Mountain Guitars

Posted by John on Mon, 08/12/02 - 21:50:39.

Does anyone know where I can find information on Mountain Guitars? I've heard they are a Japanese imitation of Martin guitars. Where does one go to get some insight on its construction / value?

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Mountain M-35

Had my Mountain M-35 for twenty years and it's FANTASTIC.

Mountain Guitars

I bought my Mountain new circa 1988 in San Diego. Mine is acoustic but has a built-in pickup. I have played this guitar over 25 years and it still sounds great. It looks great still as well. It has a big sound. I love it dearly.

Mtn guitar electric

I bought a Tele style Mountain in the biggest pawn shop in La Jolla in about 1989. Great sound. Well built.

Mountain Guitar

I have a Mountain guitar that has a W400 number on it. It is a large dreadnought and appears to be a knock off of a Martin D35. It has an awesome large sound with great tone and sustain. I had a 1969 Gibson J45 that was stolen in the late 80's. The Mountain sounds as clear and has a bigger sound than the Gibson. I am totally happy with this guitar. I have not played a Martin, but have heard a few played and I would put the Mountain right up there with both the Martin and the Gibson. I have been told that the luthier Momose was the person who built this instrument I am trying to find out more about the man and the guitar. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Mountain Guitars

Follow-up to my post on 11/05/2012.

Chris Kinman here. I found Mountain Guitars during a visit to Japan in 1974, I was half owner of Sound Stage at the time. We thought so highly of those guitars we imported them for the next few years until the demise of the company in the late 70's due to financial stress.

I don't know who the manufacturer was because in those days makers sold their products only through Export Agents who had English language skills and it was through one such agent that we procured our supplies. I seem to recall they might have been made by Matsumoka but I'm not sure after all these years.

We imported many different models, some less expensive with laminated tops, backs and side and some top of the range with solid spruce tops with laminated backs and sides and one or two with solid backs and sides. I don't know much more about them that that.

It's good to hear you are still enjoying you Mountain guitar in 2012, it seems I was a good judge of quality in 1974.

Regards, Chris Kinman

Mountain Guitars

I have a Mountain Dreadnought style acoustic that I bought in Brisbane in about 1976 from a musical instrument store (name long-forgotten) which was co-owned (I believe) by Chris Kinman, who went on to be one of the best luthiers around and for some years has made and sold high-quality pick-ups (mainly for Fenders). I recall that Chris personally selected all guitars they imported. Mine is, I believe, a Japanese made Gibson Dove copy - down to the scratch-plate shape and design of all inlays, except that there are no inlays on the scratch-plate. Like the Dove, construction is Spruce top (possibly ply), book-matched Maple back, Maple sides, Mahogany (with truss-rod) neck. It is fully bound. Being a 'blonde' guitar, its colour has aged to a beautiful gold. It has always had a lovely bright sound, typical of the woods used, and has always had a great, fast action - well suited to electric guitar players. The name 'Mountain Guitar' is embossed on the inside-back directly under the sound-hole and the word 'Mountain' is inlayed in mother-of-pearl, in a semi-circle, on the head-stock, where the Gibson name would normally appear. It has had many admirers over the years - for its look and its sound. I recall it cost me about $200 which, for its time, was quite expensive for an unknown brand acoustic. In hindsite - a great buy.

Re: Mountain Guitars

Hi John,

I know it is some time since you posted, so if this reaches you well and good.

I purchased a Mountain in 1976 from a guitar shop in Brisbane. It's a Martin D45 copy and I still have it.

The story I got at the time from the sales assistant was that these were made by Sigma Guitars in Japan, and that Sigma was owned by Martin. He also said that they were not hand made but were the best quality factory produced acoustic guitar on the market. I can vouch for the quality, but like you, have not been able to find out anything on the brand or verify what he told me. It's the story I tell when ever anyone comments on my Mountain which sits beside my Fender Telecaster, Martin J65 and Washburn D60W for gig work.

People comment everywhere on its sound and appearance. If these guitars were just el cheapo knockoffs they would not have lasted so long let alone mature with age as they have.

I may never find out what I want, but I do know I have an excellent guitar.

Re: Mountain Guitars

I also have a Mountain guitar. It's a M-37 model. I found it used in San Diego. Interesting story but I won't relate it just now. Sounds great to my ears and it's beautiful for sure. Here is a description I found for the M-37 "Full-Bodied Acoustic With A Solid Spruce Top And Rosewood Sides And Back. A Rosewood Fretboard With White Shaped Inlays. The Body Has One Large Ding On Top Edge And Some Scratches, But Has A Great Feel And Tone." This is an ad for one I found online. From the image on the site it looks exactly like mine, but without the ding. The address is: http://www.freedomguitar.com/description.php?II=12554&UID=20070926190518160.33.43.65 in case you are interested.

Re: Mountain Guitars

They were distributed by "Music Imports Ltd." in San Diego. I have one in my shop for adjustment and that's what the label says. It sounds pretty good and plays a lot like my HD-28. The top looks a little wavy, and the heel of the neck is starting to show a bit of a crack in the finish where it joins the body. Anyone can commission an overseas guitar builder to make a guitar brand with "your name here" and they mostly come from the same factories. So, an importer had a bunch of these made with the name "Mountain" on the headstock. There isn't really a company by that name. I would never pay more than $500 for a guitar of this type, because the woods are not good quality, and the construction doesn't warrant a higher price. You'd be better off saving a little more and buying a used Taylor or one of the inexpensive Martins now available. You get what you pay for. A used one of these for $200 (in good condition) would be an ok deal.

Mountain Guitar

My Mountain Guitar also has San Diego Music Imports LTD it has a model number of M36 and also a serial number. I purchased it used at a guitar store somewhere in Southern California way back in 1993 with set of strings cheap case a tuner and a capo for 230 dollars. It is great! It's traveled with me all over the place and my young boys sometimes rough around with it. It's stood up is in great condition with no cracks. The sound is great according to my BF who's a professional musician for whatever that's worth but its soild and well constructed. And after owning it for 20 years I feel it was a great buy. Hope someone finds this info useful

Mountain Guitar

I received a new Mountain M 38 as a gift in 1989. It was purchased in San Diego, probably at Guitar Trader. Probably made in Korea. It has a solid spruce top and I think laminate mahogany sides/back. Solidly built. It looks like a copy of a Martin D 18 or D 28. I've played it fairly consistently through the years. I recently gave it a little DIY overhaul, replacing the tuning heads, nut, saddle and bridge pins. I also took the time to set it up properly, which has improved the playability quite a bit. Some of the frets are getting worn, I'll get to those eventually. It has a pretty decent sound, boomy bass and mellow treble, brighter with new strings. Good for fingerpicking and aggressive flatpicking. My Taylor sounds better overall, but this one is an excellent beater. I hope to still be playing it in another 25 years.

Re: Mountain Guitars

I have one of these, and bought it in San Diego back in 1983. Has an actual Martin spruce top on it and flower mother of pearl inlay on the fret board. Been sitting in the closet for almost a decade, but just got it refretted an refitted. Sounds great.

Re: Mountain Guitars

: I have a mountain guitar which I found in a second hand shop in England around 1984. So far it has the best sound of any steel string acoustic guitar I have heard (including Taylor's) - with the exception of a make called a Jamboree. No one seems to know anything about Mountain guitars - mine says established 1948 on the head so it seems like an actual company. Would love to know more as well.

Mountain acoustic guitar Model S120 made in Japqn

Hi, I have a mountain acoustic guitar my friend got for me at a pawn shop. Its a very nice sounding guitar and has some nice designs in the back. Its a Japan made model S120. I cant find anything on it at all on the internet. Please let me know what its worth...

Re: Mointain Guitar

About 3 or 4 years ago, a cousin who is a frequent traveler from japan brought back with him an old looking acoustic guitar. He called me up and told me that he is going to give me a guitar made in Japan. I thought that its a brand new guitar. But i was almost dismayed because he is giving me and old guitar which looked so wasted. I cleaned it up and bought new sets of strings.

I was surprised when i heard the sound. Loud from afar and just loud enough for the player. The engraving says: CFMOUNTAINE - EST.1949

Mountain Guitar - Korea

I bought my Mountain Guitar in Fresno, CA in the mid-1980s. The sticker on the neck says "Made in Korea". In the late 1990s I lived in South Korea for a while and was looking for a new guitar. With a friend, we went to a guitar store/market that made Cort guitars. I talked to the guitar maker there and he knew about the Mountain Guitar brand and said it was related to Cort...can't remember the details of the conversation - wish I had paid more attention. It's the best full sounding guitar I've heard -

CF Mountain Model: W400D

My specific CF Mountain acoustic guitar is a beautiful example of the fabulous "copy" of the CF Martin D35-D45 model. Actually I bought my "Mountain" at Jim's Guitar Shop in San Diego, CA. It had the best sound of all the displayed guitars (and there were many) in the entire store...strong mellow and very pleasing. I've kept it all these years since the mid-1980's even though I never took to learning all that well. It's one of my "investments" which will not lose value...but gain in appreciation in value and quality. Made in Japan as I recall to compete with CF Martin (overpriced) but very good guitars. I've even compared mine to comparable ones at the Breedlove factory in Bend, OR and I'd rather have my CF Mountain...by far.

Mountain guitars

Winston - I found your post purely by accident after I googled 'Mountain Guitars' just for kicks. I have a six string accoustic I also bought at Jim's House of Guitars in San Diego (still havea couple business cards in the case) in June of '86. As it was a gift I couldn't bear to part with it, but like you, I haven't really learned to play it. I've had a few other people play it a bit, and like you said, the sound is incredible. Inside on the paper tag it says 'M 37', so I'm assuming that's a model number. Since it is cased all the time it's in pristine condition. I keep promising myself I'll learn to play it, but then the ADHD kicks in. Tomorrow, I'll do it tomorrow....

Mountain M37

Funny as I also have a Mountain M37 I got from Jim's House of Guitars in San Diego in the 80s. I was assistant manager of the store at the time. I was going to buy a Martin and Jim told me to try the Mountain and I loved it. I still have it and its still in great shape. Only thing I have done is add a bone nut. Awesome guitar.

Reply: Mountain Guitars - Michael Vinson

Interesting comment by you Michael. Sorry it's taken me til now to revisit this site (3/3/2015). The "M37" is likely the comparable to a similar Martin acoustic model. Actually, today I took my CF Mountain W400D model to a local guitar and piano store in Boise, Idaho for a valuation. The owner said (after perusing various websites on the CF Mountain acoustic guitar comments and background information), "after reviewing the history of the CF Mountain copies of the Martin guitars, and settlements of the infringement lawsuits back in the 1970's or so, this guitar is a solid wood (no lamination) and so very well made that it is considered "RARE" and a collector's dream; I'd hold onto it as a heirloom quality." He found a British valuation in "Pounds" which was about PD 799 or US dollar equivalent = $1220. Not a bad investment. Funny you said, "ADHD", same here as I get easily distracted and learning to play was a huge issue, not to mention my shorter stubby fingers. LOL

Re: Mountain Guitars

I also have a mountain guitar I bought in france for around 1000 F in a guitar shop with his box in 1974 and that I still play. it's more often my daughter who plays it cause now I have big fingers and the neck is very thin.

I found a classical guitar

I found a classical guitar with the name Mountain on the badge. Anyone else seen a classical concert size by Mountain?

CF Mountain 12 String

I have a CF Mountain guitar it is a 12 string I am looking to sell it but I do not know what it is worth how can I find out. I would not sell it because it has great sentimental value but am in need of money

Re: Mountain Guitars

I bought a mountain guitar in 1974 - seemed liked a copy of a martin with its writing etc. but I didn't know about martin guitars until I saw neil young playing one in a photograph ... my mountain has a three piece back and grover winders, i had the neck redone this year and it has a lovely old mellow ring to the sound, aged like me kinda ok!

Re: Mountain Guitars

it seems hard to find info on mountain guitars. mine was bought by my father in brisbane australia in 72 and was traded for a clean swap of a 64 fender tele. man id swap that guitar for this mountain any day. she has a 3 peice rosewood back mahogany neck and mother of pearl inlays everywhere even around the bindings. an exceptional instrument and plays to this day like a dream. like others have said only getting better with age. i had an offer from a luthier for $8000 a few years ago but quickly turned it down as it is apart of me witch i will pass on to my son... i know that the japanese instruments pre1990 were made just as good or better than usa guitars of the same era. would love to know the history of these guitars. apparently they are rare as rocking horse shit.

Mountain Guitar

Ho Dan, im responding to your post on your Mountain guitar. I have a beautiful M39 with Vine MOP inlay and it sounds amazing! Did you say a luthier offered you $8,000 for yours? Im trying to find the value range on the M39. Anyone who can help me please feel free to call me at 714-989-9863.
-Austin

Mountain's W-120

I have just purchased the Mountain's w-120 guitar off Craigslist. Mine also has the "Est 1948" logo on the handle. The label inside says made in Japan and that it is a w-120 model. Not sure what these are really worth these days but I got mine for $100.

Re: Mountain Guitars

i have a mountain guitar also and i'd love to find more out about it my grandpa found it in an apartment when i was 12 or 13 at the time and i was in need of a guitar so he gave it to me. ive been thinking about selling the thing because it's an old guitar and i'd like an up to date one but after googling it , it seems that this kind of guitar is well.. rare in a way this is the on;y thing i could find on mountain guitars. but im not sure if its the same. at the head of my guitar it says MountainE. so if anyone has any information on this please email me. brit-rox@hotmail.com

Re: Mountain Guitars

bought my mountain W500D mountain new from a guitar shop in surface paradise in 1976 it was displayed next to a D45 martin and prospective buyers were asked to compare the two the D45 was around $700 dollars the mountain was a bit more than half cost of the D45 the sound was identical but the mountain had more volume praising the instrument any further is unnessasary i gave it to a girlfriend in 1978 as a parting gift so she could have something to sell if she needed money i met up with her by chance in 2000 at some school reunion she never sold the guitar and she gave it back it had never come out of the case in 22 years this guitar is priceless and i will be buried with it.

M400

I have a Mountain M400 that I bought in the early 90's in Los Angeles. It was hanging in a small music store and I was told it was the last that the owner had bought some 10 years earlier. It appears to be modeled almost exactly from a Martin D-35 on all points except the pearl inlays that are identical to the D-45. I have had a luthier do a fret job on it recently and it now plays better, louder and cleaner than any other of my 6 acoustic guitars including a Martin. I have played mid70's D35's in vintage shops and any difference between the two goes to the mountain for having more punch... Which says a lot..

Re: Mountain Guitars

: bought my mountain W500D mountain new from a guitar shop in surface paradise in 1976 it was displayed next to a D45 martin and prospective buyers were asked to compare the two the D45 was around $700 dollars the mountain was a bit more than half cost of the D45 the sound was identical but the mountain had more volume praising the instrument any further is unnessasary i gave it to a girlfriend in 1978 as a parting gift so she could have something to sell if she needed money i met up with her by chance in 2000 at some school reunion she never sold the guitar and she gave it back it had never come out of the case in 22 years this guitar is priceless and i will be buried with it.

She must have loved that guitar and I bet she loved you too. As sweet as honey.

Re: Mountain Guitars

: : I have a mountain guitar which I found in a second hand shop in England around 1984. So far it has the best sound of any steel string acoustic guitar I have heard (including Taylor's) - with the exception of a make called a Jamboree. No one seems to know anything about Mountain guitars - mine says established 1948 on the head so it seems like an actual company. Would love to know more as well.

Re: Mountain Guitars

: : : I have a mountain guitar which I found in a second hand shop in England around 1984. So far it has the best sound of any steel string acoustic guitar I have heard (including Taylor's) - with the exception of a make called a Jamboree. No one seems to know anything about Mountain guitars - mine says established 1948 on the head so it seems like an actual company. Would love to know more as well.

Re: Mountain Guitars

ahhh yes .. I also have a mountain guitar which I bought in a music shop in Bournemouth/England (model W120) around 1985/86 it cost about 30 pounds, I was 19 years old,she has been within arms reach ever since,thats more than half of my life! she was kept as "bond" by my then landlord on many occasion when I was broke :))) I could never part from such a loyal companion regardless how much she is worth or how much somebody would offer me, new strings last week and a general clean up ...she sounds better every year !

Re: Mountain Guitars

I have a mountain guitar which I always suspected were Martin copies. I got it from a mate who bought it in Korea/Japan 10 years ago( i can check)Just today i saw an imitation of mine on the Martin Web Sit and its a short scale stephen Stills signature guitar 000-45s.I had a d28 Martin years ago but my mountain leaves it for dead. Best , clean.loud accoustic ih ave ever played

Re: Mountain Guitars

I have a Mountain guitar (D-45 copy with Mountain written vertically and identical inlays around everything )with just the mention "made by hayashi" carved inside and "made in japan" sticker behind the head, which I bought (already second-hand) in 1975 (I was 14 then) ... Now I'm ... (forget about it) and it seems that I had beginner's luck, as she is the folk guitar of my life. It plays better and better every year. I rarely found such a warm and deep tone on a folk guitar, and certainly not on new instruments (except maybe Taylor) . I actually had another one Mountain , this one a Gibson dove copy (the famous one with dove on the pickguard, used by the stones I believe )which I bought from a friend at the same time and offered to my brother. I remember that at that time in France you could find Mountain guitars even in some general stores -sounds crazy but true.
It seems to me that this company focused on making high-quality clones of famous guitars of that time (Gibson, guild, Martin ... and doing so well that even sound was identiacl or even better.
I would like to know if anyone has heard of a 12-string mountain guitar , or has a contact which I could use.

M35 mountain guitar

What's it worth

Re: Mountain Guitars

I just purchase a Mountain 12 string guitar. It plays and sounds great. However, I do not know anything about Mountain and would also like to know where it was made and who made it.

Re: Mountain Guitars

: : I have a mountain guitar which I found in a second hand shop in England around 1984. So far it has the best sound of any steel string acoustic guitar I have heard (including Taylor's) - with the exception of a make called a Jamboree. No one seems to know anything about Mountain guitars - mine says established 1948 on the head so it seems like an actual company. Would love to know more as well.

Re: Mountain Guitars

I bought my Mountain here in Adelaide (South Australia) about 30 years ago - still using it and it does sound great - especially when I remember to put new strings on it !! A colleague who does a lots of gigs ( and knows her instruments) recently bought a Gibson "Hummingbird" acoustic - second hand - and brought it into work..As soon as I clapped eyes on it I saw what Mountain had cloned, so the post about mountain making copies of other popular makes rings true. Still a beautiful guitar and I still play it regularly (and I'm over 50 y.o)
Cheers guys.

Mike

Re: Mountain Guitars

I got my 500D in Hawaii. It has the loudest cleanest sound of any acoustic I've ever heard. The neck is true and the three piece back and woodwork is beautiful.I'd never trade or sell this gem. I had a Gibson J45 and this thing kills it!

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