Hagstrom Deuce F
It might have a chambered body, but the Hagstrom Deuce F is a monster of a guitar that tips the scales at 3.85kg. That may seem like a deal breaker, but don't be hasty: this brute might just win you over yet.
Playability is up there with the best of them. Hagstrom employs an ultra-stiff trussrod system that enables it to fit slim profile necks that don't compromise tuning stability.
"Stomp on the filth with the bridge humbucker engaged for a fantastic aggressive tone; a thrilling combination of edge and beef that kills for metal and punk."
Like all Hagstrom guitars, the Deuce F features a 'Resinator' fingerboard. This is a composite material that offers a feel and tone similar to ebony.
The 'board is studded with 22 well-seated, well-dressed frets.
The Deuce's Custom 58 humbuckers are each wired to a dedicated volume and push/pull tone control. Pull the tone knobs and each 'bucker splits for singlecoil sounds; push it to activate humbucker mode.
The only problem is with the Gibson-style 'bell' knobs: they're tough to pull.
You have to dig the meat of your fingers under the skirts of the knobs to shift them, and even our heavily calloused claws found that a bit uncomfortable after a few attempts. Fatter knobs would make coil splitting easier.
Maybe it's the oversized headstock, the body chambers, the 10mm-thick maple top or the stiff neck, but the Deuce F pumps out an incredible amount of sustain.
It could also be the over-engineered tailpiece that sees each string threaded through its own tone block, which is then anchored to the guitar's body via a thick slab of Perspex.
It works brilliantly, even if it looks a bit bonkers. Luckily, the whole thing is covered by a chrome plate.
Plugging the Deuce F in is a revelation. Stomp on the filth with the bridge humbucker engaged for a fantastic aggressive tone; a thrilling combination of edge and beef that kills for metal and punk.
While it's less adept at bright rhythm jangle, the Deuce F still cleans up well. The neck humbucker also excels for jazz chords and weeping, bluesy lead tones.
The Hagstrom Deuce F is an unusual beast, it's a bit on the heavy side and isn't quite as well-finished as competitors such as the PRS SE Custom Semi-Hollow.
However, its incredible tone and sustain mark it out as one of the best affordable rock guitars we've ever tested. If your spine can take it, give it a whirl.
Superb tone and true versatility.
You'll need a strong back.
For the money, you'll struggle to find a better guitar than this. A real winner.
All MusicRadar's reviews are by independent product specialists, who are not aligned to any gear manufacturer or retailer. Our experts also write for renowned magazines such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Computer Music, Future Music and Rhythm. All are part of Future PLC, the biggest publisher of music making magazines in the world.
Country of Origin
2 x Tone 2 x Volume 3-way Pickup Selector
Left Handed Model Available
Guitar Body Material
Tobacco Sunburst, Black Gloss, White Gloss, Cardinal Red, Vintage Emerald Stone