I've been pretty slack with blogs lately with everything that's been going on around here, but I thought I should make a cup of tea and write a special one for this special guitar I made for a friend.
Anyway, this was a special TMI for a good friend who owns a very early Tym guitar in the form of one of my old Mosrongs and owns this amazing original '64 Mosrite Ventures that he has been playing live, until now.
We discussed making a bound, German carve version for him to use as his main live guitar so he could semi retire his original to keep it safe. As you probably know, I personally think the original bound Maphis/Ventures model is the most beautiful guitar ever designed and made. I think it is ... prefect and I have made similar versions in my old Wosrite series. Where my old Wosrites were me trying to replicate a Mosrite as perfectly as possible, my new TMI guitars are guitars heavily influenced by my guitar building hero, Semie Moseley, but built how I want to make guitars now after nearly 30 years of trying ideas.
I have discussed these features in previous blogs (see links above) so I won't bore you with all the details but basically, these are chambered (or hollow) locally sourced, sustainable pine bodies with multi laminated Asian mahogany necks. After a few prototypes I settled on this combination as my favourite for tone, playability and sustainability.
So, here it is.
This is the latest TMI Custom in the form of a chambered pine, bound German carved Mosrite Ventures shape traced straight off one of my '64's in original Mosrite blue acrylic lacquer with matching headstock. The body is multi layered pine with an inner "frame" with top and back caps. This was a little more complex with the German carve but the extra brain power was well worth the effort.
The neck is 25.5" scale, 5-piece Asian mahogany with Indian rosewood fretboard with 22 1/2 frets and binding and small dot markers just like Mosrite. This neck is THIN, even by my standards at 39mm at the zero fret and 15mm deep at the first fret staying fairly flat and thin most of the way up the neck. For anyone who has played a 70's Mosrite Mk I, you'll get it although this neck is also narrow like a 60's Mosrite. The best of both worlds. It is attached to the body with one of my lightweight aluminium neck plates.
I searched everywhere to find small frets like original Mosrites and these frets come VERY close to being like originals, which some people find too small, but I (and the new owner) absolutely love. I understand this very small, thin neck with small frets isn't for everyone, but this was made for someone who wanted this.
The strings exit the fretboard through one of my handmade aluminium string guides with a string spacing of 33mm down into the slightly angled headstock with large volute on the back of the neck. All just like the original Mosrites.
The pickups are my handmade Wosrite pickups made exactly like the original Mosrite pickups using wooden bobbins, thin plastic bobbin tops and bottoms, hand wound with AWG44 wire and glued into hand formed plastic covers with crudely cut aluminium height adjuster bars.
These pickups use specially sourced segmented Alnico magnets and I hand wound them with a resistance of 14K in the bridge and 11.8K in the neck. They are set into hand cast surrounds just like Semie used to make. These run through a standard 3-way switch and onto 500K pots and out through the jack.
The bridge is a modified Ric style bridge and sits on a handmade "Moseley style" hard tailpiece I make from aluminium and polish up.
The chambered body is 42mm thick and the whole guitar weighs 3.6KG. This was a really fun project for a really good friend. It is the closest thing I've made to a Wosrite Versatone in 15 years, and it was great to get back into Semies head for a little bit. It is serial number 0144 and is ready, with its Tym stenciled hardcase to go to its new home to get plugged into an old Marshall and be used and abused.