Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Posts 1 to 45 of 45
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    EDIT for video:



    I wasn't looking for another archtop (no, really!) but this one fell in my lap for a song. Great build quality for the price, and the neck is superb. The only drag is that the floater is not good enough. The second string is almost silent compared to its neighbours, and no matter how much I raise the screw, it makes no difference.

    Now, recently I made a video extolling the high virtues of the Creamery Charlie Christian pickup in a humbucker casing. I would dearly love a floating version, and have written to Jaime of Creamery to ask if it is feasible, but if he says no, what are my options?

    Hagstrom HL-550-img_20191202_152008-736x1306-jpgHagstrom HL-550-img_20191202_151453-1305x736-jpgHagstrom HL-550-img_20191202_151436-1305x736-jpg
    Last edited by Rob MacKillop; 12-03-2019 at 02:52 PM.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    I bet Jason at Krivo could make you something very cool for that guitar.

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    Congrats for Your new guitar! It's beautifull. I played this model once and it feels sweet in hands indeed. I found the body a little too deep for me, but it's only a matter of taste.
    Regarding the pickup, maybe something like this: Suspended Charlie Christian style single coil pickup by Pete Biltoft | eBay

    Wys?ane z mojego ANE-LX1 przy u?yciu Tapatalka

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    Jeff - never heard of Krivo. I'll look them up. Thanks.

    slusar - that looks useful...
    Last edited by Rob MacKillop; 12-02-2019 at 02:49 PM.

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    Congrats Rob, it looks great. Put a DeArmond FHC on it!

  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    Jeff - never heard of Krivi. I'll look them up. Thanks.

    slusar - that looks useful...
    Re: Krivo

    Worth a shot. He makes a lot of "stick on" pickups for gypsy jazz players, archtop players, resonators and other stringed instruments, but he's also recently been the guy who's made the built in pickups for Emerald guitars. He's a cool guy, really enjoys talking shop and possibilities, helped me pick a very cool pickup for my Django style guitar.

    I think slusar and omphalopsychos have great ideas too.

  8. #7

    User Info Menu

    Just played it for twenty minutes. It sounds pretty poor unplugged, so there's no point in trying to reproduce its acoustic "charm", which is like most electric guitars with an archtop shape. But it still feels like a really decent guitar, well made, and that great neck. It took me a few minutes to realise that whoever had it before got the g and b strings mixed up, in each other's place. Crazy.

    So, some TI round wounds and a decent pickup, and it will be a nice foil for my Eastman 503 CE with the Creamery CC humbucker and TI flats, which is turning out to be one of my all-time favourite guitars.

    It only cost me £400, which is about $500 these days. No complaints. Once set up well it will be worth more. If I don't keep it myself, I'll offer it to one of my students for cost price.

    Hagstrom HL-550-img_20191202_184006-736x1306-jpg

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    nice rob..hagstroms can be nice guitars...the all mahogany body should warm the tone a bit...and it has the resinator (wood composite) fingerboard...how do you like?

    aside from the strings being put on wrong!!!, it looks as if the pup sits a bit low on the bracket..be nice to get the whole pickup closer to strings...also drop the polepieces down on all but the strings you are having volume problems with...

    sure the guitar would benefit from a better pup..and creamery will probably come up with something...if so, send him that pic ^ of the pup thats on there..so he can get an idea of the height

    enjoy

    cheers

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    Nice Rob. I had an HJ-800 for a few years. The build quality was excellent and the pickups were surprisingly nice to my ears. Very playable guitar. Hags are decent bargains IMHO. I ended up selling it, but mostly for reasons of space.

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    Neatomic - I would not have a resonator fingerboard on a guitar I intended to use for a lot of bending - blues and country - as the material just doesn't allow that very well, but as I don't do much bending in jazz, it is fine. In fact it has a very punchy character. The neck is thin, which suits my hand, but a bit cold compared to the Eastman 503CE.

    Yes, the pup is low, but all the strings except the fifth are really quite strong in sound. I sent the same photos to Jaime at Creamery, and await his reply. I'm sure he'll come up with something, and if not I'll opt for the Pete Biltoft floating CC. This guitar will do for teaching with, though I get the feeling it is capable of much more.

    Lammie - the HJ800 is the upgrade of the HL550, better all round, but the quality of workmanship on the 550 is really very good, so I imagine the 800 will be the same or better. Probably a better pickup too. Both guitars get good reviews.

    T-I's on order!
    Last edited by Rob MacKillop; 12-02-2019 at 06:07 PM.

  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    just another (more) local option if creamery doesn't work out...kent armstrongs son aaron..and the grandson of the great dan armstrong, who started all this guitar modding business!!..

    aaron will handwind anything you desire as well..well rated..it's in the blood!! haha

    Armstrong Pickups

    shoot him an email if needed


    cheers

  13. #12

    User Info Menu

    cool Grover Imperialish tuners, me likey

  14. #13

    User Info Menu

    Neatomic - I've had one of Aaron's pups before. High quality. Nice guy too, it seems. He's on my short list.

    Wintermoon - I have to say the tuners are excellent, work very well. Look cool too.

    For the price I paid, this is an excellent guitar.

  15. #14

    User Info Menu

    I'd be checking out Pete Biltofts pickups - he makes a fine floating CC style pickup
    They obviously won't sound completely the same as a real CC pickup with the huge cobalt magnets, but they capture a lot of that character. I have one on a Gretsch G400 Synchromatic, it's a great pickup.

  16. #15

    User Info Menu

    entresz - I've heard similar reports on this forum from other people. I'm not expecting the real deal, but in the same ball park is fine for this project.

  17. #16

    User Info Menu

    except that on a guitar that is exhibiting string volume inconsistencies, a non adjustable blade pickup might not be the most prudent choice...where the ability to fine tune string volume balance may be needed...

    also blades give no choice between wound & unwound g..should you care to experiment... with a floater even more crucial

    a cc floater is a very weird concept to begin with..and not at all true to the original...which was a huge body invasive design!!

    having said all that..it was dan armstrong who first brought back the idea of the blade pickup in his plexi glass guitars..with the help of the pickup genius bill lawrence...who was mentor to kent armstrong...so the armstrong clan knows something about blades as well!! hah

    & not just from reading jason lollars book...



    cheers
    Last edited by neatomic; 12-02-2019 at 07:12 PM.

  18. #17

    User Info Menu

    2nd string or 5th string
    which is weak ?

  19. #18

    User Info Menu

    As ever, neatomic, you speak wise words. Much to consider. Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't the problem with blades that the 2nd string is too loud? If so, then perhaps in this case that would balance out the six strings? That would be lucky, but it's probably not so simple.

    This guitar isn't worth shelling out for the expensive UK CC pickup. I'm hoping Jamie comes up with something compatible.

  20. #19

    User Info Menu

    pingu - 2nd string.

  21. #20

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    As ever, neatomic, you speak wise words. Much to consider. Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't the problem with blades that the 2nd string is too loud? If so, then perhaps in this case that would balance out the six strings? That would be lucky, but it's probably not so simple.

    This guitar isn't worth shelling out for the expensive UK CC pickup. I'm hoping Jamie comes up with something compatible.

    much more complicated than that..the blade is just a magnetic conduit to the magnet/s below...would have to be a match made in heaven with that exact string you were using at the time!!..far too limiting

    creamery will come thru!!

    cheers

  22. #21

    User Info Menu

    Congratulations on your new guitar and play it (after suitable modifications) in good health!

  23. #22

    User Info Menu

    I put a Shadow AZ 48 on a 2013 D'Angelico EXL-1 and it completely transformed it from ok/good to delightful. Great full and rich tone in a nice compact package.

    SH AZ-48 Attila Zoller Floating Jazz Pickup – Shadow Electronics

    Will

  24. #23

    User Info Menu

    Cheers, k!

    Will - I had a Zoller on an archtop once,and thought it very good. But the CC pup from Creamery Pickups just blew me away, so they get first place in my short list. Cheers.

  25. #24

    User Info Menu

    I think all Hagstroms have the same basic neck design, which is famous for being rock-solid straight and stable forever. They figured out something about necks and it allowed to make a "fast" neck that was super stable. I love my 1960's era Hagstrom I.

  26. #25

    User Info Menu

    Good to know, Lawson.

    Well, the good news is that a change of strings can make a world of a difference. I put on a set of TI Jazz BeBop 12's, and they sound really good. The second string is now singing as well as the others, in fact the pickup seems much better all round today. Big improvement! We shall see how things go. So far it seems money well spent. I might well do a pup swap, but there's no hurry now.

  27. #26

    User Info Menu

    First video...through THR 10C amp.


  28. #27

    User Info Menu

    Sounds like jazz guitar to me! The Hagstrom brand was resurrected some 15 years ago, with the Swedish family somehow involved. While the MIC build quality has gotten better all the time, the Viking semis and Swede solid bodies with derivatives have been prioritized over archtops, for obvious reasons. Price-wise, new ones are stuck in the Death Valley between 500 and 1000 clams. I'm currently drawn to their 339-sized Alvar, but a lighter Casino Coupe might serve my needs better.

  29. #28

    User Info Menu

    I must read up on their history, which I know nothing about.

  30. #29

    User Info Menu

    nice rob...smokey tone..glad the string change did the trick..it often does...seemed like nice balance throughout...

    congrats on the new amp as well!!! hah


    cheers

  31. #30

    User Info Menu

    Sounds good!

  32. #31

    User Info Menu

    Oh, I've had this amp for a few years, since they came out. However, lately it started cutting out, and sometimes not starting at all - hence the quick video. I think dropping it from a high table might not have gone well with its inner organs! So, I bought the same as a replacement, from eBay, and it should arrive tomorrow. Fine little amps for my teaching room.

    Yes, it sounds not bad, and is fun to play. Still prefer the 503, though, with the Creamery CC. Unfortunately, Jaime got back to me saying he can't make one for me - doesn't have the hardware for floaters. I'll just leave it as is for a while, and think about it again in the new year.

  33. #32

    User Info Menu

    Sounded great!

    However, the tone could very likely be due, in part, to the scarf by Rhona.

  34. #33

    User Info Menu

    It’s always nice to hear and see a Hagström guitar. Lovely! When it comes to archtops I rather prefer P-90 pickups than humbuckers. I wouldn’t say ”no” to a Charlie Christian pickup either, but there’s something about the combination between P-90 pickups and archtops that sounds so perfect to my ears.

  35. #34

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Greco
    Sounded great!

    However, the tone could very likely be due, in part, to the scarf by Rhona.
    Don't tell her - she'll charge me for it!

  36. #35

    User Info Menu

    I'm liking those lines Rob. Nice guitar too.

  37. #36

    User Info Menu

    Cheers, my friend. Some are my own, some deranged from elsewhere. The usual

  38. #37

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    I think all Hagstroms have the same basic neck design, which is famous for being rock-solid straight and stable forever. They figured out something about necks and it allowed to make a "fast" neck that was super stable. I love my 1960's era Hagstrom I.
    For my first Have Guitar: Will Travel gig the leader had a Hagstrom identical with yours, LS. He had had it since high school and it lived in the trunk of his car, through winters every bit as nasty as Sweden's. The strings had never been changed. At my insistence, and on my dime, I annually installed a set of 0.011s and touched up the intonation, which was, after the first time, perfunctory; one might say, performative. I can confirm your report on Hagstrom necks. The owner had taped an 8 1/2" x 11" sheet of paper on the back with a partial list of songs (over 200) filling the sheet with fine and neat print in pencil. He knew, of course, a lot more than that, those were just off the top of his head. He played rock-solid rhythm and had a great voice, and did it stone-cold sober. He also told great jokes, most of them NSFW. I miss him.

    You've got a nice guitar, there, Rob!
    Last edited by citizenk74; 12-04-2019 at 07:50 PM. Reason: Spelin

  39. #38

    User Info Menu

    Great background story, k!

  40. #39

    User Info Menu

    Rob,
    I love your spirit man. I could watch and listen to you play 12 hours a day, and listen to you talk for the other 12! You are a breath of fresh air over here buddy.
    The guitar is sweet. Sweden’s other gift to the world..
    Thanks for sharing and always being you!
    Your friend, Joe D

  41. #40

    User Info Menu

    Ha, cheers Joe. I couldn't talk for 12 hours, but I could probably play for that long, though I doubt much of it would be of interest! But I appreciate your comments, Joe, while I look forward to your next video.

  42. #41

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by citizenk74
    For my first Have Guitar: Will Travel gig the leader had a Hagstrom identical with yours, LS. He had had it since high school and it lived in the trunk of his car, through winters every bit as nasty as Sweden's. The strings had never been changed. At my insistence, and on my dime, I annually installed a set of 0.011s and touched up the intonation, which was, after the first time, perfunctory; one might say, performative. I can confirm your report on Hagstrom necks. The owner had taped an 8 1/2" x 11" sheet of paper on the back with a partial list of songs (over 200) filling the sheet with fine and neat print in pencil. He knew, of course, a lot more than that, those were just off the top of his head. He played rock-solid rhythm and had a great voice, and did it stone-cold sober. He also told great jokes, most of them NSW. I miss him.

    You've got a nice guitar, there, Rob!
    Maybe we need a Hagström Love thread!

  43. #42

    User Info Menu

    prior hagstrom love here-
    Hagstrom Jazz Guitars?

    cheers

  44. #43

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    Hagstrom HL-550-img_20191202_184006-736x1306-jpg
    Mother-of-Toiletseat binding, cool!

  45. #44

    User Info Menu

    I agree with lawson-stone. We need more Hagström threads in this world!

  46. #45

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Bbmaj7#5#9
    I agree with lawson-stone. We need more Hagström threads in this world!
    spoken like a true super swede!! hahaHagstrom HL-550-superswede78-gifi remember peak fusion era coryell played hagstroms...and later when they came back..he played them again..shortly before passing..rip

    tho i think hagstroms real importance was in modern bass design..hagstrom came up with the big bisonic bass pickups that guild used on their basses...which were used by the lovin spoonful, the byrds, lesh of the grateful dead, cassady of the airplane etc etc..which lead to the first bass modders ala alembic!!!..who worked on lesh and cassady guild basses...the rest is modern bass history...i.e. stanley clarke, mark king etc


    cheers