Hand made, hand played; that's the motto at Mossman Guitars. Learn a bit more about the history of this company, as well as the guitars they offer.
About Mossman Guitars
The Folk Boom
The history of Mossman Guitars has it roots in the 1960s, a time when folk music was experiencing immense popularity. To meet the sky rocketing demand for acoustic guitars during that era, some companies turned to mass manufacturing less expensive guitars to satisfy the public's craving, but the quality of these laminated plywood instruments were lower than you'd expect from some of the brand names involved.
Around this time, Stuart Mossman, a flat picker himself, became appalled at the sound quality of these mass produced guitars, and set about designing a quality instrument that would bring some much needed integrity back to the industry. He experimented with quite a few models, typically opting for solid spruce tops, with woods such as rosewood, walnut and mahogany used to fill out the rest of the main body. These choice woods produced a far finer sound quality than cheaper plywood models.
Additionally, great attention was paid to detail, and Mossman used a variety of materials including abalone and ebony to enhance each instrument's visual appeal. From the very beginning, Mossman guitars were crafted with a quality first attitude. These guitars were comparable to the well-respected Martin guitars, but they were slightly less expensive.
Good Times, Bad Times
Mossman took his guitars into production, and established a solid reputation, but the company experienced some major setbacks. In 1975, a fire claimed the main manufacturing house. Later on, Mossman entered into a distributing agreement with the C.G. Conn company, a deal that quickly turned sour when Mossman's high quality wood guitars were damaged by conditions in Conn's warehouse due to lack of climate control. After much legal wrangling, the partnership came to an end.
The Fabled 25
Before Stuart Mossman finally sold the company to former employee Scott Baxendale in 1986, he manufactured a final 25 guitars from extremely fine pieces of wood he had been holding back from the rest of the manufacturing. Mossman put every ounce of skill he had into these guitars, and most remained in his personal collection. A few have surfaced over the years, but most haven't been seen by the general public.
Today, vintage Mossman guitars, outside of the damaged instruments from the Conn warehouse, can be real collectors items. The company mainly turned out six string guitars, so the few 12 string instruments that were produced are rare and much sought after. Additionally, the South Wind, only produced from 1976 to 1978, is probably the single most collected guitar of the Mossman line.
Current Models and Pricing
As previously stated, Mossman only manufactures acoustic guitars, and each instrument is made to order. You've probably heard this saying before, but it's true; you get what you pay for. Keeping that in mind, purchasing your own Mossman guitar direct from the manufacturer isn't going to be cheap. These craftsman pieces range from $1,900.00 up to $6,500.00 each.
The Texas Plains model is available in mahogany for $1,900.00 or you can opt for rosewood at a price of $2,200.00. Both models come with white binding, and you have a choice of bound or unbound fretboard. Each model comes with satin chrome tuners.
The Wheeler Gospel Mossman guitar is a fine instrument that comes in at $2,000.00. The body is constructed from choice mahogany, and is detailed with tortoiseshell binding and a beautiful abalone sound hole rosette.
The Winter Wheat guitar is a cut above the previous models in price, costing $3,200.00. Beautiful to behold, this model comes with abalone shell inlays and rosette, and ivroid binding. Satin chrome tuners finish the distinctive look.
As the name implies, the Golden Era is Mossman's top of the line guitar, and will cost you a pretty penny to own. In fact, you'll spend buckets of pennies for the privilege of owning this fine instrument. It costs $6,500.00, but it is a performance quality instrument of the highest order.
This is possibly the most beautiful of all the Mossman guitars. There is extensive use of abalone in the design, including a lovely bit of vine work that winds its way up the entire fretboard.
See for Yourself
Visit the Mossman Guitars website yourself to view images of these lovely instruments and get in touch with the company directly should you decide to order one.