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This guitar is an exceedingly rare and desirable piece of Americana vintage guitar history.  It is almost impossible to find any original vintage Mosrite guitar in this condition, let alone one this rare.  A photo of this particular guitar appears on the cover on the November 1994 issue of Vintage Guitar magazine.  This issue also includes an article discussing this guitar.  This VG issue will be provided with the sale as will the original hardshell case, strap, and case key in its manila packet.  This rare Mosrite is in near-mint condition with very strong and great sounding pickups. The bridge pickup reads 11.0 ohms. & the neck pickup reads 11.08 ohms. Very straight neck with a perfect neck joint, mute pad still in excellent condition, great action, and no issues.  The guitar weighs in at 7 lbs. 7 oz.  This is an instrument for the very astute vintage guitar collector who appreciates the importance and rarity of this particular guitar.  Due to the price of this guitar payment must be made via bank wire only. Also, shipping will only be via UPS Next Day Air, fully insured.

Here are some details concerning this Mosrite Joe Maphis guitar taken from the article in VG magazine:

“Semi Moseley built his first guitar when he was eighteen years old.  At age nineteen he met country music's premier guitarist, Joe Maphis.  The outcome of this meeting was the construction of the now famous Joe Maphis double-necked guitar, which currently resides in the Country Music Hall of Fame.  Despite this triumph and his continued association with Joe Maphis, Semi's rise to fame did not occur until 1962 when he met Nokkie Edwards, lead guitarist for The Ventures.  

The design of the Ventures model Mosrite guitar did not arise from back office meetings and design sessions with the group, as one might suspect.  In fact, the basic guitar had already been built in 1959.  According to Andy Moseley, Semi's younger brother, they built five guitars in 1959, which ultimately became the earliest prototype of the Ventures model.  This Mosrite is in pristine condition with a case to match, and it appears to have never been played.

As is evident from the photos, the body design and contour is virtually identical to the Ventures model which first appeared in 1963, complete with binding and side-mounted output jack.  The neck, which is glued in, is the same narrow "speed neck" with small flat frets so characteristic of the Ventures model.  The body end, however, is rounded off and not cut at an angle to conform to that of the rhythm pickup.  Probably the most obvious difference is the shape of the headstock.  It has a squared-off end (not angled) with a deep "M" carved out.  The logo is silk screened on, and according to Andy Moseley, it was put on after the clear coat so that it is not protected.  Two of the five guitars (including the one pictured) were dubbed "Joe Maphis Model by Mosrite of California", while the other three sported only "Mosrite of California".  The serial numbers were stamped into the wood, Gibson style, on these models.

A close look at the tail-piece (which is aluminum and was totally hand-made) reveals that it is recessed into a body route, which is approximately 1/4 inch deep.  Surrounding this tailpiece is a black plastic plate, which was intended to hide the edges of the route.  Semi referred to it as a "mistake plate" and used several variations of it on many guitars that he built.  In fact, some of the other four of this model also have mistake plates around the pickups. The vibrato mechanism, which is a spring-controlled unit similar to the subsequent Ventures model, is supported by two bearings, which were obtained from an airplane parts store. The vibrato arm is also cast aluminum.

The pickups are mounted directly to the top of the body and are not adjustable.  There are no plastic rings surrounding them as in the

Ventures model.  The pickup covers were hand made by melting plastic into a mold using the kitchen oven as the heat source.  Semi made all of his pickups in this manner until 1961 when he contracted someone else to make them for him.  They were all hand wound.  

Other features, which set it apart from the early Ventures model, include the clear plastic Guild-style control knobs (the earliest Ventures models had black ones) and the use of slot-head screws throughout, even the pickup pole pieces.

There was a small number of transition models built between 1959 and 1963, probably thirty or forty.  It was one of these, which Nokkie Edwards first used and eventually bought because he liked the sound, the action of the neck and the positive public response to the design.  The rest, as they say, is history.”

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Listed7 years ago
ConditionExcellent (Used)
Excellent items are almost entirely free from blemishes and other visual defects and have been played or used with the utmost care.Learn more
  • Joe Maphis
  • Sunburst
  • 1959
Made In
  • United States
Body Type
  • Semi-Hollow Body

Overland Express Guitars

Kirksville, MO, United States
Joined Reverb:2015

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