Hagström, H-8/F800 8-String Bass, 1967


H-8/F800 8-String Bass
Serial Number: 
Cherry Red
The Story Behind

About the Builder:

Hagstrom was a Swedish Instrument manufacturer that started out making accordians, and by 1958 was making guitars too, though production finished in the early 1980s. In this time, they made many fine and inovative instruments, played by the likes of David Bowie, Elvis Presley, Brian Ferry and many more.

About the Guitar (from Wikipedia):

The H8 was the first mass-produced eight string bass, and quickly spawned many multi-stringed bass rivals it was only manufactured for a brief period in the late 1960s. The strings were set in pairs, each tuned an octave apart, so it was played like a four string. It is of course possible to tune in 5ths or any other interval. In total 2,249 were made, in seven batches of between 100 and 600 instruments between 1967 and 1969.

According to Karl-Erik Hagström the idea for the eight stringed bass came from the American who visited Hagström's American retailer Unicord. Ernie Briefe, who was the head of Unicord, liked the idea and contacted Karl-Erik Hagström in Sweden and in 1966 a first prototype was built and tested both in Sweden and in America. The next year mass production of the H8 began. The H8 was based around a regular four stringed Hagström bass but all strings were doubled much like a 12 string guitar. The lighter string was placed above the standard string and tuned one octave higher than usual. This gave the H8 a unique tone which was very suitable for bass solos. In Hagström brochures the manufacturer also recommended creative tunings based around the major third, the perfect fifth and the major seventh.

The bodies of almost all of the H8s were made out of mahogany, but a few were made out of Finnish Birch, something very rare among guitar and bass manufacturers. The bass was available in Mahogany Sunburst and Cherry Red finishes. There were also a very few all white basses produced. There were a number of prototypes built for a successor to the H8 built with a 32" scale length as well as acoustic eight stringed versions of the Concord bass built but none were ever put in production. Recently the revived Hagström brand announced that they will launch a re-issue of the original Hagström H8 later this year.

If you have any questions, please contact us