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Gary Engelmann's Goya Red Sparkle Bass is the best I've seen!

Subject: Goya/Hagstrom Bass:

I have a Goya Bass that is the Red Sparkle Pearloid construction identical to the Goya six-string on your site. Some sources tell me they have seen the guitars but no bass, can you send any light on this instrument?

I have owned it for over 30 years now. I have seen one picture of a Hagstrom bass of similar construction. Any information would be appreciated. Thanks. Gary Engelmann.

So when did it arrive.... first thoughts...

Thank you for the e-mail and pictures. You have a wonderful example of these very first Hagstrom electric basses. There were two batches made Serial 495xxx (150 total) and Serial 512xxx (188 Total) in 1961. I do not know how many said Goya and how many said Hagstrom, but yours was probably imported into New York by the distributor Hershman. Their success started with acoustic guitars made in Gothenburg by Carlsson (Levin). Goya itself being a brand name intended to sound Spanish, it is interesting they also used it for these early electric guitars and basses made by Hagstrom, especially as Hagstrom also supplied Hershman’s competitor Buegeleisen & Jacobson with Espana acoustics made in Norway – designed to cash in on the success of Levin made Goyas! What a web they weave eh? I have seen a few like yours over the years, but most are in worse condition, or have been modified in some way. An example in good condition but modified being - http://www.hagstrom.org.uk/hagstrom_bass.htm#61Deluxe that belongs to Tomas Berg in Sweden. Yours appears to be in very good original condition indeed. The Hagstrom adjustable rod is already a feature on these models – virtually indestructible, but on these plastic coated models you need to be careful if they have been left unstrung for a long time. When you re-string it, do so over a period of time or you will suffer cracks in the neck coating as it will have become brittle over the last 42 years! It would be a perfect partner for my Red Goya for sure! A lovely instrument, and now you know how interesting it is, I hope you continue to cherish it.

when I got home today I got the serial # off of the bass and when compared to the batch numbers Serial 495 & 512 numbers it does not seem to fit in, the number on the back of my bass is 477/689. Any thoughts on that?

This Bass was one of the first bass guitars Hagstrom ever made. There is a batch listing of 477xxx from 1960 to 61. It states they are all Goya Guitars (not basses). There were 370 Goya-80 and 177 Goya-90. (547 total) The 90 has a small variation on the pick-guard shape on the six string and a different tailpiece, and is often known as the Deluxe. Yours has this tailpiece of a 90 too. So it was made alongside the batch of six string Goya-90. It may have been that the basses were in addition to the 547 total. This number is 142 instruments on from that, so that suggests there were maybe 150 basses made as well but never listed! We will never know for sure, but it stacks up to me. The “G” on the headstock: Maybe they used necks intended for the batch of 338 Hagstrom branded basses made the same year in 61. It also makes great sense, they were made together but serial numbered alongside the specific Goya batch.

If anyone has any more info that we have surmised - please send an e-mail!

Wow!

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More stories to follow... including yours?

Keep them coming!

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  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!