Melobar Nine String Guitars

1967 Mosrite Melobar Nine String

Color: Sunburst Three-tone, Rating: 9.25, Sold (ID# 01361)
Call to Inquire: (818) 222-4113

A Near Mint and All Original 1967 Melobar Nine-String.


1967 Mosrite Melobar Nine String.


This exceptionally rare Melobar Nine-String Guitar weighs just 9.00 lbs. and has a nut width of just under 2 1/3 inches and a scale length of 24.125 inches. Solid alder (Ventures style) body - but without the 'German' carve on the top. One-piece rock-maple neck-through-bridge assembly attached to body at an angle of 45 degrees. Specifically shaped 'slotted' "MeloBar" headstock with angle on the top of the head (with the treble side longer than the bass side) small oval metal plate faced in red and lettered in gold, secured by two pins with "MEL:O:BAR / guitar". Nine individual "double-line" Kluson Deluxe tuners (five on the treble -side, four on the bass-side) with oval white plastic buttons (stamped on the underside "D-169400 / Patent No."). The serial number "055" is stamped in blind into the back of the headstock. Aluminium fretboard faced in black with metal nut and 20 fret markers and 'pac-man' style markings. Two Mosrite single coil pickups with black plastic covers with "Mosrite of California" embossed on the lower edge and outputs of 6.58k and 7.09k. Two three-layer (white/black/white) plastic pickguards, the one on the treble-side with four screws, the one on the bass-side with three screws. Two controls (one volume, one tone) plus three-way pickup selector switch and jack-input, all on right-angled chrome panel secured by sixteen screws. The potentiometers are stamped "134 6614" (Centralab, April 1966). Mosrite 'hat type' control knobs with "M" stamped on top, numbered from 1 to 5 with V and T. Specific Mosrite aluminium bridge (secured by two screws) and specific  chrome-plated nine-hole tailpiece secured by six screws. This super rare and very unusual instrument is in near mint (9.25) condition. Housed in its original three-latch rectangular black hardshell case with red felt lining (8.75).

"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." (Melobar Ted)

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