Swede Review

manufacturer: Hagstrom date: 09/21/2011 category: Electric Guitars
Hagstrom: Swede
The Swede electric guitar is one of their most cherished models, reborn with a mahogany body, carved mahogany top, set mahogany neck, bound Resinator fretboard, and 2 Hagstrom Custom '58 humbuckers for the classic tone that made Hagstrom famous.
 Sound: 9
 Overall Impression: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 9.3
 Action, Fit & Finish: 7.8
 Features: 9.5
 Overall rating:
 8.6 
 Reviewer rating:
 8.9 
 Users rating:
 8.3 
 Votes:
 62 
reviews (4) 40 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 10
Swede Reviewed by: Brendan.Clace, on september 24, 2007
7 of 7 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 552.992

Purchased from: Oshtugon Computers, Inc.

Features: This guitar was made in 2007 (probably in China, but unsure, as it doesn't have a "Made in China" sticker on it). This is a 22-fret 24.75" scale with jumbo frets on a Hagstrom Resinator fretboard, ebony of course. The body is 45mm and made of solid mahogany. The neck is a flush set mahogony neck, with a 10mm carved mahogony top. Probably the most comfortable guitar I have ever played. The finish is like none I've ever seen. Well, I have, but only on PRS and Les Paul's. It is a transparent wild cherry finish with all chrome hardware. The ebony coloured fretboard really makes this axe stand out. The body is similar to a Les Paul, as was the original idea of this guitar. The bridge is a Long Travel Tune-O-Matic with a Hagstrom Stop Tail Piece and 6 Individual Brass String Blocks. It feels really great when palm muting, and is very out of the way when playing normally. It comes Standard with a 3-way pickup selector as well as a nifty little Switch that is called a "tone-filter toggle" It makes the clean sound asbsolutely amazing, and gives the distortion a little more brightness. This guitar has hot pickups. The custom 58' huumbuckers sound amazing. They resonate incredibly. For soloing, it sings, and for crunchy rhythm it stays true. Tuners are non-locking custom Hagstrom tuners, but I've never had this go out of tune. Even playing song after song, the tuning stays tight. Comes Standard with a Hagstrom "hag case". It's a hardshell case that looks like it was made from my grandma's drapes, but, I like the interior. It is a solidly built case, but unfortunately, I cannot get it in any other colours. Other than that, this is probably the nicest guitar I've played. // 10

Sound: I play southern metal, with a blend of heavy rock. This guitar goes from heavy, to heavier, and then to straight out clean. Probably the best clean sound I've heard. I run this through my Line 6 PODXT Live, through a 2X12 and it sounds amazing. Through the boogie, this sounds like heaven. Sounds better, actually, than my B.C Rich warlock. I could not believe it a first either. I asked my other guitar player to try it out, and he said it sounds just like, if not better, than a Les Paul. Never noisy, with a full, rich sound. this guitar can make any noise I want it to. All of my harmonics sound pure, all of my tapping sounds great, it really can pick up any sound. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was flawless when I got it. The action was perfect and the neck was set amazingly. Everything on this guitar when I opened it, was perfect. I have no complaints here at all. Action was perfect, pickups were awesome. It really sounds too good to be true, but it's not. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This guitar will take slips trips and falls to a whole new level. It can withstand touring the world, and come back still in tune. The hardware is solid, the strap buttons are solid, and I can depend on this to the end of the world. The finish does seem thin, but not easy to wear off. Haven't stopped playing it since I got it, even the pickguard doesnt't have scratches yet. Best guitar made ever. // 10

Overall Impression: When I first got this guitar into the store, I opened it and instantly fell in love. However, I was worried that it would not match my sound, or compare in any way to my old guitar. I have been playing for 3 years and own enough gear to get me by. If this guitar was stolen, I would cry, and then buy another one. I love everything about this guitar, but most of all, love the weight and feel of it. Yes, it's heavy, but hell is it comfortable. Like I said, I compared this to my B.C. Rich, and it sounds better. I chose this because of the sound, and because of the tone. You can't possibly imagine, until playing it for real. I do not wish anything of this guitar, except that I had the money for more of them. This guitar is amazing. Enough said. If you haven't played it yet, you should. You won't be disappointed (unless you play it out of a crappy amp or something). // 10

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overall: 8.6
Swede Reviewed by: Gizlow, on april 07, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: Special Edition Swede Velvet - Body: 2010 Chinese made LP-style solidbody mahogany with carved mahogany top. - Neck: Set-in mahogany neck, low profile, 24.75" scale with 22 medium jumbo frets and a resonator composite fretboard. - Pickups: Dual passive humbuckers; 1x Hagstrm Custom BL 305E in neck position, 1x Hagstrm Custom BL 305 in bridge. Higher output than the Standard Custom 58's of the Swede/Super Swede - Bridge: Tune-o-matic with Hagstrms own design featuring independant brass blocks for each string. - Controls: 3-way pickup selector, 3-way filter Switch (mid bass boost, mid treble boost or disabled), 2 volume controls, 2 tone controls. - Tuners: Non-locking Hagstrm 18:1 die-cast tuners. - Also features Hagstrms patented H-expander truss rod, which should eliminate risk of neck warpage aswell as a graphite nut which is rarely found in this price range. All things considered, this is extremely good value for money. I doubt you'll find a more feature-packed guitar on this side of $1000. // 10

Sound: Due to this guitars slightly different all mahogany body and top (usually LP-style guitars feature a maple top to brighten the sound slightly) it has a very rich, fat sound. Interestingly enough, the higher output pickups of the Special Edition Velvet seems to help with the high notes, I rarely feel this guitar would have benefitted from a maple top. Overall it has a very LP-esque sound, textbook example of great humbucker sounds. Now, since this is a Hagstrm, it has a few quirks. First noted is the second switch, placed on the horn of the body. This is a filter switch, which works by shifting the mids of the sound to either give more bass or more treble. I largely ignored this for quite some time, but after some experimenting I found that with the Switch in the lower position (treble boost) and the Bridge pickup active I got a very nice Vintage sound. Perfect for classic rock and blues. With the filter Switch set to bass it can get a little muddy, particularly if using the neck pickup. I rarely use this setting, but I expect it work fairly well with distortion for heavy metal. Overall I think the filter Switch is a nice touch, it adds to the flexibility of the guitar and guitar value. Another Hagstrm feature is their resonator fretboard, which to me plays and looks very much like an ebony fretboard. It is supposed to offer better playability, but in all honesty I'm not enough of a guitar player to really tell the difference. That being said, it works very well. Bends are very easy and it plays very effortlessly. Now, on to the final point, the sustain. This is where this guitar really shines against its competition in this price range. The notes ring out more or less until you get bored and walk away, I expected good things after reading up on it but after a year of owning and playing it I'm still blown away by the sustain. I'd say this guitar soundwise works very well for most kinds of music, it is very versatile but the general emphasis seems to be on rock/metal. It keeps things tidy even under quite heavy distortion and the filter Switch gives you lots of options for sounds straight out of the guitar. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The finish on my guitar is a very nice satin black, with matte chrome hardware and binding on both body and neck which is a very nice touch considering the price. The satin finish makes for a very smooth neck action and I rarely find my hands "sticking" to the neck which tends to happen occasionally with a glossy finish. Now on to the less fun stuff. When I recieved my guitar it was very poorly set up, intonation was ok, but string height was ridiculous. The supplied strings was very rough and uncomfortable, and I found myself being forced to stop playing on a regular basis. After some adjustmends to the tune-o-matic Bridge and a new set of strings though, playability was great. The bad setup really took away from the qualities of the guitar, and I would urge anyone buying a Hagstrm to make sure that they get it set up correctly and with good quality strings before they start playing it, to not risk being disappointed. I'm judging this quite harshly but in all honesty, you shouldn't have to break out the tool box and spend an hour or two setting the guitar up the first thing you do. Minor adjustments will of course be needed whatever the price or brand of guitar, but this was nowhere near minor. // 6

Reliability & Durability: This is a very well built guitar, and even though I wouldn't recommend it I'd confidently bring this guitar without backup to a gig. It rarely goes out of tune and the finish is solid and even fairly scratch-resistant. I did change the strap buttons to a strap lock setup, but that is a Standard modification for me and I have no reason to believe that the original strap buttons would fail in any way. They seemed very solid. // 9

Overall Impression: I play mainly classic rock (Boston, Journey and such), lighter metal (Metallica, Judas Priest) and some blues (Clapton, BB King) and for these it works terrific. It doesn't perform the twangy Clapton sound very well, but that isn't really expected either with a very Gibson-esque guitar like this. I do like the mellow bluesy sound I get when playing clean, and the sustain makes for a very smooth sounding guitar. Again, I suggest that anyone buying a Hagstrm would get it set up properly unless their in-house routines regarding this has changed since I bought mine. If you don't have the equipment or knowledge to do it yourself, leave it to a professional. It makes all the difference. Should this guitar be stolen or lost, I would most likely replace it with a new identical one. When I bought this about a year ago, I didn't find anything else in the pricerange being able to compete with the playability and versatility this guitar offers. As far as I know not much has changed. // 9

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overall: 9
Swede Reviewed by: Cedar redaC, on june 16, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 200

Purchased from: Cowtown Guitars

Features: White, single cutaway, made in china. Twenty two frets, mahogany body, mahogany top, mahogany neck, Hagstrom's exclusive "Resinator" fretboard, which is something like ebony. The Swede also has a second three way Switch called a tone filter. In the up position, the sound is mellower and fatter. In the down position, the bass is boosted slightly. Hagstrom Custom tuners (non-locking, but stays in tune forever). Hagstrom's Custom 58 pickups (nice, vintage-y tone, but I replaced them with a DiMarzio Paf Joe and a EVO 2). With the pickups, I also installed Seymour Duncan triple shots for coil splitting. The Bridge is a tune-o-matic style Bridge and the stop tail piece has six individual brass string blocks. I also added a DiMarzio Cliplock strap because the old strap buttons weren't cutting it. After those upgrades, this guitar really shines. Later bought a case. // 9

Sound: I try to play a variety of music, from blues and hard rock, to attempting vai and satriani stuff. This guitar covers it all, between pickups and the tone filter, you can get pretty much any sound. I'm playing through a Vox Big Bad Wah, and a Vox Satchurator into a Fender Super Champ XD, tone is both dark and open. With the new pickups and coil splits, any sound is possible. Stock pickups sound fantastic, just not what I was looking for. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: when I bought this guitar, It felt great, the action can be super low due to the very flat fretboard. The neck is thinner than a les paul's but not too thin. It fits in my hand perfectly. The finish and binding are great. I had to have the guitar checked out by a local professional to smooth out some frets that had gotten buzzy (when I got it, it was heavily used). // 8

Reliability & Durability: This guitar has been in a few shows, and sounds great. The hardware is great and the tuning pegs look so cool! I bought this guitar from Cowtown Guitars in Las Vegas, and it was beat up to say the least. This guitar had a few chips and dings when I bought it, but other wise it seems extremely durable. I've accidentally dinged it more than once, and I can't notice any damage on the guitar. After installing the Cliplock strap, My guitar is nearly indestructible. // 10

Overall Impression: One great guitar, sound great stock, but sounds even better with some upgrades. Straplocks of some kind are an absolute must! Highly recommended for any style of music. The tone filter, once you learn to use it right, will set your sound out from the group. With the addition of the new pickups, the sound is taken to a whole new level. Sounds like a guitar that costs way more. // 9

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overall: 8
Swede Reviewed by: Poglia, on september 21, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 499

Purchased from: eBay

Features: My Hagstrom Swede was made in 2009. It's a Les Paul type guitar with the following features: - Mahogany body and neck - 22 frets neck with a resinator fretboard - Set neck construction - Two Hagstrom Vintage humbuckers - Fixed bridge (Tune-O-Matic style) - 2 volume controls, 2 tone controls, 3-way switch - Passive tone filter - Hagstrom 18:1 tuners It's basically like an original Gibson Les Paul, but with a passive tone filter that makes it even more versatile. The neck is thin an comfortable (not like an Ibanez, but definitely thinner than a Gibson) and the fretboard is made of resinator, a mix of woods made only by Hagstrom (it looks and feels like ebony). The guitar came with no case, but there was a brand new D'Addario 09-42 strings pack included. // 9

Sound: This guitar has an amazing warm, full and rich sound, almost like an original Gibson Les Paul, but a bit more vintage. I use it with my Peavey Bandit 112 and the sound is great for blues, jazz, rock, and even classic metal. The pickups have a well defined sound and I can clearly hear all the notes even with a lot of distortion, but of course they are not really made for extreme metal. About the tone filter, it can be useful to achieve certain sounds, but it's not really my cup of tea and I never use it. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar came with an extremely low action, probably the lowest I have ever seen in my life, and played like a dream. Everything was adjusted properly, but the jack input was loose and I had to glue it two times. The truss rod was extremely hard to turn, almost locked, but I managed to adjust it a bit. The tuners are not the best in the world and the G and B strings come off tune easily. Other than that, I've never had any problem. // 7

Reliability & Durability: The Swede is a solid guitar and I definitely trust it enough to play it live without a backup. The strap buttons were ok, but I replaced it with DiMarzio ClipLocks because the guitar is heavy like a true Les Paul so I prefer to be safe. The finish (mine is a beautiful black gloss) is great and looks like it's made to last forever. // 8

Overall Impression: I mostly play rock and classic/power metal, and this guitar suits them well (it wouldn't suit death metal though). I have been playing for 5 years and I currently play the Swede through a Peavey Bandit 112 with no effects. Compared to my older guitars (Jackson RR3 and Gibson Explorer), this one has a more Vintage sound and less aggressive pickups. If it were stolen or lost I think I would buy it again, but white because it's too easy to leave fingerprints on a black finish. Overall, the Swede is an amazing guitar for the price and beats any Epiphone, Tokai and other Les Paul copies. If you want the look, feel and sound of an original Gibson Les Paul for 1/3 of the price, try a Swede, you won't regret it. // 8

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