Re-vibrating a guitar, Pt I

It is very high time to give my main guitar, a Hagström Swede reissue, some love and care and to install the new pickup I have bought for it. First, some de-dusting.

Hagström Swede

Here we are with the pickguard taken off. Dust, dust and then even more dust! The strings are not looking pretty, either.

Swede tailpiece

The strings are off and so is the tailpiece cover. Lots and lots of dust! Including what looks like saw dust under the clear plastic bit. That plastic part surprised me the first time I noticed it, and I can not help but feel it is a bit cheap looking. The string anchors are very firmly, um, anchored though, so I guess it does not matter.


This is the state of my fretboard I am embarrased to admit: very dirty! Also some clearly noticeable fret wear, though not very clear in this miniature.

Häussel P90

And now, time to install the new pickup! This is a humbucker sized P90 pickup that once had its home in a Ruokangas Mojo guitar. It was handmade by Häussel in Germany or Ruokangas in Finland: matters are a bit unclear but both are fine with me! I found it used in a music store webshop and have been eyeing it for about a year and now it is finally here.

So, out with the old: the Hagström Custom 58 humbucker is unscrewed – and then immediately screwed back as I realise I need to access the control area in the back.

Like so. And this is where I realise I am in over my head and need to have a professional person do the rest. I could probably pull off some basic soldering, but a Swede has an additional tone switch which adds a great deal of extra wires. I would only do harm here! Besides, I need someone to have a look at the neck relief as well as I have some string buzzing and a truss rod that will not move a millimetre. Thus: a phone call to be made tomorrow.

Stay tuned for the exciting resolution of this adventure! Future modifications include adding a Bigsby B7 vibrato and an Earvana compensated nut. Maybe a new bridge pickup: I rarely use it, so I’m not sure about that yet.

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2 thoughts on “Re-vibrating a guitar, Pt I

  1. Ken Cohagen says:

    I just found your article on your Hagstrom Swede, and I’m considering adding B7 to mine. Could you send any info or links on your mod?

  2. Karl says:

    I haven’t actually done it yet myself, but I’ve seen in done elsewhere on the net. B7 seems to be the one that works best. KB

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