The Mosrite Guitar Company
Semie Moseley - Mosrite Guitars
California, 1950, Semie Moseley started building his own guitars out of a need for a better guitar. A friend of Moseley, a preacher named Rev. Ray Boatright, was impressed with Moseley's guitar designs, and put up the money for Moseley to start his guitar company. In gratitude, Moseley named the company by combining his and Boatright's last names.
Mosrite Guitars, USA has been owned by Semi's daughter Dana since her father passed. She has now licensed the guitars to be built by guitar guru Ed Roman for several years now. Though many say there will never be another true Mosrite because Semi is gone, a credible reissue has been established through Fillmore Guitars of Japan.
Design And Function
There can be only one Mosrite
Mosrite's were well known for design, engineering, and very thin, low-fretted and narrow necks, and high output pickups.
Moseley's design for the Ventures, known as the "Ventures Model" (later known as the "Mark I") was generally considered to be the flagship of the line, but all of his guitars bore his unmistakable touch.
Mosrite also produced an unusual double-necked guitar, which was the type favored by Collins and Maphis; this design was also used by Nick Nastos, lead guitar player for Bill Haley & His Comets, during 1968.
Semie Moseley began building guitars in the Los Angeles area around 1952 or 1953. He began by apprenticing at the Rickenbacker factory, where he learned much of his guitar making skills from Roger Rossmeisl, a German immigrant who brought old-world luthier techniques into the modern electric guitar manufacturing process.
One of the recognizable features on almost all Mosrites is the "German Carve" on the top that Moseley learned from Rossmeisl. Around the same time, Moseley apprenticed with Paul Bigsby in Downey, California, the man who made the first modern solid-body guitar for Merle Travis in 1948, and who invented the Bigsby vibrato tailpiece, which is still used today.
Moseley made guitars in Los Angeles until 1959, when he moved to Oildale, California, just north of Bakersfield. He moved his shop to Panama Lane in 1962 where he designed and produced the first Ventures Model guitars.
The red Mosrite in the photo is an official Ed Roma/Mosrite, USA 2009 reissue. A real Mosrite. I can't sell you one of these but Ed Roman can! Look for a price tag when you call, in the neighborhood of $3500 to $5500 depending on the model.
Honorable Mentions at Amazon Even
Even Found On Ebay
A Rare Name In Guitar History
The Genius Of Semi Moseley
Hard Times Of A Killer Guitar
Though a genius at guitar design and construction, Moseley lacked many basic skills necessary to be a good businessman, and the company fell on hard times repeatedly in the late 1960s and 1970s, but continued to produce Mosrite guitars until 1993 in North Carolina and Arkansas.
Most of them were exported to Japan, where their popularity remained very strong. The quality of the instruments always remained very respectable. Semie Moseley died in 1992. His wife Loretta continued to produce Mosrites a year or so after his death.
Kurt Cobain's Mosrite Gospel Guitar (one of only two 'Mark IV gospels', the other is owned by his daughter Michelle Moseley) was featured in an online auction by Heritage Auction Galleries in Dallas, TX, fetching $131,450.00.
Used and Reviewed On YOUtube
Mosrite Guitarists Through The Years
Davie Allan - Davie Allan And The Arrows
Kurt DrÃ¤ckes - The Sewergrooves & The Royal Cream
Nokie Edwards - The Ventures the guitar is on the front page!
Johnny Ramone - The Ramones
Joe Maphis - Wanda Jackson, Ricky Nelson and others.
Nick McCarthy - Franz Ferdinand
Kurt Cobain - Nirvana
Jimi Hendrix - Used a Fuzzrite pedal.
The Intimate Description
Mosrite - The Design
The Vibramute Tremelo consists of a solid cast metal base, a string stop connected to a tremelo arm lifted by a large spring. There is also a Roller Matic bridge. Each string sits atop a raised post with individual string rollers. This allows for the tension between the string stop and bridge to stay equal to the tension between the bridge and nut which helps with guitar stay in tune and reduces string wear when using the tremelo.
The body of Mosrite guitars are shaped so that the lower horn of the body is longer than the upper. Many Mosrite Guitars have a beveled edge around the body called a "German carve". The Gospel models have a unique flat face body with rounded edges.
Mosrite necks are narrow and thin. They have thin frets and a "zero fret." The head of the neck has a the lower outline of the letter "M" towards the top of the guitar.
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