An introduction and questions about a 1971 V1

beatcomber
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An introduction and questions about a 1971 V1

Postby beatcomber » Wed Sep 13, 2023 8:38 am

Greetings, fellow Mosritians! I am so glad that enrollment has been re-opened on this forum, and I look forward to interacting with everyone.

I've owned a few Mosrite-inspired Hallmarks (they are superb reimaginings of Semie's original concepts) and that led me to explore what a traditional Mosrite is all about.

At present, my only experience with a "Mosrite" is a c.1990s Kurokumo, which I believe is either a Super Excellent or a '64 Super Custom; it's hard for me to determine exactly. Perhaps one of you can help me figure out what it is; it has a sunburst neck and back, Ventures logo on the headstock, and Vibromute tailpiece. At any rate, as received (shipped to me from Tokyo) it was in long-neglected condition; one pickup lead was disconnected and it would not stay in tune. I ended up completely disassembling the roller saddles and vibrato, which I cleaned, polished and re-lubricated. After a proper set-up, it became a truly superb instrument, with very stable tuning. Yay!

Image


I like my Japanese Mosrite so much that I started thinking about getting a "real" Mark 1, one that was made in Semie's workshop. Unfortunately, 1960s Mosrites are out of my price range these days, but a 1971 V1 became available at a price I can swing from a private seller a couple of hours away, and I have an appointment to drive out there on Friday to take a look and possibly purchase. The fellow selling it bought it a couple of years ago from Chicago Music Exchange, so it shouldn't need any serious work.

According to the seller, the zero fret measures 1-11/16", which is slightly wider than '60s Mosrites, but still pretty close to what I am used to on the Kurokumo (which is maybe 2mm narrower). I believe the '71 has speed frets, which I have yet to experience and hope will not be a deal-breaker. That said, the original frets on my '64 Guild Starfire III are pretty darn low and I have adjusted to them.

Aside from the slightly wider neck and larger headstock, what other differences (if any) should a '71 model have vs. a mid '60s model? I recall reading that in the early '70s, Semie was still installing surplus hardware from the '60s on new guitars. As long as I can play it comfortably and it has the classic "hot" sound found on the Ventures' records, I'm pretty sure I will be bringing it home.

This is the 1971 Mosite I am considering purchasing:

Image

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Are these speed frets?:

Image

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Sarah93003
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Re: An introduction and questions about a 1971 V1

Postby Sarah93003 » Thu Sep 14, 2023 9:27 pm

Welcome to the forum!
____________________
1965 Mosrite Celebrity Prototype with Vibramute
1972 Mosrite Celebrity-III
1977 Gibson MK-53
1982 Fender Bullet
1994 Gretsch Streamliner G3155 Custom
2005 Gibson Les Paul Standard Plus
2006 Jude Les Paul 12 String

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101Volts
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Re: An introduction and questions about a 1971 V1

Postby 101Volts » Fri Sep 15, 2023 3:47 pm

Welcome to the forum, beatcomber.

About the Kurokumo:

Sorry, I'm not one who has looked much into these, and I have no experience with them. I mostly have paid attention to Mark V models and 70s models, and documenting serial numbers from individual 1950s - 1993 Mosrite models made in North America.

Where is the Truss Rod Adjustment located on your Kurokumo, and how wide is the fretboard?

I can imagine that fixing the bridge would have helped a great deal. Also, do you tin your unwound strings? I always do that. That is, I always put the strings near the ball end in a vise, and then I solder the wraps near the ball end. It increases string life and tuning stability, I never go without it. Some strings are pre-soldered, and those are "tremolo strings." I don't bother with them because they don't seem to be available for all string varieties (pure nickel, .13 roundwound sets, etc.)

About the 1970s Mosrite V-I:

The 1971 - 1974 models are certainly much cheaper than many of the 60s models, so that's a good place to start. I'm not very sure if Mosrite kept up with speed frets on the 70s ones, but the fretwire width does look about right for the 60s speed frets - it's 0.070" inches wide for the 60s models. Height on Speed Frets is 0.022" on the Low E side, and 0.015" on the High E side. I'm not sure if Mosrite kept using the same height for the 70s V-I models.

As for parts surplus from the 60s models, it's true, and it seemed to last at least until 1973. However, I'm not sure where it applies unless it's a fairly obvious case, e.g. one example of a Joe Maphis model that was painted Red and which has a stop tailpiece. Mosrite weren't dating their guitars in the neck pockets in the early 70s, but they did (at least some of the time) date the pickups on their bottoms if they were the then new style of pickups.

The pickups from the early - mid 70s are supposed to still be similar enough to 60s models that you won't tell a huge difference, but they're "Air Coil" pickups instead of being wound in a bobbin. The coil (or coils, if it's a Humbucker) was/were wound separately from the pickup, then the coil/coils was/were put around a wooden center piece that would hold the pole piece screws.

And yes, the 1971 - 1974 V-I models do have a wider neck. I've heard multiple descriptions for its width (1.650", 1.675", and maybe wider) but it shouldn't be huge.

- Austin
1966 Ventures II (German Carved, B670.)
1970s "Not a Blues Bender" Bodies: 2.
1976 Brass Rail Deluxe #10.
2013 Fender Pawn Shop Bass VI.

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Re: An introduction and questions about a 1971 V1

Postby beatcomber » Fri Sep 15, 2023 6:12 pm

Sarah93003 wrote:Welcome to the forum!


Thank you, Sarah!

101Volts wrote:Welcome to the forum, beatcomber.


Thank you, Austin!

Where is the Truss Rod Adjustment located on your Kurokumo, and how wide is the fretboard?


The truss rod is accessed at the heel and the fretboard is 41mm wide at the zero fret.

I can imagine that fixing the bridge would have helped a great deal. Also, do you tin your unwound strings? I always do that. That is, I always put the strings near the ball end in a vise, and then I solder the wraps near the ball end. It increases string life and tuning stability, I never go without it. Some strings are pre-soldered, and those are "tremolo strings." I don't bother with them because they don't seem to be available for all string varieties (pure nickel, .13 roundwound sets, etc.)


Yessir, that is something I've learned from owning Hallmarks in the past. I always tin the wraps before restringing.

About the 1970s Mosrite V-I:

The 1971 - 1974 models are certainly much cheaper than many of the 60s models, so that's a good place to start. I'm not very sure if Mosrite kept up with speed frets on the 70s ones, but the fretwire width does look about right for the 60s speed frets - it's 0.070" inches wide for the 60s models. Height on Speed Frets is 0.022" on the Low E side, and 0.015" on the High E side. I'm not sure if Mosrite kept using the same height for the 70s V-I models.

As for parts surplus from the 60s models, it's true, and it seemed to last at least until 1973. However, I'm not sure where it applies unless it's a fairly obvious case, e.g. one example of a Joe Maphis model that was painted Red and which has a stop tailpiece. Mosrite weren't dating their guitars in the neck pockets in the early 70s, but they did (at least some of the time) date the pickups on their bottoms if they were the then new style of pickups.

The pickups from the early - mid 70s are supposed to still be similar enough to 60s models that you won't tell a huge difference, but they're "Air Coil" pickups instead of being wound in a bobbin. The coil (or coils, if it's a Humbucker) was/were wound separately from the pickup, then the coil/coils was/were put around a wooden center piece that would hold the pole piece screws.

And yes, the 1971 - 1974 V-I models do have a wider neck. I've heard multiple descriptions for its width (1.650", 1.675", and maybe wider) but it shouldn't be huge.

- Austin


That is great info, thank you! I just calipered the zero fret on the '71, and it measured a very wide 43.9mm, which is nearly 1.75"!

And, yes, I bought the guitar today, so now I own a genuine Semie Mosely-made Mosrite. :) Interestingly, the '71 Mosrite with the wider neck feels and sounds quite similar to the Hallmark 65C I used to own; the Hallmark is a more similar to the '71 Mosrite than the Kurokumo Mosrite is, which surprised me. But that is a topic for another thread, which I will start in a few days, after I've lived with the "new" '71 for a while.


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