Price paid: £ 400
Sound — 10
I play hard rock, grunge & blues and this fitys the bill. I'm using a Vox Night Train through a Vox cab (Cry Baby>TS9>modded DS1) and it sounds amazing. The guitar can pretty much do any sound you want from jazzy clean through to brutel distortion. Its pretty versitile for a "jazz guitar". No need for an aray of effects. Just crank it and let the tone come through.
Overall Impression — 7
As I said above this is perfect for my style of play. The issues I've had with it leave a slightly unpleasant taste in the mouth but to be honest I love the thing. I've been playing for 17 years and in terms of asthetics and tone this will do fine. I think if I tweak the toggle Switch it will be fine (if not I'll replace). If lost or stolen I'd definately get another but I'd be more careful this time and rely less on Hagstrom's reputation. I love the sound, I love the feel of it, I love the way it looks and as I said above, I love the tone. It does require some maintenance but most things you love usually do (you should meet my girlfriend!). Anyway if you're intersted check it out on my band's YouTube page.
Reliability & Durability — 6
Ok so I played with this thing live for the first time the other week and it soudned f--king immense. Its built like a sh1t house but I did have a problem with the toggle Switch (stopped picking up the Bridge pick up) so I guess the hardware isn't top notch. I had to finish the last two songs plugged directly into the amp playing on the neck pick up which was a slight inconvenience. I think from now on I'll use it as a back up but never the lead.
Action, Fit & Finish — 5
So this is where the problems came. I bought a Swede that was set up perfectly whereas this thing required some major attention which is strange as they're set up by a set of local technicians before being distributed. The action was too high, truss rod needed some adjustments and then there was the issues with the g-string once I'd changed to 11s (it comes with 10s). I got the dead g-string. I changed to a wound g-string which fixed the problem but the saddle worked its way through 2 strings in one pratcice sessions (granted it was a 9 hour stint). So I changed back to unwound and tracked down Hagstrom. They replied instantly suggesting a few things that didn't work and then put me on to the local factory. The local fatcory told me to contact the dealer who would contact them to get another saddle sent out. I'm still waiting which pisses me off as I've had the thing 4 months now. Thankfully the problem isn't as pronounced any more as I guess the wood has settlled down but it grates me I have to carry on chasing for this saddle as I'd like to move to a wound g-string but don't want to have to change one every session. Other than that it looks mint!
Features — 8
- Arched semi-hollow maple body. - North American hard maple set neck. - Resinator fretboard. - Hagstrom pearl Dot position marks. - H-Expander truss rod. - Hagstrom 18:1 die-cast tuners. - 24.75-inch scale. - 2 Hagstrom HJ-50 humbuckers. - 3-way toggle pickup selector. - Long-travel tune-o-matic. - Hagstrom trapeze tailpiece. - 2 volume and 2 tone controls.