Hagstrom Swede - Fret divots a deal breaker?

DjPsychic

Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2019
Messages
99
Reaction score
75
I came across a very cool and unique guitar on Craigslist that I was planning on driving a couple hours to check out. It's a 1972 Hagstrom Swede.

Seller finally got a round to sending more (blurry) pics of the frets, which appear to have divots on all the frets and seemingly down a good portion of the fretboard.

Are these a deal breaker for you?

I told him I was going to pass for now. The 2 hours drive along with him being a complete pain in the arse to deal with helped me make my decision

But I really dig the guitar, and kind of want to rescue it.

He's asking $625
 

Attachments

Last edited:

monty john

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2010
Messages
463
Reaction score
531
tell him the cost of a good fret dressing..../??? then meet him halfway with the fees off the guitar price.... I do mine myself every string change so this never happens
 

DjPsychic

Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2019
Messages
99
Reaction score
75
Do you think a fret dressing could fix those divots? I know it super hard to tell from pics.

And I don't think he's one to budge on price. Quite the prickly fellow.
 

monstruo_loco

Premium Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2020
Messages
158
Reaction score
214
I had one in the late ‘70s made around the same time, was in very good condition with Dimarzio PAFs, can’t remember what I traded for it but it was a good guitar & regretted letting it go when I did.
This one has obviously seen a lot more use, guess it’s just a question of whether it’s worth it to you or not & if a fret dressing would take too much off of them.
 

monty john

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2010
Messages
463
Reaction score
531
Do you think a fret dressing could fix those divots? I know it super hard to tell from pics.

And I don't think he's one to budge on price. Quite the prickly fellow.
not the divots I would be worried about...as you can see the last pic the frets look round...the headstock down frets look flat with divots....like another poster said you would have to take them down then make them round...or make them round...dunno hard to tell from pics
 

DjPsychic

Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2019
Messages
99
Reaction score
75
I'm a bit torn, I may just make the 2 hour trip and check it out. Worse case scenario I pass.
 

Roxy13

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2017
Messages
9,015
Reaction score
24,511
I've had plenty of guitars here with much deeper ones than those. As it is it looks playable to me despite the really bad pics, but I do my own fretwork so i'd bring it home, take the strings off and fret level, crown and polish and enjoy it.

Learning to do your own is wonderful if you buy a lot of guitars and especially older ones. Otherwise the tool investment might not be worth it to you? In that case you could make some inquiries about who does good fretwork in your area and what they charge for it. And make your decision from there. I would use the following tools to do that job; notched straight edge or precision straight edge to be certain the neck was straight and had no abnormal fretboard issues like hump or dip, a leveling beam with sandpaper with adhesive on the back, a crowning file, and then these grits for polishing: 320, 400, 600, 1500, 2500 followed by metal polish. if the fret ends need done as well I use a fret end dressing file too.

You may also need nut files if you need to adjust that.
 

DjPsychic

Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2019
Messages
99
Reaction score
75
I've had plenty of guitars here with much deeper ones than those. As it is it looks playable to me despite the really bad pics, but I do my own fretwork so i'd bring it home, take the strings off and fret level, crown and polish and enjoy it.

Learning to do your own is wonderful if you buy a lot of guitars and especially older ones. Otherwise the tool investment might not be worth it to you? In that case you could make some inquiries about who does good fretwork in your area and what they charge for it. And make your decision from there. I would use the following tools to do that job; notched straight edge or precision straight edge to be certain the neck was straight and had no abnormal fretboard issues like hump or dip, a leveling beam with sandpaper with adhesive on the back, a crowning file, and then these grits for polishing: 320, 400, 600, 1500, 2500 followed by metal polish. if the fret ends need done as well I use a fret end dressing file too.

You may also need nut files if you need to adjust that.
Thanks for that run through! for sure a daunting tasking for a beginner but something I will learn. for now I got a buddy who does great work, might cost me $50-60
 

DjPsychic

Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2019
Messages
99
Reaction score
75
Just an update (if anyone cares), I ended up buying the guitar.

It's one of the sweetest sounding guitars I've ever played. It's my new favorite, I cannot put it down. It makes me want to play guitar, which I've been finding hard to do lately. It's like the guitar calls to me from the other room "hey, play me dude!" - except in Swedish.

The frets were low and there were divots but still playable. Might consider refret at some point in the future, but no need at the moment.

Had my tech replace the nut, which wasn't original and had been cut very poorly. Setup, cleanup and it's got a new life.

There were some other cosmetic issues, but nothing too out of control. For the price It was worth it.

The pickups are amazing. Just the right amount of warmth/brightness. I don't have a ton of experience with vintage humbuckers but they remind of a mix of vintage Seth Lover wide ranges and the Classic '57's. Just perfect. Honestly if you can score a pair I'd recommend it. I'll try and post some audio clips and make you suffer through my crap playing ;)
 

Whoopysnorp

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2013
Messages
984
Reaction score
655
Hard to tell from those photos, but it looks like it'd be possible to do a level and crown on those frets. With most guitars you can get away with at least one before you have to refret, sometimes two.
 


Latest Threads



Top