1967 Bjarton-made Hagstrom H-11 Flattop Guitar

This Swedish-made, 00-sized guitar is clearly an homage to a Gibson B-25 (the latter-day LG-3/LG-2), with its shorter scale length, body shape, and "western" pickguard, though it doesn't feature x-bracing and instead has lightly-cut fan-bracing under the hood. This gives it something of a tone between an LG-2 and ladder-braced LG-1. It has more bass and "crunch" than a ladder-braced guitar but some of the open/sing-songy highs and folksy sustain that's eliminated with the sweeter-sounding x-bracing. Plainly-put: it sounds good, especially for a fingerpicker or light flatpicker.

I worked on this for a local customer and it was interesting to hear the differences between this 1967 model (per its serial) and the earlier 1966, 12-fret version. The 14-fret joint is more useful to my hands but it does push the neck away from the body a bit more. I think that a flatpicker would enjoy the more-crisp punch that this has, too, over the older 12-fret variant. As I recall, the old 12-fret had more of a lush/warm sound.

Work included: a bridge reglue, modification of the saddle slot, new compensated bone saddle, pickguard reglue, a fret level/dress, brace repairs and one crack repair, and a setup. It plays bang-on with 3/32" EA and 1/16" DGBE action at the 12th fret, is strung with 52w-11 gauges (the light bracing sounds good with these and would take issue with heavier gauges), and has a straight neck.

Scale length: 24 7/8"
Nut width: 1 11/16"
String spacing at nut: 1 1/2"
String spacing at bridge: 2 1/8"
Body length: 18 1/2"
Lower bout width: 14 1/8"
Waist width: 9"
Upper bout width: 10 3/4"
Side depth at endpin: 3 3/4"
Top wood: solid spruce
Back/sides wood: solid mahogany
Neck wood: mahogany
Bracing type: fan
Fretboard: rosewood
Bridge: rosewood
Neck feel: mild-medium C, ~10-12" board radius

Condition notes: there are plenty of scratches and scuffs, the finish has weather-checking throughout, and the saddle and pins are non-original.


Charlie Branch said…
Thank you for your video and analysis, Jake. I'm starting to learn to play guitar and found a 1966 H-11 SN 82645 for sale, and am considering making an offer. Since I'm 65, I remember the difference in lumber between than and now, besides having worked in the woods doing stream surveys as a fish habitat biologist. I've been using a Taylor Academy 12e, but as the saying goes, "I need one more guitar..." so I'll be looking, maybe for the rest of my days. The concert size is comfortable, and a light touch makes it ring. This 1966 is a 14-fret, as are the Taylor Academy 12s that I own. Same nut width, too.

Thanks again, Charlie