Hey "BJ" meet your nephew "H"
This opportunity came all the way from near the "West Coast"* and finally made it's way to the "Deep South"*
I remember getting my Old BJ12 in 1974, it was an unknown age, and I paid £40 for it. It paid me back a thousand times over in pleasure and beauty (but then I am biased).
After seeing some pictures it turns out this H33 was new in 1974 and just a perfect pairing for the BJ12, and anyway why the change of name? Well, BJ stands for Bjarton - who made them, and H for Hagstrom who sold them. If it was intended as a Hagstrom export sale then the body would have H-33 in it. If it was possibly going to have a Bjarton headstock then BJ12. If sold in Scandinavia it would have said Bjarton even if sold in a Hagstrom shop, all exports went out under the Hagstrom brand. But in the end, they would take which ever body was in stock and attach the necks "per order" and it makes no other difference in the end...
There is mother of pearl binding round the head,
Well it turns out the blonde is the correct configuration, and despite the higher spec finish, I still have a preference for the sunburst example. After all, it was my first Hagstrom guitar!
You can see the difference more in the pictures of the back and sides shown here.
All this gives them a slightly different sound. The BJ12 has a wider range from bass to treble, the H33 a slightly deeper resonance over all. Both in isolation have the fullness and volume of a mini-string-orchestra all in one, and I wish I didn't have to compare them, as they are wonderful pieces of craftsmanship.
I love both of them, but the BJ12 sound is something special, (and it was my first Hagström). Like any acoustic they improve with age, but every one that I've owned has had a full and distinct identity by then - already giving out as much as you put in...
Action was too high for me, and compared to the BJ12 (you can't get a pound coin edge between the strings and the 12th fret), and of course it's as straight as the Oklahoma Freewa..... (sorry Michael, got carried away there)
So off with the neck to check and adjust the joint position. Then out with the Hagstrom Toolkit - a quality allen wrench that won't simply rip under pressure, then down came the action to where I'm used to. New set of D'Addario 85*15 strings and we were away strummin' again by midnight!
No pressure to play, no fret buzz, no
fret wear, no plans to sell, but there were THREE of them now!
Strange really, I'd pull these big proud beauties to pieces to check 'em and adjust 'em; give me an electric or semi acoustic and I was scared 'itless to take anything apart for many years. Clearly I started out with an acoustic heart... SEE ANOTHER ACOUSTIC VIEW
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Plenty has been said already and