Price paid: € 499
Purchased from: eBay
Sound — 8
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.
Overall Impression — 8
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.
Reliability & Durability — 8
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.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
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.
Features — 9
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.