This set of pages is till under development.
Latest Update 9th April 2004.
Note: We will not be replicating the batch
history listings, as this detracts from the sale of the Hagström Gittarer Blue
Book, donated to Bälgdraget by Hagström in order to finance their activities in
association with former Hagström employees. The link to the site to your order
As for echo units themselves, there's more on this later, think Kent Thin Watkins Copicat... wait for it, later on].
This was touted as also being useful for amplifying radios, phonograph players, and microphones, in addition to instruments. Availability dates are unknown, but it was probably at least available during the De Luxe/Standard run, if not before. [Interestingly the Hagstrom 510 and 614 amps were actually based on a British "Mullard 510 Hi Fidelity amplifier kit" - click the picture to open the page to reveal all]
Complete information on Hagstrom amps is not available, but apparently the company produced quite a few different models. We have information on at least two the BT-40 and PA-80, which were available later in the sixties. The PA-80 was one of the first public address system amps. It was a solid state head covered in dark tolex with a large chrome handlebar. This offered four separate channels, each with one output, volume, treble, middle, and bass controls. Each had a sliding on/off switch for echo. One master volume control sat in the middle of the faceplate. This offered 80 watts of output.
Unfortunately, when Karl-Erik tried to market these in the U.S., he was told clubs already had PA systems built into the stage, so the unit was not terribly successful. Presumably the BT-40 was a Bass unit with 40 watts output. Few other details are known, but you might be interested to know that these amplifiers were sold in the U.S. as Guild amplifiers!
[Two of the nicest combos the 310 - a super 15 watt valve, and the fabulous 39 are not covered yet, they are touched on later, along with the the larger 2x12 GA85 Reverb solid State amp. They can also be seen on the amps page by clicking one of the pictures above. There are other items such as great PA systems, Hagstrom "Super Dynamic Echo Unit", plus.......... hey, just click a pic eh? Oh yes the Guild amp is shown just for interest, I don't know if this model was anything to do with Hagstrom... I'm waiting for your info and pics - as always!]
[since original publication it is known that these finishes could also be found on the Hagstrom models, the script "G" was not always used, mostly a Goya "moniker" directly replaced the Hagstrom one as is shown in the example from the Hagstrom UK collection - which has both. There were also Goya Basses produced we estimate about 150 at the end of the Hagstrom branded run referred to in the earlier section. Pictures are available on the the Hagstrom UK Visitors pages]
IN '61, Hagstrom changed agents from Hershman to Merson, the NYC-based distributor founded by Bernie Mersky and run by Ernie Briefel, which would later merge with Sid Hack's Unicord be associated with brand names like Univox, Westbury, Giannini, Tempo, and Stage amplifiers, and would eventually transmogrify into the modern Korg company (another story) Merson would sell Hagstroms under the Hagstrom moniker. The Goya name belonged to Hershman, which continued to sell the brand on acoustics; some later Goya solidbodies would come from Italy, but no relation to our Swedish subject. Immediately following Hagstrom's switch to Merson, Hershman picked up distribution of the new sparkle-covered EKO guitars, by the way. Apparently, the move from Herman to Merson was accompanied by some bad feelings.
While working out his new deal for Hagstrom, Karl-Erik also managed to snare the contract for Hagstrom Musik stores to sell Fender guitars in Scandinavia. Hagstrom also distributed Gibson and Guild guitars, by the way, explaining the vibrato relationship with Guild. That Hagström's subsequent mini Strat-shaped Kents followed the official relationship with Fender is a curious coincidence.
One thing Karl-Erik noted in America (and further evidence of friction after the separation) was Hershman's success with the Levin-made Goya acoustics. This inspired Karl-Erik to return to Sweden and strike a deal with a small stringed instrument maker in Bjarnum, a small village outside of Hassleholm [in the Malmo region of Sweden]. The result was a line of acoustic guitars bowing in around '63 which were sold through Buegeleisen and Jacobson in New York carrying the España brand name, as Karl-Erik comments, to the great annoyance of Hershman.
These were also sold to Fender carrying the Tarrega brand name, and in London carrying the Rosetti brand name. These appear to be nylon-stringed classical guitars, since the scarce references refer to them as "Classic Guitars," and all illustrations are for classicals. These seem to have lasted only about a year; in '64 B&J [introduced, and then] switched to the Landola factory for its España guitars.
Little detailed information is available on the '63 classicals, but they were basically Spanish-shaped (not dreadnoughts), distinguished by size and materials. These had marquetry rosettes and various amounts of binding. All featured fan bracing. Some may have carved relief on the headstocks. The first batch of España guitars for B&J included the concert sized SL1 ($99.50 list), SL2 ($179.50), SL3 ($199.50), and SL4 ($309.50). No descriptions are available, but figure them to be mahogany, walnut, and rosewood. Also these probably had solid spruce tops. The initial concert sized SLs were soon joined by two new models, the SL11 ($99.50), and SL12 ($139.50). The SL11 was a concert in blonde maple. The SL12 was a larger bodied grand concert in the same materials as the SL1. At least one other España the SL22 would appear, a grand concert with a maple body. The slotted headstocks on the Españas had a large centre hump with a small squiggle on either side.
The Fender Tarrega guitars debuted in '63 and were essentially the same as España Guitars, but had a different headstock design, with two smaller humps on either side of a centre dip. At least three different grand concert models were offered. the FT-116, FT-114, and FT-113 although there were undoubtedly other concert sizes too. The FT-116 was rosewood with maple purfling, rosewood head facing and bridge, ebony fingerboard, and gold-plated tuners with pearl buttons. The FT-113 featured matched walnut back and sides, with ebony fingerboard and nickel-plated hardware. The FT-114 was the same except for a blond maple body. The Tarregas were offered until '69.
In 1962 Bjärton adopted the Hagstrom plug-in rectangular pu unit, and placed it inside a few prototype semi-acoustics. One of these had a very familiar 'teardrop' soundhole style.
Karl-Erik Hagstrom senior recently kindly advised me about another Bjarton semi-acoustic we assume to be of around the same time: " it was made at the Bjärton guitar factory in a very small amount. I didn't know that we exported any of this model. It is shown on the last inner page in the BB."* The two early versions of Bjarton semi-acoustics come from around 1962, before the advent of a Hagstrom branded semi-acoustic in 1965.]
Next Time: New Bass, Kents, Guild Cromwells, Futurama and much more!
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