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  1. #1

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    Hi guys!

    I want to buy later another jazz guitar, and I thought about this one because of good price and -as i heard- good creamy deep warm tone. And I dont want to spend a lot on the "name". HAve Epiphone Joe Pass now (Korean model), had Epiphone Sheraton II, and tried some Ibanez models (GB and, AF125). Now i asked my friend who owns a music shop to order one and let me try, but need also Your opinions pro people out there ! I was also thinking about visiting some luthiers and get them make me one, but need much more infos about it, too.

    So what do You think about Hagstrom HJ 800?

    Hagstrom HJ800?-hagstrom-hj800-jpg


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #2

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    I own a Hagstrom 800 and I think it is a fine instrument. I owned an original Hagstrom "Jimmy" about 15 years ago, and the body and neck are very similar in size, looks and feel. It also has a sound block under the bridge. It does tend to limit, (not eliminate) feedback when playing through an amp. The neck has a nice feel, and the fret work on mine was very good. I am becoming more and more reluctant to take my 1956 L4C out of the house. The Hagstrom 800 has been a good gig guitar. Good luck.

  4. #3

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    I tried the HJ500 which I think is laminate maple, that had a nice sound and feel. The hj 800 is pressed spruce which would have a nicer sound but could be more prone to feedback, it does have a longer scale at a contempory 25".
    My son has a viking which is excellent, covers all styles really well, try one of those for a different ride.
    On a different note how about this daddy, very much in the old style, early es175d with P90's and a trem which makes it an es295.
    Just think, jazz up some rockabilly blues twanng bar action.....
    Last edited by jazzbow; 01-02-2011 at 02:20 PM.

  5. #4

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    I owned one for about three months--it was a very nice instrument indeed, and I, too, had looked through other choices like the Ibanez AF125 and such. The Hagstrom really had a lot going for it--vibe, feel (that neck was super comfortable for such a slender carve), sound (those pickups sound good, although if I'd kept it I would have experiemented with some other PAF style humbuckers). In then end, though,traded it out because I was getting back into full archtops at the time and wanted a fully hollow box (the HJ-800 has that small block of wood connecting the top and bottom), plus I wanted a truly carved top (the Hagstrom is solid but pressed). That said, I was truly surprised and impressed, and wouldn't mind owning another one in the future some time.

  6. #5

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    Hai guys..I had my eyes on a Hagstrom as well, but my luther advised on a Joe Beck 6 signature, being a better choice. Who knows wheter he is right or wrong. I must say yhe Beck impressed me as well, nice smaller body and very good neck.
    Hope to hear from you. Greetings from Holland.
    Hans Dekker

  7. #6

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    You have also to look what fameous guitarist use Hangstrom?
    is it made in Sweden?
    what sound are you looking for?
    to buy guitar it is now easy.

  8. #7

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    Thanks Hans!

    To Kris: Yes, All Hagstroms are made in Sweden. Im looking for a deep, very very creamy, tubby, full sound. I want prefer to buy a non-Chinese guitar. Its not about I dont trust in chinese people, its about I didnt hear any good comments on Chinese guitars yet.


  9. #8

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    I am not shure but Eastman from USA are made in China/may be not all models.I do not know is it true.
    I use Korean copy of D'Aquisto .I think much better that my Fender D'Aquisto from 1984.
    I did not play China jazz guitars but I saw some nice arch-tops made in China...

  10. #9

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    I know Buddy Fite played a Hagstrom late in his career and got a very Gretsch-like tone which had been more or less an essential part of his signature sound.
    Last edited by cjm; 01-05-2011 at 02:11 PM.

  11. #10

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    The new Hagstroms are made in China.
    I own a HJ800 and it's a very fine Guitar.

  12. #11

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    I have a Hagstrom HL 550 in the matte finish. I love it. Single pickup, volume and tone control. Nice neck, more resonant than the laminate finished models, but EXTREMELY particular about the amp and amp settings, more so than any guitar I have ever owned.

  13. #12

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    When I took my HJ800 into the luthier to have it set up with a new nut, he told me that while it was in, everybody who saw it asked to play it, because it was so distinctive and beautiful. The only thing he asked me before handing it back over is: "Can I please take this 'Made in China' sticker off (it was on the back of the heel, I believe)."

  14. #13

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    A lot of manufacturing has moved to China and Korea, but many of those guitars are fine instruments. I remember a few years back playing a dreadnaught that sounded really good! It was a Blueridge BR 140! Even Japanese companies like Ibanez have factories in China!

  15. #14
    I bought a Hagstrom HJ-800 a few months ago and am very pleased with it. There were a few considerations though. Mine had not been set up properly, was probably just out of the box. First off the bridge did not fit the contour of the guitar, so I replaced it with a rosewood compensated bridge. Also the frets were rough on the edges, and there was some buzzing on the 6th string. I was told that this is because the wood shrinks. So I paid a luthier to do a fret dressing and proper set up. Now the guitar is very nice. I must say that this guitar satisfies the archtop need. The pickups sound fantastic. I play through a Roland Cube 60 amp, with the amp's tone controls all the way up, then adjust the volume and tone controls on the guitar. It is a very versatile instrument, from elegant jazz to rip roaring rockabilly. The neck is excellent, not too thin like on the HJ-500. This instrument becomes personally attached to you in a love-affair type of way; you want it with you all the time, and you want to be able to see it when you wake up in the morning. I have performed with it in several situations and it is just superb. It is not loud acoustically, because of the wood block between the back and bridge, but pleasant sounding enough without the amp. Wonderful amplified. I'm using Elixir Jazz, 12-52 strings, which seem just about perfect for this guitar. For under $1,000, this is one unbeatable instrument and is well worth the extra setup cost.

  16. #15

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    I had a similar experience with the bridge on my 850. I have some wood working tools and so I reworked with files and sandpaper it to fit. The fretwork on my 850 was fine and action can be set extremely low, (if that is your preference).

  17. #16

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    I play an HJ-800 as my main stage instrument now. It did need a setup initially but after this and re-stringing with D'Addario tapewounds it plays and sounds superb. I play it through a Vox AGA-70, sounds beautiful. Worth checking out though are Eastman which are pricier than Hagstrom but are also really well made instruments, I believe they are carved rather than laminates. I was kind of constrained by budget so I may have plumped for Eastman had I been able to afford it, but I am not disappointed with the HJ-800 in the least.

  18. #17

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    I am late to the party but wanted a jazz box with neck joining at the 16th fret thus the HJ800. I bought a Hagstrom Viking Deluxe Tremar over three years ago fit and finish excellent just typical low buck wiring and componants. It is one of the best guitars I ever bought and upgraded a real keeper. So, thought I would check the Hagstrom jazz line. The HJ800 has the 16th fret at the neck a solid spruce top. The fit and finish excellent once again the wiring and componants low end cheapo. Upgrade to Buddah P94's, bigsby, nashville bridge with Gretsch ebony base, cts and switchcraft pots and switches. Wired like my Guild X500 with master volume. . It is now a great guitar it was mediocre as a stock instrument. Hagstrom is a great platform guitar to upgrade they can be had at a reasonable price and if they are upgraded and set up properly they will hold their own with guitars costing three times the money.
    Attached Images Attached Images Hagstrom HJ800?-20160916_094856-jpg 
    Last edited by fiftysix; 09-26-2016 at 09:24 AM.

  19. #18

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    I have an HJ800 as well. Great guitar for the money IMHO. Depending on one's issues with Chinese guitars, at least the Made in China sticker is easy to remove on this one.

  20. #19

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    Hi all!

    Exciting day for me, and I like to share it here because my wife just doesn't understand Sure she can have greenhouses full of flowers but she just doesn't understand the need to buy a seventh guitar. Who can figure, right?

    I just got a new Hagstrom HJ800 in the mail and it's (mostly) sweeeet. Pics only because my playing is not at a level where embarrassment wouldn't drive me to drink.

    It came from Rufus Guitar Shop off of Reverb and I can't recommend them enough. They saved my ass after a heavily failed transaction with Tundra Music (I can't unrecommend them too much).

    Hagstrom HJ800?-20200530_143428-jpgHagstrom HJ800?-20200530_143403-jpgHagstrom HJ800?-20200530_143333-jpgHagstrom HJ800?-20200530_143414-jpgHagstrom HJ800?-20200530_143319-jpgHagstrom HJ800?-20200530_143307-jpgHagstrom HJ800?-20200530_143240-jpgHagstrom HJ800?-20200530_143148-jpg

    Now, on to the bad. Unsurprisingly, the electronics are terrible; I've never seen pots these bad, actually. The tone pot is so bad that it does nothing at all until it hits 1 at which point it goes from 0% roll off to 100% roll off. I'll be replacing them ASAP. The question I have is regarding a wiring mod I might attempt this time. Has anyone ever tried decoupling their volume pots? I know this has a negative effect on treble when the volume is turned down but there are some ways to mitigate that and I tend to always roll a bit off anyway. I'd be interested in hearing from those that have tried it, or messed with a box that has done it, and tell me what they thought.

    I never comment much, but I still read this forum fairly regularly (probably more than I should) and the decision to purchase the Hagstrom was influenced from reading this forum -- thanks for that because the bones of this thing are serious. Y'all are awesome, and I appreciate lurking through the posts.


  21. #20

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    Sorry, I can't help you with your electronics issue. I had an HJ-800 for a couple of years though. Really a nice guitar for the money. I will say that yours looks a bit different than mine. Mine had the resonator material pickguard and the control knobs were different. It looks like they might have made some cost savings measures and the actual electronic parts may have been one of them as well. I didn't have any electronic issues and the pickups were really nice sounding. At least as good as contemporary Epiphone pickups and I thought even better. Very well balanced. Good luck!

  22. #21

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    Yeah, I haven't seen any on the market that actually have the resonator pick guard. I've seen 5 over the last few months and none of them had it. I assume you're right about the cost savings. They're probably skimping even more on the electronics than they used to -- I've never understood that myself. There have got to be some decent quality pots in China (??).

  23. #22

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    I found a couple of pics of the one that I had. I put the wood knobs on it, but the plastic ones that came with it didn't look like yours. Mine was exactly like the one in this video.

    Attached Images Attached Images Hagstrom HJ800?-hj800-jpg Hagstrom HJ800?-3-amigos-jpg 

  24. #23

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    On the wiring question... I just decided against it I watched this amazing Youtube video that explained the tradeoff extremely well. I wasn't aware of just how much I'd be giving away with an independent wiring method. The spectrum analyzer said it all, but then the audio demo drove it home.

  25. #24

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    New Gear Days are awesome! Glad your wiring issue was resolved. Congratulations, and play it in good health!

  26. #25

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    had been meaning to write...but yes, i prefer the as is coupled volume a great deal of flexibility in the middle position especially...havent watched vid, u just posted...but no surprise

    nice thing i might do, would be to take some liquid car scratch remover and wipe the lettering off the trussrod cover...ez to do..and print is rather bold...

    imperial type tuners are nice touch...sorta

    congrats & enjoy

    Last edited by neatomic; 05-31-2020 at 09:36 PM. Reason: add-

  27. #26

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    I really don't like the HJ 800 lettering on the cover. I didn't know it would be so easy to remove! I'll definitely do that. Thanks for the tip.

  28. #27

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    I just thought I'd close this one off. A little while ago Hagstrom discontinued the resonator pickguards and went with PVC because when they cut the resonator thin enough to make a decent pickguard, they tended to crack. So they sacrificed the look for reliability.