Hagstrom Guitars Ha gström Gitar


Thanks for the last 20yrs or so!
2020 - Due to a life limiting illness, this site will remain until the next renewal date but may not be updated again.
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Visitors Hagstrom Acoustics
- BJ12 / H33 / B120 / Rio Grande
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For the Hagstrom UK examples see H33/BJ12 or Hagstrom and Me

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Special Update November 2018 - 10 years after my last update!
Evidence from the 1971 Imagine album studio recordings with the Plastic Ono Band, and Phil Spector.

2018 we found more info about this great model, and it seems to corroborate a post further down the page.
It seems true now that Ringo Starr also owned a BJ12/H33, in blonde or natural top finish
Owners: you're in great company along with David Bowie, Cat Stevens, and many other major names!

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-----Original Message----- From: bob giarla   Sent: Thursday, March 28, 2002 3:34 PM
To: webstrom  Subject: h-33 sn396080
here's an h-33 i picked up at daddy's junkie music in Massachusetts. It is the loudest acoustic i've ever heard.. i have a hag 2 and a hag 3 also.. My name is Bob Giarla from Saugus Ma.

ED: It's more than interesting to see this is yet another variation of colour and decoration, and looking closely the machine heads are clearly from the same source, but have a slightly different shape... So many questions eh?

Did I ever tell you all how much I LOVE these voluminous (in every way) beauties?? ... Oh I did, did I...
No leads, no amps, pure sound...lowest action... Whoa... must go play...

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Nicolai Kehlet from Copenhagen Denmark brings the first one I've seen...
a real classic 12, peg bridge, but there's more...
Headstock Bjarton, but the 'E' version - note the pickup top of the sound-hole.

One thing that struck me straight away was the type of pickup used on this, typical of a "made in-house" unit (as all Hagstrom pickups were - throughout all the acoustic and electric guitars), but this one looks different by it's sympathetic colouring the same as the fingerboard, and built right into the body. There were a number of variations on the way the "e" models were set up, and this is the first one I've seen quite like this!

His granddad bought it direct from the Bjarton company in the sixties
So that makes it an early BJ12-e
Note that the neck is glued in and there is no plate on the back covering bolts
Thanks Nicolai!
Did I ever mention that I love th..... (OK, OK)

Also in this model there is no evidence of Hagstrom, as of course without the chrome tail (as some people prefer their acoustics) there is no H and lions crests/motif.

Nicolai sent these pictures through to see if someone wanted to make an offer for this old beauty. If it is still on the "Wanted or Selling" page, then you're in with a chance of this piece of history! Bear in mind the "e" version is rare anyway. The brand is that of the actual manufacturer Bjarton, who made for Hagstrom, Fender, and probably a few other well respected names along the way, as well as later working with James D'Aquisto when the Jimmy jazz models were being developed.


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Now a B120 - There's a Rare One!

We've raved about the J45 H45 BJ12, and here a well loved - and well looked after B120,
This is the standard version of the BJ12. Just look at that 'Gibson-esque' tailpiece
The modest finish doesn't detract from the sound, (my favourite BJ12, is my sixties plain headstock
sunburst), and this
B120 may be rarer rarer than the BJ12 - It's the first I've seen...
(Please tell me if you know where there are loads of them... Ha Ha)

This one is so well looked after!    Must be the clean Swiss air too  - Thank you Jean-Claude!

Hello David, Here you'll find attached some pictures of my Hagstrom B120. I don't have a lot to say about this guitar. What I know is that this guitar was bought in Neuchâtel (Switzerland) in a shop music called Hug Musique as you can see the stamp behind the guitar's head. I'm the owner of it since 1988, after the death of the previous owner. I only know that he was not the first owner of this guitar. The B120 is in a very good state and sounds very well. I don't want to value it. I like too much playing it. I've never asked what kind of guitar I had before last month when I was in a guitar shop. I said to the young assistant that I have a 12 string Hagstrom guitar and he answered that he had never heard this name!! So I searched the web to get some information on Hagstrom, and I found your site. I live not far away from Neuchâtel in the French part of Switzerland (50 km from Bern). Thank you again for your complete information about the B120. Best regards Jean-Claude VUILLEUMIER

Spoken like a true appreciator - someone who cares more about playing than valuing

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Then along comes James...

From: JAMES HALPIN  Friday, February 14, 2003 11:03 PM To: David Cox at Home Subject: Re: My H-33 SN: 96094 David, It's been many months since we corresponded, but I finally got access to a digital camera and was able to get some shots f my H-33. They're not great, but maybe you can use them. You'll notice in a couple that I actually still have the original Hagstrom information/warranty card with it from 1969! Here are the pictures. Feel free to use them. Jim

How could I resist - excellent photo's I have to say!




Well, there you have a good example of how difficult it is to date the acoustics. The above J45 fits almost exactly with my Hagstrom (marked BJ12) 12string, yet this Hagstrom 12 string (exactly the same model - but branded H33) has a different batch sequence!!!


ED: All I can say is the next one on "e-buy" deserves a good price!
Hey don't rush, I already have three of these!

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Here is Lee Stewart - He seems to have enjoyed his BJ12 experience for some time - and still continues to!

Hi David I was on your site some time ago I don't know if you remember me sending you an email about my bj-12.I apologise for the delay in sending you the pics that I said I would but time like my memory sometimes slips away.Any way here we go my bj12 is still around a little worst for wear but still gives me that great sound of which a lot of my friends are a bit jealous ha-ha.I play it every day when I get home from work I would very much like some tips on how to may be clean it up a bit it is an old and dear friend that's been with me for at least twenty-five or so years and deserves to be treated with respect.I have included a few pics of our early years together and will give you a little background on each. the set of three are of myself and some other old and dear friends in our glory days. the top photo is a house party back in 77-the second is a beach party locally in79. Ihave to mention the pretty young thing in front of me and the bj 12 sitting is also still around and the mother of my three children.the third was taken at another beach party in 81.the other pic I took today Feb..112003. I think your site is great and honours a great instrument good luck to you and yours and I hope to hear from you soon Hag On. Best regards Lee Stewart


Lee also sent an MP3
which can be downloaded
HERE (3Mb)


Thanks for taking the time to share your sounds and pictures Lee!



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December 2003 and "A Star Appeared in the East"... Henry Telstar to be precise
Just East (and South) of here is Belgium, where Henry resides when he's not on the road
Yes he's back again first came his fabulous H8 Bass which tours with the band to this day around Europe...

But now he also appreciates the full sound of these beauties...

Thursday, December 18, 2003 - To: David Cox at Home Subject: RE: B120!
Hey D- I managed to get some pix of the B120 with my totally vintage (aka vampire) digicam... can you survive on those for a bit? I'll try to get some more decent ones as soon as I'm awake during daylight hours =8)
The guitar sounds *huge*... Any idea on the dating? The serial is 140024. (At a guess around 1973-4)

Cheers Henry! Happy Christmas!

Feb 2004: Cos Georgio sent this picture of how an old BJ12 can
spend forty years or more basking in the sunshine of Cyprus!

A really old BJ12 peg bridge early-mid sixties
Note the neck adjuster is at the headstock, and the neck comes to
a straight line above the sound hole, like Nicolai's Bjarton above - this is early, well loved, and well played!
Oh I do need another holiday in Cyprus...

BUT HEY! Here's a little point of interest...
Another 40yrs+ BJ12 picture set came my way a long while back - I didn't publish as I could not find the text that came with it, all I know is a short-hand note I made "RSHEP"... Well RSHEP here are your pictures... but these more to come after...

Not only is this another VERY old BJ12 from the early to mid 1960's, but just look at the condition

It's a shame about the one sweeping line on the lower bout.

Otherwise this is extremely kewl, wonderfully mature,




- Just TEN guitars later on in production!!!



Oh yes, bring these fabulous instruments back together here at Hagstrom UK...

Forget your Gibsons and Martins etc., - you really must try a good one of these!

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Lets now throw everything into question with yet another variation on the theme. In may 2005, this next one was auctioned on eBay, without much fanfare, and yet it is the only one I've ever seen. It hails from the mid sixties, early for this version of the model, thin neck right up to the body, typical Hagstrom 12 string acoustic neck shape, but the body was smaller and more shaped overall, with the same depth of body for tone, and some lovely wood used for the headstock!

The BJ-12-M...

Thanks to House of Guitars, Salt Lake City, Utah USA for the photos.

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Finally, there is a lot of speculation about whether The Beatles had any hands on contact with Hagström or Bjärton instruments.
Back in August 2005 I received a claim of just that. I have no proof, and it seems neither has the claimant who sent the details,
nevertheless, there is a website which makes the similar claim somewhere apparently... (I can say no more... could you???)

Dear Friends of Bjarton/hagstrom guitars, I got this 12 strings acoustic guitar in my collection. I would like to learn more about this guitar. This guitar was ownerd by Beatles drummer Ringo Starr (John Lennon played this guitar also) and he present the guitar to Klaus Voormann as a gift in the early 70`s. Klaus is a good friend of mine and he said to me: "Do you need this guitar for your fantastic Beatles collection?". And I said yes, of course... I supported Klaus for his artwork for the Beatles Anthology in 1995! I hope I hear from you soon.
Best regards, Uwe Blaschke PS: Lon & Derek van Eaton played this guitar the last time in London

Please don't judge me for my non-committal, I'd be blown away with some corroboration of this story,
equally I must be cautious of such claims even from known individuals.

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Kari sent these Superb Pictures... but sadly he needs to sell this beauty...
Hi, I have enjoyed her loud and clear voice since 1977.

Playability stays on the highest level from year to year.

I bought it as a brand new from Riihimäki, Finland in 1977. Serial 54176730

Now I'm going to sell it, because my lack of money.



Kari Ratilainen [ratikari@hotmail.com]

How could you resist?        


If it is no longer on the Wanted or Selling page then it has gone....


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Back to the main Acoustics Page


Please note: although I will try my best for an occasional request, this site is not an official price record site,
it all depends on the person who wants to sell and the person who wants to buy.
I am no dealer, and therefore can not provide a firm expectation considering the above.
Be patient if you're looking for the right Hagstrom!

There is no price list any more!

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Don't be put off now... please send your Hagpics* for sharing with the net !!!

There must be loads of pics around from the last forty years, why not share them with us!   
Send stories and (jpg pics please*) to one of the e-mail addresses below


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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!