Hagstrom Swede

solid body electric guitar

Hagstrom Swede, as shown in the 1975 Hagstrom catalogueHagstrom Swede, as shown in the 1975 Hagstrom catalogue
Model: Hagstrom Swede HG803
Available: 1970-1982
Pickups: 2 reverse mounted humbuckers
Scale: 24 3/4"
Body: Bound mahogany
Neck: Bound mahogany bolt-on neck with ebony fretboard. 22 frets, block pearloid inlays. Width at nut 1 11/16"
Hardware: 2 volume and 2 tone controls, pickup selector switch, 3-position tone switch. Chrome plated bridge, and machines
Finishes: Initially cherry, then natural and black, and finally white finishes

The Hagstrom Swede was very much influenced by the Gibson Les Paul; not just the obvious body shape similarity, but also the choice of mahogany body and neck, humbucking pickups and separate volume and tone controls for each pickup, rather than the series of on/off switches so widely used by Hagstrom previously. It was very much Hagstrom's flagship model, existing as a six string guitar and a companion Swede bass. But the Swede was not just another 1970s Les Paul copy - it's a really great guitar: have you heard the term "Les Paul Killer"?

Hagstrom Swede catalog listings

1972 guitar and bass catalogue
Two very special Hagstrom pickups, "anti hum", sensitive, and with peak-efficiency. Both pickups activated by separate volume and tone controls and by two 3-position switches.
1975 electrics catalogue
The Hagstrom Swede is one of the most coveted guitars in the world. It's so compact and easy to handle, it seems almost too small for the magnificent sound it produces.

Is the Swede a Les Paul copy?

Of course, Hagstrom guitars were always well-regarded, but despite it's single cutaway body shape, this is not a Les Paul. There is no maple top over the mahogany body, and the neck is bolted to the body rather than glued in (set). And then there's the uniquely-shaped Fleur-de-Lys headstock. There is a tonal impact from this method of construction, and the Swede does not have the 'thickness' of tone of the Les Paul. But the Swede truly is a great playing, sweet sounding, and not too heavy guitar.

In the early seventies Hagstrom guitars were distributed by Arc Musical Instruments in the US, however from 1974 Ampeg took over this role. The 1975 Hagstrom catalogue allocates the Swede with a model number HG803, although this designation is not seen in the majority of mid seventies advertising.

The truss rod in the Swede is the typical H expander truss rod, patented, and used exclusively in Hagstrom guitar and bass necks.

Hagstrom Swede production

At least 26 batches of Hagstrom Swede were shipped between 1970 and 1979, which equated to just over 7500 instruments. A further 336 Swede Patch guitars were produced between 1976 and 1977, 518 Swede De Luxe between 1977-80, 1316 Super Swede 1980-81 and 250 Ultra Swedes in 1983.

Vintage Hagstrom Swede advertising

Electric guitar advertisements originally published from 1973 onwards. Click on the images for larger copies. Check out other vintage Hagstrom advertisements

Hagstrom Swede - The Swede ...it took us a long time to make

Hagstrom Swede - The Swede ...it took us a long time to make (1973)
Like most things that come out of Sweden, Hagstrom guitars are painstakingly engineered and designed with one thing in mind; perfection. For two years we have dedicated ourselves to quality and cra...

Hagstrom Swede - The Swede - for the select few

Hagstrom Swede - The Swede - for the select few (1973)
Early seventies for the Hagstrom Swede featuring Domenic Troiano (Mandala, Bush, James Gang)

Hagstrom Swede - Now thats a good ad.

Hagstrom Swede - Now thats a good ad. (1974)
Black and white advert for the Hagstrom Swede guitar and bass

Hagstrom Swede - The difference between a rod and a rail

Hagstrom Swede - The difference between a rod and a rail (1975)
Advert not just for the Swede, but for Hagstom guitars in general. It highlights the famous Hagstrom rail truss rod that is responsible for their low neck actions, and easy playability, but also fo...

Hagstrom Swede - What Ampeg is bringing to America isnt just another guitar

Hagstrom Swede - What Ampeg is bringing to America isnt just another guitar (1975)
One of the few full-colour Hagstrom offerings; this mid 1970s advertisement for the Hagstrom Swede was placed in the US, by American distributor Ampeg. It shows a nice Swede in natural finish.

Hagstrom Swede for sale

1970’s Hagstrom Swede, Cherry Red, Fast, Low Action, Original Humbuckers, Case



1970’S HAGSTROM SWEDE, CHERRY RED, FAST, LOW ACTION, ORIGINAL HUMBUCKERS, HARD CASE Originally an accordion manufacturer, Hagstrom started making guitars and basses in Sweden starting in the late '50s. The Les Paul-like Swede is one of Hagstrom's more well-known and widely played designs. The Swede differs from a Les Paul in its use of a bolt-on neck and its somewhat deeper cutaway. This one is a solidbody cutaway with block inlays, two humbucker pickups, four control knob, and bolt-on neck. ... more

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Jesse Moores Comment left 8th October 2018 05:05:30 reply
I have a Hagstrom swede. No. 53 932154. can you give me any more info?
Vintage Guitar and Comment left 8th October 2018 07:07:11 reply
Hi Jesse. Your Swede is from batch 932, which was of 500 guitars shipped in 1975. Yours is number 154 in the batch
Black Beauty Comment left 27th September 2012 08:08:33 reply
I got a Hagstrom and wonder what year it was made. Its a bit worn out and damaged but the sound is fine. The tuners seems to be swopped with some unoriginal ones made in germany, but i think the guitar is from the 70s sometime and made in sweden. The serial number is 53 932348, can someone help me and find out how much its worth? When its made? And how much the damages decreases the price of it? It is damaged with lots of scrapes and one of the volume buttons is pushed into it, needs to be renovated but works fine to play, sounds good.
vintage guitar and bass Comment left 27th September 2012 08:08:04 reply
Hi, the batch number of your Hagtsrom Swede is 932 - which was a run of 500 Swedes made in 1975. As for value, condition, your location etc are really important. Post some pictures in the Hagstrom forum so we can have a look.



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