Our last stop in my acoustic archtop crawl takes us back to where we started: Gibson. In 1985, Gibson picked up stakes and moved production from Kalamazoo, Michigan [where Orville H. Gibson founded the company nearly 90 years before] to a newer facility in Nashville. A substantial number of Gibson artisans decided not to move with the company to Tennessee, staying in Kalamazoo to form Heritage Guitars, which are made in the old Gibson building.
You have to admire the company’s dedication to old-world production techniques, even if those practices may contribute to the company’s unfortunate reputation for producing guitars of erratic quality. Still, if you get a good one, it’s the fucking best, as all the Heritage enthusiasts I’ve known have insisted.
From what I understand, the company now produces only electric models, which is a shame — as this L-5-style Golden Eagle model shows, they made fantastic-looking archtop acoustics.