Mosrite Bluesbender

You guys know how much I love these things. I'm a MASSIVE Mosrite fan AND I love the 70's ones that are only now just starting to get a foot hold not only in the guitar world, but even in the Mosrite world. I'll get my Mosrite site back up and running one day but most people want the 60's ('63-67) Mosrite Ventures model and the 70's one's, which Semie had tried to distance himself from for a short time in the early 70's with models like the Bluesbender, Brass Rails and the 300/350 mono and stereo models, are much less sought after. They didn't do well at the time, but like a lot of designs ahead of their time, have since got their admirers.

 

I bought this one in about 2000/2001 from the original owner who had bought it new around 1973. He played it for years but contacted me through my old site asking if I was interested as he didn't play it any more and wanted it to go to someone who would love it. He contacted me again recently and asked if I still had it and if I still loved it. I do.

 

These were obviously inspired by the Les Paul with obvious differences in construction. The "short" scale, carved top, 2 humbucker, 4 control, stoptail, 2 a side set up is all very LP. 
The difference is it "feels" and looks like a Mosrite, which is what I love. The body is solid basswood with the famous Mosrite German Carve top which obviously differs from the Gibson style of carve. The neck is rock maple with a bound rosewood fretboard and is, like most Mosrites, a bolt on, which I actually prefer in most cases to a set neck. I've said it before, I personally think the advantages of the bolt on outweigh the disadvantages of the set neck.

 

Like all Mosrites it has a slim, very fluid neck but these models had slightly wider profiles than the 60's models. These were definitely aimed more at the "player" and maybe session guys who had never really got along with the thin necks on previous models.
I'm a huge fan of zero frets and all Mosrite's had 'em. I tend to run fairly heavy strings on all my guitars and these feel great with thick strings. 
Mosrite made different types of humbuckers that were coils fitted into the standard single coil covers so the pole pieces are drilled straight through the Mosrite embossing on the cover. The great thing about these HB's for me is, they're narrower than std HB's making them slightly ........ tighter, more precise than standard ones, more like mini humbuckers, which I love. HB's tend to get too muddy for me, especially in LP's and the combination of these pick ups, the maple neck and the basswood body all make for a guitar that has great freq response and good bottom end while still being clear.

 

The control layout is pretty standard with a three way toggle and volume and tone for each pick up. The push/push switch is to change the humbuckers to single coils making it a very versatile guitar. These humbuckers, like most Mosrite pick ups are wound HOT so even in the SC position it still has nice output and great tone.
The back control cavity is a big circle which I think is a nice touch in the typical Semie style. It's made form a matching piece of scratch plate material. 
The hardware is all Mosrite made, like all Mosrites, and this one has the nice wooden/aluminium stop tailpiece and the non roller Mosrite bridge. These tuners were used on lots of very late 60's and early 70's Mosrites and were sourced by Semie from Japan and by the number of guitars supplied with them Semie must have bought shipping containers of them ? The knobs are standard "tall" Mosrite units as found on all Mosrites from this period excpet those ones made with Radio Shack units when Semie ran out ........... beautiful.

I also have other Bluesbenders including one of these very rare Deluxe models with active electronics. That's another story.

By the mid 70's Semie was back making Ventures models, mainly for the Japanese market who had wholeheartedly embraced the model due to the overwhelming support and love for the instrumental band they were originally made for. Semie made some very interesting and innovative guitars in this period from early 1970 through to about '76 when he gave in and went back to making reproductions of his greatest creation, the Ventures model, but personally I LOVE these early 70's Mosrites for their look, playability and relative rarity. More blogs about these coming. 

Jun 12 2014 Written By: Tim Brennan