Hagstrom D2H Deluxe Reviews 4

I've been playing for about 15 years, but just as a hobby. I don't play out, but I play a lot. I've owned dozens of guitars over the years, and this one is an absolute pleasure to play.

Purchased on eBay, as a B-Stock blemish. Because of that, I was able to pick one up for $250. The fingerboards are, basically, synthetic. Something was off in the process, and mine ended up with a white-ish fade look on part of the fretboard, but nothing you'd notice unless you knew it was there. Quite a deal.

There are lots of things to like about this guitar. Overall, it's a nice weight (a little over 8 pounds). However, that probably varies a bit, as I also own the semi-hollow version of this, and it's actualy a half pound heavier. I don't play Les Pauls due to the weight, but I don't like the Fender 25.5" neck scale. So, it was nice to find something that was the best of both worlds, with the looks of a funky, vintage Gretsch (sort of). The finish is crazy. It's got a gold sparkle top (not a gold top though - the sparkle is large and in charge), and the polyester finish looks like it could really take a beating. If you're looking for a thin, nitro finish, keep looking. The guitar was well assembled, with no binding or finish flaws that I can find. Frets are relatively well-dressed (it's a cheap Chinese guitar, so it's not going to be perfect), the neck joint is solid, and it has a nice balance when standing. The fingerboard feel is similar to ebony, and I really like it (despite the blemish). Tuners are dripping with the same retro vibe that's oozing out of the rest of the guitar, and are at least adequate. They're not Grovers, by any means, but I've seen a lot worse. Thinking of switching them, but they just look so neat... Graphite nut is a welcome addition. The shape of the neck is very comfortable. Thin, but wider. Not at all chunky, but not too skinny. I like the simple layout, as one volume and one tone works for me, and the lack of 4 knobs increases the overall aesthetic, in my opinion. I like the tailpiece. You can't see it in any of the pics, but it's 6 big blocks of metal, sitting staggered on top of the guitar. I think that, sustain-wise, this design is superior to a cheap Gibsonesque tailpiece. Really, a great idea to get a lot for a little. Looks a little weird, but it's all overed up the retro-looking cover. Cool knobs too.

I don't have too many complaints, especially when you factor in the cost. If I were reviwing a $2000 guitar, this would read much differently. The fake-o-matic bridge is OK, but I'd rather see a TonePros. That's really a reach for a complaint, since the whole idea is to keep this cost down if you're selling these cheap. I've seen TonePros bridges on several budget Korean guitars lately, so it'd be nice if the Chinese market could catch up. However, I will say that the stock bridge is adjustable via screwdriver, so you can play with the action without tearing up the ends of your fingers. Not sure why all bridges don't use that system... As I've said, the tuners are a bit suspect, but probably workable. Not sure how long they'll last, and it's the only part of the guitar that I'm worried about. The stock pickups are OK. Not great, but OK. Decent response, but little character. If you're a newer guitarist, they will be more than fine. If you've been playing for years, you'll replace them immediately with the pickups that you were already planning to install before you even bought the guitar... In my case, those were Duncan 59's, and it sounds beautiful. Really mellow, and a bit darker than most LPs. Though, it does have a maple cap (unlike the Swede), so you can coax a little jangle out as well. Although I wasn't a huge fan of the stock pickups, the beefy toggle assembly and the full-size pots were a nice surprise.

Overall, the construction was solid. Bear in mind that I'm reviewing a B stock guitar, and the assembly was still first-rate. Nice finish, well-applied binding. The pearloid headstock binding is kind of cheesy, but it's supposed to be. Fortunately, the rest of the guiar has a simple cream binding. If you were to buy this for $250 (like I did), and spend a hundred or so on a comnplete setup, you'd still come out with a guitar that plays well beyond it's price tag. And, even with your favorite pickup combo, you're still looking at a great deal.

It's a guitar that people will notice. On stage, the lights should really bounce off the sparkle-finish models, if you're looking to stand out a bit. Plus, it just looks unlike anything else out there, which is getting harder and harder to do these days. Best of all, you can pick these up for next to nothing, especially if you're willing to take a B stock. I think that, with a couple alterations (especially a pickup change) and a good once-over by your tech, it's a professoinal-level guitar that could withstand the abuse of live playing. Grab one before they catch on and start to cost a lot more!

M. Scott rated this unit 4 on 2007-10-29.

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