New to Hagstrom? Welcome!
An interesting story, but we don't want to bore you, so to clarify 'what is
what' when it comes to the brand name of Hagstrom...
It started as a Swedish brand in the 1920's making accordions...
(Albin Hagström moved from young farm-hand to entrepreneur with
superb skill and determination, despite court cases involving his envious
parents, where later, millions was wasted on lawyers over a period of ten years.
Despite this Albin won through, and Hagström developed into the biggest music
retail network in Scandinavia, also by the 1950's developing and sponsoring
music education throughout the country).
It started making electric guitars in 1958, and ceased making them in 1981.
(The copycat market made it impossible to remain competitive, and
advances by Japanese manufacturers along with the existing Canadian
distributors were turned down by Karl-Erik Hagström Senior "They were not
real Hagstroms" The company ceased normal trading in 1983, but never
officially closed down).
(read the story)
The next 20 years
Numerous approaches to revive the brand were refused. These
included Swedish and American collectors, companies and consortiums right
through to the Foo-Fighters Hagstrom devotee, Pat Smear. Karl-Erik senior wanted
it to be more than opportunism, but without the Swedish operation it wouldn't be Hagström,
and with the family showing little interest beyond duty to the brand, it was best
left as it was. You could always write to Sweden, and more than 20years on you'd
still get a personal reply from Karl Erik Hagstrom Senior, from his office still
attended daily. For devotees, enthusiasts, and players, the profile of the old brand
was also maintained through the internet, with myths, rumours and stories...
discussed, refuted, or revealed. So by the
millennium, there was still a cult following worldwide.
Karl Erik Hagström Junior gained a majority share in the Hagstrom company
Intrigue and rivalry had often been an element of the Hagström
family history even going back to the early days of accordions, and by the turn of the millennium it was rumoured that the next
generation - Karl Erik Hagström (Junior) - had
gained a majority in the company.
A few Lights were switched back on in 2003
Clearly the approaches to revive the brand name had continued,
and now landed on fertile ears. Contacts from the original Canadian distributor
such as Peter Patrick, Scandinavian company EM Nordic such as Benny Englund, and
the German company Music Meyer formed the project managed under a company known
as Tricor. It all seemed to be an exciting prospect if done well.
A new range of guitars were launched in 2005
David Lee from USA was appointed as designer, and Chinese
production started to appear in 2005. Karl-Erik Hagström senior (by now starting
to succumb to ill health) was kept in the loop, often indirectly, but he stated he felt he could trust Benny Englund
standing business friend) with the project. He was still able to comment on - as
well as remain a thorn
in the side of the initial offerings, but began to accept that he could no longer
protect old standards and values; the world has moved on. All new Chinese Hagstroms are
'personally approved by Karl Erik Hagstrom'.... but which one
So, what's the bottom line?
Original Hagström Guitars were made in Sweden, between 1958 and 1981
There is talk from Tricor / David Lee that there may be some limited production from Sweden
in the future
Original Hagström guitar values continue to rise as people re-awaken to
There are plenty of new made Hagstrom guitars on
eBay: new, seconds, and second-hand
There is the promise of a next phase of new production for the more discerning
player in the future
So the initial offering is seen as "value for money" in its
heavily discounted price bracket...
Example story - May 2007: Straight from the Forum here at