1966 Hagstrom by Bjarton H-11 Guitar

Quick update 2019: The serial number points to 1966 on this (thanks, comments!) and its 12-fret neck joint points to no later than '66 as well. This went to a 14-fret joint in '67.  There's more I could update here, but I'm leaving it at that.

This is a sweet little acoustic, 12-fret OO size, or B-25 size. It's braced like a classical guitar with fan-bracing, and is extremely lightweight, just like a pre-war Martin or similar style steel-string guitar. The fan-bracing gives it an incredibly powerful, balanced, and richly sweet tone, but because it's just as light as normal classical bracing, it means that I simply do not trust this guitar with anything but the lightest of steel string sets -- 47w to 50w and 10 or 11 on the top at max. I had to make a new mid-brace because the original had split and gone missing. I installed mine slightly "aft" of the original, to better stiffen the mid-section (which was the reason the original brace split in the first place).

This guitar was made by Bjarton in Sweden and sold under the Hagstrom name, which is quite famous for its electric guitars from the time and also its innovative 8-string basses.

Top is solid, nice-quality spruce. Back and sides are solid, quite thin and really pretty mahogany. Bridge and fretboard are rosewood and the headstock veneer looks like some sort of rosewood, too, but not entirely sure.

Everything is original on the guitar save: tuners, which are new ones (but are very similar to the old ones, which had buttons near enough to these), bridge pins, and a new bone saddle.

No markers on the fretboard, which looks nice and slick. There are, however, side dots for position marks. The nut is 1 3/4" which makes it a super fingerpicking guitar, especially with the 12th-fret neck join.

Fun Gibson-esque pickguard.

Had to reglue the bridge.

Cool Hagstrom label.

See that nice 'hog? Purty stuff.

Fortunately these new tuners (good quality ones) matched up really close with the originals. There are no visible old tuner plate lines or open screw holes.


Barry Maz said…
That vintage Hagstrom is sublime - I wish those guitars got a better press to be honest


Bjarton-made acoustics and definitely the Levin-made ones are both excellent lines... I think that there simply weren't enough over here to actually get attention, and because of publicity and advertisement (or opinion) suggesting that anything other than a Martin or a Gibson is inferior... the end result is that a lot of really well-made instruments are only now getting some good light because to get a nice vintage guitar at any reasonable price you're going to have to look "off brand" these days.
Unknown said…
This model is actually a 1966 according to the serial.

I'm completing repairs on a 1966 H-11 I took in trade, and ran across your post. These were really nice guitars and you blog is great. Keep up the good work.