Bell's Music Catalogue Part 2
( Hagström · Futurama · strings )
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Swedish firm Hagström made some good quality acoustics
(Goya in the USA)
and electric models such as the "Viking" which are sought after
to this day
Made under this name for the British market by Hagström
earlier Futuramas were made by a different company
This model was known as the Kent in the USA
Levin and Framus
The "Big Timer" and Arnold Hoyer Western have
faded into obscurity but Framus and Levin guitars are still sought after as
excellent examples of european steel-string acoustics
The only mention of Gibson and Fender in the catalogue
- no gauges are listed and when you consider that the average weekly wage
at the time was £16 these strings are incredibly expensive
The European strings are a bit cheaper - celebrity endorsements in play - The Beatles yep heard of them but Frank Deniz , Jack Llewellyn and Roy Plummer are pretty obscure names today.
This was at the end of the Jazz era which is why a lot of these string sets are tapewound/flatwound.
You could get roundwound electric strings but only in a medium gauge so sixties blues players would move all the strings down one.
i.e. the top E became the B string and the A string became bottom E - leaving a spare bottom string and no top one.
To get a light enough top E string to do bends some players at the time started using banjo strings bought in the Clifford Essex banjo shop.
Clifford Essex became aware of this and became the first producer of Light Gauge guitar strings with a plain 3rd.
Clifford Essex Light Gauge strings were powering the guitar sound of sixties British blues and proto rock bands - at that time only available from their Cambridge Circus shop.
The Bell's Catalogue Part 3
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