Founded in 1958, Hagstrom fell victim to the Japanese copy boom of the ‘80s, but came back from the dead last year with a new line of electrics based on the old classics.
Traditional looks conceal some tantalising features here. There’s the H-Expander trussrod, whose distribution of tension supposedly makes the neck play like shit off a shovel. Then there’s the resinator fretboard, a homogenous wood composite that Hagstrom reckons gives the “benefits of premium ebony with greater consistency and speed”.
The block stop tailpiece purports to boost sustain, while a coil tap can split the ’58 humbuckers.
Despite its LP vibe, the Super Swede is neither as heavy nor as big in any direction. We’d question Hagstrom’s claims this is the world’s fastest neck, but it’s no slouch, has a low action that works well with single-note runs, and copes well when you push beyond Jimmy Page tempo.
Hats off to Hagstrom for including a coil tap, but the Super Swede is most convincing when you let the ’buckers do their ‘thick and fat’ thing.
The tone mirrors the looks, with real organic warmth when you play the blues at the neck, a creamy roar when you flip to the bridge and huge sustain across the board. LP traditionalists might even prefer it to the Epiphone.
Pros: Vintage looks, classic tone.
Cons: Some extravagant claims.
Buy: Hagstrom Super Swede currently available from Thomann.