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Ulf Peterson brings us this superb presentation of the Hagstrom Fretless Scanbass or Jazzbass... After sending us an example of an early advert found on the back of a little book that he got when attending Hagstrom music school, learning to play bass guitar 30 years ago. (See bottom of page) To be correct this is indeed the earlier Jazzbass version, it has a single strap nut at the base of the body, and the tailpiece is metal to wood. The later Scanbass, returned to the two strap nuts, and the tail was placed to the body as a sandwich of Perspex (in readiness for the Patch synthesiser version). The other subtle changes in the models included different positions for the thumb rest (Fender changed in 1974 I believe, and Hagstrom did likewise soon after), and a rounder end to the body horns.
I just happened to see this one in a music store when I drove my son Fredrik there to look for some equipment, he also plays bass (much better than me even if he doesn’t play a Hagstrom). Even if I actually haven't been looking for one, it has been somewhere in my heart ever since I attended Hagstrom music school 30 years ago and my teacher had one.
I have picked up my bass playing again just some years ago and I really enjoy it, and now more than ever. I agree with you David when you say about your two Scandi's, "I love the natural ash finish". I didn't even knew that the Jazzbass was produced in that finish, so as you understand, I'm more than delighted.
I can not think of a better way to appreciate this example than to simply present all these wonderful pictures for your enjoyment!
As I say, I learn to play a long time ago and unfortunately after that I did not play much until my son began playing in school. I bought a cheap Squire and I'm really enjoying it. When I attended that music course at Hagstrom my teacher had a Jazzbass, and I said to myself that one day I should buy such a thing, but at the time this instrument was far too expensive. Last week I drove my son to a music shop to see some PA equipment, and there it was, "MY BASS GUITAR". A beautiful example of a fretless jazzbass in natural ash finish, just the one I have been dreaming of for 30 years, almost without any scratches and complete except the chrome cover for the upper pickup. I bought it right away!
I purchased the pickup cover from Musitech in Älvdalen so now the bass is complete. The serial number is 53 916029, I don’t know how many of these they produced but I think this one is among the better Jazzbass examples still existing...
One thing I had to change was the strings, the bass had some light roundwound strings and I use Fender 9050's Stainless Flatwound M strings, which have a very high tension. I had problems with my Squire P-bass and even if I had to tighten up the truss rod nut as much I could, the neck wasn't straight enough so I was a little bit worried when I tuned the Jazzbass, but - nothing happened. The H-formed rail inside the neck seems to do its job. You can actually see it around the truss rod nut.
The bridge has a little strange wire going from the bridge to the bridge cover, I don't know if it is original or not and can't see any logic use of it. Anyone who knows? The plastic shield under the cover (seen on the scanbass) does not seem to have been mounted on this model, was it only found on the Scanbass? It's a drawback that the pickups are not adjustable in height, but you can't get everything.
(The wire is to 'earth' the guitar and avoid hum. You'll find it on most models even back to the fifties)
Ulf seems very typical of the kind of person that has been touched by the story of Hagstrom, and beguiled by the reality of these beautiful instruments. Such craftsmanship and quality deserves all the attention it now receives
So a big Thank You to
This is from a small batch of 55 made in 1974-5. How many were fretless I wonder?
If you click on
the Jazzbass advert below, you'll be taken back in time (to around 1963, way
before the model above)
A few pages from the Hagstrom Music School book!
More stories to follow... including
Keep them coming!
There must be loads of stories
(and pics) around from the last forty years, why not share them with us!
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