Mel-O-Bar Mosrite Body c. 1968 3 Tone Sunburst

New Price$1,250
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Listed:6 years ago
Sold By
Gryphon Stringed Instruments
Palo Alto, CA, United States
Joined Reverb

This Melobar nine-string guitar is the earliest version of the unusual "stand-up" steel guitar. It was made sometime in the late 1960s by Mosrite and has two Mosrite pickups as well as a Mosrite body. It weighs around 9.00 lbs. and has a nut width of just under 2 1/3 inches and a scale length of 24.125 inches. The nine-string neck assembly is attached to the body at an angle of 45 degrees. The aluminium fretboard is black with a metal nut and 20 fret markers. This guitar is in excellent condition with some very minor finsih crazing. It includes the original hardshell case.

Here's some more info from Melobar Ted, who knows all there is to know about these unusual guitars: "The really first production Melobars were manufactured for Walt Smith at the Mosrite factory in Bakersfield California in 1967. The identifying factors are: Mosrite body, Mosrite labeled pickups, Chrome control panel, Kluson Keys, a angle on the top of the head so the treble side is longer than the bass side of the head. Pick guards, fret boards were usually a pac man look. Odd 23" scale from nut to bridge. Various bridges were installed, nut's often had a serial number on the key side of the angle. The string spacing was very tight trying to squeeze in 9-strings or 10 on a 6-string pickup. The history is that Rye Cooder said the string spacing was too tight and Walt mothballed the entire lot of 300 plus guitars. We now know that the Rolling Stones Brian Jones somehow got a hold of one and loaned it to Jimmy Page just before he died. This was also the guitar model Jefferson Airplane used on the Crown of Creation Album. A few guitars were stolen out of a vehicle at the LA airport which have never been tracked down. After Walt Smiths death in 1991 his son Ted Smith dug into the back dusty pile of old Mosrites that had not seen the light of day since 1967. A article in Guitar Player magazine called Melobars Basement Genius highlighted these guitars and nearly all of them were sold to collectors."

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