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

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Melobar Help

If you look to the right you'll see a new page on Melobar Tech Help. This is to answer a lot of questions I get about how to set up an old Melobar Nut and Bridges. It also has notes on Melobro check-ups in that a video was posted of a Melobro lacking a lot of bark which is the one thing they normally do not lack so a check-up page to use on your Melobro to make sure it's cone has not moved or something else is not set up right.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Melobar Rosac 8

This is a guitar that's been on the shelf half built and I decided to finish it.
It's one of the 1972 Rosac (former employees of Mosrite that went out on their own for a while) built Melobars - originally a 10 string with tight spacing I converted it to an 8-string, staggered two sets of Paul Barth pickups to widen the spacing. The front two pickups are wired together then the back two, with a Gibson 3-way switch. Fingerboard was replaced with one of the Sweet Address boards. It's in nice shape for a 40 year old guitar -now in grateful hands in CA

Monday, December 16, 2013


Well I don't know about you but we got hammered by cold that has me frozen indoors looking at a few of the old Melobar parts I have still on the shelves.
I think I'll break down and build the two CC-8 CNC bodies I've been saving in mahogany and ash - probably with Lollar pickups.  If I can find a decent painter...I'm getting too old to do that part. I hope to get a Black Melobar Skreemr done, last couple of CC-8s, a Teleratt SXL and maybe...maybe, a Telobar double neck using the custom Tele with the dual p90s, I'm just not sure if I want to make the Melobar neck a 6 or 8 string on the bottom...we'll see

Friday, November 15, 2013

Ladies hot on lap steel

  Megan Lovell of the band Larkin Poe
                                                              And of course Cindy Cashdollar ...

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Melobro Model 17 SOLD

Wish I could keep this one - huge sound and cool gloss black

Melobro Model XVII
Fiber matt laid with resin pounded into the fiber for elongation so the sound travels similar to wood grain but huge bite in sound tone. Note that most Dobros are plywood tops so the top isn't really where the sound is generated.
The Fiber and Resin give huge strength so there is not a sound well but an open sound chamber - the Raybay fan holes are open in the entire upper bout allowing a lot of acoustic sound from the open chamber out. The back is arched like a 335 Gibson to allow a neck through design going from the Neck block through to the tail block for added sustain. On that neck through design suspended in the sound chamber are Rosewood sound baffles thinned and sound tapped for the best added wood tone along with the bite of the fiber and resin tone.
 you can see the wood baffles inside reflecting upward driving the sound out of the chamber over the tone woods. There is another one internally under the cone designed for more of an acoustic flavor on the treble side of the cone.
The Neck is solid Mahogany with one lamination at the very bottom of the heel block to avoid wasting half the wood blank. The one problem with this guitar is after I got it built I spotted a lamination scar on the other side of the neck away from the player shown here.
 I'm not going to tear the guitar down and repaint that little area but discount it and sell it as used.
The Head is the NS design with Chrome 102C Grover keys.
Fingerboard is Indian Rosewood from Beard
Quarterman cone from Beard with a #14 Spider
Bone nut / Maple with Ebony capped Saddles
Beard Special 28's for strings
25" scale
New Hardshell Case included
Normally I used to ask $1,685 for this set up but with the lamination scar I'm knocking it down $300 to $1,385
There are less than 25 of these guitars in the world - I have over a hundred hours into this one so it's about $6 an hour pay is why I probably will only build one more after this one - and that's a maybe. They are really hard to build but I Love the Tone.

Monday, May 20, 2013

I always get a kick when I see a Melobar make it on stage on TV- Have to tip my hat to Denny Hemingson with Tim McGraw doing an excellent job with a Melobar Skreemr on the left!


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

M.Green get's the Green Dragon

 This guitar was to be the Green Dragon one of a kind but was thought it to be lost in the Hardway fire because it had been stained green and then black soot encased it; on a lark I started sanding and found the soot didn't stain into the open wood but left the green of the CnC carved fretboard looking almost iridescent, did a little more green alcohol stain and the grain popped on the body, shot a dozen clear coats and put about 30 hours into it and it is one of my favorite Tele-Ratt's headed out to Margaret Green owner of one of the original Melobar TeleRatts, She will have two one of a kind guitars like nothing we ever built before...kinda cool to have a player with one of the first and one of the last ever built.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Bruce's Tel-O-Bar

Finally after 70+ hours Bruce's Tel-O-Bar is born.

Very interesting guitar with the Tele on top then the Melobar neck is able to convert from 6 to 8 to a 10 string configuration.

Don't ask me to build another one though, I made less than $5 an hour on this one and the pain and stress is wayyyy too much, but it's cool to see this one make it into the world.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Last lap steel I have time for right now

This is the last lap steel I get to put together for a while due to time but it was a fun one. William Arnold (owner of the Tel-O-Bar 6+6 model below) told me he was making pickguards out of old LP's which sounded very cool to me. I had this S-head that has sat on the shelf forever waiting for someone to purchase a 8-string pickup for it so I took an L-605 I had on the shelf since the late 80's! - and put it together with Black Grover keys, a custom red marble fretboard and laminated a old record dad had on Swing on the pickguard. Kinda cool. SOLD


Monday, January 28, 2013

Tel-O-Bars are sold...last original Steelgitr up for sale

 I will have the last production Melobar built in the Sweet shop(brass plate testifying to that will be on the upper head stock and back of the guitar) up for sale. This is also the last Steelgitr built (custom body) with Bill Lawrence Tele pickups and L-500. Difference from the Steelgitr to the Telobar is the necks are farther apart and the entire body was built from scratch (Tel-O-Bars use a donor Tele to get started so half the body is original Fender)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

My personal custom CC-8

SOLD This was a CC-8 that never made it to production because I liked the dark blue color and snagged it for myself. I stole the 80's(the really good one with chrome case Bill said couldn't be duplicated exaclty the same anymore because the grade of magnets and wire were not available) L-705 - The pickup was on a guitar dad had built for Barbara Mandrell but kept it for himself...then I stole the pickup :), So hot I actually dialed it down a bit. Black Grovers 102B keys, it's definitely used but in very good shape -SOLD

Solid Maple Ratt


Solid Maple Rattler model, Black Grovers, clear fretboard, nice wood grain, with a very warm sweet sounding pickup and TKL Gig Bag $287


Honey Brown Rattler

Finished this one between coats of paint on the other guitars. VERY nice little Rattler model with a Honey Brown finish