Planning to make this into a weekly post as long as my instrument list lasts. Starting with Swedish instrument maker Hagstrom. Albin Hagstrom started in the 1920’s selling accordions he imported from Germany. The business grew and pretty soon he was making his own accordions under the name of Hagstrom. To expand his business he started accordion playing courses all over Sweden. But suddenly the popularity of the accordion was over as we started to listen to rock ‘n’ roll and then the British wave that came in the ’60’s. What to do?
The guitar making had to expand so they started making some designs of their own with some novel ideas taken from the accordion production. They managed to become a world selling guitar brand. Among the musicians were Elvis Presley, Frank Zappa, Billy Gibbons, Georg Jojje Wadenius and Pat Smear. The product range was extended with PA-systems that were ahead of the rest at the time. ABBA used it on their tours as an example. They also made one of the first synth guitars.
In the 1980’s the instrument production was stopped as sales were to low but musicians kept playing the instruments to this day. Now the son of the founder have allowed the name to be used on a series of remakes of the guitars. I haven’t played on any of the new instruments but they are said to be good instruments.
My Hagstrom is a Viking from around 1970. It is with all the machine screws on the same side like Fender’s Stratocaster. There is a version with the machine screws on each side of the head as well and also a few with a tremolo system mounted. I bought mine second hand in 1973 and it is played at least once a month as my main instrument is the piano.
(edited the position of the machine screws to being on both sides of the head 2015-02-01)