Black Book Guitars is pleased to announce an exclusive partnership with Don Wilson to offer 18 instruments from his personal collection for sale, which includes vintage Mosrite guitars, Aria Ventures models, and three of Wilson’s own Signature Fender Jazzmaster guitars.
Mosrite, a guitar manufacturer based in Bakersfield, CA, had been building custom guitars for Grand Ole Opry artists when they struck a deal with The Ventures in 1963. The deal was lucrative for both the brand and the band, as the band had exclusive worldwide distribution rights for Mosrite. The guitars are distinctive, with angled neck pickups, a unique vibrato design, extra slim necks with fast-playing action, zero frets, and a German-carve offset body. Other Mosrite players included Johnny Ramone, Joe Maphis, and Glen Campbell, among others. The Ventures departed from Mosrite in 1968, leaving original Ventures models from their heyday in the 1960s as rare and indelible pieces of rock’n’roll history. This example is from Don Wilson’s personal collection.
This Mark I Ventures model is the earliest example in the collection, with a serial number of #0124 dating it to mid to late 1963 and the pots dating to 1962. These models have been endearingly nicknamed the Sidejack due to the location of the output jack on the side of the instrument, which was changed alongside a shift from glued-on neck construction to bolt-on neck construction in early 1964. The MKI was only produced for about a year in this incarnation, and remains the rarest of the Ventures series guitars with about 200 built. This example has a black refinish commissioned by Nokie Edwards, the band’s lead guitarist.
The guitar has triple layer binding, a bound glued-on neck, and an original VibraMute vibrato that was sandblasted by hand in the Mosrite factory.
Body Material: Basswood
Neck Material: Maple
Color: Black refin over sunburst
Neck Profile: Thin
Scale Length: 24.5”
Fingerboard Material: Rosewood
Fingerboard Inlays: Small Dot Inlay
Number of Frets: 22
Frets: Extra Low “Speed Frets”
Nut Width: 1 9/16” with zero fret
Hardware Finish: Nickel
Bridge/Tailpiece: VibraMute vibrato
Tuning Machines: Kluson Deluxe Single Line
Pickguard: one-ply white
Control Knobs: die-cast metal knobs, no logo, missing rubber grommets
Switch tip: Nickel
Neck Pickup: Mosrite no logo single coil - 9.64K ohms
Bridge Pickup: Mosrite no logo single coil - 10.08K ohms
Controls: One master volume, master tone, three way selector switch, middle position wired out of phase
Case: hard case included