Other Guitars

OK, Mosrite & Mosritalike Questions from a Newly Converted Shopper


Never having paid much attention to the details of Mosrites and their reproductions, but now realizing a Mosritey guitar would be a good thing to want, I'm looking for the quick version of which to look for and which to avoid.

I don't have nearly enough interest to pursue a vintage Mosey, so that's right out. And I'd rather not have anything Ed Roman had anything to do with - unless that was simply the best repro ever.

I was very impressed with the workmanship and general quality of the Hallmarks I saw at the Guitar Geek festival (which was by far my most concentrated exposure to all things Mosritey.)

I've visited that website at various times, and see there's a Custom 60 (with a set neck) and Custom 65 (with a bolt-on). I don't know which of those versions I should want, so that's my first specific question.

I've heard nothing but good about Bob Shade, and both have his pickups and killer tremolo - and nut widths wide enough to play. That all sounds good to me, I like the color selection, and the pricing is fair. So Hallmark is where I'd go by default.

I wouldn't know how those pickups compare in tone to originals, but if they're in the infield, I'm good. Minute Mosrite-manic discussions of pickup minutiae will likely be meaningless to me. So unless they're known to horribly miss the whole point of Mosriting, they're probably good enough for me. (I'm interested, though, in general characterizations of how they compare to the originals.)

I gather there are other one-true-genuine-Mosrite competitors who argue about who's the Mosrightest, and who's Moswrong. I'm curious about those - how they compare to the Hallmarks, and how available such guitars even are.

Then, I think, there are numerous lower-end companies who make stuff that at least looks Mosritey - but since the Mosrite design is my least favorite thing about the guitar, "looking" Mosrite is meaningless to me if the sound and performance aren't there. So I'm guessing I maybe don't take Dano and Eastwood versions very seriously. But I could be wrong.

Any guidance?


Before we get too far down this thread - let's bring up the Mosrite / String Unwinding "known issue with tailpiece" that I heard mentioned in another thread - something to call out/be aware of.



Being a Mosrite player for a bit of a while now, as well as the admin on MosriteForum.com, I wouldn't rule out vintage Mosrites - the Celebrity models are still affordable and have the great Mosrite neck.

The Hallmarks are perfectly fine guitars, but Bob specifically changed some elements to make the guitars more comfortable/familiar to non Mosrite players. That's all fine and well, but there's a certain magic missing.

The Japanese Mosrites, on the other hand, are really, really close to the real deal. I've held a Kurokumo "Excellent" model next to a '66 Ventures model and besides the taller frets on the Kurokumo, the guitars were remarkably similar in playing feel and tone.

Artie Nieson at Front Porch Music in Bakersfield is the Mosrite king - his shop is a museum of vintage and modern Mosrites. He's usually got a bunch of MIJ Mosrites in the shop so maybe give him a call. You can tell him I sent you.


I have a Hallmark 65 Custom and while it's not a stone cold reproduction of a vintage Mosrite, the tweaks that Bob Shade has made do make the guitars much more playable without destroying the character of a vintage Mosrite. The nut width (zero fret) is 1 5/8 vs 1 1/2 , the Hallmark neck profile is slim but a bit more girth than a typical vintage Mosrite and while the frets are still vintage size, they are crowned as opposed to flat and super low. It all still adds up to a guitar with low, fast action but is very easy to play. The tweaks go beyond just playability. The Hallmark Shade vibrato and roller bridge use superior quality materials and the tolerances and workmanship are consistently excellent. Some say that the Hallmark pu's sound a bit different than the original Mosrites but are still very close while not suffering from the hum, squeal and feedback of the originals. The Hallmark bodies are made of alder vs the basswood of the originals. Overall quality, fit/finish, fretwork, etc on my Hallmark is as good, if not better than a USA made Fender. The Hallmark necks are also incredibly stable....since I got the 65 Custom last summer I have yet to touch the truss rod. While the Hallmarks are not perfect reproductions of a vintage Mosrite, they will get you pretty close and are just superb guitars overall that can't be beat at 999.00 incl a very cool faux gator HSC. IMO, the coolest thing about vintage Mosrites, the MIJ repros and Hallmarks is that they have their own unique sound that sets them apart from Fender, Gibson, Gretsch, etc. They are not one trick ponies either. Those high output big single coils can of course do surf and instro, but they are also great rock, blues and rockabilly guitars. If you want a more in depth review of a my Hallmark 65 Custom, including pictures, check out my post "NGD: Hallmark 65 Custom".


Well, maybe there is a Prote universe for Mosrite -- this is good news.

Hallmarks are from around here -- I almost went for their medium scale single p/u bass. and was going to go over to his place to check one out. A guy I know goes over there

I wondered if they came from the Same Korean Dudes who make the DiPinto guitars and basses. The newer repro Hallmarks may be more playable than the originals.

But none in the works for me -- the new reality around here is 24"= long scale, 22.5= short scale, maple neck only, so it's back to Fender for the 1st time in 18 years.


Thanks for that link, Don, and the input from y'all other fellers.

I'm no stranger to or enemy of quirk, so if I can just get over the angled neck pickup, I'll probably be fine. I'm learning to tolerate the body shape, and I'll just ignore the M-cut headstock.

There's no deadline, but at least Moseying is distinctly on my radar now.


Get a kool Hallmark Mosrite bass also.


basswood bodies in the 60s...well, there's a new one on me.


basswood bodies in the 60s...well, there's a new one on me.

– macphisto

Semie Moseley, when he started Mosrite had very little in the way of machinery and tooling, so a lot of the woodwork was done with hand tools. Some theorize that he chose basswood for the bodies because it was softer and easier to carve and work with given the limited tools he had.


I've been playing Mosrite Celebrities since 1987 which ironically led me to Gretsch guitars about ten years ago. As Mel mentioned, if you are open to a hollow body then a vintage Celebrity or Combo is a great choice and affordable. Of the Celebrities, being the guitar snob I am, I would opt for a Gospel first, a Celebrity-I second. If it's single coil you're after then look for 1972 and earlier. After that Semie went to humbuckers. A 1974 Celebrity-I Deluxe with phase switches would be at the top of my wish list.

Anything you want to know about Celebrity, I'm your girl!

As to the solid bodied Mosrites I'd tap on Mel's advice or Deke Dickerson.


Thanks for the word, Sarah - and it's great to see you here. Hope you're doing well.

I'll check out some Celebrities...though my under-informed stereotype of Mosrites has them as solidbodies.

And yes'm, Mel and I are in contact about the subject. Deke's above my paygrade.


Between a hollowbody Mosrite and a solidbody, I'd get a solidbody. I tried a hollowbody which was a Celebrity. I loved it but if I was to get my first Mosrite I'd get a Mark 1 style. Here is a guy playing a reissue 63 which is a set neck and has body binding. These are very expensive, even used. For a set neck with binding I'd look into a Hallmark. Good work, lots of finishes and price is good. If you get a bolt on the same goes. Like Mel say the Hallmarks are not exactly the same as a Mosrite but I think they are close enough. You get the sound without the struggle of a narrow slim neck.


Here is a good consistent player playing a Hallmark and two new Mosrites -


Thanks for the word, Sarah - and it's great to see you here. Hope you're doing well.

I'll check out some Celebrities...though my under-informed stereotype of Mosrites has them as solidbodies.

And yes'm, Mel and I are in contact about the subject. Deke's above my paygrade.

– Proteus

Yeah, if anyone here can point you in the right direction to a good deal on a Mosrite it's Mel. He is the most knowledgeable person at the GDP for all things Mosrite.

So are you going to search for a Mosrite brand or Hallmark? The Deke models is nice but a traditional Mosrite or a Hallmark 65 or 60 Mark 1 style is the way to go.


Personally, I think the MIJ Mosrites are superior to Hallmarks in that they are closer to the "built in soul" of Semie's originals. The lower line models (Avengers, Rangers) are in the same ballpark as Hallmarks price wise and are more accurate reproductions. I mean, if someone could buy a Gretsch, or something that looks like a Gretsch but has a different neck, different frets, different brand logo, and a vibrato that looked different than the original, which would you recommend they buy?

The Hallmarks are fine guitars, but they aren't as "rite" as the MIJ Mosrites.

I'd also second Sarah - give a good look at the vintage hollowbody Celebrity models. My favorite is the Celebrity II, which has the neck attached further out from the body for better fret access. Sort of like a Gibson ES-335 vs ES-330, except all the Celebs are fully hollow. You lose some of the attack of the solid bodies, but still distinctly Mosrite in feel and tone.


This one from Japan is a good price if it is an Excellent brand. Under $1,000 with shipping. I suspect it's an non-Avenger Firstman or early Fillmore which are good. I would consider this if looking for a Mosrite -



Regarding the Mosrite basses, a little anecdote from two days ago:

I was recording the bass for a song which I did with a 66 Ventures bass. Then I thought I should try my 66 Precision Bass. After a couple of notes, the whole room said, "No, use the Ventures Bass".

Here is an old picture of it--sorry can't get it right side up!

I also put a 60s Mosrite guitar pick up in the bridge position of my 60 Anniversary and it is my favorite sounding pick up.


knavel that's a beautiful bass. Those do sound great.


So yeah. Based on preponderance of informed opinion here, I think I’ll forgo Hallmark in favor of one of the Japanese Moslikes - more thorough authenticity, and they kinda look realer to me.

Reckon they have the proper Mosrite neck and playfeel as well, and I should probably get the whole experience before settling for a neutered modernized neck.

Both those Ebay finds look right, Polecats, and I appreciate your efforts in finding them. Their pricing and condition convince me that’s the way to go.

Thanks to recent GAS-relief expenditures (and spousely reaction thereto), I’ll probably have to postpone Mosrighteousness for a few months - or at least till I decide on and perform some herd-thinning. I now know to watch Ebay for these - oddly, Reverb doesn’t have as much choice in Mosrite types.

On a related note, if anyone has done a direct comparison...I wonder how close the reissue Yamaha SGV series of the early 2000s are in tone to Mosrite? I HAVE one of those, and quite like it. It also has fat single coils, an angled pup position, and an elaborate tremolo.


I love those SGV models. I have tried those. About 1999 or so Guitar Center was carrying a boat load of these. The SGV and Mosrites sound totally different in my opinion and feel different too. I think Mel probably has tried the SGV as well and can describe things better.


knavel that's a beautiful bass. Those do sound great.

– ThePolecats

Thank you. I'm glad this topic came up as it reminded me I need to take proper pictures of that instrument which I will do tomorrow.


Thank you. I'm glad this topic came up as it reminded me I need to take proper pictures of that instrument which I will do tomorrow.

– knavel

Start a new discussion about your Bass in the Bass discussion. Lots of pics too since you will be taking some pictures.

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