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NBD: Hagstrom Viking

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by johnk_10, Jan 5, 2018.


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  1. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Washington, Utah
    John K Custom Basses
    i've been wanting a cherry red Hagstrom Viking bass for a few years and it just arrived about an hour ago. i got a great deal on a brand new one so i was really anticipating it being delivered.

    when i unboxed it and plugged it in, i found the the bridge pickup didn't work at all (in any mode), so i pulled the rotary switch on the lower horn to investigate. the bridge pickup measured fine so i knew that it wasn't that. after cleaning and re-securing the plug-in connector it worked perfect (thank god). then i re-fished it back into place thru the F hole.

    new, i had to deal with the high action. the neck had quite a bit of front bow but upon adjusting it with the supplied allen wrench, i found that it was almost as tight as it could be (which is a big problem to me). even at maximum tightness, it still had a bit of front bow so i wasn't too happy about that, so ended up removing the adjuster completely, rubbing some soap on the threads and re-installed it. i then re-adjusted it and althought it's now almost as tight as can be, i can actually adjust some back bow into it. after setting it perfectly straight the action is now very low (awesome) and i LOVE the bass now.

    and for those that are weight conscious, it weighs exactly 8lbs 2.7oz so it's nice and comfy to play with no neck dive when playing on a strap.

    here's a pic of it:

    HagstromViking-01.jpg

    i actually like the neck better than my cherry red '66 EB2-D that i sold a while ago (for a pretty hefty sum).
     
  2. Axstar

    Axstar Inactive

    Jul 8, 2016
    Scotland.
    Those are great looking basses. I had a Hagstrom 8-string reissue for a while, and the electronics were the weak link. The rotary switch, on mine, was a very small and flimsy unit that wasn't sealed in any way.

    My bass had a synthetic fretboard and an unusual reimagining of Hagstrom's original H-profile truss rod/bar system. In short, an fairly chunky metal bar ran through the neck, with the truss rod located in the center of it. This was apparently a feature of vintage Hagstroms, and allowed them to make necks much thinner than the competition, while still maintaining stability and rigidity. As such I always got the impression the truss rod on my bass didn't do much, and adjusting it simply dialed in how much it vibrated and rattled around within the neck.
     
    johnk_10 likes this.
  3. Haroldo

    Haroldo Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2005
    North Shore, MA
    I really like that you are taking a stroll through the less common (and less expensive) aisles in the bass market. I've long wondered what the Hagstrom Viking would be like, fer instance. And now I know! (Also, I've learned that with a little knowledge and derring do, any problems that might arise from purchasing something like this can be fixed.) Thank you.
     
    Mastermold and johnk_10 like this.
  4. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    Beautiful - but lots of issues for a new bass. Happily, you know how to remedy those ills. Congrats.
     
    dangnewt likes this.
  5. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Washington, Utah
    John K Custom Basses
    yeah, i agree that it really shouldn't have had any of those issues, but i got it for under $600 brand new shipped in the factory sealed box. as long as the problems that it arrived with were 100% solved fairly quickly, i felt that it was just too nice of a bass otherwise to send it back for another one.
     
    dangnewt and Oren Hudson like this.
  6. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Washington, Utah
    John K Custom Basses
    well, i like all of my basses to have a master volume so i rewired my Viking to have 2 volume controls (one for each pickup) a master tone, and a master volume. i used a 500K linear pot for the volume control so the taper would have better control over the range of the pot. i also replaced the output jack with a higher quality switchcraft one.

    HagstromViking-rewire.jpg
     
    GhostTownBlues and Copperhead like this.
  7. EpicSoundtracks

    EpicSoundtracks

    Mar 10, 2006
    Oakland, CA
    Lollar Pickups, Dunlop Strings
    resurrecting this thread because I copped a used Viking yesterday and it plays amazingly well but sounds... weird. I'm familiar with semihollow shorties, i played a '68 Starfire for years, and this doesn't sound anything like that. I havent' spent a ton of time figuring out all the pickup settings yet, but none of the tones tightened my pants initially. also, the rotary switch on this one is already giving out.

    @johnk_10, is there a pickup setting you love, and also, have you changed strings on it yet? I think the stock roundwounds are still on this one, but I'm tempted to throw on a set of flats.
     
  8. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Washington, Utah
    John K Custom Basses
    there's actually a lot of different settings that sound great to me. with the stock rounds, not so much, but after installing a set of TI flats, it's awesome now.

    i also rotated both pickups 180 degrees so that when in the single coil modes, the coil that is on for the neck pickup is a little further from the end of the fingerboard, and the bridge pickup is a littler further away for the bridge (and less 'nasal' sounding). also, in the single coil modes, the bass is also a little brighter and open sounding.
     
  9. EpicSoundtracks

    EpicSoundtracks

    Mar 10, 2006
    Oakland, CA
    Lollar Pickups, Dunlop Strings
    exactly the kind of info i was hoping to get! thanks so much.

    i saw another post on here about using regular long-scale strings on the Viking, not short scales. Can I ask what length you went with?
     
    GreggBummer likes this.
  10. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Washington, Utah
    John K Custom Basses
    i used regular long scale strings and they fit perfectly.
     
    EpicSoundtracks likes this.
  11. They've just introduced their new H8-II (updated) bass at NAMM. It's based on the original H-II-BN body from the 60's. Had a hankerin' for an 8 string lately looks like I'm going to have to check one of these out.

    H8-II by Hagstrom Guitars of Sweden

    TD
     
  12. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Washington, Utah
    John K Custom Basses
    for those that are having issues with a faulty 6-way selector switch (like mine had), i'd recommend replacing it with an alpha part# SR2511-206-15K-1A-EV (https://www.taydaelectronics.com/rotary-switch-2-pole-6-position-alpha-sr2511-2689.html) or an Alpha part # SR2611F-0206-18R0B-D8-N (which needs a set screw pointer knob) https://www.taydaelectronics.com/rotary-switch-2-pole-6-positions-alpha-sr2611f.html (which is what i used in mine).

    here's a diagram that i drew up for the installation:

    Viking Rotary Switch Rewire.jpg
     
  13. Hi johnk_10 ,
    Just got hold of a 2012 Viking bass , and the selector switch is very "fragile" , sometimes misses next position etc .
    Looking at your diagram I cannot see where the output from the selector swich is that would go to the Volume & Tones etc.......OR AM I JUST STUPID ?
    Pete
     
  14. Copperhead

    Copperhead Still creakin' around. Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2018
    Tennessee
    I do this mod as well. In my view Les Paul wiring on a bass is not nearly as useful. Master volume makes vvt much more practical when the mix is right and all you need to do is change volume.
     
  15. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Washington, Utah
    John K Custom Basses
    on the switch diagram, you'd use the "B" for the bridge and "N" for neck pickup pots.
     
  16. Hi johnk_10,
    I am stupid then .........now I can see .
    Thanks , have ordered the switch and some extra wire .
    Thanks again
    Pete
     
  17. Mustang Surly

    Mustang Surly

    Jul 10, 2013
    So these have a center block? I ask because if my memory serves (which it doesn't always) the original (MIS) Vikings had issues with the tops sinking at the bridge over time due to downward force of the string tension.

    These new ones are MIC, correct?
     
  18. Axstar

    Axstar Inactive

    Jul 8, 2016
    Scotland.
    I think they have a solid center block. The pickups are mounted to rings which are screwed into the top, and the bridge is mounted on studs. It might be mostly hollow with solid sections (ala Jack Casady sig), but from memory these are semi-hollow.
     
  19. Yep, these have a solid center block , and from what I was told from the Hagstrom rep , they are made in china , under strict quality control .
     
  20. Axstar

    Axstar Inactive

    Jul 8, 2016
    Scotland.
    Not that strict! The HB-8 I owned was a hot mess.
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Apr 23, 2021

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