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 XII Ventures 12 String model dates to 1965 with a serial of #T214. These later models are notably different from the Mark I, the most notable changes being a bolt-on neck, unbound body, Moseley die-cast vibrato, an embossed logo on the pickups, a three ply pickguard, and a top-mounted output jack. It’s all original except for the pots and output jack have been replaced with high quality Japanese ones and the case is a reissue Mosrite case. This particular guitar was a studio guitar for the Ventures, and since it never made it out on the road, it’s one of the cleanest MK XII’s we’ve ever seen, only minor nicks and scratches and no belt rash or cracks in the binding. It’s a stunning guitar.
This guitar was used as a studio guitar for the Ventures and is one of the cleanest original Ventures models we’ve ever seen.
Body Material: Basswood
Neck Material: Maple
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/Chrome
Bridge/Tailpiece: Moseley die-cast vibrato
Tuning Machines: Kluson Deluxe Double Line
Pickguard: three-ply white/black/white
Control Knobs: die-cast metal knobs, with logo. Pots replaced.
Switch tip: Nickel
Neck Pickup: Mosrite logo P90-style - 9.85K ohms
Bridge Pickup: Mosrite logo P90-style - 11.1K ohms
Controls: One master volume, master tone, three way selector switch
Case: Mosrite reissue case