Ultra Swede review by Hagstrom

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.9 (116 votes)
Hagstrom: Ultra Swede

Price paid: $ 270

Purchased from: Maryland

Sound — 9
This is a great sounding guitar! Fairly bright overall, the coil taps allow you to get the crisp definition of single-coils but with a slightly different character. The humbuckers are warmly bright and quietly powerful. I'd say this guitar was designed with flexibility in sound, as a result, you may have to spend a little time "dialing it in", but it sure is nice to have it all in one package. Clean bright tones are easier to find than the darker distorted ones.

Overall Impression — 10
I enjoy playing a varity of styles, hence my interest in this guitar. It is extremely versatile, comfortable, tonal, user-friendly, built with quality and attention to detail, and did I say spectacular? Much nicer in person! My Epi LP with Burstbuckers sounds a bit richer, and I can't quite yet nail my Strat tones, but this guitar is a perfect medium for me. A future classic and a great deal at twice the price! Now I'm gonna go play!

Reliability & Durability — 9
It's still less than an hour old to me but I think it will last. Two pots and two switches, not a lot to go wrong. Strap buttons are adequate and NOT something by which you should judge a guitar. An H-expander truss rod and man-made fingerboard means the neck, although slim, should remain stable. Finish is immaculate but feels a little thin... will probably only last fifty years or so.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
This guitar was spectacular straight out of the box! I kid you not! It was set up with very low action, no fret buzz, already intonated, and in tune! Alright I had to tweak the high E up a smidge but I am impressed! It's got a beautiful rich Golden Eagle bookmatched flame maple top that looks like crocodile skin. The pearlized binding is the cream on this bird, with a minor flaw, a tiny line of finish on the neck binding near the cutaway.

Features — 10
This guitar has awesome features: flame maple top, basswood body, thin, set maple neck with "resinator" fingerboard, abalone and pearl inlays, medium frets, pearlized binding around body neck and head, brass string blocks, two coil-tapped custom 58 humbuckers, Hagstrom imperial style closed 15:1 tuners, adjustable tune-o-matic bridge, brass stops, 3-way Switch, coil-tap mini-Switch, one volume, one tone. Kinda like a fancy, smaller, lighter, more versatile Les Paul.

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I want to add a few things. The neck is thin in depth, very stiff, very stable and very fast. The low medium frets are nicely shaped. Overall tonally I'd say this guitar growls with a nasal bite, and it's as fast as a tiger. Not sure why but the tone pot doesn't sweep evenly. I can't believe how fast this neck is...all of a sudden I'm a shredder! It does take some knob tweaking to find particular tones but this beast earns it's own.
    Mjr. Elric
    where did you get it for $270 looking at Guitar Center they have it for $455.60, I know GC isn't the best place to look probably but really?! a price difference of almost $200 did you buy it in Canada?
    Yes! I got one of these and a hard case for cost price when i was working at my local music shop. It's amazingly versatile, and for the (retail) price, you can't get much better.
    cranium2001 wrote: Why such a low user rating when I hear so much good about these?
    that's what i want to know.. I gave it a 10, and the rating went down?!
    i've triedd the viking and it was so cool. it wasn't as good as my esp but it had better playability than fender or ibanez for same price(about 400-650)