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The one

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by SuperGabe2112, Dec 11, 2017.


  1. SuperGabe2112

    SuperGabe2112

    Dec 11, 2017
    I've found the one for me but I fear the relationship won't last.
    Recently I came into possession of hands down the greatest bass I've ever seen, heard, or felt. She's perfect, a once in a lifetime find, the one instrument that I will forever refer to as "my bass". One problem, she's a hag...

    Here's my blessing and dilemma, my bass, my 1970 something hagstrom swede is the most amazing, beautiful thing I've ever played, seriously I love this bass but dear god is it a pile of crap. Some things about it are fixable like the frets that are so worn down it's halfway to being a fretless, or the beautiful inlays that keep falling out (seriously they FALL OUT), other things are questionable like the neck joint that is determined to come unglued, the headstock that already fell off once, the electronics that A) make no sense and B) randomly cut out, a E string that is at 50% volume, a bridge that gives almost no room for intonation adjustment combined with terrible intonation, and the fact that tuning the thing makes me cringe as the thing creaks and cracks. As much as I know this bass is a raging dumpster fire I can't shake the fact that it's so undeniably perfect albeit completely unplayable in most circumstances. Is it time to hang her on the wall and get something newer? Should I invest money into a bass worth so little in hopes a talented luthier can massage her back into service? I truly love this bass, it simply feels right and I'm truly conflicted on my course of action.
     
    Mark76 likes this.
  2. ajkula66

    ajkula66

    Sep 23, 2016
    NEPA
    Welcome to the forum!

    Having owned a few Swedes - both guitars and basses - over the course of my career, I'll throw in my 2 cents...

    1) Any competent luthier should be able to take care of the inlay problem which is quite common on these instruments. If you're having the fretwork done already, even better. Makes everyone's life easier.

    2) I don't understand the story about neck joint coming unglued. These basses sport a completely different construction from - let's say - Gibson or Guild where I could see that problem arising.

    3) The electronics portion of the bass obviously needs to be re-visited, since there should be no "cutting out" or string imbalance present. These were well-built, fairly expensive instruments back in the days.

    4) The bridge problem is real, and the intonation has always been spotty on these basses. I'm not certain whether there's a solution to it apart from experimenting with different sets of strings and finding out for yourself which ones you find the most tolerable when combined with the aforementioned bridge.

    To me personally, Swedes are a bass (or a guitar) well-worth owning and playing. Obviously, YMMV.

    Good luck.
     
  3. But then on the other hand . . . . . .

    Swede Bass by Hagstrom Guitars of Sweden

    . . . . . . and I'm convinced you could buy one for less than it would cost to 'put out your dumpster fire'. A first-rate tech could fix the old girl, but it ain't going to be cheap, and only you can really know if that $$$$ is worth it for what will ultimately become an old, restored Hag.
     
  4. ajkula66

    ajkula66

    Sep 23, 2016
    NEPA
    I've played both the old ones and the new ones. There's not much shared apart from looks, and the QC on the current ones is not comparable to Hagstrom's original builds. And the bridge issue is still unresolved...:banghead:
     
  5. SuperGabe2112

    SuperGabe2112

    Dec 11, 2017
    On the neck, mine is both glued and bolted with two bolts, somebody at some point either from the factory or later glued the neck in like a set neck. Like I said I don't know if this was factory but in doing this they made the bolts essentially useless, you can't turn them either from glue in the threads or rust. The neck is separating from the body though, in one spot I have about a 1/8 gap
     
  6. ajkula66

    ajkula66

    Sep 23, 2016
    NEPA
    Sounds like you have an abused kitten on your hands. A visit to a competent luthier might be in order.

    You'll have to decide whether it makes sense for you from the financial standpoint, though. A very-well kept Swede - not a closet queen - can be had for under a grand. A project - if you were to sell yours - is worth *a lot* less. The amount of work that your bass might require could very well end up costing as much as a good used example...

    Good luck.
     

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