Hagstrom Viking Review - Riff Ninja

Hagstrom Viking Review

Hagstrom VikingThe Hagstrom Viking is a great guitar for the money, and in this review Colin talks about a few of its strong points as well as some things to look for if you’re considering one.

In the video, Colin mentions contacting him for more details, however due to a fair bit of demand, we’ve decided to simply write those tips down for everyone here in this post.

The things to watch for in a Hagstrom Viking are for the most part, the same things you need to watch carefully for on any guitar that you’re considering (please checkout our Ultimate Electric Guitar Buying Guide). Every guitar is different, and we do mean EVERY guitar – we’re not talking brands and models and stuff like that here – you can compare two identical model guitars, and yet still find differences between them. There are any number of reasons for this – the person making that model could have been having a bad hair day, or it could have randomly been their greatest ever. Post-manufacturing, there are differences in transport and storage, all of which can have an affect on the guitar as well.

The Vikings are mostly made by CNC machine, so there is actually a high level of standardization with these. That said, you’re still going to find variations. Here are some things to watch for:

  • A good straight neck and fingerboard. Make sure it is not warped or bowed.
  • Watch out for really sharp frets (on the edges). Sometimes this is a sign of a poorly built neck, or that the neck has shrunk a bit. If you run your hand up and down the edge of the neck, do the frets catch your fingers?
  • Check the toggle switches to make sure they’re working properly; we’ve come across a couple that aren’t.
  • Look for imperfections in the finish, especially around where the neck joins the body.

As with all guitars, we highly recommend after purchase that you play it for a bit (say a month or two), then bring it to a good guitar technician and have them do a proper setup on it for you. This gives the guitar time to settle in the environment that you play it in, with the strings you use, etc. Tweaking it at this point should bring it to a nice stable level where it will remain for a long time, barring any catastrophic changes!

In general, the Viking is a great guitar, truly excellent value for the money. Now, take a couple minutes and watch Colin’s Hagstrom Viking review here:

Watch on Youtube

Leave a Reply 6 comments

Matheu Reply

SO ive been looking to pick up a Hagstrom Viking Deluxe Tremar.  You had mentioned there may be a few duds amongst Hagstrom.  When browsing for good deals and finding the average price for one of these is aroung 750-800, i found Best Buy of all places has then for i think 560 or so.  Should i be cautios of Best Buy and if so would any of these be different from a Guitar center model or would i maybe find more imperfections?  Any thoughts?

    Jonathan Reply

    I’d like to clarify that a bit… pretty much ANY line of guitars will have the odd lemons here and there -- actually because they are made by CNC machine, there are probably fewer amongst the Hagstroms than others. That said -- every single guitar needs to be checked to make sure you like it, regardless of brand. The list in the post above is a good starting point.

    Now, about the Best Buy question, I don’t know how they go about getting their guitars, but I do know that I’ve found there is a difference between smaller shops that tend towards quality versus larger shops that sell mass volume. Typically the smaller shops ask for and are sent the better picks, and the rest goes to the volume. I guess that’s not always the case, but I’ve noticed that elsewhere at other times.

    As I mentioned, the Hagstroms are made by CNC, so if they have a few on display that gives you a few options to try out and see which one works for you best. Hope that helps.

Oscar Reply

I am thinking of buying a Hagstrom Tremar De Luxe for some time, been saving for it quite some time too, in fact.
I have just seen you review on the guitar on video, which has been quite a help already, and I am wondering if you could supply me more details on choosing/picking the right
Hagstrom Viking in a shop, if you please.
By the way, this Academy of yours is top of the top!
CU, Oscar

    Jonathan Reply

    Hey Oscar, we just posted a full on Electric Guitar Buying Guide, which I think you’ll find very helpful.

Robert Reply

What amp did you play on during this review?

    Jonathan Reply

    Hi Robert, that’s a very good question…. unfortunately we shot this video about 3 years ago and don’t remember which one was used. 🙁

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