Monday, 8 August 2011

Smith Family 10-string Melobar in white finish built by Mosrite
The "upside-down Strat" body shape of this bizarre looking guitar may look familiar, especially following from Bertram's recent blog posts featuring Mosrite guitars. This 10-string Melobar is indeed a Mosrite-built instrument, one of a quantity of 500 that Semie Moseley produced circa 1965 for the Smith Family, the company behind the Melobar name. Apparently 500 of this design were built: 50 finished in white, 50 in blue, 100 in black, 100 in red, and the remaining 200 in sunburst finish. We previously looked at a sunburst example here.

One very quirky feature is the out-of-place 10th machine head (see photo, right). Forgetting the fact that the Melobar pictured has been strung with 6 strings, these were originally designed as 9-string instruments, but were then quickly altered at the factory for 10 strings. So, that odd looking extra machine head is factory original, and is not a later addition by some former owner. It's not the most elegant solution, it must be said.

This intriguing instrument - I'd love to have a go on one but never really got on with slide guitar - is currently being auctioned on eBay with a starting price of $875.

G L Wilson

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