightly chunkier C in the higher registers. It is a great feeling neck & plays comfortably in all registers.
Apart from a small lacquer chip on the back of the neck behind the second fret, cosmetic wear is limited to some light pick wear on the guard, a few small scuffs here and there, and faint finish abrasions on the back. There appear to be no other structural or cosmetic issues and overall this guitar is very clean.
Heritage make great guitars. The materials, build quality and attention to detail is equivalent to most big brands high end custom shop models. This David Paul Signature Model is no exception. It is unique take on some classic semi-sold electric designs, with player friendly features, big tone and beautiful cosmetics.
Comes in its original hard shell case in good condition.
David Paul demonstrates his signature model guitar - https://youtu.be/hAwGG2MY-kg