Page 3 of 3 FirstFirst 123
Results 21 to 30 of 30

Thread: New Guitar...Surfs Up

  1. #21
    Senior Member jcwu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    2,783
    I see it!



    I clicked on the Embed Codes, copied the BB code for the full image, and pasted it here, and voila!
    T100 Mod Adventures!

    Old tunes written and recorded in good ol' college days.

    '95 DV52
    '94 JV52
    '93 F4CE
    '77 CE100D
    '58 T-100
    '57 T-100

  2. #22
    Senior Member jcwu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    2,783
    T100 Mod Adventures!

    Old tunes written and recorded in good ol' college days.

    '95 DV52
    '94 JV52
    '93 F4CE
    '77 CE100D
    '58 T-100
    '57 T-100

  3. #23
    I'll give that a try. Thanks. Come with really nice faux gator skin case.
    https://ibb.co/dfOox9

  4. #24
    I'll give that a try. Thanks. Come with really nice faux gator skin case.
    [IMG][/IMG]

  5. #25
    Success....finally. Here's another just for practice. Detail shot of vibrato, bridge and bridge pu.

  6. #26
    Ok....finally got it. Thanks for all the help and patience. I'll post a review/more detailed information about the Hallmark 65 Custom when I get some more time.
    These guitars are really hidden gems.....and very reasonably priced. One for the road (back of nicely figured headstock signed by builder Bob Shade):


  7. #27
    Ok...here we go. The guitar is a new Hallmark 65 Custom. The Hallmark brand was resurrected by Maryland Luthier, Musician, and hot rod enthusiast Bob Shade around 12 years ago with the assistance/input of original Hallmark founders Joe Hall and Bill Gruggett. Hall and Gruggett were also key players at Mosrite before forming Hallmark in the 60's. Bob Shade is also the go to guy for vintage Mosrite restorations and anything Mosrite so he knows his way around these guitars better than just about anyone...including their quirks. These Hallmark guitars are not a defunct brand name being slapped on an Asian made guitar with a cosmetic resemblance to the originals with a bunch of off the shelf generic hardware, pu's, ect slapped on. They are also not perfect replicas of the originals either. The 65 Custom is an updated/upgraded version of a mid 60's Mosrite. Original Mosrites, while sounding great could be difficult to play due to their narrow necks (1.5" at the zero fret), very thin neck profiles, very low flat "speed frets", high output single coil pu's that sounded great but squealed and fed back at volume and problematic roller bridge. The 65 Custom addresses all those issues. The bolt on maple neck of the 65 is 1 5/8" at the zero fret w/ a 24.75" scale, the profile is still on the slim side but definitely beefier like a cross between a Gibson 60 Les Paul and a 60 Tele (D shape of the Gibson and thickness of the Fender), frets are vintage size but with nice round crowns and relatively flat 14" radius Indian Rosewood fretboard. The pu's are alnico with an output of around 12-13K and all the materials have been upgraded to prevent feedback and squeal. They are also very quiet for big single coils. The roller bridge and vibrato was redesigned by Bob Shade also. The bridge uses upgraded materials, has much tighter tolerances, locking intonation screws, the roller saddles are also sized and radiused to match the fretboard and individual string gauges. The needle bearing vibrato maintains the easy action and touch sensitivity of the originals but maintains surprisingly good tuning stability if you don't do "dive bombs" (IMO, it's the best feeling vibrato I've ever used). The bodies on the originals were basswood while the 65 is alder (Bob Shade believes that alder is superior tone wise and Mosrite only used basswood because it was soft and easy to carve with their very basic tooling). Now where exactly are these guitars made? Apparently they are a hybrid of Korean and the USA. The German carved bodies and necks are made in a small factory in South Korea (SPG?) to Hallmark's/Bob Shades spec's and then shipped to Greenbelt, Maryland for finishing and everything else. Except for the the Kluson style tuners (w/ safety post just like the old Mosrites and Fenders), pots, switches, jack, nothing on these guitars is generic or off the shelf. How well is it built? How does it play/sound? I'll cover all that in my next post or posts.
    Last edited by Guildadelphia; 09-10-2018 at 02:08 AM.

  8. #28
    How well built is the Hallmark 65 Custom I recently purchased? It would be unfair and misleading to say that the guitar is built great for the money because the overall fit/finish and build quality would be considered outstanding at almost any price point.
    For the sake of comparison, I would say that the 65 is equal to or exceeds USA made Fenders, my MIJ Pro Series '06 Gretsch 6116PTV and my MIJ ESP/Edwards ELP130 ALS (a high end non-export Les Paul copy). That's pretty tough company.
    The 65's Metallic Pearl White poly finish is just about flawless and has a 3D depth to it that is hard to capture in a photo. The natural gloss finished neck is smooth and displays no stickiness and the thick Indian rosewood fretboard is a nice med/dark chocolate brown that I could only find one tiny tool mark on. The fretboard is also free of any coating or gook that you find on many guitars today. The neck binding is cleanly applied with no paint bleed. The vintage size frets (think vintage Fender size) are nicely crowned / leveled and polished with nicely manicured fret ends w/o even a hint of fret sprout. All the hardware is rock solid. The redesigned roller bridge has no rattles or buzzes and works very well with the Shade Vibrato . The Shade Roller Bearing Vibrato works great. It's very touch sensitive with a smooth easy action and no play in the handle. As long as you don't dive bomb it returns in tune very well. The only hardware issue I have had was a loose tuner button on the D string. I emailed Bob Shade and he sent me a new tuner within two days. I installed the new tuner and problem solved. Otherwise the Kluson repro tuners have worked fine. One of the appeals for me of the 65 is that it doesn't really sound like other guitars, it has it's own sound The high output big alnico single coil pu's (they are the size of humbuckers) are surprisingly quiet and are mounted in rings and the bodies are adjustable for height as are the pole screws. The pu's sound big, bold and clear with plenty of output to push a tube amp into OD. The Hallmark pu's are much more hi fi sounding than P90's but can get much more nasty sounding than Jazzmaster pu's when pushed. They also have some of the tonal attributes of vintage DeArmonds and share their high output of around 12K. For single coils they aren't spikey in the highs at all. In fact some owners have changed out the stock 250K pots for 500K to get a bit more high end. I am fine with the stock tone and find it very balanced. The original Mosrites had a rep as a Surf/Instro (the 65 sounds amazing through my outboard tube spring reverb unit) and County guitars and there is tons of those sounds on tap with the Hallmark, however the pu's work very well for blues and harder rock styles and handle OD and distortion very well while maintaining good individual note articulation. The bridge pu is clear and punchy and does well on its own for leads or chords. The neck pu is strong, smooth, with excellent articulation, lots of bottom but no mud, even when driven into OD. Clean, the neck pu could easily do jazz (although I barely can play a lick of jazz).The middle position has that big, fat, slightly mid scooped vintage tone that is great for rockabilly. All in all just a versatile great sounding instrument that excels at Surf, Country, Rockabilly, Rock and Blues but is also well suited for heavier rock. My next post I will talk about how the 65 plays and sum things up a bit including my purchasing experience.
    Last edited by Guildadelphia; 09-10-2018 at 08:28 PM.

  9. #29
    How's the Hallmark 65 Custom play? The combination of well dressed vintage sized frets, relatively flat 14" fretboard radius make for a very fast, easy playing neck with low action. Despite the smaller frets, bending is a breeze with the flatter radius. It also helps quite a bit that the 65 came with a great set-up with a straight neck with just a hint of relief and perfectly leveled frets which yielded low action and literally no buzzes or rattles anywhere on the fretboard with the stock GHS 10-46 strings. Intonation was also spot on. The only thing I did was adjust the pu heights to my tonal taste. One slight oddity is the trussrod access which is at the neck heal (ala Fender) but to get to it the neck pu has to be removed. It's really only a matter of loosening the strings, putting something under them to hold them up, and removing the two pu mounting ring screws but I would have preferred access at the headstock. I did ask Bob Shade why he chose to do it this way and he indicated that with the zero fret and metal string guide he wanted to avoid drilling an access hole in the headstock for both structural and aesthetic reasons. So the question is, how does Hallmark produce a guitar this good for $999.99 incl hardshell case? According to Bob Shade, selling direct and cutting out the middle man helps, and they literally do no advertising except for their website. Of course the unfinished bodies and necks are made in S. Korea and apparently some of the proprietary hardware and pu's while designed by Bob Shade are also probably produced in Korea to his specifications. So that's my Hallmark 65 Custom review. I wish I could write and take photos like GAD (IMO, he does the best guitar reviews...period) but I don't think I did too bad.

    Now that I have the photo thing down, here's a shot of the new Hallmark along with the rest of my guitars.
    L to R Fender Classic Player 60's Tele in Faded Sonic Blue; ESP/Edwards ELP 130ALS; Gretsch 6116PTV Power Tenny; Hallmark 65 Custom; Guild NS 175B Manhattan

    [IMG][/IMG]

  10. #30
    Detail of the metal string guide and zero fret. The inside of the string guide is actually designed to have minimal friction on the strings to help with tuning stability.

    [IMG][/IMG]

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •