Vibramute vs. Moseley Tailpiece

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amoviebuff
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Vibramute vs. Moseley Tailpiece

Postby amoviebuff » Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:53 pm

I’ve been a Mosrite fan for decades, and have been aware of the ongoing “debate” on the two kinds of tailpieces those guitars had. Vibramute tailpieces were generally installed on Ventures models up to 1965, and Moseley tailpieces on those guitars and Mark I versions thereafter. Vibramutes returned on some later “re-issue” models. In fact, I have had both myself: a ‘70s Ventures Vibramute re-issue (which I kick myself for having sold) and a 1972 Moseley Mark I (which I still have). Having had both, I can see the differences between the two, but—as a guitarist and not an expert in guitar engineering—would honestly be hard-pressed to say one or the other is “better”. The prevailing attitude, it seems to me, is that the Vibranute is more valuable, mainly because the older Mosrite guitars are more valuable—the Vibramute contributing to that value. However, Deke Dickerson, in another post in this forum several years back, said, “I also think that the '63-'65 guitars with Vibramute tailpieces sound better because the bridge/tailpiece has so much more mass than the pot-metal Moseley tailpieces. But it really depends on what kind of music you're going to play on the guitar.” All this begs the question, since Semie designed both, why did he switch from the Vibramute to the Moseley? At the time of the changeover, was the Vibramute already considered preferable, by end-users and others, to the tailpiece that replaced it? If so, would Semie have knowingly downgraded a key component of his guitars? If not, then why not replace it with the Moseley? I don’t think there is a definitive answer to all this, but it would be interesting to hear the theories and opinions of the forum’s members.
Don
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2019 Hallmark 65 Custom
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1972 Mosrite Mark I
1968 Mosrite Ventures
1968 Vox Folk Twelve Electric

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Sarah93003
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Re: Vibramute vs. Moseley Tailpiece

Postby Sarah93003 » Sat Mar 09, 2019 11:55 pm

This would be an interesting thread for discussion if we post up some photos for comparison, etc. My thing is the Celebrity models and being an archtop I think it had difficulty with the larger flat Vibramute. The Celebrity prototype that I own has the only Vibramute for an archtop that I have ever seen. In fact, I've wondered if it is also a prototype and the precursor to the Moseley tremolo.

I think this Vibramute may be the only one.

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Then the Moseley

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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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Vibramute vs. Moseley Tailpiece

Postby dubtrub » Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:12 am

Evolution of the Mosrite vibrato tail pieces.

These photos were posted on the forum years ago so I thought I would repost them here in case the old photobucket photos no longer appear.

Photos depicted here show the evolution of the Vibramute to the Mosley vibrator tail pieces. There was an earlier version that Semie designed and sand casted before acquiring and modifying the Guild Vibramute. I'll try to find photos of that design in my folders file. It was the one used on the 'mistake plate' version pre '63.

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Danny Ellison

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Vibramute vs. Moseley Tailpiece

Postby dubtrub » Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:33 am

Here's an example of the pre Vibramute tail piece. It consisted of a hand shaped flat aluminum base plate. The bearings wear a hardware purchase item that had screw posts (legs) to attach it directly to the body. There were cutouts in each side of the base plate to clear the bearing assembly.

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Danny Ellison


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