Hagstrom Swede Tremar review

  • £625
A Swede with a vibrato twist in its tail

MusicRadar Verdict

A classy and individual alternative to many more-obvious single-cutaway six-strings.


  • +

    Sounds. Vibrato performance. Character.


  • -

    Weight. Sharp fret ends.

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Since Hagstrom electric guitars reappeared in 2007, the company has mainly concentrated on models that hark back to the brand's best-known originals. This ensures ample retro-flavoured individuality, an aspect recently enhanced by the addition of the Tremar tailpiece.

The name revives the title of an early Hagstrom vibrato, but is now applied to the company's all-new interpretation of Bigsby's classic design. It's offered on a five-strong range of Chinese-made six-strings, with each identified by the new Tremar suffix.

Swede Tremar

Back in the seventies, the original Swede was Hagstrom's major play for a share of Les Paul sales, becoming one of the brand's best-known models. Unsurprisingly, the reissue maintains the same styling and many other features.

The Swede also employed Jimmy D'Aquisto's headstock and naturally the new version does likewise, along with the updated Art Deco-type tuners. The graphite nut is cut to a high standard, while the Resinator Wood fingerboard shares the same radius, but the black and white layered binding is sharp edged.

The frets suffer from sharp ends - this could be down to fingerboard shrinkage, but as this is synthetic and immune to movement in theory, it implies inadequate attention at the production stage: a gripe we had with earlier Hagstroms.

Unlike its Super stablemate, the standard Swede employs a Gibson-style scale length. The carved-top, mahogany body is bigger all round than a Les Paul, but the cutaway is tighter, making upper end operation a little cramped.

The Swede Tremar is no lightweight, although it sits well, with some rear waist contouring increasing comfort. As yet, white is the only colour offered in the UK, contrasted by multi-layer black binding around the front edge.

Twin Custom 58 humbuckers partner a control circuitry that continues the Les Paul likeness, but with the addition of a toggle-type selector on the right horn. On the original Swede this was a simple standby switch, but now it's a triple-position type that performs filter functions, providing two different tonal choices plus centre bypass.

Offering equally consistent pitch return, the Swede's Tremar vibrato is correct, being Hagstrom's version of the flat-mount Bigsby, but with a more angular baseplate that's been made big enough to carry the company's crest.


This Swede has a toppy acoustic tone, with the Tremar tailpiece contributing to some extra sprang. This balances the warmer tonality of the all-mahogany construction, ensuring cleanly defined delivery from the Custom 58 humbuckers.

The neck position is thick-toned and meaty, while the bridge adds more bark and attack, with the centre selection supplying the best of both.

The filter switch offers enhanced mid or bass options, like a less subtle version of the PRS 'Sweet' switch. It helps with higher gain performance, although the Custom 58s keep things well under control courtesy of an even and expressive response.

The Swede Tremar obviously treads Les Paul territory, but in a more characterful way than some single-cutaway solids, with the Tremar tailpiece adding another dimension in terms of looks, feel and sound.