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Vintage 1960's Silvertone Mosrite Electric Guitar

1960’s Silvertone Mosrite Guitar (Back Catalog Memories)

With the popularity of surf bands – especially The Ventures – taking hold in the late 1960’s, Mosrite guitars started gaining traction. Soon there were many knockoffs coming from Japan, these two with the Silvertone brand. It was a simple, solid body design, with the Mosrite body shape and featuring the slanted pickup mount. But this one had three pickups with individual on/off switches, making it 50% better than the Mosrite. Not! Bolt-on neck with zero fret, truss rod access in the heel and a crazy long tremolo arm. All in all a pretty good budget version of the real deal with great tone. This model also came in 2 pickup versions, another version with slider volume and tone knobs, and for some reason different headstock shapes were available. I am not 100%, but I think this was due to different import companies. So for example, Sears in USA had a different headstock than Sears in Canada. You can also find the identical guitar with alternate branding, such as Kawai.

Vintage 1960's Silvertone Mosrite Electric Guitar

Vintage 1960’s Silvertone Mosrite Electric Guitar

Here’s the original description from the 1969 Sears catalog:

Solid Body Electric Guitars Triple pickup (7 combinations). Three pickup selector switches. Solo selector switch for quick tone changes. Vibrato tailpiece produces Hawaiian and other special effects. Roller-type bridge adjusts. Ebony fingerboard. Edge-bound body. Highly-polished flame sunburst yellow, shaded to red, shaded to mahogany color. With vinyl-covered lined chipboard case. 1445L–Shpg. wt. 14lbs. $5 monthly. Cash $78.95 2 x 13 7/8 x 41 1/4 in.

Mosrite Electric Guitar, The Ventures Model (Blueburst Finish)

Back Catalog Memories: Blueburst Mosrite, Ventures Model

Mosrite Electric Guitar, The Ventures Model (Blueburst Finish)

Mosrite Electric Guitar, The Ventures Model (Blueburst Finish)

It wasn’t long after we moved back to Toronto from California that I acquired this guitar. You have to understand – I’ve bought and sold more guitars in the past 20 years than there are Beatles fans in Liverpool. When you are in the business of buying/selling guitars, you simply cannot afford to get attached to them. Yes, it is hard some times, but in the end this is what pays the bills, so you have to let them go.

That is why this one is so incredibly special. I knew when I first saw her, it might not leave. In fact, in the early years of myrareguitars.com, I used to have a BUY NOW button and a price, just to test my resolve. Every couple of months I would get an offer near my asking price – that would scare the hell out of me – so I would jack the price higher to ward off temptation. But a few years ago I simply surrendered to the fact that I could never part with it at any price. Funny, because I hear stories from guitars players all the time about the guitars they covet and can never let go and I never really had that feeling. But now I did and I completely understand.

It’s not “vintage”, but it is “rare”. In the late 90’s and early 00’s, a Japanese factory was making these incredible Mosrite replica’s. Some had the tailpiece stamped with “excellent” instead of “Moseley” or “Vibramute”. The lower cost ones were selling in the $1,000 range (Excellent) and the “Vibramute” ones were the top end selling for 2-3 times as much. An enterprising young fellow in USA was importing them in low quantities (probably 50 or 60 at a time) and selling them in the early EBAY days. That is how I found this one.

It has a serial number of “0000”, which is cooler than the other side of the pillow. To this day I am still unsure of the factory that made them, but I can tell you this – the quality and craftsmanship is over the top.

There are very few guitars that I keep in my “collection”, this is one of them.
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