Hagstrom Guitars Ha gström Gitar


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Ultra Bass? (1982 prototype)...and more prototypes below it
(These are not part of the UK collection)

Well we've heard about those Japanese missing links "The Ultra Swede" - well here's one more Japanese offering from 1982. I've dubbed this the Ultra Bass purely because of the Ultra Swede name, I have no idea if it had an official name in the prototype stage...

Many thanks to Josef from Stuttgart for providing the pictures and information. This instrument already features on a well known website in Sweden (The Hagstrom Pages) so of course I will not duplicate the story shown there.

Suffice to say this is another example of the Japanese offering to Hagstrom in 1982, which was not taken forward to full production, one of the "final paragraphs" in the "final chapter" of the original story...

Body Type: 

Solid, body contoured


34" (864 mm)


9 pounds

Number of frets:


Fret size:



2 Humbuckers, (one is extra large)


2 volume, 1 tone



Neck width: 

1 9/16" (40 mm) at the Nut
2 1/8" (54mm) at the 12th Fret

Neck/body Joint:

Bolt-on 4 screws, each offset


Ebony, dot position markers


Gotoh, chrome


Fully adjustable, individual height and intonation

Body Finish: 

White/Cream Metallic

Neck Finish:

Satin, non-glossy

Overall lenght:

45 1/4" (1150 mm)

Overall widht:

13" (330 mm)

Overall depth:

1 1/4" (32 mm)

Year of manufacture: 





< Tuners set deep into the headstock reverse, with reverse stringing and tuning even, very confusing for the regular guy, but a statement of individuality with which they aimed to impress the Hagstrom family... although there's no "H" expander in sight... (See further down the page)
Certainly radical for its time at Hagstrom, this body doesn't live up to the grandeur of the SuperSwede Bass, yet provides the viewer with a modern image of its time (1982) >



< Two passive humbucking pickups. A large main pick-up and the other smaller one mounted in front of the bridge assembly
Ingenious looking layout and style, however the brand logo doesn't live up to the attention to detail we are used to - the silk screened "Hagstrom" is better viewed from a distance...>


Any way you look at it, the only thing Hagstrom is the logo, yet those who've played say it's a good bass...

More Information and story of it's original discovery when Hagstrom's Canadian distributor ARC closed:  http://hem.passagen.se/awe/hagstromenjpb.htm?k
* These photos kindly supplied by Josef from Stuttgart

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Next we have a small selection of other prototype pictures from this time

Many thought the Ultra Swede was the only Prototype Guitar, and the Basses above were the only departure. Clearly there were guitar models too, and here are some pictures to prove it...

...just checked-out your site and am providing a photo of a Hagstrom prototype I currently own. I bought it in Montreal around 1995, secondhand. In 2004 I was at a band practice and an employee of the Montreal distributor for Hagstrom saw it and subsequently confirmed it was a prototype made in Japan in the 1980's for Hagstrom. Apparently only 2 dozen or so were made.
Jim Bryan, Canada.

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Craig Strong bought his from Long & Mcquade in Winnipeg Canada around 1983

This may well be unique, for as you see, there were a number of offerings from the Japanese company. As we know none of these went into production, virtually all of them going to Canada, via ARC. Most also stayed locked away until ARC went out of business.
Many thanks to Craig for these pictures

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There is also the infamous Ultra Swede

Read more on this part of the story

Did you know that the Canadian Distributor was actually
instrumental in these Japanese offerings being put forward?
There's a twist on the story!

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So, what REALLY comes after those original models we know and love?

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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!