Mosrite vs Hallmark vs Japanese

mosman
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Mosrite vs Hallmark vs Japanese

Postby mosman » Sat Oct 04, 2008 2:18 am

I'm wondering what the general opinion is regarding the quality of the Hallmark and Japanese Mosrites against the genuine articles.I have an American 71 Mosrite and a couple of Japanese models but as yet I haven't played or even seen a Hallmark.I quite like the Excellent 65 although it's sometimes hard to ignore the ' Excellent ' tailpiece and knobs without numbers, and my Super Custom 64 is simply stunning.Any opinions?

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sleeperNY
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Re: Mosrite vs Hallmark vs Japanese

Postby sleeperNY » Sat Oct 04, 2008 2:29 am

mosman:

I have never had a MIJ Mosrite in my hands so I can't comment about them, but I do have a Hallmark and a Mosrite that I put together with nos parts and have also owned 2 originals in the past. I can say that the quality of the Hallmark is just great. All the dimensions are spot on with a Mosrite. They don't in my opinion sound quite like a Mosrite though. Not sure why but they lack the sparkle so to speak that a Mosrite has.

Jim
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Re: Mosrite vs Hallmark vs Japanese

Postby GattonFan » Sat Oct 04, 2008 8:15 am

Opinions? I'm often wrong, but never without an opinion. I think "vintage" is sometimes overrated, as pertains to sonic qualities - except in some cases of one piece bodies, or non-laminate hollow-bodies. When a layer of glue is applied to the wood, as with glued tops and laminates, it disrupts the tonal quality of the wood. The "nitro" purists argue about the sonic advantage of the finish, then apply it to a glued maple top LP. The glue is thicker than any finish I put on, and more "rubbery". I have some great quality MIJ Mosrite copies - and a Hallmark 60 Custom that are great player guitars ... yet I hear real Mosrite owners state that they are not the greatest playing axes around. I DO think that it is partially the mystique of owning a piece of history - something that cannot be recreated, because of our desire to re-capture such through ownership of such pieces. "Nuff said ...

Dennis

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Re: Mosrite vs Hallmark vs Japanese

Postby MWaldorf » Sat Oct 04, 2008 12:08 pm

Jim, I've heard that the Hallmark necks are wider than vintage Mosrite necks - how much of a difference is there? Is it noticable?

Mosman, I've owned an Excellent and currently have a '66 Ventures model as well as a 90s partsrite. There are minor cosmetic differences between the excellents and the vintage guitars, but I think they play and sound similar with the exception of the vintage speed frets.

Mel
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Re: Mosrite vs Hallmark vs Japanese

Postby Dennisthe Menace » Sat Oct 04, 2008 12:51 pm

Dennis (GattonFan) had posted:
. yet I hear real Mosrite owners state that they are not the greatest playing axes around.

.........Somewhere along this phrase, I too fall into this category, but not totally.........
1) I don't agree with the owners suggesting they are not the greatest playing axes around.
Anyone making that kind of comment, needs to seriously take up the Saxophone, Oboe, or
Flute and just stay away from String Instruments in general (not to mention Violin and Viola) ..period.
The Mosrite is one of the EASIEST guitars to press down on the strings. NOW....however, I can see
how the Width and the Thickness of the Neck could create some problems for folks with big hands,
fat fingers, etc. and I do not mean that sarcastically.
2) I've always preferred the Mosrite Humbuckers over the Single Coil Style therefore by eliminating
unwanted feedback when I'm in overdrive, fuzz, distortion mode, etc. at a loud volume level. There
are methods of controlling feedback with single coils (VOL Pedal, noise compressor, noise gate), but
that to me, is just more crap to have to set up on stage, not to mention that it will also start to "rob your tone."
3) I also prefer thicker frets for Lead Work, so as I have mentioned on some other thread on this Forum,
my first 2nd, 3rd,and 4th guitars have been refretted so that I can USE them on stage, and not just keep
staring at them at home :mrgreen: .
My 1st guitar already had the thicker frets when Semie custom built this for me back in '88 in Jonas Ridge ;) .
make the Mos' of it, choose the 'rite stuff.
.........Owner of 9 Mosrites...
.....proud owner and documented:
1963 "the Ventures" Model s/n #0038
http://www.thevintagerockproject.com/

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Re: Mosrite vs Hallmark vs Japanese

Postby brutus » Sat Oct 04, 2008 3:39 pm

I'm all about vintage. The aging of the wood and the electronics makes all the difference in tone. As far as the thin neck/speed fret debate,I was sort of under the impression that Semi made them like this to accommodate those early
players like Maphis and others in the Speedy West vain, sort of the electric flat-pickers that I bet loved the thin neck, low strings and speed frets as they were doing fast runs and not too many bends. I would say raise up your string
height a little bit so you can get under the string for bends make sure the neck is clean no finger gunk to get as much clearance as possible. The thin neck you just like or you don't. It's funny the neck on my 65 combo is as thin as the neck on my 1988 Ibanez RG 570 metal shred guitar although the fret-board is quite a bit larger plus jumbo frets. To me the vintage Mosrite is easy to play stays in tune no matter how much Mosley abuse it gets plus the tone can not be matched. But I still can't stop thinking about one those E.F Elliot side jacks

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Re: Mosrite vs Hallmark vs Japanese

Postby sleeperNY » Sun Oct 05, 2008 6:01 am

MWaldorf wrote:Jim, I've heard that the Hallmark necks are wider than vintage Mosrite necks - how much of a difference is there? Is it noticable


I believe that the necks were made a bit wider in the later years. The neck that I got with my parts is the same with as my Hallmark but might be ever so slightly thinner front to back. When I made the string guide at the nut I used the string spacing from my Hallmark. 1& 9/16th width.

Jim
Gretsch-6122-58
Gretsch-6122-59
Gretsch-6120-vs-55
NOS Partsright Mosrite by Jim
Hallmark 60 Custom
Fender Twin Custom 15 Fender Tone Master Twin
Fender Bassman 59 LTD
Peavey Delta Blues
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Re: Mosrite vs Hallmark vs Japanese

Postby surfing-matze » Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:59 am

"They don't in my opinion sound quite like a Mosrite though. Not sure why but they lack the sparkle so to speak that a Mosrite has."


I haven't played a cutom 60 yet, but I'm just thinkin bout ordering one ;) - I use to play fender guitars and have big hands / long fingers so the wider fretboard at the nut is important for me - I also think, that the hallmark vibrato looks better than the mosrites. I wonder if you can have the "mosrite-sound" (if needed) with changing pots or / and PUPs (E.F. Elliot) ?

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Re: Mosrite vs Hallmark vs Japanese

Postby dubtrub » Mon Oct 06, 2008 8:22 am

surfing-matze wrote: I wonder if you can have the "mosrite-sound" (if needed) with changing pots or / and PUPs (E.F. Elliot) ?

I used the Hallmark vibrato and Elliot pickup's on one of my custom clones and it sounds just like my original Mosrites. However, you may be happy with the Hallmark just the way it is. They are a great sounding guitar.
Danny Ellison

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Re: Mosrite vs Hallmark vs Japanese

Postby Hydra19 » Sun Jun 29, 2014 2:43 am

old topic I know...

I had a Hallmark C60 before getting a vintage 66 Mosrite, then a 63 reissue and most recently a Super Excellent....

The Hallmark was easy to get used to, I played Les Pauls and Jaguars and found it to be an easy adjustment. Absolutely no complaints once I upgraded the pickups with M3's but I still wanted a Mosrite.

The vintage 66 looks beautiful, and sounds magical. But it is weird to play cause of the speed frets (for me). I need to get my finger on exactly the right place to sound a note otherwise it'll be kind of dead. It's not an unplayable guitar at all. I play along to the Ventures in Japan with this one. But I don't feel 100% confident with my playing on it, although I know it will still sound great. I have decided to refret it and I am sad about that, losing the vintage factor but after having the reissues I prefer the larger fret.

The 1963 reissue is kind of weird, it's got a weird vibrato, without bearings and the bridge is messed up, saddles moving, and I think it has flattened. Will get a new bridge. A beautiful ink blue. It plays good, and sounds good but I feel I'm not getting the most of it without a proper bridge. It looks great and sounds as good as it looks. Easy to bend on. The pickups have small pole pieces, almost too small for the holes. I did expect more from a top of the line Fillmore, but I did buy it 2nd hand. No Ventures logo :(

The recent Kurokumo Super Excellent I scored for a good price. Easy to play, easy to bend and with it not being super expensive I am a little looser with it. No Ventures logo but am pleased with it. It's a cool Pearl White.

The vintage one just has that magical sound, not that the others don't sound like Mosrites, they do but the vintage one really has something extra, maybe mojo? I've ordered Dunlop 6340 wire and will take it to a tech along with the Super Excellent to try and get the frets on the vintage like on the Super Excellent. I feel I might play better on it with larger frets but am worried about losing any of the sound. Other than that, they're all great guitars, and I cannot say I won't buy any more. Since I got them I only look at my Les Paul and Fender Jaguar, maybe play a chord to justify having them but I'm all about Mosrites.

My advice is to for a Mosrite if that's what you really want. The Hallmarks are just as good, good deal and Bob Shade is great to deal with. If the lack of Mosrite on the headstock would bother you then go for a Mosrite. Hallmark will be easy to play and will have a really cool finish.


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