Note that magazines and pro reviewers are giving two thumbs up to the Viking. One even stated that "this guitar has more sustain than the Gibson 335, although the Gibson may have more complex tones". However, you can always work on your tone. You can check some nice review videos on Youtube from Guitar World and DolphinStreet. This is a $700 guitar built with in-house components. It is comparable to guitars that cost three or four times more. It is made in China, but their quality control is very good. Actually, last year I saw a $3,000 Gibson guitar with a huge finishing flaw in the cutaway being sold at a major/local music store. Just because it is made in the US it does not mean that you are getting top quality products (not anymore!). Think about Chrysler/Dodge :>)
Don't get me wrong. I love Taylor and Martin guitars. I also have an american Telecaster, Yamaha, Ibanez, and luthier made guitars. However, you pay signficantly more because of higher wages, benefits, overhead costs, etc., in North America. That is today's reality in a global economy. No wonder why all major North American and European manufacturers have production lines in Asia. Doesn't PRS make guitars overseas? He too! For instance, Yamaha and Ibanez have guitars made in Asia and their quality control is one of the best in the world.
The Hagstrom's finishing is good and playability is excellent. Fast neck and fingerboard! This guitar can sing through a basic pedalboard and an all tube amp. Excellent with a clean amp and Vintage 30 speakers. I noticed that having the right set os strings make a difference. I use Elixir Nanoweb. You also have to spend some time playing with the knobs until you find a range you are comfortable with. From blues to rock, this is a great instrument. I have a sunburst with the Hagstrom case. I will install a Bigsby B7 one of these days. Kudos to Hagstrom! I never sell or trade my guitars, so I will definitely keep this one.