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
From 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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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