My Gear » | Hagstrom II | Les
1965 Hagstrom II "transitional Model"
History of the Hagstrom II and III "transitional" Model:
- Link to Blues Jam I Recorded Using It
- I found this guitar in 2005 - 95% original (new on/off switch, new
volume control pot (kept original for those who want to try to repair
it). Too many old Hagstroms have been poorly re-finished or "Frankensteined",
and finding an original that hasn't been "messed" with is a treat.
1960 through 1964, the body shape and pup tones of Hagstrom solid body
guitars were styled on a Fender Stratocaster (the guitar of choice
for most Rock N Rollers at the time who were starting to play more "lead
Guitar"). The shape, Double cut-away with rounded ends (aka "horns),
allowed a solist to reach the higher frets - unlike a single cut-away
like a Gibson LesPaul or Fender Telecaster.
- Then in the middle of 1964, with the growing popularity of Gibson
SGs, Hagstrom changed the body shape from a "Strat" style to a blending
composite of BOTH a Strat and an SG - double cutaway with "pointed
horns" and more beveling on the body itself. These were known as a "Deluxe"and
only a few hundred were made, in 1965, they named the new models the
Hagstrom II and III (based on how many pups they had). Therefore Hag
IIs and IIIs made in 1965 are known as "Transitional models". You can
tell a 1965 by the pups ... they have rounded corners - as of '66 the
corners were squared off. (*note - they also made a Hagstrom I, but
these looked nothing like the new IIs and IIIs - they retained the
old "rounded horns", had two soap-bar pups and the back of
the body was padded with vinyl). Anyone who claims their Hag is a rare
all original '65 (or one of the more rare '64s), better not have square
pups and no "Kings Neck patent pending"
sticker on the back of the headstock.
- But, for most of us, the most unique features of these old Hagstroms,
and what makes playing them such a pleasure, is their particularly
straight, thin, narrow necks andextremely low action.The early '60s
Hagstroms had a sticker on the back of the headstock that said "Kings-Neck
- patent-pending" (see photo) . As the necks
were re-finished over the years, 90% of the people removed this sticker.To
see the Kings-Neck sticker
these days is rare.
- Vintage Hags for the most part are like a like a well kept secret,
treasured and highly sought after by only a select few, such as myself,
who had played one back in the day; and it is this inside knowledge
that keeps their re-sale price lower than any other vintage guitar
of comparable quality and playability.