(Please be patient and wait for all the pictures to load as they're worth the wait!)
The serial number of the bass is 6423 which dates it towards the latter end of the period 1963 to1966. Iíve been reliably informed that the numbers on the pots date to 1966 as well so Iím fairly sure the year is accurate.
I donít know the full history of this bass but thanks to some friendly emails I do know a lot about itís recent history.
It was bought from JCs guitars in Newcastle 6 years ago approximately. At the time it had been handpainted in a turquoise colour. The new owner set about having it completely restored and refinished in the accurate 3 step sunburst that you see. I donít think the bass was bought with itís original pickguard because the previous owner informed me this one was made by Cardiff luthier Dave Dearnley (who did all the work on the bass) from the correct laminate in a suitably aged greenish white.
The tuners had already been changed and were apparently not much of an improvement so they were replaced with sturdy US Grovers, leaving a collection of holes which are very neatly filled and drilled but are visible.
The headstock decals came from Phil Edge in Gillow Heath as I presume that the turquoise paint job extended all the way to the headstock and the original decals were ruined. They are genuine Mosrite decals and look spot on though.
However, I have conflicting information as to what model this Mosrite is. Itís badged as a Ventures model but I have been told that the Ventures model was only made in the factory as a one pick up model (above left). Obviously this one has 2. I donít think that the decal was added to deceive anyone but more as a genuine mistake (if it is a mistake). Until I looked into this I assumed all Mosrites with this body shape were ďVenturesĒ models and I think the previous owner thought the same. Having said this, there are lots of pictures on the internet of 2 pickup Ventures basses (above right). Maybe it was a popular add-on to give your bass a Ventures logo or maybe the info I received was wrong? If you have any info on this please email me.
Either way this is still a fantastically rare and well known Mosrite bass. The neck is wonderful to play and is in near mint condition with the exception of the replaced tuners and the holes that came from the work. The headstock has a few dings but the neck is smooth and thereís life in the frets (I assume it has been refretted at some stage).
The body is less well off. The refinish, although superb quality, seems to be quite thin so there is an area on the back where belt buckling has exposed the bare wood.
Also on the front it seems someone has really pounded this bass with a bracelet or watch and there is a large area where the lacquer is in bad shape. The lacquer is heavily crazed also and there are a lot of large dings and chips. Please bear in mind I used a heavy flash for the pictures above so the marks are more visible than normal (compare with the other pics)
It is missing itís bridge cover though the screws are in place if you could source a reproduction or vintage part. It also appears that one of the bridge saddles (the E) is non original as it is smaller than the rest and has been lifted up a little with a tiny square of plastic (you can take this out but it helps playability by raising the saddle to the height of the others).
Luckily no one messed with the cool knobs or the amazing Mosrite-stamped pickups. Seriously, this thing is LOUD. It knocks spots off a P Bass with a thick growling tone best described as RUDE. Itís total MC5! Iím not a bass player but Iíve had lots of fun playing this through a big stack slung suitably low. Itís fun to play and hard to put down and the tuners, though not original, make this a great, reliable working bass. And it looks so cool! Itís huge as well but pretty light because of the body thickness.
The current owner bought this from Music Ground about a year ago as a working, touring bass but got cold feet about taking it out when everyone started coveting it so much. So he went back to a P Bass and needs to get rid of this to raise some cash.
So there you go Ė itís been refinished, the pickguard, tuners and one bridge saddle are non-original to my knowledge. The decals are replacements and the Ventures logo is open to debate. But itís a rare, playable Mosrite in good nick for a guitar thatís nearly 40. And the sound of it! Wooooooooo!