The Smith Family Melobar Guitar - the real story of Melobar from Ted Smith -

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Mosrite Melobar 50th Anniversary Guitar for Sale

This is a never say never guitar sale:), one of those guitars I said I'd never sell, but find myself needing to:

Posted this guitar when it was built Jan first, but Sept 1 it is available.

Watch the video below and you will see this is a Mosrite Melobar we rescued from the barn find that had a 1966 Mosrite factory assembly date on it, we decided to make it the 50 year commemorative Melobar for the end of 2016 and finished it on New Years Eve 2017. Very special guitar with the original Mel-O-bar head emblem that is so hard to find and a bridge plate from a 008 Mosrite Melobar. Production stamp on the back is 066, 66th Melobar assembled by Mosrite.

This is the 066 Mosrite Melobar talked about in the barn find

We took one of the (One of Fourteen) 24" scale chrome and black fretboards that has both Semi Mosley and Walt Smiths signatures,used for the 30th Anniversary, and put it on it. 
Note, Melobar was authorized to build fourteen of the 30th anniversary but only finished a half dozen is why this one was available. The only other guitar with this fretboard is my personal Mosrite doubleneck Tel-O-bar.

Finish is Satin Blue with Silver Matalic but with a crinkle clear to keep that older look and not a high gloss, lipstick tube pickup in the rhythm and a humbucker on the bridge.

The front body edge is scalloped to create yet one more unique feature to the guitar never done on Melobars before and has a very cool look.

Reassembled exactly as it was 50 years ago in the Mosrite factory including the original Mel-O-Bar badge.

But as a 6 string so very playable with a great sound.

This is a guitar that probably should be on a wall, protected, but I hope the new owner plays it too.

Piece of history...

$1,875 plus shipping
Will come with complete documentation for authenticity 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Dean Black playing one of the first Melobar double necks

Great video of one of the Melobar double neck fathers; Dean was one of the guys that pushed me into building the double neck
Check out the video click below

Friday, May 20, 2016

2016 Melobar Barn Find

First look at the parts found by Sydney, Click Here

It's a mix of original Rosac necks, and a few Powerslide necks, along with another standard neck cutaway fiberglass body and two original SuperSteel necks for 8 string and we're still finding stuff. Felt a bit like the show Pickers today going through stuff I haven't seen in over twenty years.

Soooo I guess I'm back to building some Melobars. A little bit mind blowing after thinking we were completely done. I'm teaming up with a couple other local builders for painting and we'll probably only do a dozen a year.

My primary goal is to build a couple of models I built for myself and really - really - feel other players would rock on. Personal Video with Ted on why

The other Melobar is the double neck Tel-O-bar. I have already purchased a nice MIM standard Telecaster to cut in half and marry to the Barn Find Tel-O-bar. These double necks are just so great to play, we need to make them more available to the guys that will love playing them
Here is a Video of what they are like by Ted

Saturday, August 8, 2015

How do older Melobars Sound?

How do older Melobar's Sound?
An important question now that we are no longer building them, older models are going for pretty high prices on ebay, and you should know what you are looking at.
Older Rosac Model

Quick Reference:
Mosrite Melobar; The first production Melobars were built by Semie Mosley in the Mosrite factory with Mosrite pickups. I love these guitars in that they have that fat Mosrite sound with a longer scale. Excellent for Blues, professional stage and studio work if strung as a 6 string.
Rosac Melobar; Paul Barth single coil pickups, these guitars were supposed to be for students and this guitar is not good for stage if you don't want old single coil non-shielded hum. Magnets are 63mm, so with standard spacing, best if strung 6-string.
Powerslide V and X 10 models with Bill Lawrence Pickups from the 80's are the best and good for up to 10 strings. This was the best professional model built by Melobar until the late 90's.

Note: want that Lindley here

Skreemr 6-sting models built in the late 90's started with EMG pickups but were later upgraded to L500 Lawrence pickups with Grover Keys, these are very good professional instruments but the short 22 7/8" scale doesn't give a fat blues tone like the Mosrites did, take the same guitar and lengthen the scale and they'd be even better.
Steelgitr and Telobar double necks were all built custom but all were expected to go on stage so they have good components and sound good.

In the lap steels...
The LS model had the Rosac Paul Barth pickups on them so limited to single coil problems.
SLS, upgraded using the Lawrence pickups but a bit sharp in tone because of those pickups, switching out to even a tele rhythm pickup can help that tone a lot.
CC8 again Lawrence pickups but built for steel not guitar so more of a steel sound.
Teleratt most had Lawrence Tele pickups and had a good tone
XL models had Lawrence L500 pickups with the best tone of all the Melobar Lap Steels
Supersteels had the above set ups so match your pickups to the above
Rattler, considered the best Melobar Lap Steel if you want that "Running on Empty" Lindley sound

In all, Melobar's were a crossover from a standard guitar to a steel built with Alder like a Strat' so you'll want to set your amp with that in mind and roll back the treble if it sounds too bright or aggressive if you want Hawaiian steel, and not be afraid to change out pickups.
Hope that helps...

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Melobar Guitars

Patented angled up neck to play steel standing up
See Melobar in Action CLICK HERE and HERE Black V on the Left
Melobar is the registered trade mark of the Smith Family who manufactured the instruments for over 50 years. The patented design that started the company was a 45 degree tilt neck to play steel type guitar mounted on a standard guitar body.

This blog is dedicated information and facts about Melobar from Ted Smith, the last Melobar builder and son of Walt Smith the originator.

See the pages on the right for models, history and fun Melobar facts (hard to see in grey).
Melobar on National Television CLICK HERE
Listen to a Melobar Rattler CLICK TO HEAR

50 Years of Melobar Models

1964 first promotional brochure

50 Years of Melobar Models
More detailed descriptions, years in production and number of units in the identify models page on the right hand side of this blog (hard to see in grey).
Listed are production models - one offs, proto-types, customs and experimentals are not included.

1964 Mosrite Series


1970 Rosac Series 

Metal Acoustic (dobro era)


Early Student  (Purple People Eater and dumpster models)

Student Acoustic (Payette Shop)

Powerslide X-10 (1980's Lindley era)


Jerrett Series


Powerslide 88 Proform model (1988)
Video of one...


Skreemr (6-string models of the 90's)
Melobar sound on Good Run of Bad Luck ACM Awards TV
How the Skreemr model got it's name

LS series (first lap steels)

Strummr (6-string acoustic)

SLS and S-Head Lap Steels

The Rattler Lap Steel (largest production model)


The Tomohawk (8-string)

Built Two MINI Teleratts  

Video on Youtube of the Mini Teleratt

Supersteels (modular console)

SXL (long scale lap steel)

Teleratt (Tele components)



Melobro series (fiberglass dobro style)


Steelgitr (custom built double neck)


Strat-O-bar (Strat laminated to Melobar)

Tel-O-bar (Fender Telecaster and Melobar Skreemr)

Only Tele-Melobar Skreemr built, just did it this year for myself  and love it.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Melobar Today


Melobar is the registered trade mark brand name of the tilt neck design patented by the late Walt Smith.

The correct history of the dozens of unique Melobar designs and products including the fiberglass resonator Melobro, the various lap steel models and the double neck Tel-O-bar, the stages of building history from the early Mosrite built Melobars to the Powerslide series and then the Smith Family Music era with Ted Smith are all covered in the pages to the right of this post.

After 50 years, Melobar is no longer building instruments. And I am pursuing a much different path in organic health.

However you can still hear Melobars on the radio and players are still out there cruising the stage with the unique stand-up steel.