Ziggy played guitar… A Hagstrom, that is… – Hagstrom Electric Guitars (Part 1)

by Rik Mercaldi on May 14, 2013

BowieHagstromMention, Music and Sweden, in the same sentence, and most people say Abba! Well, I say Hagstrom! Although I do love “Waterloo”… and Bjorn often played Hagstroms… But I digress… It all started  in 1921 when Albin Hagstrom of Alvdalen, Sweden began importing accordions. Fast forward to 1958 Hagstrom began building electric guitars and basses which were sold throughout Europe and imported into the U.S by Hershman Music of New York as Goya (more on the Goya brand later).

The Kent model PB-24-G was introduced in 1962 and has a Stratocaster shaped body with a back covered in vinyl so that they didn’t need to be painted! All of their electronics were mounted on a plastic front piece so that they could be built cheaply to keep up with the massive demand for electric guitars in the early 60’s.

The Kent II (2 pickups) and the Kent III (3 pickups) were added to the line and were all wood with no plastic front. All had necks made of birch, teak fingerboards, and a 24 1/2 inch scale with 22 frets. These early models sometimes had a Kent logo on the headstock and sometimes a Hagstrom gold plastic logo on the bodies.1962 Hagstrom I

Although these were definitely made cheaply they have a surprisingly distinct tone that doesn’t quite sound like anything else. This, combined with a groovy, retro look probably considered futuristic at the time, plus easy playability make these a great choice for everyone from the aspiring indie rocker, tone seekers, collectors on a budget, or anyone who wants to be seen (and heard!) playing something just a little bit different.

In production until roughly 1966 the Kent models gradually morphed into the Hagstom I, II, and III which is where we’ll start Part 2…

Any other Hagstrom fans out there? What do you have?

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