Gretsch Garage Sale

NGD : Hallmark Swept Wing

1

Looking for a used Hallmark Swept Wing. Sparkle preferred, but as long as it's not a bass, all OK.

2

Hard to find these used. There's one on Reverb. However, it's the set-neck, flametop Custom version. You might want to check out some of the Surf Guitar forums like Surf Guitar 101.

3

Yeah, I figure it's gonna be tricky. I cross posted to surfguitar101 and offset guitars, I'm hoping to hit some of those people who may have one who might be ready to shake theirs loose.

I like the one on reverb but I like the "vintage" series, I think the pickguard counterbalances the weird shape and frames the shape really well.

4

I'm eaten up w/ the Hallmark 32" scale single p/u Mosrite bass

5

I have a Hallmark 65 Custom (the Mosrite clone) and it's a great guitar. You can check out the thread/review I did on it in "Other Guitars" here. You might want to also check out the Hallmark Owners and Players Facebook Page. Folks give heads-ups on guitars for sale there too. People tend to hang onto Hallmarks and Swept Wings are not as common as the Mosrite style guitars but one is bound to show up if you're patient. The Mosrite Forum would also be a place to look. Happy hunting.

8

I had a few people message me about it - I've messaged the seller, we'll see where it goes. Thanks!

9

It's got some pretty good sized stress cracks at the neck joint, I'm passing on it.

11

I think I'm just gonna cut some pedals loose and buy one new - that way I can get the color I want and not have to fool with it.

I love the "chase" but not at the expense of practicing actually playing guitar. lol

13

The one on Reverb appears to be sold. New looks like a great option. Bob Shade is fantastic to deal with. He answers emails fast and customer service is top notch. Hallmarks tend to hold their value pretty well. People who buy them generally know what they want and are getting and tend to hang on to them. Keep us posted on how you make out.

15

@Gretschadelphia -

I'm dang impressed. This is a solid guitar.

It's hard to imagine what one of these weird brands will play like - especially when you can't get your hands on one in the wild. If I had to compare the fit, finish, build and quality to any guitar that I've played recently I'd say a Reverend. It's got a finished neck (like my Danelectro) that I love. The single coils are hot. HOT hot. The whammy/trem system is super smooth.

I'm still getting used to how close the whammy bar is to the pickups - looking at the picture above my Jet Bigbsy more or less is close to what my Jazzmaster is - and the Hallmark handle is way north of that - right next to the bridge pickup.

Other than the bridge/whammy bar - which I may eventually move two or three inches south - it's a tight guitar, I love it.

My drummer said it makes me look twenty years younger too. lol

16

Congrats and welcome to the Hallmark Club. Your new Swept Wing is a beauty.....love the red sparkle. Did you find one used or did you get a new one? See if you can get used to the whammy placement on the Hallmark. The stock location provides just the right break angle over the bridge saddles. The strings won't pop out under a heavy right hand attack and you still get a nice easy responsive action. Also, if you haven't noticed yet, the string holes on the vibrato are height staggered to create a different break angle for each string to balance tension. Another option is to talk to Bob Shade, I'm pretty sure he has shortened the vibrato arm for some folks or could make you a custom length arm. Gotta love those Hallmarks. They are definitely different but in a good way and the quality is off the charts at that price point. One question, what's scale length? The Hallmark website says 25.5" for the model you have and 24.75" for the Custom w/ the figured top.

17

Thanks! I got it new, impatience ruled the day. Oddly enough it doesn't have a serial number on it.

I'm slowly getting used to the arm length - there's songs that I'm doing that I have to reorganize my brain on how I'm going to play them, I probably care more about the waggle than my band mates but still getting used to it.

I hadn't done a full inspection on the vibrato, but you're right - that's pretty trick. I haven't measured the scale length, I'll have to do that later - I'm presuming it's 25.5 - but I don't really know.

18

Yeah, it's 25.5.

You're right, at this price point it's a super killer guitar.

19

Those high output single coil Hallmark pu's sound great....lot's of usable tones. To me, they kind of sound like a mash up of Fender and Dynasonic with a little P-90 thrown in but in the end, a unique sound of their own. I really like them with my outboard tube reverb tank cranked up for surf tones. Plenty of drip but the Hallmark pu's keep the shrill high end at bay that you can get with Fender type pu's. I would love to drop a pair of Hallmark pu's into a hollowbody guitar. The larger sized pu's that come in the Custom 60 and 65 might be the same dimensions as a standard sized Gibson style humbucker and use the same type of mounting ring so it might not be too difficult.

20

I love the pickups, I want to open it up and check for shielding though. The one upside and down side is that they're so high gain. lol

The pickups look skinny, but I haven't taken it apart, so I don't know what's going on there yet. I have to re-calibrate my entire pedalboard for this guitar so that's first on my list.

21

I'm almost positive they are Alnico magnets...but which one's I have no idea. Bob Shade tweaked the original vintage pu's so they wouldn't squeal with high gain and volume (the originals were notorious for squeal, feedback, and hum). The only issue that I have had with my Custom 65 is static crackle from the pick guard. Rubbing a dryer sheet on the pick guard kills the static (I have the same problem with my Tele). I have found the pu's on the 65 to be surprisingly quiet for big high output single coils....very little 60 cycle hum and my basement with all the old wiring is the 60 cycle hum capital of the East Coast. I still use the EHX Hum Debugger on my pedal board as I have really gotten used to not having the hum. It can never hurt to shield the pick guard and the cavities though. The stock pots are 250K. Some folks have changed them out for 500K's for more high end but I haven't felt the need.

22

Man, I love Bob Shade's pickups, and the trem design is one of the best ever.

I just don't like the looks of any of the guitars. Totally my fault, I know, and I mean no disrespect to them what love them. Just something about them doesn't suit my aesthetic taste.

Actually, the Swept Wing might come close - but I've had one too many guitars that won't stay on my leg when I play sitting down (which is, like, always). So I've learned that lesson.

Wonder how his hardware would do in a partscaster of some sort. Like maybe that semi-hollow Jazzmaster the guy in the northwest makes...

23

I'm still working through hum, I switched to the lower gain input on my deluxe reverb and that cured most of it. I've got an EHX hum debugger, but it didn't seem to do anything. It's not bad but of course, it's more than I'm used to after filtertrons and humbuckers. In an alternate universe I would have the neck pickup wound in reverse and do a Jazzmaster deal where middle position kills the hum. Also picked up a EHX Silencer which didn't seem to do too much, which is ok, I got it super cheap.

On that note, I have a cable tester in route, I have tons of cables and no idea if the cables i picked up from an "estate sale" are actually any good and may be part of some of the noise I'm hearing.

I learned to play sitting down, but for some reason I can only play decently when I'm standing up. I think it's range of motion with my picking hand and my arm geometry. Weird. The wing doesn't sit on your lap, but I think it looks fantastic.....of course we know I have really strange tastes in guitars. LOL

24

IMO, the Swept Wing is a pretty simple, clean design. I am just really taken with the looks of the 60 and 65 Customs and prefer the shorter 24.75" scale. I run my 65 in this order: guitar, pedal board, outboard tube reverb tank unit, DeLisle Nickel Box amp. The EHX Hum Debugger is the first pedal in the effects chain on my board. Keeps things quiet even with lots of gain. I did recently get rid of the fluorescent light in my basement and replaced it with an LED fixture and that definitely got rid of some of the 60 cycle hum.


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