If you're looking at this listing, you are either already familiar with the
work of Stuart Mossman, or you stumbled on this guitar while looking for a
Martin. Either way, you've found yourself an excellent dreadnought, one made
with great care and a dedication to craftsmanship in the mid seventies - a
time where both were arguably scarce commodities in the world of acoustic
guitar manufacture. In the rush to meet the burgeoning folk-driven demand
for acoustic instruments, quality was seen to slip among the major players
of the time. Stuart Mossman railed against this trend, by focusing on the
production of top quality instruments, with high quality, properly aged woods,
using old-world construction techniques. And he succeeded, definitively. In
fact, were it not for a short string of bad luck late in that decade, the
Mossman company would likely be a major player in the current high-end guitar
market. But alas, it's most likely that you'll find instruments from their
'72-'77 heyday selling for the most reasonable prices. If you find them at
all, that is.
The Mossman Great Plains model was originally introduced in 1972 - a dreadnought
instrument with Sitka Spruce top and rosewood back and sides, and Herringbone
top purfling. The original Great Plains models featured a Brazilian rosewood
back and sides, but in early 1975, a fire at the Mossman shop destroyed the
entire stock of Brazilian rosewood. Mossman recovered from this setback, but
guitars from this point on were built with East Indian Rosewood, as is the
case with this 1976 Great Plains.
The original Great Plains had an unbound neck and headstock. A Great Plains
Custom was also available, that featured a bound neck and headstock, and gold
Grovers. In 1975, the Custom model was dropped, and many of the features were
incorporated into the standard Great Plains, as you see here. This guitar
has a three-piece East Indian Rosewood back, and a Sitka Spruce top with a
Herringbone purfling. The top, neck and headstock are bound with Ivoroid,
and the tuners are gold Grovers.
This guitar is in wonderful condition for it's age, and is a great player,
too - it has the full, meaty sound of a well-aged Martin dreadnought, warm,
powerful, but comfortable too. You'll see light finish checking over the top
of the instrument, and a small ding on the back of the neck, about 3"
south of the headstock - very minor. Expect to see a few tiny dings elsewhere
on this guitar.
Includes hardshell case, which I think is original, but I am not sure whether
this can be verified. Note that the end pin is not present. It appears that
a pickup was installed at some point, as the endpin hole has been carefully
reamed out to 1/2". So it's ready for you to drop in the low-impact pickup
of your choice. Everything else appears to be original.