HAGSTROM | H-12 (F-12-S)

Hagstrom 12

Hagstrom twelve string, or F-12S

1967 Hagstrom H12 (F-12S) electric guitar
1966 Hagstrom catalogue - Hagstrom guitars and basses move people

From the 1966 Hagstrom catalogue

The sensational Hagstom 12 string electric guitar - projects the full rich quality sound effects of 5 guitars... adds pulsating excitement, amazingly increased tonal range PLUS musical fire to your performance

1968 Hagstrom catalogue - The fastest playing neck in the worldFrom the 1968 Hagstrom catalogue

2 super-sensitive adjustable pickups for the fullest response in all tonal ranges. 4 individual flick-action switches, plus a master volume control

Model Hagstrom 12 / H-12 / F-12S
Production years 1965-1967? (see text)
Body Birch
Neck Bolt-on. Rosewood fretboard with mother-of-pearl dot inlays. 25 1/2" scale.
Width at nut: 1 11/16".
Width at 12th fret: 2 11/64"
Hardware Chrome plated. Hagstrom pickups, Van Ghent tuning keys.
Finishes Sunburst, red, black, white

The Hagstrom 12 (or F-12S in the United States) was a Swedish-built solid body electric guitar produced from 1965 until 1967. It was a two-pickup guitar, very similar to the Hagstrom II (F-200) and Hagstrom III (F-300), and in some ways the Hagstrom eight string bass (F-800). Easy-playing, with a low action and Hagstrom's famous fast neck.

According to the Hagstrom shipping data, a total of 3484 units were produced, in four batches, although it seems at least one, maybe two batches are missing from these records. The guitar below, from batch 706, is not listed in Hagstrom shipping data, and so production may have continued beyond 1967, especially as the model was featured on the cover of the 1968 Hagstrom catalogue.

Similar Models

Hagstrom II (F-200)
Hagstrom III (F-300)
Hagstrom HIIN (F-200N)

The controls on Hagstrom guitars at this time were a little different to those of their competitors. No tone pot, just a volume. Flick switches to select pickups, and two more to activate the tone and mute modes. Check out the soundclips to hear what effect these have on the instruments sound.

1967 Hagstrom H12 pickups
The Hagstrom H12 had the same scratchplate and control layout as the HII and H8 bass. The twin single-coil pickups are mounted onto this plate via nickel-plated surrounds.
1967 Hagstrom H12 pickup detail
These Hagstrom single coil pickups are bright and punchy. Listen to the Hagstrom 12 sound clips. Note the standby switch in the foreground - a useful feature appearing on a lot of Hagstroms.
1967 Hagstrom H12 vibrato detail
The controls of the Hagstrom H12 follow the same principle as other Hagstrom guitars of the period. L (low) activates thw neck pickup, H (high) activates the bridge. Tone is a treble boost/bass cut, and mute seems to be the reverse, although it is described in literature as 'volume dampening'. The master volume control is numbered 1-10 with silver insert.
1967 Hagstrom H12 standby switch detail
Bridge and stop tailpiece. The bridge is adjustable vertically, and saddles can easily be moved side to side, however they only have limited transverse adjustability, with a tiny screw on each side locking it in place - note that each saddle is double-notched to support a pair of strings.
1967 Hagstrom H12 neck plate with serial number
Hagstrom serial numbers on the H12 are imprinted onto the neck plate holding the neck to the body. The first three digits of the serial number are the production run - which can be looked up in a Hagstrom guitar reference book. Unusually, the production run 706 is not listed, but all of the other production runs listed between 700 and 710 are from (or at least were started in) 1967, so it is reasonable to assume that this is a 1967 guitar.
1967 Hagstrom H12 headstock detail
Front and rear headstock view. Note the MADE IN SWEDEN decal on the reverse, at the top. Individual closed-gear Van Ghent tuning keys.

Hagstrom H12 users

Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention featured in a series of advertisements with the Hagstrom 12 in 1967, using the image (left). There were several variations, used both to promote Hagstrom guitars, and their own album Absolutely Free. Another H12 user is Steve Hackett of Genesis. Know any more well-known Hagstrom H12 users? comment

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There are 11 comments on this article so far. Add your comment

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Marco Comment left 20th August 2019 15:03:39 reply
I also have one of the 706series. Would love to know more about it.
Oscar Comment left 22nd September 2018 17:05:41 reply
Very commonly used by Stu Mackenzie of Australian band King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard - sounds wicked
carter Comment left 3rd June 2017 08:08:35 reply
Im restoring a hagstrom 12 string that was stripped to bare wood.. looking for a paint source, color code to get it back to original red.. heip! any info would be greatly appreciated!thanks in advance,Carter.
Paul DeSimone Comment left 29th November 2016 22:10:33 reply
My parents bought this for my 16th birthday in 1967. Loved that guitar. It played so nice. In July of 1969, my band was playing at the Ratskellar in Kenmore Square, Boston, Ma. We went outside on break before the last set. There was a fire in the club. Everyone was evacuated and the fire put out by the BFD. We were allowed to get our equipment out of the club. Unfortunately my 6 string and my Hag 12 string electric were stolen during the fire. I still miss those guitars...
Paul Garwood Comment left 12th May 2016 05:05:18 reply
I just purchased a Very Beat/ Bad repaint 1967 Hag F-12. I would like to restore it to it's original condition. I must strip the paint off of the body and headstock and do a re-finish. Do you know where I can find the headstock decal? Serial # is 661866. Thanks. Also need to find pickguard, pickups and bridge saddle. Any help would be great. Thanks.
Vintage Guitar and Bass Comment left 16th January 2017 07:07:47 reply
Hi Paul, batch 661 is (oddly, and like the guitar above) seemingly not listed in the Hagstrom serial number records, although it would appear to have been produced circa 1966
KRC65 Comment left 16th July 2015 19:07:45 reply
I have inherited a nice twelve string Hagstrom solid body from a neighbour, and I want to find how old it is, and a value please. It is pretty beat up, but fully functioning. If I understand correctly it is from batch 692 (first three numbers of serial number? correct?). Looks very similar to the one shown in your images above - same color too. What year is it please? Ken
vintage guitar and bass Comment left 17th July 2015 11:11:30 reply
Hi Ken, yes, you are correct, the first three digits are the batch number - Batch 692 was of 1000 guitars built in 1967
Sharla Comment left 8th September 2012 05:05:43 reply
Hello, I am looking for this Hagstrom ad in a print, poster, whatever. I'd like to give it as a gift. Any ideas where I can get my hands on one? I've seen it hanging on a pub wall so I know they exist ... Thanks a bunch! Sharla
JasonX Comment left 24th June 2012 11:11:31 reply
Great to see some love for old hagstroms. My Uncle has a real nice red Hagstrom F12, and you really notice that fast playing neck on a 12. Any idea where to buy a spare machine head, other than ebay. I need one for the treble side.
drew hines Comment left 20th December 2011 07:07:21 reply
I have one of these- i should like to divest. Anyone out there?

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