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some Hagstroms...
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jbuonacc
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 8:28 am    Post subject: some Hagstroms... Reply with quote

earlier this year i started thinking about getting (somewhat) serious about learning to play guitar. i've wanted one for years, so i bought a Hagstrom III... then i bought some more. i really dig these things, i think they look great and i love the way they feel and play (though the micro frets and relatively flat radius are something that i'm learning to live with).

[in no particular order...]


this is the first one i bought, a black Hagstrom III from 1966 in excellent shape with original tiger-stripe lined case. a few minor scratches and dings here and there, but overall it feels and plays like it's just a couple years old. in fact, it seems like i need to back the volume knob way off to get the "mellow" tone that i'm after, which is easier to dial in on some of the others. i've noticed that Hagstroms have a sort of metallic "twang" to them, and it's quite pronounced on this one.







----


this one is a bit of an oddity. turns out that it's one of a special batch of 100 that was produced in 1969. they were sunburst with black/burst painted necks and actually came with this plastic logo on the headstock, which i first assumed was taken from an earlier guitar and placed on this one after they stripped and stained it. (there's another one from this batch of 100 on eBay right now, just a few digits away on the serial number.) this is possibly my favorite one out of the whole bunch, it's just so comfortable and sounds fucking great. totally "vintage" sound to it, very warm and smooth. a different "personality" to the rest of them, has almost a really "wooden" tone to it (not surprisingly, i guess). there is a split in the back of the neck which i need to have taken care of (they used 2-piece necks, joined in the middle), and i was thinking about having it refinished at some point.







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the beater (late '65 or early '66). a previous owner replaced the tuners with some black Gotoh types, and spray painted the chrome pickup surrounds (?!). they did a decent job of it, but it's starting to chip off in a few spots. the lacquer on the neck has darkened quite a bit, and it's worn very comfortably. i had planned to swap the tuners back to stock, but now that i've got replacements i'm not so sure. i'm just used to the blacked out look of it. the switches on this one have a mind of their own, and are frustrating at times. they all work, but getting them to "catch" can be tricky depending on the day. not sure what's up with the volume knob on this one, it acts as sort of a mild tone control. haven't really looked into it, i'm fine with it for now. might make this one an "experimental" guitar and have custom pickguards made up in different configurations to swap in and out. (i've since fixed the string routing off the nut, these pics were taken just after i got it.)







----


just got this one recently, i think it's from '71 or '72 (??). besides an unfortunate ding on the corner of the headstock and some light scratches here and there, this thing is pretty much brand new. i'm actually not in love with the color, but the condition is so nice that i knew i'd regret not grabbing it. i've always wanted an HIIN, i'm still kicking myself for passing on a sunburst one locally maybe 15 years ago. honestly, i thought i would like it more than i do. overall i think i prefer the pickups and look of the HII/III, but i haven't spent nearly as much time with this one yet. i do love how the "horns" on the pickguard are longer and match the body contour better. it's got (what i believe to be) a pretty big problem though - they fucked up cutting the string slots in the nut, there's a gap between the A and D strings. i don't know how it could have made it out of the factory like that.







----


another HIII from 1966, this one is even nicer than its "twin" above with the black switches. feels and plays like new, with just a few flaws. same with the original case, almost perfect (though this one doesn't have the tiger stripe lining). haven't seen/played this one in a while, i stashed it at my parents' house just in case i get robbed or the place burns down.







Last edited by jbuonacc on Thu Aug 01, 2013 1:23 pm; edited 2 times in total
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timhulio
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice guitars! Really like that HIIN. I've been after a decent one for ages, and feel more inclined to get one since my 70s Swede became my go-to guitar.
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dezb1
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some crackin looking guitars, nice collection.
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bigsby'd
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark Army.
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tomin8r
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That red one is fantastic.
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Dave
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They really are handsome guitars. Love em.
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westtexasred
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very cool! I always wanted a Hagstrom.

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George
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

feel like i'm gassing for a hagstrom now
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Chris Fleming
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Been keeping an eye on hagstoms for a few years. They've got some pretty good look machines, though sometimes they miss the mark quite badly. These look pretty class. Never quite got the SG shape, but I think these are my favorite version.... will keep an eye out for one
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robert(original)
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ive always love the old haggy trems and mad switches, but I HATE the new hagstroms with the strat trems and boring strat pups and lame strat switches, lazy lazy lazy.
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jbuonacc
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks everyone, i'm really enjoying these things and am lucky to have them. i updated the original post with descriptions of the last two.

i just love the weight and feel of these things, they're almost perfect for me. i recently grabbed a cheap Squier Strat off Craigslist (never had a Strat before) and the thing is like four inches thick and weighs a ton. it also has zero sex appeal. even just looking at these things gets me excited. like Natalie Portman, or a Datsun/Nissan Z. not really into the earlier models, or pretty much anything else they made. just this style here. the Viking looks damn nice though.

i also like how they almost don't seem "out of place" playing most any style of music, as far as looks. it never felt right playing anything but Nirvana riffs on the Mustang that i used to have.


Chris Fleming wrote:
Been keeping an eye on hagstoms for a few years. They've got some pretty good look machines, though sometimes they miss the mark quite badly. These look pretty class. Never quite got the SG shape, but I think these are my favorite version.... will keep an eye out for one


i'm not sure why everyone refers to it as an "SG shape". it's more like a pointy Strat, the SG body shape is very different (and pretty much ass ugly as far as i'm concerned).
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timhulio
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I fully and wholehearted agree with Robert on this. They dropped the ball on the reissues, focusing on the less unusual guitars in the range like the Swede and later humbucker-equipped Viking.

Even now, this new Metropolis-S is just 38 inches of nothing. Meh.


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timhulio
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jbuonacc wrote:
i thought i would like it more than i do


If you ever want to sell the HIIN, please feel free to drop me a line!
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jbuonacc
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

robert(original) wrote:
ive always love the old haggy trems and mad switches, but I HATE the new hagstroms with the strat trems and boring strat pups and lame strat switches, lazy lazy lazy.


yeah, no interest in those things at all (though i would like to try one just to compare). besides all the shortcuts on the hardware, the body shape is slightly different around the neck joint which doesn't look as nice.

i never use the trem, but it seems very stable for what it is. for the most part they all stay in tune great.
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jbuonacc
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

timhulio wrote:
Even now, this new Metropolis-S is just 38 inches of nothing. Meh.



actually, i think that looks pretty interesting. it's not quite a Swede is it? something new altogether? i just didn't like their half-hearted attempt at recreating the F-2/300s.
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timhulio
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had one of the Strat-alike models a while back when they were selling-off slight seconds at a big discount on ebay. As cheap strats go, it was okay, but bland. Didn't look or sound half as nice as the HIII:


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timhulio
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jbuonacc wrote:
timhulio wrote:
Even now, this new Metropolis-S is just 38 inches of nothing. Meh.



actually, i think that looks pretty interesting. it's not quite a Swede is it? something new altogether? i just didn't like their half-hearted attempt at recreating the F-2/300s.


Two pickup Melody Maker only with squared-off pickups in a nod to Hagstrom heritage. Why bother?


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Nick
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beautiful hags.....I especially like the top black one and the red hiin.

Just wish I got along with the pencil thin neck prof u les and flat radius....I had a beautiful '68 viking ii that I sold a couple years ago because it was too uncomfortable on my hands for more than 20 minutes at a time tops.
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robert(original)
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tim were you by chance able to measure the nut width on the re-issue as opposed to the original?
i'd like to know the difference in neck specs, like scale, fret, radius, nut width and even the width at the twelfth fret
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timhulio
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sadly I sold the new F300 a few years ago, so I can't get the facts. What I do know is that it's 25.5" rather than the original's 24 3/4", the nut was way wider, the neck chunkier (actually just like a normal guitar). The fretboard was also hard like ebony due to the weird reconstituted fakewood they use on these new Hagstroms.
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