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1967 Hagstrom Electric 12 String... Where to go from here?
Old 18th June 2019
  #1
Here for the gear
 

1967 Hagstrom Electric 12 String... Where to go from here?

10 years ago I happened upon a 1967 Hagstrom Electric 12 String in a local shop, it was $500, I tried it and had to have it.

It's so smooth to play that it became my main guitar, to my only guitar. It's the only guitar I play. For everything. The only problem is, it sounds like GARBAGE.

I had the OG pickups replaced with Seymour Duncans at the suggestion of a praised local guitar builder. It was an improvement. I had the wiring etc redone. It was an improvement. But still, I can't get a good clean sound out of it. It's a muddled mess. I use it through a Princeton, Twin Reverb, Vox... It has never sounded good on a recording. So I'm ready to look for another 12 string.

There isn't anywhere local where I can try out electric 12's. I'm looking online and can't tell what's good or bad.

Is there a $500 or less 12 string that sounds and feels great? Or how can I get the Hagstrom to sound right?
Old 18th June 2019
  #2
I have the Hagstrom 8 string bass and it chimes real nice. Use Bourns pots, a no-load tone pot and short cables. My 12 string is a custom build Fender Telecaster, one of a kind. Fender does make a decent 12 string strat, check those out.
Old 18th June 2019
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by psychedonhigh View Post
10 years ago I happened upon a 1967 Hagstrom Electric 12 String in a local shop, it was $500, I tried it and had to have it.

It's so smooth to play that it became my main guitar, to my only guitar. It's the only guitar I play. For everything. The only problem is, it sounds like GARBAGE.

I had the OG pickups replaced with Seymour Duncans at the suggestion of a praised local guitar builder. It was an improvement. I had the wiring etc redone. It was an improvement. But still, I can't get a good clean sound out of it. It's a muddled mess. I use it through a Princeton, Twin Reverb, Vox... It has never sounded good on a recording. So I'm ready to look for another 12 string.

There isn't anywhere local where I can try out electric 12's. I'm looking online and can't tell what's good or bad.

Is there a $500 or less 12 string that sounds and feels great? Or how can I get the Hagstrom to sound right?
If by "sound good" you mean sound like the popular Rickenbacker 12 sound the only way you can do it is to buy a Ric and you won't find one for $500.

Rics do have the fat and skinny strings reversed relative to other 12s which does contribute to the sound, but attempts to do this to get other brands to sound that way have been, IMO, unconvincing.

What strings are you using? Most electric 12 players use flatwounds.

You probably shouldn't have replaced the pickups. Which Duncans did you use?
Old 19th June 2019
  #4
Lives for gear
 

At the 500 or so mark, I am often.....and I mean often....tempted to buy an eastwood sidejack pro 12. The demos are always so interesting sounding and that darn thing even has a bigsby-type vibrato....doesn't travel far, but hey!

They have a couple of gretsch-style 12-strings that seem, in demos, to sound better than gretsch 12s I've owned....but that darn little mosrite style sidejack seems to have some mojo. I envision that slapping a capo on it gives some really nice 12-string sounds when playing up the fretboard.

I don't think the company has the most stellar reputation, but then I don't often encounter people who own their guitars. They certainly make a wild selection of strange looking stuff when you browse their site.

I agree, you'll pretty much eventually have to buy a ric (and a telecaster of course)....but if along the way, you buy a sidejack pro 12....lemme know how it works out.

https://youtu.be/4Lm99Jbf15o
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
At the 500 or so mark, I am often.....and I mean often....tempted to buy an eastwood sidejack pro 12. The demos are always so interesting sounding and that darn thing even has a bigsby-type vibrato....doesn't travel far, but hey!

They have a couple of gretsch-style 12-strings that seem, in demos, to sound better than gretsch 12s I've owned....but that darn little mosrite style sidejack seems to have some mojo. I envision that slapping a capo on it gives some really nice 12-string sounds when playing up the fretboard.

I don't think the company has the most stellar reputation, but then I don't often encounter people who own their guitars. They certainly make a wild selection of strange looking stuff when you browse their site.

I agree, you'll pretty much eventually have to buy a ric (and a telecaster of course)....but if along the way, you buy a sidejack pro 12....lemme know how it works out.

https://youtu.be/4Lm99Jbf15o
That's over $1,000! And it DOESN'T have a Bigsby, it has a Fender Jaguar style vibrato - one of my least favorite. That's what I hate about Eastwood - their copy guitars generally get the overall look down prettyy well but they tend to louse up the essential details. The Bigsby style vibrato on the original Mosrite was actually a modified design with a compensated B string so that chords would stay in tune better when vibrato'd - something that was pretty important for the surf music they were designed for.

But then a vibrato on a 12 is generally a bad idea anyway - the octave strings donm't stay in tune with the root strings.

And if somebody's dumping a nearly new $1000 guitar for $500 or less you KNOW something's gotta be wrong.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
Quartermass's Avatar
 

I have a 60's Hagstrom H12 12 string solidbody and it is one of the best guitars I've ever had. Not sure if yours is the solidbody (H12) or hollowbody (Viking 12). If you own the solidbody version..you will never find another neck (on a 12 string) as playable as that one. That being said...when I bought mine a previous owner had swapped out the original electronics. It has a two knob configuration now (volume and tone) and a 3-way pickup selector switch. The pickups are GFS (Retrotron style of some sort). It is a great guitar and chimes like a bell. I have seen videos of a stock version and it seems pretty clean also. I have mine strung with the high strings on top. I love that guitar hope to never part with it. If you have the solidbody I suggest you try some different pickups. You will miss that neck. Can't help you with the hollowbody version. Sorry. Cheers.

p.s. This is the guitar I am referencing:

Last edited by Quartermass; 4 weeks ago at 10:32 PM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
That's over $1,000! And it DOESN'T have a Bigsby, it has a Fender Jaguar style vibrato - one of my least favorite.
That's what I hate about Eastwood - their copy guitars generally get the overall look down prettyy well but they tend to louse up the essential details. The Bigsby style vibrato on the original Mosrite was actually a modified design with a compensated B string so that chords would stay in tune better when vibrato'd - something that was pretty important for the surf music they were designed for.

But then a vibrato on a 12 is generally a bad idea anyway - the octave strings donm't stay in tune with the root strings.

And if somebody's dumping a nearly new $1000 guitar for $500 or less you KNOW something's gotta be wrong.

Other than your response-opinions not mattering, I think it's cool that you see the price at a grand. You deserve it!

For anyone else, the link below shows the $599 sug retail price, street price is about $450-500....and... if you catch the little spinning wheel that random appears on the Eastwood site, they give a code for an additional range of discounts on that very guitar. Plus I think, an additional discount if you sign up with them for emails. For those with the need, they also have some sort of monthly-pay thing, 30-day money back thing, shipping now from within the US somewhere instead of Canada etc.

John however, is only allowed to see $1000 as a price. Maybe Eastwood wants him to go away.

https://eastwoodguitars.com/products/sidejack-12-dlx

Last edited by thenoodle; 4 weeks ago at 02:09 AM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
Other than your response-opinions not mattering, I think it's cool that you see the price at a grand. You deserve it!

For anyone else, the link below shows the $599 sug retail price, street price is about $450-500....and... if you catch the little spinning wheel that random appears on the Eastwood site, they give a code for an additional range of discounts on that very guitar. Plus I think, an additional discount if you sign up with them for emails. For those with the need, they also have some sort of monthly-pay thing, 30-day money back thing, shipping now from within the US somewhere instead of Canada etc.

John however, is only allowed to see $1000 as a price. Maybe Eastwood wants him to go away.

https://eastwoodguitars.com/products/sidejack-12-dlx
Well, that's not the page that Google found for me.

It's certainly more reasonable.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
Lives for gear
 
audioforce's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
I have the Hagstrom 8 string bass and it chimes real nice. Use Bourns pots, a no-load tone pot and short cables. My 12 string is a custom build Fender Telecaster, one of a kind. Fender does make a decent 12 string strat, check those out.
Jim,

In the 90's, I bought an SG classic off some guy on the West side of LA, south of Century Blvd. I swear he had a 12-string Tele. I'm pretty sure it wasn't you, but who knows?

The guitar looked really cool.

Are you sure they didn't make more of them?

Actually, I think it was offered by the custom shop for a time, right?



Best,

audioforce
Old 4 weeks ago
  #10
Lives for gear
 

As an aside to this thread, and although I now own a Ric 12 again..... I think the best recorded tracks I have ever ever come up with using electric 12s are with absolutely flat, solid-body models. SG-type and the jaw-dropping Firebird 12 sessions I did in the 70s were standout favs to me. There's just something about the sound of 12 strings across a solid slab of wood through an amp or direct. With nice pickups of course.

I'd looooovvve to see a telecaster 12. I bet that'd be very very cool to play. On the other hand, I'm aching for Gibson to do a reissue Firebird 12. I've never liked Firebirds at all.... but when I sat with that one in the studio and tracked in the 70s.....wow.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #11
Gear Head
 

The most Ricky-sounding non-Rick 12-string that I have played was a MIJ 12-string Strat. It played great, I should have bought it, but went the cheaper route and got the Eastwood Gretsch wannabe. Sounds decent, but the neck is a friggin' telephone pole. Like they say, "Penny-wise, pound foolish"
Old 4 weeks ago
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by samuraisoundman View Post
The most Ricky-sounding non-Rick 12-string that I have played was a MIJ 12-string Strat. It played great, I should have bought it, but went the cheaper route and got the Eastwood Gretsch wannabe. Sounds decent, but the neck is a friggin' telephone pole. Like they say, "Penny-wise, pound foolish"
Screw Eastwood. Third rate knockoffs.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #13
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
Screw Eastwood. Third rate knockoffs.
Could be. I'd still like to try that sidejack 12 someday.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #14
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
Could be. I'd still like to try that sidejack 12 someday.
I think you should at least try it. I have their sidejack baritone (bought used Lefty) and its well put together. Not too heavy considering its looks, neck is comfortable.
Some report higher neck frets to be a little proud though.

So after a while they had a "euro sale" on and i got the Jeff Senn Baritone but i sent it back. Intermittent cable jack, paint finish was meh and overall feel was bad.
Keeping the sidejack though, its fine. I wouldnt pay top dollar for one though.
Eastwood are not on my radar anymore.They are too hit and miss.
I still think you should give the sidejack a whirl, maybe the sidejack is the one they got right.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #15
Lives for gear
If your Hagstrom 12 is the hollow body, I am assuming that you installed some kind of Duncan humbucker as a replacement. For a 12, the only pickup I would consider would be the Seymour Duncan Jazz and I would install switches to give me at least the parallel coil option. That would give me a brighter option while still keeping the humbucking intact.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioforce View Post
Jim,

In the 90's, I bought an SG classic off some guy on the West side of LA, south of Century Blvd. I swear he had a 12-string Tele. I'm pretty sure it wasn't you, but who knows?
The guitar looked really cool.
Are you sure they didn't make more of them?
Actually, I think it was offered by the custom shop for a time, right?
Best,
audioforce
Fender custom shop will build you one if you bribe them. Mine was built in 1979. It used a 1960's era Fender Shenandoah acoustic 12 string neck with binding and block inlays.

The body is birdseye book matched maple, very heavy with over 150 rings, it's old. Pickups are custom wound by Seymour Duncan at 2k ohms per coil. It does a 32k hz resonant peak. There is a two band EQ/preamp, treble and bass. The bridge and nut are bell brass.

It plays very well with the Hagstrom 8 string bass.
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