Mosrite Ventures model timeline and ID chart

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Bigwave
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Mosrite Ventures model timeline and ID chart

Postby Bigwave » Mon Mar 22, 2010 7:38 pm

Mosrite Ventures model timeline Identification chart
General hardware found on all Venture models: Single coil pickups, speed frets, zero fret, metal nut, headstock with "M" cutout, Kluson Deluxe tuners double row. Usually metal buttons on MK I and plastic buttons on MK II and V, but a few MK I with plastic and MK II with metal buttons known. ( Be aware that transition guitars exist ie Guitars built during the transition of one type to another will often have parts from either type). I will list changes as they occur but remember that changes occurred over a short period of time and exact serial # or dates are not available..

Ventures model aka MK I (Angled neck pickup, with exposed pole piece, neck binding)
Known as the Sidejack models The first "official Ventures" guitar was available in very late 1963. It is believed approximately 200 of these guitars were built. Known serial # 216 side jack, #236 top jack. (Identifying characteristics) (built from late 63 to mid 64)
• Side Jack
• Bound body
• Set Neck (Set neck serial #216 Bolt on neck serial #251)
• Large "Ventures Logo"
• Cast aluminum vibramute (earliest serial # did not have roller bridge)
• 3 screws to attach scratchplate (last 3 screw pickguard serial #172 first 8 screw pickguard serial # 216)
• Smooth tone and volume knob
• Available in only Sunburst and Red
• Serial somewhere in the 200's and below
• Smooth logo-less single coil pickups, angled neck pickup
• Misc info: est. 75-80 setneck bound MK I made. It’s a very popular misconception that most or all bound body, set neck Ventures are ‘63’s. In fact, less than 20 of these guitars left the factory that year with the bulk of around 200 sidejacks being made in early to mid ’64. Source Tym's guitars

Vibramute models (Identifying characteristics) (built from mid 64 to Oct/Nov 65)
• Jack moved to scratchplate
• Cast Aluminum Vibramute with roller bridge
• Smooth tone and volume knob
• 8 screws to attach scratchplate
• Bolt on neck covered by screwed on cover plate
• No body binding (last known bound body Serial #251 ( a few before this one may be unbound) first known unbound body serial #377
• Smaller Ventures logo. (Last known large Ventures logo serial #491 first known small logo serial #664)
• Mosrite of California embossed on Pickups (without "R" trademark)
• Serials: approx 200s to 2500s
• Bolt on neck through plate introduced (ie bolts attaching neck go through plate) last known screw on cover plate #521, first known bolt through plate # 1037
• New colors introduced

Moseley models (Identifying characteristics) (built from Oct/Nov 65 to mid 67)
• Moseley vibrato replaces Vibramute. (now chrome diecast unit)
• Volume and Tone knobs change to "hat type" with "M" stamped on top with V and T. (change occurred between serial # 3206-3591) (Known serial# 3205 has smooth knobs, #3592 has "M" stamped knobs)
• 1967 knobs changed again to taller units without the V and T.
• Scratchplate goes to 7 attaching screws. (Known serial# 3205 has 8 screw scratchplate, #3592 has 7 screw scratchplate)
• Mid to late 1966, truss rod adjustment moved to headstock and plastic cover added. (change occurred between serial # 3732-4224)(Known serial# 3731 non-truss cover, 4225 has truss cover)
• Mosrite of California embossed on Pickups (with "R" trademark)
• V prefix added to serial number starting with 5000.
• Ventures endorsement ends, Ventures logo removed. Last Ventures logo MK I serial # falls within V5316 and V5365 (Known serial# V5315 has logo, V5366 non-logo)
• Misc info: Serial #2488 has Moseley smooth knobs and neck date Oct25th 1965
• Patent # added to Mosely Vibrato mid to late 66

Ventures MKII (shorter length, parallel pickups no pole pieces, no neck binding)
Slab body model (Est vary on number built from a low of 25 to a high of 200. likely 60-65 per Tym guitars ) (Identifying characteristics) (built from May 65 to July 65)
• Slab body (no German carve)
• Stamp steel Vibrato (arm coming out between the D and G strings)
• Rectangular neck plate, bolt on neck
• Parallel thinner pickups with no exposed pole pieces, no logo
• Full larger Scratchplate that totally surrounds pickups.
• Shorter in length than a Ventures MK I
• Smooth tone and volume knob
Misc info: It was in early ’65 that Mosrite first considered a “student” model guitar like the Les Paul Jr or Fender Mustang. Ventures models were expensive and their price was prohibitive to younger players. Andy Moseley, Semie’s brother suggested and designed a “slab body” student model with no binding, simple pick ups and hardware like a folded steel vibrato only seen on this model and no German carve. This guitar was named the Ventures model II. Introduced around June '65. Here's a quote from Tym's Guitars regarding the slabbody MK II's: In my opinion there are most likely approx 60 to 65 of these made before it was replaced by a German carve version with improved pick ups and standard Ventures hardware like the fantastic Moseley vibrato. I have a couple of reasons why I have come to this conclusion. First, I have a Mosrite serial number listing of over 2000 Mosrites and I know of 12 of these slab body guitars, in the world. Second, my serial number listing shows most of these slab body serial numbers falling in the first 40 with German carve models from mid to late 40’s onwards. There are patches of slab body Mk II serial numbers inter dispersed above this with 2 (so far) having serial numbers between 125 to 150. Personally I think one or two batches were made before the German carve model was introduced with a batch being made, probably to use up leftover parts, slightly later around serial numbers 125 to 150. I also believe most of the original batch was sent to Texas to be sold in local guitar shops. A few, including the 2 I own were from Texas and had been bought new in small shops in the area. I think Semie sent these guitars away from strong Mosrite markets to “dump” them so as not to ruin the Mosrite name. One of the serial numbers around 125 was purchased new in the san Fernando valley in late ’65 so this last batch may have been sold to more local shops in with the new German carve model?


German carve model (Identifying characteristics) (built from Aug65 to ?) serial # go up to B700
• German carve body
• Moseley Vibrato
• Standard size parallel pickups without pole pieces. Has Mosrite of California embossed on Pickups (with "R" trademark)
• Volume and Tone knobs change to "hat type" with "M" stamped on top with V and T.
• Shorter in length than a Ventures MK I
• Standard MK I style Scratchplate adapted to parallel pickups.
• No truss cover on Headstock
• All MK II's have the Venture logo (MKII's were not in production when Venture endorsement deal ends in 1967)
• Misc info: Serial # B292 has neck date Dec 19, 1965, Serial # B349 has neck date Dec23, 1965.
• Neck pocket length change between B233 and B349 causing pickguard shape change and change in fret position at bottom of neck

Ventures MK V (shorter length, parallel pickups no pole pieces, no neck binding)
(Identifying characteristics) (built from Aug65 to ?) serial # start at around B700
• German carve body
• Moseley Vibrato
• Standard size parallel pickups without pole pieces. Has Mosrite of California embossed on Pickups (with "R" trademark)
• Volume and Tone knobs are the "hat type" with "M" stamped on top with V and T. 1967 knobs changed again to taller units without the V and T.
• Shorter in length than a Ventures MK I, same length as MK II
• Standard MK I style Scratchplate adapted to parallel pickups.
• truss cover introduced on Headstock (change occurred between serial # B844 - B968)(Known serial# B843 non-truss cover, B968 has truss cover)
• Ventures endorsement ends, Ventures logo removed. Last Ventures logo MK V serial # falls within B1481 and V1543 (Known serial# B1480 has logo, B1544 non-logo)
• Last known MK V serial is B1675. B1695 is labeled as a Gospel, not MK V.
• Kurt Cobain's MK V / Gospel serial is B1697
• Misc info: Serial # B708 earliest Mk V known. has "M" knobs.


Mosrite used pots that have the date stamped into the side of the pot e.g. : 1346534. This means THE POTS were manufactured in the 34th week of 1965. The first 3 digits are the manufacturer, the next 2 are the year (e.g. 1965) the last 2 are the week (e.g. 34th week). Because production was at an all time high between 65 and 68, pot dates are a fairly accurate way of dating your Mosrite.
Mosrite made approx. 5300 official Ventures MK I models between 1963 and 1967. Approx. 1500 official Ventures MK II and Mk V models were made during the same time period (700 MK II, and 800 MK V). There were also the Ventures bass models (approx. 2200) , and the 12 string versions (approx. 700) , both of which had Ventures logos sanctioned by the band.

Any corrections needed? Feel free to add your input :D
Bigwave Dave

1966 Ventures Mk I (My Fav!)
1968 Kustom K200
1977 Les Paul Std
1982 Explorer CMT E2
1982 Gibson V2
1987 Stratocaster
1966 Guyatone Sharp 5
1967 Teisco Vegas 40
1968 Greco Shrike
1968 Norma EG400
1969 Firstman Sharkfin
1969 Guyatone LG250T

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