Most people invariably think of Hagstrom when talking about an 8-string bass. That’s because Hagstrom was the first brand to mass-produce an 8-string version: the H8. In the late 1960s, countless beat and hard rock icons experimented extensively and used its unique sound as the backbone for psychedelic and classic songs. The H8 not only survived this experimental era of the 1960s but quickly became a timeless instrument. With the H8-II of its RetroScape series, Hagstrom introduces an authentic re-issue of this legendary 8-string bass originally released in 1967. In other words, its tremendously powerful and sparkling sound is back! What makes the H8-II so special? The octave sound of the high strings is just perfect. Unlike electronic devices, this approach is not subject to tracking problems. The narrow neck, the congenial 8-string bridge (string-through-body) and its short scale greatly contribute to the perfect playability of the string pairs. Hagstrom’s proprietary “Dyna-Rail” humbuckers produce a phat sound and can be split to single-coil mode using the volume control. The famous “H-Expander” truss rod ensures perfect neck relief despite the considerably higher tension of the eight strings. It also contributes to the bass’s fabulous sustain. The on-board sliders allow players to activate and deactivate the pickups individually. The global “Tone” and “Mute” sliders provide a host of additional sonic options. This attractive package is rounded out by the authentic double-cutaway body shape, which fits snugly in the RetroScape series’ design philosophy and will even win over die-hard vintage freaks. All Hagstrom electric guitars and basses include their patented H-Expander truss rod. Providing tension at both ends and running the entire length of the neck, the rigid yet light-weight alloy truss rod allows for a very low action and thin neck, two factors that were instrumental in earning Hagstrom its reputation as the world’s fastest playing guitar. The H-Expander truss rod not only provides ultimate neck stability, but it also contributes to Hagstrom’s unique tone. Longer sustain and a round attack are some of the sonic characteristics the H-Expander adds to the tonal essence of Hagstrom. Resonator wood is a wood composite material that is both more uniform in density and more stable than any standard wood product. These characteristics eliminate dead spots or “wolf tones” sometimes associated with conventional wood fingerboards. Resonator wood has an articulate sound similar to high quality ebony, but without any of the problems associated with ebony. It provides a stable and clear tone, and also adds higher overtones and harmonics which uniquely detail each note. Like our H-Expander truss rod, Resonator wood is a major contributor to the distinctive “Hagstrom tone”. Hagstrom uses a variety of different neck joints throughout our range. Our set-neck recipe is the classic and time-tested Mortise and Tenon joint, a design that most efficiently transfers string energy from neck to body, and can often only be found on more expensive custom-built guitars. A team of experienced and dedicated craftsmen hand carves every neck joint, insuring perfect execution of this traditional technique preferred by luthiers for generations.