Hagstrom Viking

Hagstrom Viking

Guitar Gavel Lick Of The Week - Slide with Stevie K

Steve provides a great intro lesson to slide guitar.

Excellently articulated, bottleneck accentuated, and exceedingly well executed.

Thank you for the lesson Steve! Justin Johnson eat your heart out!

Momma's Got A Squeeze Box

The accordion business has a significant connection to Eko, Guild, Carvin, and Watkins. 

Here it is again… Albin Hagstrom got his start in the music business importing accordions from Germany and Italy and selling them through his music stores in the Scandinavian Peninsula. 

Headquartered in Alvdalen, Sweden Hagstrom began manufacturing their own accordions in 1932 and slowly diversified into the acoustic/classical guitar category in the 1940s.

Hopping on the electric guitar bandwagon in 1958 Hagstrom unveiled their first solid body electrics, the Deluxe and Original. Very ORIGINAL names. 

Like most guitar manufacturer’s of the time there was American influence in the body styles, yet Hagstrom did have original designs, notably the Impala and Condor (lots of switches).

hagstrom condor,Quality assurance,protein-burger.com
Hagstrom Condor

Hagstrom claimed to have the “Fastest Necks in the World” thanks to their H-Expander Stretcher truss rod system. A debatable statement, but their necks were thin. At a minimum, vintage Hagstrom guitars are known for their straight necks and the science is in the rail versus a standard rod, preventing the neck from twisting.


Basses followed a few years later and Hagstrom is credited as making the first 8-string production bass (Jimi Hendrix). During the 1960s Hagstrom also produced guitars for Selmer in the UK, branded as Futurama. 

Arguably it was 1965 that put Hagstrom on a more recognizable guitar map with the introduction of the Viking, their foray into the hollow body market.   

Frank Zappa was a Viking player and Hagstrom endorser (he played several models), and Elvis played one (V-2) during his 1968 Comeback Special on NBC. There was no special connection between Elvis and Hagstrom, the producers thought it would look good with the set.

The U.S. distributor for Hagstrom, Merson Musical Instruments, branded the Viking as the V-1. Prior to Merson, some Hagstroms made their way stateside under the Goya brand in the early 60s. This was before Hagstrom felt they had enough name recognition to present their true colors. 

Facing significant pressure from less expensive Asian import guitars Hagstrom shut down in 1983, but not before selling nearly 130,000 electric guitars and basses. The company was resurrected in 2004 and the first picture in this article of the sunburst Viking is one of their current models. -https://hagstromguitars.com/

1965 Viking Specs: Rosewood fretboard, Very Fender(ish) headstock, Hagstrom single coils, Two volume and two tone controls, 3-way switch, Hagstrom “Crest” tailpiece


On behalf of a subscriber-
Growing up in Nassau County, Long Island, New York in the 1960’s, Hagstrom guitars and small Ampeg amps were ubiquitous. These were the real tools of garage rock. I remember gazing longingly at the first 8 string bass that made it to my town in 1968 and the Frank Zappa endorsement poster that went with it.

While I played trumpet in my 10th and 11th grade rock band one of the guitarists had a sunburst Viking and the bassist a sunburst Viking bass, along with the Oliver rethink of the Ampeg B15 bass amp with the motorized head that rose up from the cabinet.

I’d like to see them reissue the Hagstrom guitar that was most commonly seen at the time, a solid body that most looked like the 8 string bass from their current line with the sliding switches. They came in different colors but red was most common, and they had a recessed rectangular dip under the strings on the face of the guitar with a gold textured faux grill. And I think the bodies were 2 piece composite material sandwiching some kind of damping filler. Bring ‘em back!


I have an archrop Hagstrom HJ 500 and it’s a cool guitar to play jazz and blues for a low budget!


I Pledge Allegiance To The Hag

David Still

Elvis playing a viking?? Pretty cool!


I had actually played a Hagstrom Viking style, from one of my former bandmates. Interesting axe. Felt super solid like it could really “kick out the jams” and take a beating.

JP Pierre Moatti

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