Well we've heard about those Japanese missing links "The Ultra Swede" - well
Kind of suits being shown in grey eh?
This is what finally finished the original story, intended to be a means to continue the Hagström Guitar line in spite of competition from the Far East, if fact it came from Japan itself - just 250 were listed and few see the light of day. So why the mixed story?
They are rarely seen. I don't suppose they buried them or anything**, but how many stood the test of time let alone the test of playing seriously? I have it on good authority that they are just as heavy as their predecessors, maybe more "just to make a point" (!), but most of all this rendition does not come up to speed at all. Lets delve further, as the intention was probably well meant... by someone!
It is believed to have been facilitated by the Canadian distributor at the time. Sure the Japanese company wanted to buy into the Hagstrom brand name - that was the first mistake. Karl Erik Hagström Senior never wanted to see Hagstrom used as someone else's brand. Hagström was a living institution in Sweden - quite literally part of the education system for example, and other aspects of Hagström were still in business anyway. Respect and pride lies under the cool exterior of the good Swedish people, and despite the respectful offer, it wasn't worth damaging the reputation of the company.
This model did have a zero fret, there was even a coil tapping switch (although pretty cheap by the looks), the distinctive sharp lower horn of the SuperSwede was there too, but then there was the introduction of the "Dual Rocker". No this wasn't the guy who played it... it just worked against anyone who tried! Despite marrying it up with an garish locking nut system, this baby just wailed it's way out of tune far too easily.
Add some very average Gotoh machines with oversized ferrules that covered the headstock binding, and somehow it got the name ULTRA!
Getting a close up on this little lot should have told you something, but I suppose when you'd experienced the predecessor SuperSwede you'd simply expect a bit more without checking too hard...
That "Dual Rocker" just didn't look the part on a Hagstrom - far too "close but not nearly" Floyd Rose, the name "Ultra" just oozed Japanese of the time, and just look at that locking nut, they'd have Fender selector switches on them next!
The Swedish attention to detail had been lost. This shape was
there but the subtle identity and designs were lost.
No wonder Mr Karl Erik Hagström
senior said "No thanks". It wasn't a
So what's all the fuss about then?
It's the missing link between then and now,
so if you collect...
OK, so let's be kind now, it still looks quite good really...
Lets just hope it never gets resurrected!
Heh Heh Heh as Rob would say!
Before you go...
(* These photos above
were kindly donated by Graham
the original webmaster at AM&S/Jam The USA&Canada license holders for
contributions or comments about this web site are welcome. All
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Hagstrom.org.uk - Hagstrom UK
|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