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PB-24-G Series - Lucite and Vinyl and wood! (Sold)
Within this series you will find guitars badged Hagstrom, Kent, or Futurama, part of the evolving range out of the original Hagstrom Sparkle into the solid electrics...

This guitar made it's way over from Conway Music in the U.S.A. in March 2004. The pictures look a little lighter than they should, the Lavender tint is still quite distinct. The reverse is simply slightly grubby, and with suitable care will wash clean quite easily. Clearly looked after in the first forty years of its life, I hope to do justice to it's longevity while in my possession. New pictures will be produced soon, to provide more detail, meantime, the advert showed the truth, and here it is on this page...

Totally complete and original, there is little or no fret wear, the action is low and light. Quite remarkable, thanks to the previous owner.

I am relieved that there was no last minute sniping or early finishes, but the latter seemed very unlikely, as the seller was extremely fair, frank, and open with what was on offer. He also shared my concern of the safe passage over here to the UK. Later we will learn to take these things seriously...

This example - 40 years old when received - came straight out of the hard case and I plugged it in and played it.

Once again my thanks also go to UPS for the safe receipt. Not one dent in the outer cardboard box, and with a proper hard case inside it had the best of care and attention!

 

Starting in 1962, this model went through a variety of modifications in it's transition from three-part body, through to the solid model that became the mainstay for so many players through the '60s.

Some of these changes were subtle, from the indented area surrounding the jack socket giving way to a taller socket on a flat body surround, the pickups to begin with fixed position, by 1965 had adjustable height screws.

With or without switch and volume indicator plate, this model even competed with itself under a variety of brand-names from Kent, Futurama, and of course Hagstrom - the manufacturer under any guise. The series name PB-24-G is documented elsewhere, but to recap for those new to the site, beyond Pickup Board we have 2 pickups, 4 switches, and - it's a Guitar - if you hadn't guessed yet.

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The method of construction was indeed unusual by today's standards, but it was of it's time. Beat music, and a flair for colour and curves, brought to us in variations such as baby-blue and lavender, as well as more normal red, black and white. New age materials such as vinyl and plastic sandwiching a wooden body outline, studded body.

Yet this is no toy, it has a bright sound from these - now vintage - pickups. That famous tremolo bar assembly which which suited the Shadows more than Eddie Van Halen (to paraphrase Michael Wright). Finally, and for a while, the throw back to Hagstrom sparkle pu units in the tinted pyramid gauze/panel often referred to as a 'swimming pool' - who first coined that phrase? - Brilliant! 

This in itself a throwback, as though the guitar world was still coming to terms with electric guitars; afraid people would ask where's the acoustic soundhole?

Now lets come down to earth a bit. Common problems with this range of models include the PB (Pickup Board) itself, the whole of the front of the guitar including the 'swimming pool surround area', made of Lucite material which even if strong when made, now needs a bit of respect! Lucite originated in 1931 as a material discovered by Dupont, one of the earliest Hydro-polymer plastics - prized for its clarity and strength, especially compared to nitro cellulose based plastics - it was used for windshields and nosecones on U.S. bombers and fighter planes in the second world war! After the war it was even used for making kitsch furniture and jewellery! So there's a special historical interest in the materials Hagström used let alone the guitar itself...

Many examples have car-windscreen like stress cracks at points of contact. Typically around the jack socket, and maybe where it has received the odd accidental knock, or heaven forbid, where someone has removed and replaced those stud screws too tightly. Imagine the swearing when that happens...   Many have lost chunks, or split at the edges, so it is an understatement to express my relief at the condition of this one.

 

You may have read in the republished Vintage Guitar Magazine history how these were marketed heavily in the USA as part of the early acceptance of Hagstrom as a manufacturer.

Alongside heavier duty, or professional models such as the Corvette / Impala range they provided good alternatives for the growing body of interest in getting into the fab sounds of the day!

Despite the now fragile appearance they were still serious instruments, with a pride of place in the history of the time.

Now following all this unabashed glee, I have to reiterate the warning of finding your own example, beware.

If I go too long without buying something I still get itchy for another Hagstrom guitar. Too much haste makes you buy an honest (or otherwise) project which honestly isn't worth it!

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Maybe in time I will find the necessary parts and expertise to bring my first attempt at getting this model into some sort of desirable state, but meantime, take a look at my own example of "repent at leisure", hardly worthy of the headstock which under the added paint reads:
"Futurama Deluxe II" !

By comparison this one journeyed less than 100 miles to my door, originally a Selmer UK Distributed model from 1963:

 

I could live with:
 - one odd tuner
 - the painted over headstock
 - the ingrained dirt

I could deal with:
 - a small amount of vinyl peel at the edges.

I was disappointed with:
 - both pickups actually cracked right through
 - 2 sheared off screw-heads at the switches

I was perturbed at:
 - the nail in place of one switch screw
 - stress cracks,
    - the biggest at the jack socket,
    - another at the heel of the tremolo.

We shall have to see what a combination of original parts and modern technology can do to restore this "potentially" distinguished example.

    Complain? No way!  It was sold as needing some TLC.
That's all the conscience a seller needs these days it seems...

             Why can't I listen to my own advice?

                         Ah, but no sweat, get over it - We only live once :-)

        Here endeth lesson one!
   
Lesson TWO - take on the project - go see!

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There's nothing like a REAL original Swedish made Hagstrom (and there are loads around), but if it 'floats your boat', or you can't find an original then who are we to say?

Plenty has been said already and
will be said forever forward probably.
Only you know what's right for you!