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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Gear »

Permalink Thinking About Buying a Hallmark Custom 60

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Never played one. What is the neck comparable to? Will play everything from surf to hard rock on it. Hallmark owners please tell me about these guitars!

The Kahuna Kings

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Kahuna-Kings/459752090818447

https://thekahunakings.bandcamp.com/releases

No idea, but just wanted to note the dutch flag finish is awesome.

They who die with the fewest control knobs, win.

- "The Mysterious" Tqi.

I'm a Custom 65 owner which is just the bolt-on version. I'm by no means a Hallmark expert.

I think the guitar is well-built overall.

I like the feel of the neck, it reminds me of a mid-90s MIJ JM neck, except with a much flatter radius - 14", I believe. The neck is Gibson scale at 24.75. I haven't owned a guitar with this scale before. I am liking it.

The pickups sound great to me. They seem to have a body to them and they are hot. They can be tamed.

I have some minor tuning issues, there seem to be overtones from the string guide. My G and sometimes B and e strings sound slightly out of tune when played open. I also seem to have some intonation problems. Returning to pitch works if the string guide has some lubrication.

The guitar has some quirks and a good tech will figure their way around them.

I can't speak to how they sound compared to an original Mosrite as I've never owned or played one. It looks the part authentically enough.

I enjoy this guitar but it does take some adjustment.

I have a 65C currently and have previously also owned a Deke II. The necks are narrow and round, and the fretboards are very flat, but surprisingly comfortable and easy to get around on. There is no adjustment going from a Fender neck to a Hallmark.

It is possible to set them up with insanely low action, with zero fret buzz up and down the entire two octaves.

The neck is very stable and can be used with .011s without any problems, but the guitar seems to be the most responsive with .010s. I haven't had ANY tuning issues, I can whammy on it 'til the cows come home, and it will not go out of tune. The 'Shade Vibrato' is excellent, very smooth and sensitive, with plenty of range in either direction.

The pickups are wound hot and it sounds kind of dark, yet it has plenty of clarity.

Last edited: Jul 29, 2022 10:14:28

Thanks!

The Kahuna Kings

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Kahuna-Kings/459752090818447

https://thekahunakings.bandcamp.com/releases

If I remember correctly, the 60C and 65C come with roundwound GHS .010's.
I've used roundwound D'Addario NYXL and XT .010's on my 65C and both work well. I've read of some people reporting issues with high strings breaking at the bridge, with the cure being soldering the ends. I recommend visiting one if the Hallmark Guitars Owners and Fans Group on Facebook for more detail.

Some have experienced problems with the unwound strings breaking at the ball ends.
My 65 Custom came new with GHS Reinforced Boomers 10-46 (they have reinforced ball ends on the unwound strings). I have continued to use reinforced ball end strings on my Hallmark and have had no issue with strings breaking. Ernie Ball also makes reinforced strings. The reinforced strings don't cost much more than regular strings. The only problem I have found is my local music shops generally don't stock them and I typically have to order them from places like Just Strings.

Last edited: Jul 26, 2022 15:17:59

I would get a ‘65 over a Custom ‘60. They are identical except the ‘65 has a bolt-on neck with an all wood finish while the C60 has a glued neck with finished peghead and back.

As far as the guitar itself (I have 2 ‘65s)... I have 8 guitars, each of which costs at least twice what a new ‘65/C60 sell for and if I could only keep one it would be the Hallmark. The quality is on par than a vintage style US Fender.

The Hallmark vibrato is the smoothest and most (stay) in tune of any vintage style vibrato I have played. This would include all Fenders, Bigsby et cetera.

Makai

A couple of weeks ago, I placed an order with Bob Shade for a Hallmark '65 Custom with a custom finish. I'm fairly local to Bob so I'll be picking up the guitar in person when it's ready.

I'm super excited - I previously owned a Hallmark Les Fradkin Signature (60 Custom) and it was a guitar I definitely regret moving on.

The doofus formerly known as Snorre
Surfysonic on YouTube
World Famous Philistines: 2014 - 2015
K39: 2013 - 2014
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gv9JADQ4ukw

Yes, due to the authentically Mosrite-derived tailpiece, the unwound strings can come unwrapped at the ball-ends. Soldering the wraps is one solution, as is using super-glue, which also works fine. There is no need to jump through hoops locating a vendor who sells reinforced strings.

DrakeSequation wrote:

I would get a ‘65 over a Custom ‘60. They are identical except the ‘65 has a bolt-on neck with an all wood finish while the C60 has a glued neck with finished peghead and back.

The 60C also has body binding whereas the 65C does not.

stratdancer wrote:

Never played one. What is the neck comparable to?

In my experience, the neck is quite similar in feel to the one on my 1984 Rickenbacker 330, narrow and round, but with a flatter fretboard radius.

beatcomber wrote:

DrakeSequation wrote:

I would get a ‘65 over a Custom ‘60. They are identical except the ‘65 has a bolt-on neck with an all wood finish while the C60 has a glued neck with finished peghead and back.

The 60C also has body binding whereas the 65C does not.

That’s right. I thought I missed something.

Makai

The string guide and the B and E strings breaking are the only issues. If you lube the string guide well and use reinforced B and E strings (NYXL strings work very well) the guitar is great.

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