Very Rare Melobar W. Smith Guitar 10-String Prototype 1968 Sunburst with OHSC

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Whoa! Check this out...

The first Melobars were made around 1965. They were invented by a musical instrument innovator named Walt Smith. This is from Walt's original patent:

"It is an important object of this invention to provide a Hawaiian type guitar which is played with a bar sliding on the strings and which may be played by a musician in standing position."

This is a Mel-O-Bar pre-Rosac with a scooped headstock. Very rare bird... a prototype, one of only six made as far as I know. Probably made at the Mosritefactory in around 1968. No serial number on the nut but on the back of the headstock is a number etched into the wood... A14. On the headstock is the early Melobar badge... pre-psychodelic!

The fretboard has only the 6311 Yucca St., Hollywood, California address. It appears to be all original with the 1967 Copyright W. Smith fretboard. The pickups have "rounded ears" on the surrounds that differ from the production Rosac that had the squared off pickup surrounds. Also, there is no engraving on the bridge as there was on the production model.

This is from Ted "Melobar Ted" Smith... Walt's son.

"In 1967 (we all know that as a calm year in music) Dad wanted to build a professional level Melobar and went to a friend, Semie Mosely who had started building guitars near Bakersfield, about a half hour from where Dad lived. Semie built around 300 using his pickups, knobs and bodies." - from Melobar Ted's blog.

More from Ted:

"Not a lot of history other than there are very few of them, had the early emblem, not sure if out of the Rosac or Mosrite factory and no one left alive to tell us. Like I said, I like them for the ability to get the long scale 24.5..."

The original case contains a picture of Pat Boone playing a Mel-O-Bar guitar. He was one of the early endorsers of Walt Smith's invention. This from Melobar Ted:

"One of the first Melobar endorsers was Pat Boone just as the Rock scene hit. We have recordings with "Hi This is Pat Boone with my Melobar Guitar..." as part of Dad's easy guitar program."

In the case is the Mel-O-Bar Guitar Songbook.

Check out Ted's Melobar blog. Tons of great info!

You will not find one much more unusual than this one... Electronics function as they should.

Check out the pics because they tell the rest of the story... as they always do! The condition is overall very good with some nicks and scratches.

Shipping quoted is to you in the CONUS, as always... Comes in the original custom Melobar case.

Hey make me an offer... I just might take it. Ya never know!

Due to CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) restrictions, most stringed instruments will only be shipped within the U.S. No exceptions.

Product Specs

Very Good (Used)
Very Good items may show a few slight marks or scratches but are fully functional and in overall great shape.learn more
Brand Melobar
Model Walt Smith Guitar 10-String Prototype
Finish Sunburst
Categories Lap Steel
Year 1968
Made In United States

Knobs as described in very good condition and quick delivery.

Alan K. - January 16, 2020

Fast shipping. Item as described

Bradley S. - January 01, 2020

Accepted Payment Methods

Shipping Policy

Ships from Old Mystic, CT, United States to:

Continental U.S.

For most larger packages, we ship via UPS or USPS and request a signature on our shipments to prevent fraud and theft. (UPS does not ship to P.O. boxes.) Smaller packages and envelopes will be shipped with USPS.

Merchandise will ship usually within 1-2 business weekdays after payment is received. We ship within the continental U.S. as well as AK and HI. Residents of AK or HI please email for shipping quote.

Local pickup is available in Mystic, CT(Located in Southeastern CT). If you decide to do a local pickup, you will not be charged for shipping. Just let us know at the end of the listing.

Due to CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) restrictions, most stringed instruments will only be shipped within the U.S. No exceptions

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Return Policy

Return Window

This product can be returned within 2 days of receipt.

General Terms

Items must be returned in original, as-shipped condition with all original packaging and no signs of use. Buyer assumes responsibility for all return shipping costs unless the item was not received as described.


Buyer receives a full refund in their original payment method less any shipping costs.

Special Conditions

ALL returns must be pre-approved by management. We will accept a return if we are notified by email within 48 hours of receiving the item. Buyer to pay all return shipping and insurance charges. Item must be received in condition it was sent in with NO damage or missing parts or it will be refused. No returns offered for vintage amplifiers, guitar electronics, pedals, electronics or tubes due to their fragile nature.

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Mystic Guitar

Old Mystic, CT, United States
Joined: Dec 2013

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