F200 Review

manufacturer: Hagstrom date: 07/10/2013 category: Electric Guitars
Hagstrom: F200
It features 22 frets on a "Resinator Wood fingerboard" and has a rather short scale (628 mm).
 Sound: 8
 Overall Impression: 8
 Reliability & Durability: 9.5
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8
 Features: 8.5
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (2) pictures (2) 15 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.6
F200 Reviewed by: unregistered, on june 08, 2009
1 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 349

Purchased from: Internet Store

Features: Hi everyone! I just got this guitar not long ago and in my opinion it's a secret tip for everyone Who wants to have some quality work done for the money! The F-200 is part of the (european?) Hagstrom Vintage series and I suppose it's china made. (Which model under 800 or so is not?) It features 22 frets on a "Resinator Wood fingerboard" and has a rather short scale (628 mm). The neck is very much D-shaped which suits me perfect and feels awesomely comfortable. It's a full body mahagony guitar with a mahagony set neck (SG style you may call it) with a transparent Cherry finish that is amazing. You can see the wooden surface on every inch and it reflects like a looking-glass! The body is a sort of a mixture between SG and Strat that looks independent and altogether very nice. The bridge is a Hagstrom patent I think and it delivers the greatest clean tone I ever heard when playing a guitar. It doesn't feature a whammy bar but I got one on my Jagmaster so it doesn't matter at all. You got one Volume and one Tone knob that go very smooth and easy and (guess what! XD) a 3-way toggle-Switch. The output is Strat-like which I prefer... The pickups are "custom" Hagstrom Alnico 60 Humbuckers in neck and bridge position. They have a huge output but sound clear and bright. Tuners and headstock are also custom Hagstrom style which I like a lot. It just looks good! // 10

Sound: I have to say it sounds just amazing! (honestly) I played it through a Roland Cube 30 and my old Behringer valve amp with and without Boss ds-2 distortion pedal. The sound is so much better than anything I got out of my Jagmaster or my best friend's Epiphone SG 400! You don't have to use the equalizer at all. Just set everything middle and plug in! It rocks like hell! The clean sound is warm and smooth in neck position, jazzy and bright in middle and amazingly clear and percussive in bridge position! Just like it should be! This guitar has the best sustain I ever experienced! You can play Thunderstruck in the clean channel and it sounds like a Western guitar but works! The distorted tone is beasty and fat! If you like Airbourne or so...it sounds just like that! Full and rich metal style in neck and very Angus Young in bridge position. The notes don't destroy each other and every single one sounds clear but rocks! I always had problems with the other mentioned guitars because they sounded so "pasty". Forget about this! Altogehter 9 because with an additional tone control you could alternate a bit more...I don't care. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: I've seen only one tiny (2 mm or so) bump on the upper pick up cover but Who cares... you don't even really see it... The pickups and everything were checked at the store but I thing the set it up just right...nothing to improve on this. The finish is just beautiful. I wont give this guitar to anyone Who can't play it and eventually scratches it! It's too good for that! 9 because of the bump mentioned. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This guitar seems to be very stable altough I didn't smash it at anything until now and I also don't want to try... It holds the tune very well and I had to tune it only once after delivery! I would definitely play this one without a backup! The bridge is made of self-lubricating graphite so the strings wont give up early I guess. // 10

Overall Impression: I play different styles and this guitar suits almost everything! I mentioned my Squier Jagmaster, that's a good guitar but forget about it if you have the chance to buy the F-200! My friend always had much difficulties with the neck of his Epiphone SG 400 because it's too heavy and will bump down all the time. The F-200 is very well-balanced in contrast! The tone is brighter and sounds so much better and clear! The fingerboard is fast as hell and you can play it twice better than the other two guitars ("Resinator Wood" as I mentioned (go to Hagstrom webpage, it's explained there)). My favourite feature is the full, bright and clear tone! I would definitely buy it again because it's worth every single of the 350 I paid for it! I chose it because the features looked good and I liked how the guitar looks! If you search for a quality instrument that most ordinary people can afford but doesn't look like everybody's guitar, get a Hagstrom! You don't only pay for the brand name on this one and as I said, I experienced both a Squier and an Epiphone guitar! The F-200 overtakes them easily! // 10

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overall: 7.2
F200 Reviewed by: ga77a, on july 10, 2013
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 230

Purchased from: Private seller

Features: As a lefty, I needed (wanted) a P90 equipped SG look-alike but couldn't afford a US-made Gibson SG and I just can't live with the Epiphone SGs (total tripe!). This came up for sale and I bought it on sight. It's an Asian-made model, left handed with 2 x H90 Hagstrom pickups, master volume and tone controls, Hagstrom's own floating tremolo system, solid mahogany body and the weird "resonator wood" fretboard. It has a Gibson scale length with medium/fat frets and appears to combine, in a rather pleasing combination and compromise, the attributes of both Fender and Gibson guitars. The neck is glued and is accurate. Overall, it's well made and plays well with a few reservations about which I will elaborate later. The tuners are very pretty but inconsistent. Overall, they hold tune reasonably well but the low E tuner feels too light in comparison with the others and, oddly enough, it's the low E string that suffers most tuning problems. I've never been a fan of tremolo systems so I have, to an extent, blocked this one off with an extra spring. When well set up, the trem is light and sensitive but even the gentlest of trem wobbles knocks of the tuning. This would be expected with most guitars but this one is equipped with a Graph Tech nut which is supposed to virtually eliminate this kind of nonsense. Patently, it doesn't. As to the overall appearance of the guitar, it's pleasant but a little strange. The headstock is ornate with the binding, inlay and tuners but the body and neck are really plain. Also, the cream body colour is at odds with the cream colour of the knobs and pickups covers. I changed those parts to black ones which look much cooler. // 7

Sound: I swapped out the H90 pickups to Tonerider's Vintage 90s (Alnico II Magnets) as the Hagstrom pickups (alnico V magnets) were too muddy, especially on high distortion settings. Also, I swapped over the tone pot to a 500ohm model to brighten up the tone. Now, I have a guitar that will do sweet, warm cleans and gritty, dirty, classic rock and blues. At a pinch, it will do metal through a Blackstar HT Stage 100 head though that's not really my bag. Very versatile tones indeed which will suit most players. If you've never tried P90 pickups, you need to remedy that sooner rather than later. They have bright, Fender-like tones but avoid the high-end harshness. Added into the mix is a humbucker-like snarl when pushed through a good tube amp. The pots work well no crackles or pops. Oddly enough, Hagstrom's standard pots have very long spindles which in this guitar, is not necessary. I suspect it's a standard fitment in their whole guitar range. I've given a score of 7 as I've had to alter the original equipment but the refitted guitar is capable of versatile tones. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: It plays really well but the resonator board is a strange feeling nothing like a rosewood or maple one. It's very dark in colour, like an ebony board but has a tactile sensation that is quite unnatural. It is a fast, slim neck and well put together however. Frets are smooth and the neck stability is awesome. As already described, the nut needed a little fettling and the tremolo system was stiffened up to virtually eliminate movement. For your interest, when I used the trem, one would notice a noise when rapidly returning the trem to its parked position. This noise was caused by the back of the bridge thumping against the bodywork and starting to chip the paintwork so I had to insert a strip of sticky-backed felt to protect the body and eliminate the noise. The bridge is a stable unit but making any adjustments is a right royal pain as you have to loosen an Allen nut to allow any adjustment. I'm not convinced that the stability was improved any more over a conventional bridge arrangement for the penalty of the extra hassle and time. // 7

Reliability & Durability: This is a very consistent guitar that has been 100% reliable. As to using any guitar without a backup, I would never risk it. Also, I believe that no one guitar will fulfil every role tonally. If I was only playing a few songs or guesting with friends, this would fit the bill without question. It gets very positive remarks from guitarists and non-guitarists regarding its appearance. The finish on mine is very resilient. The previous owner(s) had managed to avoid scratching the paint work and so have I despite much use. Tough guitar indeed! I swapped over the strap buttons to strap locks which I prefer though the originals were oversized buttons which worked well. // 9

Overall Impression: I like this guitar. It knocks the socks off my MIM Fender Telecaster regarding fit and finish. There is no comparison there. The Tele is, for the money, poorly made with dull sounding pickups, a monstrously thick coat of paint and a maple fretboard which marks very easily. Suffice to say that I'm not in love with my Tele though, despite being a better made guitar, I have to say I'm not in love with the F200P either. It's a very good little guitar but it has only become a good guitar with upgrades and work. Out of the box, this may disappoint. If one was to buy a different F200 model with a fixed bridge and humbuckers, the score would definitely be higher as the problems I've described would be much less obvious. Played beside my Gibson Les Paul, the shortcomings are even more obvious and if I could rewind certain events of my life, I would have foregone the F200P and saved much harder for that Gibson SG. // 6

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