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1967 Mosrite Melobar Walt Smith Electric Lap Steel Guitar White, 100% Original w/ Case


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Up for sale, a 1967 Mosrite Melobar in 100% original condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original hardshell case. Easily one of the rarest instruments produced by Semie Moseley in his Bakersfield, CA factory during the original USA-made run of Mosrite instruments, the Melobar was designed and commissioned by Walt Smith.

The Mosrite Melobar run was limited to just 300 instruments, and the model never officially made it to market, yet these instruments would nonetheless find their way into the hands of players such as Brian Jones, Jimmy Page, and Jefferson Airplane.

An ingenious design engineered so a player could play lap steel from a standing position, the Melobar features a one-piece rock-maple neck-through-bridge assembly attached to the body at a 45 degree angle. Using the Mosrite Mark V as its platform, the Melobar features the same Ventures-esque alder body, with a pair of Mosrite pickups without visible pole pieces. The pickups are wound nice and hot, and with the aluminum bridge and nut, there's plenty of sparkling treble cut and rich low end richness on tap. The Melobar weighs 7lbs 6oz and has been freshly restrung.

The large rounded maple neck features complex fingerboard graphics that have recommended notes for tuning the steel at the nut and larger music note-specific graphics extending up the playing surface along with additional position markers. Knowing Walt Smith was a music teacher, this extensive notation makes perfect sense. The scale length is 24", and the aluminum nut measures 2 1/4" in width. The 9 string design has most strings save for the B grouped in courses, and the original Kluson Deluxe double line tuners all function as intended.

The body features untouched electronics, with Centralab pots that date to 1966. The control plate has bright chrome plating, and the Mosrite M knobs are equally pristine. A pair of thick multi-ply tortoise pickguards frame the central section of the steel, accenting the yellowed white gloss nitro lacquer finish. The finish is 100% original with no touchup or overspray, exhibiting heavy lacquer checking, a bit of lifting finish on the lower bout on the back (finish is stable) and some additional small dings and chips on the body as a whole, primarily on the body perimeter and just south of the controls.

The original black tolex hardshell case is included.