INBOUND: 197(4) Hagstrom Viking, Natural Birch, MINT!

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Doctor Turn
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INBOUND: 197(4) Hagstrom Viking, Natural Birch, MINT!

Postby Doctor Turn » Thu Oct 05, 2017 1:12 pm

Confirming year.

This was my coup last night. It was listed at the high grade of Guitar Center vintage/used gradings, "GREAT" with barely detectable wear. I can't even see scratches on the chrome on the tuners (original Imperials). No wear or loss of lustre on any of the chrome. This is one of the most mint vintage Swedish (original handmade in Sweden company) Vikings I've seen. 100% stock with everything in shimmeringly brilliant condition. Look at this beautiful woman, the subtly figured old growth Arctic birch.. Braz rosewood board.. the only sign of its age is some finish checking on the back of the neck:
(don't know why the images won't show rightside up as they do on cube)
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I salivate, therefore I am.
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neck back checking, only sign of age, really:
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They had it out there at 1200 plus shipping and sales tax.. I wheedled them down by constant phone calls to 910 bucks plus, which came to my target of a grand even.

The only model that's out there right now at any price that's equivalent of the pristine beauty of this natural birch axe is this one on Verb down at Southside Guitars in Brooklyn, where they're not wavering off of $1600
Image

What's nice is it has the bound F holes instead of the more common cat's eye-ish S holes (which matters zilch to me). I just adore these natural finish birch beauties. Ever since I played that brownburst out in Dover NJ and lost it, I've been on a mission. I've never heard such rich, beautiful, round low end on a guitar before, and I've never heard a semi hollow that played unplugged like an acoustic, the projection was that beautiful. I can see why Holdsworth settled on birch as a soundboard on all of his jazz axes, it's a truly phenomenal wood.

I think the fact that it's a bolt on plays into the great roundness of the warmth. Hags bolt guitars, which I've already discussed ad nauseum w the technology used, have the most phenomenal joint (the top bolt of the triangle plate screws right into the H beam that the truss rod is in, so there's super deep and rich transmission of tone through that joint, not to mention that the rod goes straight down to the neck pup) and the resonance of the guitar, the great PAF style Alnico II humbuckers, and the extra little pop you get from the bolt on, all probably contribute to adding extra shape and definition to such a full warm, round sound.

The second 3 way on the upper bout is a tone filter which can give you instant woman tone/jazz tone rolloff, and a mid cut on the other side of the switch. I slowboated it up to me, so I should have it up after the weekend. More of a report then. But because semihollows are something I've never owned before (never played one that rocked my world like these vintage Vikes before), this is a special piece for me.

Having it shipped to GC Times Square, so I can open it there in front of everyone and plug it in in front of anyone. Any surprises, no sweat money back. THE way to buy used gear from a chain.
Carvin Weaponry:
1985 DC150K (koa) Stereo, M22N/M22SD w/black hardware.
1985 100 Watt X Amp 2 x 12 combo (XV212) upgraded w/ 2 Vintage 30's
...and other gear.

https://soundcloud.com/the_heavy_clouds

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Re: INBOUND: 197(4) Hagstrom Viking, Natural Birch, MINT!

Postby dbone » Thu Oct 05, 2017 3:56 pm

Gorgeous!
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Re: INBOUND: 197(4) Hagstrom Viking, Natural Birch, MINT!

Postby DWG » Thu Oct 05, 2017 3:59 pm

Congrats Doctor!

DWG

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Re: INBOUND: 197(4) Hagstrom Viking, Natural Birch, MINT!

Postby Naked Ape » Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:10 am

Nice! That thing looks super clean. Hard to believe it's from the 70's. Look forward to hearing about the hands on experience!!!!
Congratulations!!! That finish was my original Knee jerk reaction choice over the burst, and I think it will round out the visual variety of your collection. :applause:

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Re: INBOUND: 197(4) Hagstrom Viking, Natural Birch, MINT!

Postby skully13a » Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:55 am

That looks nice. 8) I can dig it. :ninja:
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Re: INBOUND: 197(4) Hagstrom Viking, Natural Birch, MINT!

Postby mangdrew » Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:40 am

There's mojo in those vintage models, enjoy!

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Re: INBOUND: 197(4) Hagstrom Viking, Natural Birch, MINT!

Postby Doctor Turn » Fri Oct 06, 2017 7:41 am

Naked Ape wrote:Nice! That thing looks super clean. Hard to believe it's from the 70's. Look forward to hearing about the hands on experience!!!!
Congratulations!!! That finish was my original Knee jerk reaction choice over the burst, and I think it will round out the visual variety of your collection. :applause:


Thanks NA, and thanks guys. I'm so psyched, now I'm wishing I was more splurgy on the shipping so I could have it this weekend. . . but it's just as well, I have a final mixdown of Green Valley Farms with my new drummer which I have to finish (also Heart of Ashes with some monster playing by him, but that's another, even more gigantic mixing hell to mix that one all over again, over 7 minutes spread over 29 tracks. Great young player from Colorado who graduated from the Parson's Jazz School (I always tweeze my drummers from there).

Only two other axes had me this psyched in my life: my 1985 Carvin. . . laboring over the small details like switching up the wood type, adding the black hardware, the bridge pickup option, the bridge itself (to trem or not to trem?), I was going out of my mind waiting for that guitar to reach me to see if it would turn out looking good (the usual custom shop agony.. yes it was a custom shop back then too.. a smaller one, but back then that kind of freedom to have them build your guitar to spec at those prices was an incredible luxury!). Notwithstanding the fact that it was my first high end guitar ever.. and wow did it not disappoint. I guess the headless Kramer Duke was a very high end guitar, but it technically was my oldest brother's.. he took it from me in the early 2000's to give to my nephew to travel back and forth and use in Berklee, because it was so compact. The case was so small it was almost like carrying around a viola, maybe smaller (it had virtually no body wings like an S'berger.

But the Super Swede Northen Series prototype from Scotland had me in agony of anticipation too. Coincidentally the pickups on that guitar were Johan Lundgren's attempt to clone/pay tribute to the great Hagstrom "Custom 58"humbuckers of the 70's that are on this incoming Viking (and my HIIN, and all the Swede/Super Swedes.. and the "Jimmy" jazzbox). Supposedly Hag in the late 60's dissected a 1958 Gibby PAF, and replicated it with their own slight customizations while maintaining the basics and mag types/etc.

I'm beyond stoked. This is a totally new guitar experience for me, and I'm dying to see how the X amp likes it, how it records, all the basic differences between it and a solidbody.
Carvin Weaponry:
1985 DC150K (koa) Stereo, M22N/M22SD w/black hardware.
1985 100 Watt X Amp 2 x 12 combo (XV212) upgraded w/ 2 Vintage 30's
...and other gear.

https://soundcloud.com/the_heavy_clouds

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Re: INBOUND: 197(4) Hagstrom Viking, Natural Birch, MINT!

Postby Doctor Turn » Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:55 am

Just found this. Video uploaded by some guy in 2010 showing off a 1972 twin sister to my guitar, but for the fact that his is a bit less mint than mine:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLv7U_hw3ag
Carvin Weaponry:
1985 DC150K (koa) Stereo, M22N/M22SD w/black hardware.
1985 100 Watt X Amp 2 x 12 combo (XV212) upgraded w/ 2 Vintage 30's
...and other gear.

https://soundcloud.com/the_heavy_clouds

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Re: INBOUND: 197(4) Hagstrom Viking, Natural Birch, MINT!

Postby UnexplodedCow » Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:49 pm

That's a beautiful guitar, Turn. Can we hope for some sound clips of it (assuming it's all good news)? I like the bound F holes, too, it's very striking with the light color of the wood. Also very nice figuring. Gotta love the Brazilian rosewood; the other types aren't quite the same. I like it, and I'm not usually a huge fan of large semi hollows.
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Re: INBOUND: 197(4) Hagstrom Viking, Natural Birch, MINT!

Postby Doctor Turn » Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:37 pm

UnexplodedCow wrote:That's a beautiful guitar, Turn. Can we hope for some sound clips of it (assuming it's all good news)? I like the bound F holes, too, it's very striking with the light color of the wood. Also very nice figuring. Gotta love the Brazilian rosewood; the other types aren't quite the same. I like it, and I'm not usually a huge fan of large semi hollows.


Slight correction: the bound F holes are on the guitar that's available out in Brooklyn (and on reverb from the same place) for 1600. Mine is the horizontal pics from cubeupload--which I bought from Guit Ctr down in Louisville Ky. I was giving the pic at the bottom of the Brooklyn one w the bound F holes as a price comparison for the equivalent model (but for the true F holes, probably just a difference in year, one might be 72 and the other a 73 or 4, or one might be a custom order where they specifically requested bound sound holes that were full on F's. I don't know the rhyme or reason behind why one has the F and the other doesn't. I used to think the F was for the deluxe with the block inlays and all gold plated hardware.. but as the one on the bottom proves, that goes out the window.

They were always simultaneously a custom shop, so maybe that other blonde birch was a custom order? They would give you shots at different colors, hardware platings, there was also the special edition bubinga 70's Vikings which are equally droolworthy, I have a friend who used to work in the Swedish factory who has twelve of these bubinga Vikings alone, and well over 20 Viking 1"N"s in total (N stands for "new", like in my HII"N"), meaning they are the 70's version w the humbuckers, replacing the 60's version that Elvis famously played on his comeback special and that Frank Zappa advertised and used, which had the DeArmond single coil P90 types).

Look at this bubinga version (maple neck instead of birch):

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So anyhow, I'm not clear on why that one has the F holes. Most of the 1N's I've seen have the S holes, rather than the F holes.

But I just provided that 1600 Brooklyn one for comparison as the only other one available out there w that very rare clear birch finish that is so clean that looks like it was originally bought, and kept in a case and rarely if ever used. And they're starting at $700 higher than what I paid. UPS picked up the guitar down in Kentucky today, so it's on its way now!

And yes of course I'd be happy to provide some sound samples. People bat around the idea of a Swede being a Les Paul killer. I've hear every single cut quality guitar being batted around at one time or another being called a LP Killer.

But in this case I can easily say--these things are total 335 killers. 335's have short, boring tones to me. I've played Epi Dots and Casinos and Wildkats I liked better.. I have played good 335's, but so many of them just don't sustain or have enough to their sound.

These things, in my humble opinion, wipe the floor with 335's. The single coil P90 version is not what I'm talking about. Different sound. These 70's versions w these buckers.. totally different story, man. Killer guitars..
Carvin Weaponry:
1985 DC150K (koa) Stereo, M22N/M22SD w/black hardware.
1985 100 Watt X Amp 2 x 12 combo (XV212) upgraded w/ 2 Vintage 30's
...and other gear.

https://soundcloud.com/the_heavy_clouds

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Re: INBOUND: 197(4) Hagstrom Viking, Natural Birch, MINT!

Postby UnexplodedCow » Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:16 pm

I love the look of Bubinga wood, and have some sitting around to make an acoustic out of, should I ever get the time/space to do it. Judging by how they built the guitar, and mounted the neck, I'd imagine it'd be more stable/resonant than the typical Gibson stuff. My only concern is the lack of volute at the headstock area. Gibsons are relatively infamous for breaking there. Any idea of how Hagstroms fair?

The only large body I held on to was a late 70s or early 80s Epiphone Emperor. Very good guitar, and never had a resonance problem. Another cool one to look out for are Harmony H54 or 64 models. I have one sitting around that needs major work (frets done, nut shot, needs work). Surprisingly good, and higher output, gold foil pickups. An actual hollow body, with no center block. 3 bolt neck that had a tighter pocket than most Fenders I've worked on.
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Re: INBOUND: 197(4) Hagstrom Viking, Natural Birch, MINT!

Postby Doctor Turn » Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:41 am

Well the modern Supers that I have have a tilt back set neck very close to a Les Paul as you can see... In a moment... But first

I found a cached image of the advertisement photo from the Kentucky GC that sent me over the deep end for this guitar:
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Because the axe was pricey and I was deadly serious about not letting that one slip away, I had them send me some tight detailed close ups of the guitars parts. That's what those photos above are, from Guitar Center Louisville.

On the head stock tilt back:

In these two photos, from right too left... Les Paul, Super Swede, and vintage HIIN OT, the latter a bolt on like the vintage Viking
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Note the reverse string tree to keep the strings firmly in the nut slots on the HIIN. SOME of the Vikings have that. But some of them, line mine, don't, and probably have more of a break angle to them. But these Vikings are so light, running between six and seven pounds with that Super light and airy old growth birch, that I'd have more fear of it getting run over by a car than me breaking the headstock. My guess is it's somewhere between the Epiphone break angle and the straight, almost Fender neck of the bolt on HIIN OT. Probably enough of a break to not need a string tree, but so light and solid (that truss rod assembly!) that I wouldn't sweat it like I do with my Les Paul. My Carvin, which has a relaxed break angle and a volute, has taken falls repeatedly that would have sent a Lester headstock flying each time. That Carvin is like a tank.

EDIT: matter of fact, that Brooklyn/1600 one was built like mine, without the string tree thingy, and this shot gives you a good look at the break angle

Image
Carvin Weaponry:
1985 DC150K (koa) Stereo, M22N/M22SD w/black hardware.
1985 100 Watt X Amp 2 x 12 combo (XV212) upgraded w/ 2 Vintage 30's
...and other gear.

https://soundcloud.com/the_heavy_clouds

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Re: INBOUND: 197(4) Hagstrom Viking, Natural Birch, MINT!

Postby UnexplodedCow » Sat Oct 07, 2017 6:44 pm

I'm curious how well that string-tree might help with headstock breaks, since it's changing the "angle of insertion," (relating to muscle movement) between the nut and tuners. It should change the leverage, and might be beneficial. But the potential for Gibsons to break is one reason why I've never bought one.

I've had my DC135 take a dozen falls, on carpet, wood, carpeted concrete, and it's been solid. I think they got the proper tilt-back angle, plus the volute really helps.
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Re: INBOUND: 197(4) Hagstrom Viking, Natural Birch, MINT!

Postby Doctor Turn » Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:01 am

Well that string tree thingy is only there on necks that are the complete opposite of those that experience cracks and breaks at the headstock. It's really only there on fender style straight necks, usually bolt on, where there's not enough of a tilt back to keep the strings slotted into the nut cuts, so this adds the downward pressure i into the strings nto the slots to keep them from popping out. It's not there to prevent breakage at the headstock since pretty much as a rule if a headstock needs it, it doesn't have that kind of a dramatic break angle that creates the vulnerability to snap offs.

The only guitar I've ever seen from the vintage Hagstrom line that had a break at the back of the headstock was a grand total of one:this black 1973 Swede on reverb.

Interesting factoid I picked up from browsing the Les Paul clubs on FB, there are guys who specifically hunt Les Pauls with repaired headstocks, because they're supposedly more sturdy than they were after the break than they were before the break. Apparently the traditional repair a Lester/Lester Type with that 17 degree break angle receives after a break in that spot makes it unbreakable afterwards, and the prices are always super affordable. So, owing to the high prices of Les Pauls, especially Customs and Standards, and their extreme fragility at the headstock, there are dudes out there whose mission is to find a previously broken model of the type they're hunting, and if the repair was done right, snap one of those up at the hugely reduced price. People in the audience don't see it, it will never break again, and you saved half off the price of a great guitar (see the thread "Gibson Woes" I put up last nite re headstock break story that's just awful).

A break in the headstock on the HIIN OT is as likely as a break on a Tele... Virtually impossible. My guess is the Viking 1N is going to be very close if not the same.

Guitar point video demoing this species of Viking from early in the cycle, 1970, with the brown burst over birch. Interesting is Ali is totally lost w the switching.. the 3 way on the upper bout is the tone filter, and on the pickup selector on the bottom bout Hagstrom on these models reversed the usual setup.. up is the bridge pickup, and down is the neck pickup. Like their wood choices, original bridges, headstock shapes, truss rod technology, they've just got to be different with everything they do. I love that about them, but as you see in the video, if the player is not prepared, they get thrown and freeze up.

Here's the full hollow jazz box from the seventies, just a random reviewer not connected to a store or company.. good video of the"Jimmy" designed by the great luthier Jimmy D'Aquisto. Again all in birch.. actually two videos. First over blonde and all natural, with some added footage of it being gigged. Nice video:

https://youtu.be/l3lhJZwaDnQ

And another from Guitar Point, with Ali playing a brown burst birch Jimmy:
https://youtu.be/T7jtSfarvN0

Lastly, a clip of the earlier 60s version with the p90 ish single coils and the strat headstock.. showing the very clear, acoustic, almost Piezo esque sound they put out. They actually remind me A LOT of the old Gibson"Alnico" or "Staple" pickups:

https://youtu.be/_SWPVAwuT0w
Carvin Weaponry:
1985 DC150K (koa) Stereo, M22N/M22SD w/black hardware.
1985 100 Watt X Amp 2 x 12 combo (XV212) upgraded w/ 2 Vintage 30's
...and other gear.

https://soundcloud.com/the_heavy_clouds

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Re: INBOUND: 197(4) Hagstrom Viking, Natural Birch, MINT!

Postby Doctor Turn » Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:58 pm

I picked this up today.

Oh.

My.

GOD.

I've NEVER played a guitar that sounded like this before. It's even better than the one out in Dover. Every note has this aura around it, I swear it's like the sonic equivalent of like a holy glow or a halo. I've never heard anything like this before. It's like the Dover 74 Viking, but the guitar is more in harmony with itself. This thing is MINT. Guys walking around the store were coming up to me asking about it, one literally asked me three times if I could just allow him to hold it for a minute.

Amazing.

More later. At work now.
Carvin Weaponry:
1985 DC150K (koa) Stereo, M22N/M22SD w/black hardware.
1985 100 Watt X Amp 2 x 12 combo (XV212) upgraded w/ 2 Vintage 30's
...and other gear.

https://soundcloud.com/the_heavy_clouds

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Re: INBOUND: 197(4) Hagstrom Viking, Natural Birch, MINT!

Postby Naked Ape » Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:50 am

Very cool!! So glad it worked out. I Know the feeling of getting that 'ONE'. I have a few Gibsons that fall in that category.
I have bought some guitars and tried very hard to get there, but just no amount of set-up and fiddling helped.
Then...a box arrives....I open the case....tune up...and.....*#@% :) :o :shock: :P :drool: Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeep(censored) 8) :oops: :applause:
KEEPER!!!!!
Congratulations!!!!! Can't wait to see some pics of YOUR guitar. :woot:

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Re: INBOUND: 197(4) Hagstrom Viking, Natural Birch, MINT!

Postby ElfDude » Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:27 pm

Doctor Turn wrote:I picked this up today.

Oh.

My.

GOD.

I've NEVER played a guitar that sounded like this before. It's even better than the one out in Dover. Every note has this aura around it, I swear it's like the sonic equivalent of like a holy glow or a halo. I've never heard anything like this before. It's like the Dover 74 Viking, but the guitar is more in harmony with itself. This thing is MINT. Guys walking around the store were coming up to me asking about it, one literally asked me three times if I could just allow him to hold it for a minute.

Amazing.

More later. At work now.


Congrats! That's so cool! :applause:
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