Made by Zen-On in Matsumoto from 1967 to early '69 they are aesthetically one of the best Mosrite copies out there being traced directly from a mid sixties Mosrite ventures model with an early sixties German Carve, which is REALLY well done on these.
The bodies are solid mahogany and being big and thick, makes them VERY heavy, unlike most original basswood body Mosrites.
There were several different versions made during their short life with slight variations in hardware and fretboard end (see previous blog) but all were these heavy carved solid bodies.
The pickups are big single coils but not based on Mosrite construction at all. These were made by Nisshin Onpa, who later became Maxon and made very sought after pickups for Greco (Fujigen factory) before they took over manufacturing their own in 1981.
These pickups, while not being particularly Mosrite in tone are great in their own right. Lots of output while keeping some clarity and top end. Let's face it, Maxon knew (know) how to make great electronics.
The necks are multi-laminate as used by Zen-On (and later other Japanese manufacturers) making them very stable and strong. They're not as thin as actual Mosrite necks but they're still thin and comfortable. The rosewood fretboards have big dot markers (used on some seventies Mosrites) and a zero fret/metal string guide just like a Mosrite.
I actually think this headstock is beautiful. It's a great organic shape that fits the Ventures body perfectly.
The vibrato and bridge are PURE Mosrite and function exactly as the originals. A feather light vibrato intended for just a little warble while you pick country or surf. The bridge is a copy of the original with intonatable saddles with individual rollers on each saddle.
As I said in the first blog I LOVE these Morales copies. I have owned (and still do) A LOT of Mosrite copies, especially from Japan and these are among the best. If they were lighter and had slightly more "Mosrite" pickups, they would have nailed it but even as they are they're great guitars that look .... great, and with the price of original Ventures models the way they are, good copies like this are a great alternative.