Hagstrom Guitars Ha gström Gitar

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Visit to Sweden - July 2005   HOMEPAGE
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With four hours to Stockholm, I had wondered how Chris would manage without the odd "how long now?", but none of it. "It's like an expedition, and we don't even have to hike!"

Mind you with his own electric travel guitar, battery synth and headphones - you could say he was well catered for! Strumming and sleeping - he was ready for every stage no matter what time of day or night.

So Stockholm was the target by early afternoon, take in the guitar stores, and check out the stock. One brief stop could have enticed us to relax, but being 'on a mission', we wanted to make Älvdalen by the end of the day! So, no time for picnics, lets find the capital city.

Lunch in Stockholm was more of a treat for the boy (Pizza in Sweden?) oh well next up guitars, and Halkan was first stop. He always has some special possessions on show!

Reminded of the 'easy deal' I did buying my SuperSwede from him in 2001, we entered the store with much anticipation. We were not disappointed either:

 

 

 

 

YES FOLKS - NOW WE ACTUALLY HAVE SOME GUITARS

Halkan has moved premises in recent years, and the store contains a wide selection of treasures for any would-be collector... in fact enough to make the "I'd better not buy another one" collector sit up and beg as well!

We were treated to a viewing of some special examples 'kept out the back' sadly not all for sale, but then we're all collectors of sorts eh?

Time was, I would have pawned my shirt for something different, and although the bargains can still be found it wasn't me who ended up doing a deal after visiting.

Anders and I saw something rather nice, and he got himself a mighty bargain by all accounts...


 
This is very unusual and early. Notice the ribbed edge? I've seen the first run batch, solid body with a flat ribbed edge, but this one has a mix of ribbing and the curved body too.

I love that all over blue pearl - very cool.


 
Now who doesn't want to just try a Batman bass?

OK those still here will appreciate just how few Deluxe Ä Batman basses were made, and the blue book doesn't help us either for this elusive beauty!

Wonderful bright sparkle, this is another personal treasure kept 'back of store'.

   Nestled away on the wall, one of those first 480 bodies, A rare Jimmy HN Custom, the body being produced from the first batch of top quality timber by Bjarton.

Check the scale and intonation, if it's good (some were not, and unlike the ebony jazz bridge, you can't move it) - if all's well, snap this baby up if you can find one!

We made our way round the sights, visited the store I've said on the links page I'd love to browse:

Chris gets the photo again, but the desire was achieved for me too, although it must be said they sell their stock through well, and we'd caught them on a lean time for Hagstroms.

While Anders and I chatted in Vintage Guitars, Chris asked to play a PRS (he's got some expensive tastes). While he was in full flow we were thrilled to be met by Karl-Erik Jr. Typical isn't it, why wasn't Chris playing that Viking instead!

Now I don't want to overstate the case here, but it needs to be said. When Karl-Erik walked in the store I needed a double take, because this man is the splitting image of his grandfather Albin. I'd only ever seen pictures of Albin, and it was like meeting the man himself.

A resident of Stockholm, Karl-Erik offered to show us around, and had some good suggestions for our visit to Stockholm. He knew where to find the best Hagstrom selection I'd ever seen in a store.

We were treated to a visit at Hellstone Music - where the largest collection of early Hagstrom Sparkle I'd ever seen covered the best part of the ceiling above the tills.

Other things too - many I thought were impossible to find - were here to view.

Amps and effects units, models of quality and definite rarity.

So this is a small selection from what we found through visiting Sven Hellsten and his amazing Hagstrom menagerie:

 

        Hellstone Music

 

 

 

 

 

This is a virtually mint, Lefty SuperSwede Bass.

Not a hint of milkiness found on a few of this rare model's right hander, and hey there were only 356 listed, none leftys.

Is this unique??

 

 

 As it turned out, there were some superb and unexpected additions to the day, thanks to Karl-Erik. Certainly it made us later getting away than planned, but we wouldn't have missed it.

I was touched by his generous hospitality.

Chris got to play some of the 'family collection' too!

 

 

... Älvdalen next!

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There's nothing like a REAL original Swedish made Hagstrom (and there are loads around), but if it 'floats your boat', or you can't find an original then who are we to say?

Plenty has been said already and
will be said forever forward probably.
Only you know what's right for you!