• Hagstrom Viking Standard Review

    New ArticleThere have been a bunch of posts about this guitar ( http://www.thefret.net/showthread.php?t=8598&page=5 ) and of course Spud's Hagstrom Viking Deluxe thread (http://www.thefret.net/showthread.php?t=8817 ). But I have not done a review or made anything but general comments and thought I would consolidate my thoughts into a more formal review. This review may be a work in progress and I may add to it as time goes, but here are my impressions after having it a few weeks.



    1. Looks, fit and finish - all very good. It is just beautiful looking to me. Although the seller had some nice looking "B" Stocks, I went with the "A" stock so I would have full warranty. And it is a beautiful thing. The above are the pics I have so far, and I will add some natural light ones sometime soon. The binding on the headstock with the mother of pearl is really nice, and complements the nice cream binding on the neck and body. Yes, the plastic is now off the pickguard and pups. Came off right after that second pic was taken.

    2. Neck - I love the slim, fast neck. As many here know, I was looking for a humbucker guitar to diversify from my strat. I could not get used to a Les Paul neck, and nothing else, save for possibly a Gretsch Electromatic, was wowing me. Necks are still very important to me. This one is fast, easy to play, and has that "just right" feel to me. It has Hagstrom's special H shaped truss rod that gives it stability, despite being very thin. Fits me well. The only quibble I have at all, (and really my only quibble with the guitar) is that this one has just the slightest amount of catching on the tops of the fret ends. Nothing that requires dealing with, but if I was going to be real picky, I could have them smoothed just a tiny bit to make them absolute butter.

    I really like the fretboard, which is made of a dense composite wood material they call Resinator. It has a good, fast feel that allows for a lot of control, and to my ears sounds great.

    It has a nice quality self lubricating graphite composite nut. Its tuners seem to be of good quality and have a cool, retro look, and they work well.

    3. Pickups/Tones - Hagstrom proprietary HJ-50 humbuckers. The guitar is resonant and projects nicely unamplified. Nice woody tones. I like all three positions, neck, both and bridge, and although I have not figured out all the tones that can be dialed in with the two volume and two tone knobs, it has both great, warm, woody, jazzy clean tones, and ballsy, sustainy, feedbacky rock tones, with lots of variation in each. The neck position is very warm and sultry. Kicking on the middle with both pups adds some spank, and oomph. I really like having the neck full on and dialing back the bridge just a little to have a touch of spank and a lot of warmth. The bridge just rocks and I can really see getting some rockabilly out of it once I learn some. The guitar sustains for days. Turn on an overdrive or a distortion and the thing kicks a$$! Several vid clips are linked in the threads above that give a good feel for the various tones.

    4. Switches, pots, controls, jack - everything seems fitted very well, works great and seems to be of good quality.

    5. Intangibles - the guitar somehow causes me to approach playing differently. Partly the feel, partly the sounds. In practicing songs I have been working on, previously only with my strat, I immediately found myself finding different places to play. Right now I am spending most of my time with its clean tones, but I am sure I will start using it to explore humbucker driven rock and roll, and learn to play with that feedback and sustain. I will always love my strat, but this is a great companion to it.

    This link to the Hagstrom Viking page http://www.hagstromguitars.com/viking.html has links to three magazine reviews written by people with more knowledge and experience than I possess, and has a link to a great vid featuring the guitar. All of those reviews are favorable and I have to agree.

    Those are my impressions after a few weeks, and I hope to add some clips and more photos, and more thoughts as the weeks go on.

    Original review thread with all posts, clips, pics, etc. available here: http://www.thefret.net/showthread.ph...agstrom+Viking

    Bottom line, two thumbs up : : , and I would highly recommend it to anyone considering one.
    Comments 3 Comments
    1. Robert's Avatar
      Robert**** -
      Sweet, and I agree! It's a great guitar!
    1. mapka's Avatar
      mapka -
      Always good to see another Hagstrom convert!
    1. sunvalleylaw's Avatar
      sunvalleylaw -
      Yeah, this was the start of my review thread in late 2008. The original thread with other's posts, pics, clips and other stuff is here: http://www.thefret.net/showthread.ph...agstrom+Viking
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