American company C.F. Martin created the brand "Sigma" in 1970 to compete with cheaper guitars that were being imported from Asia at that time. Sigma released a wide range of acoustic and classical guitars, which were constructed in Japan by various factories from 1970 through to 1983.
The first Sigmas were typically dreadnought acoustic, although a Grand Concert Series (GCS) and classical models were also produced from the early 1970s onward. Though other models were produced the most common two the '70's were the DM-5 and DR-7 dreadnought models. D is for dreadnought, R for rosewood, M for mahogany, with the number denoting the grade of wood --- 5, 7, 9, 11, 14, 15. Models with higher numbers were given higher-quality materials and more attentive craftsmanship, as well as overall quality and quantity of appointments.
Long overlooked and relegated to an obscure corner of the collectible market, Sigma by Martin guitars have recently gained popularity among a new generation of collectors. If you’re one who has developed a taste for them (or other vintage Japanese brands), you likely know that Martin – as it readily admits – kept few notes regarding the Sigma line.
This is a high-end Sigma DR-14 from the late 70s with following features –
* Dreadnought Body
* Solid Spruce Top
* Laminated Rosewood Back and Sides
* Black/White/Black Rosette
* Scalloped X-Bracing
* Solid Rosewood Fingerboard
* Ebonised Rosewood Bridge
* Hexagonal Abalone Fingerboard Inlays
* Polished Transparent Gloss Body and Top
* Chrome Enclosed Sigma Tuning Machines with Chrome Buttons
* Black Bridge Pins
* Black Pickguard
* Total Length: 40 3/4"
* Body Length: 19 15/16"
* Body Width: 15 3/4"
* Body Depth: 4 3/4"
* Scale Length: 25.4"
* Frets: 14/20 (Clear/Total)
* Fingerboard Width: 1 15/16" at nut
There is a pressure-incised oval stamped on the back brace inside this one, which collectors call the “football stamp,” and it reads “Sigma Guitars/Made in Japan For C.F. Martin & Co”.
This one has a pickup installed but we do not know its brand or model. Except that is sounds very good – an accurate amplification of the instrument’s attributes.
This guitar has been played primarily at home and has been well cared for. It shows a few signs of player wear including light pick swirling on the guard, some light scratches on the back, and a few minor dings and dents.
There is a crease on the back of the neck but it’s on the upper side and not really noticeable when playing. Truss rod works fine, tuners are solid and there’s very little fret wear with lots of life left.
This is a well made Martin style dreadnought guitar with high level appointments, built in Japan in an era when quality was not compromised, but labour was much cheaper than America.
Comes in what appears to be its original hard shell case in good condition.