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In 2012 Justin York purchased a Hagstrom Viking to use on tour with Paramore, and the rest of the story is history. He has since become a true partner and friend to Hagstrom. When Paramore was preparing for extensive international touring to support their recent album, we began discussions about what an ideal set of touring guitars might be for him. After more than one year of collaboration, the result is a pair of Vikings that Hagstrom is proud to introduce to guitarists worldwide.
As primary touring guitarist for Paramore, Justin’s role is to provide the supporting foundation of the band’s guitar sounds for each song. A band with a rich history like Paramore requires a broad range of guitar styles and textures. So, one of our main objectives was to create instruments with a broad tonal range easily accessible during a stage performance, a task Hagstrom is more than equal to.
Justin wanted his Super Viking to exude a rich, classic vibe. We developed a warm, transparent brown finish which we applied to maple specially selected for an interesting and more prominent grain. The result is gorgeous, with the rich brown finish highlighting fascinating grain patterns, making each instrument visually unique. Vintage-style “witch hat” knobs, same as used on our RetroScape models, complete the vintage vibe this guitar oozes. The Super Viking’s 25.5” (648mm) scale length adds some extra snap and articulation to each note, and Justin requested our “Ultra-Thin” 17mm neck profile to match a vintage (c. 1965) Viking model in his Hagstrom collection.
A Hagstrom Custom 58 humbucking pickup in the bridge position provides classic rock tones. Justin chose our “P-Urified” P90 humbucker-sized pickup for the neck position which exhibits that classic warm, round sound; tonal magic happens when this pickup interacts with our custom tone control and the P90 ranges to an astonishingly clear and pristine single-coil clarity. Individual coil-split is available for the Custom 58 via the push/pull tone control, providing an even more expansive sonic palette.
The tone control is often a source of frustration for guitarists. This is because the design has historically been based on a passive treble-cut concept. The complete tonal spectrum is passed through the circuit when the control is fully open, and as it’s dialed down treble frequencies are eliminated. Many guitarists find this approach unusable, since the tone often becomes muddy and excessively “dark” as the treble component is eliminated. Working with Justin we have developed a tone control which does the exact opposite. Instead
of filtering treble frequencies, we filter the bass as the control is cut. The full treble spectrum is always available, and the tone control performs a bass-cut function. Justin finds this is much more useable on stage, and we think all Hagstrom guitarists will too.