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Update May 2006 - Ron now has his own website full of interesting insights, music and pics.
You can catch it here:
www.ronkoloskee.com

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Ron Koloskee's Brace of USA strings... beware the confusing* Viking

From: ron koloskee ron69@juno.com (Updated email Nov 2003)
Sent: 01 December 2001 16:24, To: David Cox, Subject: RE: Hagstrom Viking Deluxe?
Updated 16th December 2001

Dear Dave,

First of all, I enjoyed your website and am returning in kind a photo of one of my Vikings. 

I bought this a few years ago at a used musical instrument store. It has two knobs missing and one pearl inlay missing. A few dents on the headstock (probably from the owner hitting the drum cymbals). I had to do some rewiring work because it wasn't working right when I bought it. The body is in good shape and the finish has held up after thirty-four years. 

Yes, I believe it is a 1967 Viking Deluxe, mainly because it has gold hardware, rectangular pearl inlays and binding on the headstock. 

Maybe you could educate me as to what a Viking Deluxe is? I have the Hagstrom Book (serial numbers) Yes, this is my Hagstrom_Viking_Deluxe_and_friends_Ron Koloskee_s1.jpg (54592 bytes)prized Hag snuggled between my Epiphone Les Paul Limited Edition (This is 100% modeled after the famous 1959 Gibson L.P.) and between my beloved Fender 12-string. 

This Fender has a really nice sound for the price I paid for it---$250.00!!  Hagstroms seem to float around the area I live. I have seen them now and then. I missed an opportunity to buy a 1960's Hagstrom Electric 12-string back in 1993 for $125.00. 

I guess I didn't buy it because it was rusting and didn't work to well. Maybe the next time I will think twice. There is something interesting about my Hag shown in the photo I sent to you. These Vikings (with the Fender style headstock) were made between 1965 and 1972. These are known as Viking I. They have one toggle switch and the pickups are P-90's type. (Which by the way, here in the U.S. are very collectible) because of the distinct sound you can get from them. The other kind are known as Viking II (ED butting in here, sorry Ron, but see below) (with Hagstrom headstock) and were made between 1972 and 1979. They have two toggle switches and Humbucking pickups. The first switch is the pickup selector and the other switch allows you to switch the guitars humbucking pickups in and out of phase. (ED butting in again - this is the 1N)

I have a 1973 Viking II (1N) cherry red and in mint condition. It is a very interesting guitar and I have been exploring the tonal qualities. It seems to be a more subtle guitar than the Gibson 335 model plus it is lighter, so I guess you have to play it accordingly. I really like the Hagstrom body design over the Gibson, there is a distinctive flair in the cutaway that I really like. If you put a Hagstrom up against a Gibson 335, you will see the difference in the FLAIR of the cutaway. 

Well Dave, I hope you receive this and I will stop into your site again sometime. Maybe when I get a Polaroid photo taken of my Hag Viking II  (cherry red) I will send it out to you. Take care, and I hope I was of some help. 

Regards, Ronne 

P.S. Elvis Presley used to play a Viking similar to the one I have, except I think it was cherry red. You can see it in his 1967 or 1968 live farewell concert video.

Update Dec 22, 01: ...here are the promised pictures  Hag_Viking_I_N_(photo_a).jpg (21012 bytes)  Hag_Viking_I_N_(photo_b).jpg (29150 bytes) thanks Ron, and folks, see the passion below!

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ED: Hagstrom had a tendency to call many the new guitar models "Deluxe" as a matter of habit, the Viking with Gold hardware and banding inside the cut-outs is a "deluxe" finish BUT READ ON

*** This Deluxe guitar became known as the VIKING II after one year of manufacture - they are the same ***
Click here to see the section called "When is a Viking not just a Viking"

(See Anders Karlsson's Viking II pics on his visitor page), or the Elvis Pics on the Fans page,As you know, mine isn't a "deluxe" or VikingII, but appears to be a transitional Canadian version Strat head/new (1N) electrics, but certainly no deluxe finished binding) - it's just beautiful - to me!

 I agree about putting a Viking up against a 335, I opened the case to a band playing locally in the city a couple of months ago, and (1) He'd never seen one before, (2) He was amazed how easy it was to play, and  (3) was knocked out with the looks. 

Your two other treasures are really nice too - The Fender was a steal by the looks - I LOVE 12 stringers!  I've looked at the Les Pauls in local stores Gibson and Epiphone side by side, they clearly have quality, but maybe it's me, the SuperSwede take's my biscuit!

Thanks for taking the time to write, and yes please do send me a Polaroid, or e-mail a jpg file - it's an honour for me to share this with the visitors, and hey if another Hagstrom 12 floats by - grab it!

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21 Dec 2001 00:17:28 -0000 , David, Just want to thank you for referring me to the Canada and Usa websites for Hagstrom information. Thank You!----Ron     I will return the favor in KIND if you ever ask me for any ? 
No problem - we're all part of one Hagdom

I might be interested in selling my Hagstrom I N at about25,000.oo-------I really don't trhink I will sell it. But if I do, it would probably go for about $25,000.00 since only about 1,000 are in existence in the world! Sincerely.----  ron69@juno.com (Updated email Nov 2003)

Dave, Just wanted to wish you a good holiday season! Your Hag site is cool Maybe someday Hags will be worth what they are worth? To me, I won't sell mine for under $2,000.00 It took the craftsman too long to make these for the WORLD! And just think? My guitar. Hagstrom Viking I N . There are only 1000 in the entire WORLD that were made in 1973. David Cox, ----Just want to say you are cool to recognize that Hagstrom made a good effort in 1958-1981 to make a GOOD guitar! Sometimes it takes someone like you to make the populace realize what a good product was made! Dave, keep in touch!------Ron & E. Clapton

It's that kind of passion that keeps the spirit alive - Cheers Ron. Happy Hols!  ------- David & The Dominos (My Regards to Derek)

 

There must be loads of stories (and pics) around from the last forty years, why not share them with us!

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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!