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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Gear »

Permalink Why Hallmark guitars are all I use now

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Not sure yet if Hallmark will be all I use from now on but this thread seemed like the place to post this.

My (obviously wonderful) wife surprised me with a fire sparkle burst Custom 60 this last Thursday for my 40th birthday. Previous I had only played the MoAM? model, but I've wanted a Mosrite-style for a while now. Guess my whinging on the topic didn't go unnoticed! My wife is now a huge fan of Bob Shade and has nothing but good words about her experience covertly buying a Hallmark.

So far, I feel instantly bonded with this guitar - Feels, plays and sounds great. Its a fun departure from my usual Jazzmaster/Dipinto noodling and has me mixing up my style quite a bit. This guitar has some teeth and is lots of fun to play.

And that sparkle finish is bonkers.

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From past me to future you

That thing is hot!!!

Resurrecting an old thread - but I was in the studio yesterday tracking with my Hallmark swept wing and the G string was unwinding!

It was kind of a bummer, I had it in the shop a few weeks ago to repair a bad input jack and the guy said that he could take care of the tailpiece so that it wouldn't unwind the strings. Long story short, he spent a ton of time deburring the holes and finally gave up after losing two sets of B and E's. He ended up putting heatshrink tubing around the windings on the E and B strings. Unfortunately, he didn't wrap the G string and it started unwinding after some judicious vibrato usage.

Since the shrink tubing is opaque, I can't tell if the E and B are also unwinding (I doubt they are, but who knows). Interested in using another ball end as suggested earlier in this thread. The Swept-Wing has a really killer tone, I'm trying my darnest to get it stable so I can trust it on stage.

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Bango Rilla!


The GO-GO Rillas
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Bango_Rilla wrote:

Resurrecting an old thread - but I was in the studio yesterday tracking with my Hallmark swept wing and the G string was unwinding!

It was kind of a bummer, I had it in the shop a few weeks ago to repair a bad input jack and the guy said that he could take care of the tailpiece so that it wouldn't unwind the strings. Long story short, he spent a ton of time deburring the holes and finally gave up after losing two sets of B and E's. He ended up putting heatshrink tubing around the windings on the E and B strings. Unfortunately, he didn't wrap the G string and it started unwinding after some judicious vibrato usage.

Since the shrink tubing is opaque, I can't tell if the E and B are also unwinding (I doubt they are, but who knows). Interested in using another ball end as suggested earlier in this thread. The Swept-Wing has a really killer tone, I'm trying my darnest to get it stable so I can trust it on stage.

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I had a shade trem on my SG that this would happen to. When I changed strings, I’d tin the ball ends with solder so they wouldn’t unwrap.
Problem solved.

I've soldered the ball ends before, works fine I'm looking for an easier solution, at least until I'm famous enough to have a guitar tech with me 24x7 to solder the ball ends for me. lol

Bango Rilla!


The GO-GO Rillas
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A drop of superglue on the windings around the ball-- that worked for me (on a DiPinto vibrato high E string). Dollar store superglue.

The Insanitizers! http://www.insanitizers.com

Superglue is a great idea. My 65 Custom is strung with GHS Boomers with Reinforced Ball Ends as per Bob Shades recommendation and they work great. Next string change I will being trying some Ernie Balls with reinforced ends. I have also heard that Fender Bullets work well. Nice thing about Fender Bullet strings is that they come in Pure Nickel, nickel plated alloy and stainless steel and they are relatively cheap.

Super glue would be easy and definitely worth trying. thanks!

Bango Rilla!


The GO-GO Rillas
Bandcamp| Facebook | Instagram

I just ordered a Custom 60 in sunburst about three weeks ago. Amazing, amazing guitar from build quality to playability and sound. I originally wanted a Jazzmaster and I had placed an order for a MIM 60th anniversary which was basically the same price if not a few dollars more. I was completely blown away by how much of a total piece of garbage it was. The bridge rubbish, the neck was unrefined and just a total lack of quality control. (I do own an early 90's Japanese jaguar and it is fabulous) If this is what Fender is putting out for over a thousand dollars. No thanks. Regardless, I sent it back and ordered a Custom 60 and when I received it was like Jazzmaster what? This thing rocks.

It is pretty common for Mosrite and Hallmark guitars to have this issue. And it has nothing to do with any burrs. It is an issue inherant to the vibrato. I have been soldering the ball ends of my unwound strings for years to remedy the problem.

THE KBK ... This is the last known signal. We offer Sanctuary.

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vanemeth wrote:

I just ordered a Custom 60 in sunburst about three weeks ago. Amazing, amazing guitar from build quality to playability and sound. I originally wanted a Jazzmaster and I had placed an order for a MIM 60th anniversary which was basically the same price if not a few dollars more. I was completely blown away by how much of a total piece of garbage it was. The bridge rubbish, the neck was unrefined and just a total lack of quality control. (I do own an early 90's Japanese jaguar and it is fabulous) If this is what Fender is putting out for over a thousand dollars. No thanks. Regardless, I sent it back and ordered a Custom 60 and when I received it was like Jazzmaster what? This thing rocks.

You and I could definitely be friends -- Its a JM, not a Jag, but a mid-90s CIJ that I bought new almost 25 years ago. And after owning my Hallmark for 3 years now, I can assure you, it will continue to rock!

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From past me to future you

rottenman wrote:

vanemeth wrote:

I just ordered a Custom 60 in sunburst about three weeks ago. Amazing, amazing guitar from build quality to playability and sound. I originally wanted a Jazzmaster and I had placed an order for a MIM 60th anniversary which was basically the same price if not a few dollars more. I was completely blown away by how much of a total piece of garbage it was. The bridge rubbish, the neck was unrefined and just a total lack of quality control. (I do own an early 90's Japanese jaguar and it is fabulous) If this is what Fender is putting out for over a thousand dollars. No thanks. Regardless, I sent it back and ordered a Custom 60 and when I received it was like Jazzmaster what? This thing rocks.

You and I could definitely be friends -- Its a JM, not a Jag, but a mid-90s CIJ that I bought new almost 25 years ago. And after owning my Hallmark for 3 years now, I can assure you, it will continue to rock!

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LOVE IT!

That's a lovely pair of surf weapons! I owned a JM just like yours once. Wish I never sold it now! Great guitars.

I'd really like to check out some Hallmarks one day. They look amazing. Bob Shade is a cool guy, too.

imafunkyman wrote:

I want a Stradette!

For a while I owned a Stradette. The edge of the body cut into the middle of my right forearm. This was uncomfortable and distracting. No other guitar I have played (solid or archtop) did this. I sold the Stradette and do not miss it.

I liked the looks, the vibrato worked beautifully, and the guitar stayed in tune well.

I believe the pickups differ from the swept wing and Mosrite-style Hallmarks. In my opinion the Stradette pickups suit rockabilly accompaniment more than surf lead guitar. The guitar was surprisingly heavy. The Stradette seems a try before you buy instrument.

The Insanitizers! http://www.insanitizers.com

Last edited: Feb 20, 2019 15:15:31

MantaMike wrote:

That's a lovely pair of surf weapons! I owned a JM just like yours once. Wish I never sold it now! Great guitars.

Thanks man! Yea, I'm spiritually bonded with that JM by this point. It currently has Lollar JM pups in it and I could not be happier! The darker Hallmark tone provides a great contrast to the JM when the mood strikes.

... still want a Jag tho...

From past me to future you

Finally placed an order for a Hallmark 60 Custom!!!!!! It should be arriving in a few days... Big Grin

MantaMike wrote:

Finally placed an order for a Hallmark 60 Custom!!!!!! It should be arriving in a few days... Big Grin

I've got a 65 Custom with Dana-Mo pickups, but I love the looks of the 60 Custom with the binding.

Any pics of that new Hallmark yet?

MantaMike wrote:

Finally placed an order for a Hallmark 60 Custom!!!!!! It should be arriving in a few days... Big Grin

From past me to future you

I placed an order today, but it is going to be a while (90 days at least) since I am smitten by that ridiculous Sunset Sparkle. Bob said he did have a Golden Sparkle in stock.

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