Mosrite vs Hallmark vs Japanese

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Re: Mosrite vs Hallmark vs Japanese

Postby Tronman » Mon Feb 25, 2019 5:41 am

Asch wrote:Hello, new member and first time poster so apologies if I have missed a thread that will cover a few questions I have that relate to this post. I am a big fender Jaguar fan however, given the wife has agreed to another guitar purchase I thought I might have a look at a Mosrite rather than another jag but wow understanding what is what is a bit confusing. I can follow whats going on up to the 90's but after that it gets very a bit crazy.

Are you guys able to point me in the right direction regarding the Japanese models - vintage is way out of reach especially given the Australian dollar is worthless overseas!). Specifically - Am I buying a Mosrite if I buy one of these? I have Fender Japan guitars and like them a lot, but are the KuroKumo's on par with these? If so, are they any good circa 2010? There seem to be some real complexities to the Mosrites and even some disagreement as to who has the rights to manufacture (Dana Moseley, Ed Roman, Hallmark, Excellent, KuroKomo???).

I like the look of the surf rider 65 by KuroKomo, but really want to understand what I would be getting and what I should look out for. it seems strange they would put 'of California' on the headstock if the are made in Japan? Are there ways to ensure that the guitar is not a cheap Chinese or Korean knock off? Can you estimate date of manufacture using serial numbers like the fenders?

Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance!

If I was going to buy a Mosrite-like guitar just for the name, I would go with a Dana-Mo, even over a vintage Mosrite. In my opinion they are real, modern-day Mosrites. In fact, I did have a '65 Dana-Mo with her hand-wound pickups and it sounded fantastic and the build was as good as it gets. But I found it to be unplayable because of the skinny neck, so I went with a Hallmark '65 Custom (at 1/3 the price) with Dana-Mo pickups and never looked back. it's built just as well and with the slightly wider neck, it plays like a dream. I don't know if switching out the pickups made much of a difference in sound since I have no way to A/B the pickups, but based on Youtube videos, I can't tell the difference.
Gibson Les Paul Traditional Pro III Guitar
Hallmark 65 Custom Guitar
Martin DM Guitar
Hallmark 65 Custom Bass

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Re: Mosrite vs Hallmark vs Japanese

Postby Strat-o-rama » Tue Mar 05, 2019 5:47 am

Dana was winding pickups and doing setups for the Fillmore Mosrites- the USA model. Fillmore shut its door a few years ago. Kurokumo is still around. There were some legal issues that dragged out for years, and Semie's wife Loretta set up shop in Japan, and with the aid of one of Semie's right hand builders, they were hand crafting Mark 1 ' 63 and 65 models. They were (are?) expensive, and were (are?) only offered for sale through a few distributors in Japan. N.A. in the USA. Last I heard, Dana was winding some pick ups for Loretta's Mosrites, but don't know if that is still happening. As for "DanaMo" Mark 1s, they are Fillmores. Check with Front Porch Music in Bakersfield CA. and see if they have any more.
The most readily available Mosrite style guitar available for us in the USA right now are the Hallmarks. I love mine.
Anyone have any updates on any of this, please post it!

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Re: Mosrite vs Hallmark vs Japanese

Postby Dickey » Mon Jan 06, 2020 1:39 pm

I have a '65 Mosrite (white) & a Hallmark Custom 60.(3 color sunburst) They are both easy to play; the Mosrite neck is a tad slimmer, but i think it was re=fretted somewhere along the line because it is the only very playable Mosrite I have ever played. Evey other one I tried had those micro-frets like a Gibson "Fretless Wonder".
The Hallmark & Mosrite sound similar,great sustain. Think P-90 on steroids. although the Hallmark has a higher output. Both stay in perfect tune. The fit & finish & build quality on the Hallmark is better than the Mosrite; actually one of the best I have seen. Both are pretty heavy, but the Hallmark is heavier. They are both BIG guitars; The Hallmark has a much nicer stock case.

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