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The Viking has Landed...

There are a lot of questions about Viking models. The information is not totally clear (yet), so until then, lets try to dispel some myths and legends, so from the land that brought us Merlin, Anglo-Saxons, Maggie Thatcher and Tony Blair, lets see what "spin" we can put on it all here!

See more pictures of the Viking II/Deluxe formerly owned by Hucklebuck Blues Player Sam Hare

When is a Viking not just a Viking

Viking I 1965-1972
With a Strat Fender style head, 6 in-a-line machine heads. 
Two single coil pickups and one three-way selector for pickup selection on the lower body
Chrome Hardware, Dot Inlay on the neck.

On the VERY early ones there was an additional "Viking 1" decal on the headstock too. 
This example from Matteo Scolaro based in Italy.

A small qty of 12 string versions were also made in 1967, with rectangular 'open book' head shape.

Viking II 1967-1968 (Same as the Viking I, plus):
Gold Hardware, Rectangular Block Inlay on the neck, 
Bound Head and F-Holes
Referred to as the DELUXE in 1967 - the first production year, ("the Elvis Guitar")

Viking IN 1972-1975 ('N' for "New" - head/neck/electrics)
Schaller or Van Ghent stepped machine heads - 3 on a side, and a PLAIN headstock badge. 
Two humbucker pickups and two three way selector switches upper for tone, lower for pickup selection.
Chrome Hardware. 
The 1N was also marketed as a Scandia, and often incorrectly identified as a Viking II.

Viking 1978-1979
Floral / Lily headstock badge, unlike the the Viking I N 
Different internally to the 1N, with a center block whereas the 1N had a smaller support block under the bridge.
Update March 2004: The (sometimes fully bound) 'F' Hole returns instead of 'S' Hole!


"I'd like to know who designed all the Hagströms!
That person must have been a genius with the pen" - Anders Karlsson.



There are a multitude of colours and finishes on Hagstrom guitars, but have you seen the Bubinga Viking 1N?
Also known as African rosewood, Bubinga is medium red-brown with purple veining, native to the African continent. The white example can not show you, but it too had full bound 'f' holes.

Since writing this in early 2002, there have been a couple of exceptions - such as the Van Ghents on the 1N (Rob), and more recently the existence, shape and extent of the internal block has been questioned, (Dylan /"Spades") and instead of any version being wrong, all types have been verified, with variations found within the same production run! Similar variation it seems applies to the Jimmies (Thanks Kwinn). Variety is the spice of life it seems, yet the superb sound is unaffected...

Thanks Kwinn, Thanks Anders, Thanks Rob, Thanks Spades, Thanks Hagstrom for the quest, and sorry to anyone who may have been confused - which includes me!

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Feel free to let me know if I've still got it wrong - I wouldn't be the only one!
Next: Why, when, where the 'F' hole and 'S' hole - an update is bound to follow!
(Good question Rob!)

See the Vintage Guitar Articles for the changes, but in short the initial Viking IN went 'S'
Then the updated model in 1978  had returned to the 'F'

Read a critical assessment of the Oct 1977 Viking by Stephen Delft
FULL THREE PAGE ARTICLE REPRODUCED WITH PERMISSION

THIS HISTORIC GUITAR IS FOR SALE
...So where does that leave my Canadian 1N with a Strat style head!
- That's why there are still questions!
It's probably a special order, most likely for Canada 
- where all these seem to raise their (Strat) heads!

Made in Sweden, loved in Canada, cherished and revived 'live' in England

My first E-bid proved a great success. Asking the seller if he would help me get it to the UK was received well. Once agreed, it took only two days and $123 for UPS Express to deliver from Vancouver BC to West Sussex UK.

Vikflat.jpg (29144 bytes) 006.jpg (27849 bytes) hagstrom.jpg (186101 bytes) 004.jpg (28997 bytes) Vikangle.jpg (47929 bytes)
(She's a child of the 60's, Serial # 731642 Listed 1968)

(Hagstrom USA): Hi David, It's an interesting guitar as the 731 serial has the V I N body with the V I neck.
I think Hagstrom was in transition to the I N when these were done. It is only the second I've ever seen like this, but there could be more. Hagstrom Gitarrer lists it as a V I from 1968 with 1000 pieces made in this serial run.
The book has quite a few errors in it, so I'm no longer surprised by anything I see anymore. Kwinn

Further encounters and investigation suggests that all these transition models were sent to Canada originally.
You could say that you can really STRAT your stuff with a "Canadian Hagstrom Viking 1N"
Certainly it seems to be one of the first "1N" (Viking 1 with New Electrics) to be produced.
Given the overlap in production of the V1 and V1N models it's nice to see the fully listed new model below.

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THIS HISTORIC GUITAR IS FOR SALE
Canada can be a super source for
Hagstrom Vintage Guitars...
(April 2003)

My thanks to Rob and to UPS for this opportunity! See the Journey from
Hagstrom Canada    

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A Deep Silky Red sheen to this 1971 Viking 1N, and as Rob said on his site
the 128th true Viking 1N ever produced - I remember challenging him on the "outrageous claim" with the one above a while back,
but whatever the way you view it, they look good together, play well together, and with sets of Ernie Ball 9's can squeal and boom
as fast as lightening! The original case is a nice touch with this one, still solid and fully functional.


some of the pack look on during photo's

OK let's see this newcomer...

CDC gets in quickly!
   There is a flamed effect and visible grain, difficult to reproduce here, but the deep sheen is splendid in the light
... accepted in the family!

       AH... NOW IT'S TIME TO RELAX TOGETHER, CUP OF COCOA ANYONE?

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CLICK THE ICON TO SEE GOLDEN BOULDER PLAY
ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK using Hagstrom VIKING 1N
(low res "wmv" video file - MS Media Player)

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Catalogue Excerpt:
VIKING Semi-Acoustic Guitar
The Viking was created to meet the growing demand for a true acoustic sound in a guitar that features all the latest electronic features. The arch top body produces a superb tone even without amplification, while two high gain pickups give the instrument a wide range of electronic effects completely free from hum. The neck has a slim low profile for fast action. The head is fitted with high accuracy chrome plateed machines. The bridge is adjustable for height and position, allowing fine tuning of individual strings.
Semi-acoustic birch body
Arched top and back
Humbucking pickups
3 Position tone switch
Patented H-rod neck construction
Rosewood fingerboard
Scale length 24.75"
Nickel Silver frets
Chrome Plated Machine specially designed by Jimmy D'Aquisto
Pearloid inlaid markers
Adjustable bridge
Fully Bound - celluloid binding
Polyester finish in natural, sunburst, or cherry

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There is also a superb and extensive selection of photo's from David Feight
showing a wonderful condition Red Viking
CLICK HERE

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Then of course there was the Twelve String Viking...

Single Coil pickups of course! One batch in 1967 a total of 651 were made.
Pictures courtesy of Peter from Germany

MORE VIKING CONTRIBUTIONS ?

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But tell me... what came before the VIKING?

Some time in the early 60's Hagstrom were awash with sparkle. They also had a neat swappable pickup unit, yes you know what I mean...

The Standard Deluxe Batman EDP46... whatever.... - too common now eh?

If you have the Hagström booklet you may have seen the Bjarton semi-acoustic near the back.

We know that Bjärton made all the acoustics etc...

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Well here's a variation even on that theme!

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How about this little Bjarton Duo?


They are a cross between the booklet picture
The one on the left was sent to me some while ago out of curiosity
The one on the right even has a whammy bar!
This one lives with Thorsten Lundquist Stockholm Sweden

Now, you don't see many of these on eBay!

Take a browse through the Catalogues Pages     

CLICK FOR HAGSTROM VISITORS PAGES
 Or click the Red oval button top and bottom of every page for the Main Menu

 

My desire for an Hagstrom Amp came to fruition December 2001 with the arrival of Anders' 1965 '310'

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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!