Tag: Älvdalen

Hagström Western 6

Hagström Western 6 Made in Sweden 1978Hagström Western 6 Missouri, Made in Sweden 1978

Last week a new Hagström acoustic arrived from Sweden. Just like my 1975 Hagström B-60 this was made by Bjärton in the south of Sweden.  Hagström / Bjärton guitars feels pretty different from Levin, a bit more boxy somehow, less refined. Having said that they are very well sounding guitars with a pretty unique tone, not quite the Gibson bass but that’s the best comparison I can think of. This Hagström Western 6 comes with more or less a Hagström Swede electric guitar neck. Same head shape, inlays and ebony fretboard, I love ebony. These actually came not only with ebony fretboard and bridge, they had ebony nut and saddle too. Mine has a rosewood bridge for some reason but it doesn’t seem to have been re-glued so I assume that someone at the factory took the wrong bridge or just preferred rosewood. Everything can happen in a guitar factory, hence all the mismatched mystery guitars that doesn’t exactly match the catalogue images. I really like this guitar, it looks awesome, sounds great and has something quite Swedish Country about it, a bit like me I guess.

Hagström Western 6 Made in Sweden 1978The guitar has quite a few battle scars, I presume it has lived through a Swedish midsummer or two. The head has been glued at some point, looks to have been done a very long time ago. There are quite a lot of scratches on the top and the back of the neck had some dents but I filled them so now you can hardly feel it. Notice the double sticker inside, one for Bjärton and then a Hagström on top.

Hagström Western 6 Made in Sweden 1978Hagström Western 6 Made in Sweden catalogue 1978Hagström Western 6 Made in Sweden 1978Hagström Western 6 in a 1979 German Hagström catalogue

Hagström Western 6
Specifications:  Body width: 410 mm, body length: 510 mm, body depth: 120 mm, scale length: 630 mm. Spruce top with X-bracing, mahogany back and sides. 4-ply bound top and bound back. Unbound ebony fingerboard and ebony bridge, mahogany neck.  Matte natural finish and 10 year warranty.  Offered in two versions: Fully acoustic (Western 6) or with pickup and controls (Western 6 EL).  Marketed in Germany as Missouri.  Introduced around 1977.

Hagström Western 6 Made in Sweden 1978Hagström Western 6 and 12 in a 1979 Hagström catalogue

I tried the guitar last night at Alfa en Viu and it sounded pretty good, even with just a cheap removable Belcat pickup


Hagström B-60

Hagström B-60 Made in Sweden 1975Hagström B-60, made in Sweden by Bjärton in 1975

I guess people might have noticed that I’m quite obsessed with Levin guitars, but there are actually other Swedish guitar brands that I care about too, like Hagström Crafton, Bjärton and Lugnås. I recently found my first steel string Bjärton, I have had a nylon string since my mid teens but never actually played on a steel string Bjärton until now. This is an awesome looking Hagström B-60 or Bjärton B-60 as it was called in Sweden, it’s the same guitar but since Hagström was more famous abroad they used that name for the export models. They were built by Bjärton in Bjärnum in the south of Sweden. It’s a pretty great guitar, loosely modelled on a Gibson J-50, Bjärton made a legendary Gibson J-45 copy in the Sixties called Hagström H-45 or Bjärton J-45 which was used by David Bowie and a lot of others. That model came with or without factory installed pickup and they even made a 12-string version. This Hagström B-60 is slightly more modest and looks pretty basic. It’s a nice sounding guitar, even though it has a bolt-on neck which should kill the tone completely, I guess the solid woods and massive neck block is helping with the sound.

Hagström B-60 Made in Sweden 1975Hagström B-60 Made in Sweden 1975

Hagström B-60 / Bjärton B-60
Body width: 410 mm, body length: 510 mm, body depth: 120 mm
Spruce top with X-bracing, mahogany back and sides
Mahogany bolt-on neck, unbound rosewood fingerboard
Single-bound top and back, rosewood pin bridge
Van Gent machine heads, natural finish and 10 year warranty
Introduced: ca 1972, available for export under the Hagström brand

Hagström B-60 Made in Sweden 1975The guitar was in pretty good shape when it arrived. I did the normal cleaning, polished frets and oiled the fretboard and then installed a bone saddle and ebony bridge pins to improve the sound

Van Gent tuners, Hagström B-60 Made in Sweden 1975My main challenge was to try to get the Van Gent machine heads clean. The guitar smells like it has spent the past 40 years in the company of an old pipe smoker so I assume that’s actually tar and nicotine that has built up over the years. I’m an old ex-smoker myself so to me it smells like pure heaven.

Hagström HIII

Hagström III Made in Sweden 1970The 1970 Hagström HIII is now sold and is going to be sent off to Jose in A Coruña.

Hagström HIII

Hagström III Made in Sweden 1970Hagström HIII, Made in Sweden 1970

I found a Hagström HIII back in April that I felt really sorry for and had to rescue, or rather save it from being slaughtered and sold for parts by someone else. Unfortunately it wasn’t a bargain and I probably wouldn’t have bought it if I wasn’t drunk at time, I need to stop browsing eBay on Sunday evenings. It had all the parts but the fretboard and frets were in a terrible state and the electronics weren’t working properly, basically a nice guitar and worth the price if it was working. All the hardware cleaned up nicely, I love the Van Gent machine heads, a complete set tend to go for 100€ on their own, and it had the original tremolo, pickups and pickguard. I had to remove the old frets, even out the fretboard and then refret it to get it playable. After waiting for over a month I finally got the switch needed from Hong Kong here we are, a fully restored and working 1970 Hagström HIII. Even though I love the look and sound of this guitar I can’t seem to get used to the fast Hagström neck, the fastest neck in the world, and therefore it’s for sale.

Hagström III Made in Sweden 1970Hagström III Made in Sweden 1970Hagström HIII made in Älvdalen, Sweden between 1970-1972. It’s the 491st HIII made in a series of totally 708 guitars, this was the last run ever of this model since it was replaced by the more 1970’s looking Hagström HIIN

Hagström III Made in Sweden 1970I started with taking the guitar apart and cleaning everything with a toothbrush and some soap and then polish up all the hardware.

Hagström III Made in Sweden 1970The electronics was in fairly good state but needed to be grounded properly. Also the on/off wasn’t plugged in and the bridge pickup’s switch wasn’t working properly so I had to wait a month for a new one from Hong Kong. Now everything is soldered up properly and is working fine.

Hagström III Made in Sweden 1970The back of the neck was a mess, dents and groves everywhere so I filled them with Nitro and sanded everything smooth before I buffed it up with metal polish so now you can’t feel it.

Hagström III Made in Sweden 1970The main problem with the fretboard was the deep groves in it, it almost looked like the first 5-7 frets had been scalloped. The original frets were really uneven too so I decided to refret it completely. I pulled out the old frets, sanded the fretboard even and then gave it 10″ radius before I re-cut the fret slots and installed new Jescar jumbos.

Hagström III Made in Sweden 1970I levelled, crowned and polished the frets and in the end the fretboard looked pretty damn good if I may say so myself.

Hagström HIII and Hagström HII Made in Sweden 1970Hagström HIII and my friend Rafa’s Hagström HIIN, both Made in Sweden in 1970, same body but different pickups, electronics and head shape

This video was shot before I changed the bridge pickup’s switch so it’s cutting out occasionally, that has been sorted now with a new switch. I posted these two videos so you can here the difference between Hagström’s fat single coils and their humbuckers.

Here is a new video of the Hagström III with all the switches working, unfortunately my amp is acting up and is making hell of a noise