I've been playing now for 17 years. I've had in my hands a variety of guitars, including Gibsons, Fenders, and a plethora of alternative and/or economy brands. My styles include blues, classis rock, and some jazz. I'm playing this guitar through a Yamaha T100 amp and it sounds wonderful. Rich, full, and very Les Paul - ES 335 like on the humbucker settings, and, I believe, there is a coil tap switch that makes this guitar sound glassy and P90-ish. The latter is a great tone for the 50's, Setzer like style. The reviewer below attributes the secondary toggle to out of phase, but don't believe this to be the case. Flipping the switch, to me, seems to split the coils of the humbuckers, giving a P90 effect. It very well could place the pickups out of phase and not into a coil split mode. Perhaps another reviewer can research this spec. At any rate, the secondary toggle makes this guitar a very versatile instrument. Once more, it sounds great! I once owned a Gibson ES335 and foolishly parted ways with it for a modest sum. Like the last reviewer, I've been jonesing to fill that Gibson void, but could not bring myself to pay the new Gibson premium (ridiculous, by the way). Not any more. This Hagstrom is now made in China - big F'n deal. Those Chinese sure can build a QUALITY instrument. See ya, Gibson.
This guitar is a Sherman tank. You would need armor piercing ammunition to put it down. The hardware is ornate and top notch. The finish is a very durable polyester. Many would criticize this, stating that nitrocellulose laquer is the only way to go for quality. I say to those people, "Wake up." You would have to have the ears of a canine (or, a bat for that matter) to distinguish the resonant difference. The woods of this guitar are mahogany for the neck and most of the body. Like a LP, it has a maple cap, but dons a nice f-hole and semi hollow body on half of the instrument. This guitar embodies all worlds including the richness of a LP, the overtones of a 335, and the glassy, thinner tones (Fender) of the coil tapping feature (again, is this coil splitting or out of phase- somebody let us know). I've heard that this guitar was once made in Sweden, and has been reissued from the Republic of China. Well folks, look around you, everything we consume is from overseas or south of the border. The materials on this guitar are prime. Who put it together is beside the point. See ya, Gibson.
Again. I've been playing for 17 years and say that this guitar plays as well as and , I dare say, better than your $2000 Gibson. I can say this because I owned a played a 1983 ES 335 dot for 12 years.Today, that guitar resales for $2,800. That guitar was made in Nashville, this Hamstrong is made in China. Look out Gibson, the Sleeping Giant has awakened. See ya...