Price paid: $ 399.99
Sound — 10
I hate comparing this guitar to other's, because it really is it's own creation on it's own level, but for purposes of communication of its attributes, comparison will have to suffice. Now, People complain that this guitar sounds dark. Well it's a gigantic frickin slab of mahogany, What do you expect? of course it's going to sound thick, and godly. Okay, I'll admit under typical distortions it sounds a little muddy, but with a quick uncomplicated flip of the EQ or, split the coils, which are amazingly quiet, and it brightens right up. Very versatile. I play punk, classic rock, jazz, blues, metal, country, weird foreign stuff like tinarwen, I try to emulate Ravi Shankar, I play everything, really, that's not bragging I just do. I'm strange and eclectic. And I have been able to find a tone for every style of music there is that sounds similar to an already recorded tone, but the best part is is you can take it, and make it freak out compared to what "set standards" should bea, is it versatile? Think of this, take a Les Paul, make the neck studier, yes I said studier, I mean a real Gibson Standard or custom by the way. Take a Strat scale and put it on the LP, So you can get that "violin" or bell like snap to the strings. Keep the Fretless Wonder of the Gibson however for the neck action, Now take the body and make it solid mahogany and essentially an ebony fretboard. Use Something akin to a LP's Oddly genius cousin for the electronics, put in a coil tap Switch, Make the bridge bolt each string at least an inch into the body through a resinator plate, so acoustically the back of the body resonates as loudly as the strings, and yes, that is not a joke, It really does do that. I nearly dropped the guitar when I heard that. What you get is something more smoky and ethereal than an LP, but with the delicate womanly nature of a Strat added in. For the coil splits imagine taking a Strat, eliminate the tremolo, use a Telecaster bridge, and make the body out of rosewood, this is what it sounds like. As for humbucking mode, like I said, the LP's oddly genius cousin, with no intensity loss or lack of punch.
Overall Impression — 10
The only thing I don't recommend it for is punk, it lacks the highs a proper P90 or Telecaster would. It'll still do it though, and it sounds very aggressive, it just sounds too robust for punk in my mind. Very musically balanced output. Don't think dark or murky, think musically cool blues/jazz club smoky, as for metal, your standard metalhead will go for passives. The output on these is on the hotter side of vintage, about what vintage pickups would sound/ respond the day they came off the line.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I can't say yet I've had it for 2 months and I'm too skiddish to let it out of my house, but I'm going to assume so, this thing is built like a tank I won't put ten because I don't know.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Considering I bought it b stock and couldn't find a darn thing wrong, I can only imagine what a properly finished Hagstrom must be. The pictures at the website aren't doctored, guitar world even said that the finish is akin to guitars at least triple it's price. so I'm very happy with my purchase. The frets are well filed, god I'm not even gonna start, all I can say is there was not a thing wrong with it.
Features — 10
Serious guitarists worldwide are jazzed about the reintroduction of the Hagstrom Super Swede especially at such an amazingly low price. Brilliant craftsmanship is evident in every detail of the mahogany body with carved maple top flamed maple veneer set mahogany neck and bound Resinator fretboard with pearl block inlays. The queen of the Hagstrom line the Super Swede sports Custom '58 humbuckers with thick rich bottom end and warm clarity on top plus coil splitting for single-coil sounds. H-Expander Truss Rod All Hagstrom guitars feature our revolutionary patented H-Expander truss rod. Providing tension at either end and running the entire length of the neck the rigid yet lightweight alloy truss rod allows for very low action and a thin neck earning us our reputation as the "Fastest Neck on the Planet." Resinator Fretboard Yet another Hagstrom exclusive the Resinator Fretboard is an extraordinary homogeneous wood composite that maintains a strong fundamental harmonic and eliminates wolf tones. Resinator Fretboards offer the articulate sound of high quality ebony but with more consistency and durability. Silky smooth reliable and fast the Hagstrom neck is a guitarist's dream come true.