The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #71908   Message #1360611
Posted By: GUEST,S. Webb
18-Dec-04 - 03:42 PM
Thread Name: Sigma Guitars
Subject: RE: sigma guitars

    Bob Spradlin, another mystery Sigma, the DR-15! It has to be Rosewood (that's what the R in DR-15 means). Your description of the DR-15 sounds exactly like my mystery Sigma, except that instead of herringbone inlay for the top binding, my "mystery" Sigma has abalone inlay.

    These "mystery" Sigmas must have been made in very small quantities (or they wouldn't still be mysteries). I knew about the DR-9 and DR-11, but the DR-14 reported here was news to me and now, a DR-15! That's two more models I didn't know about. I haven'e found either one in my collection of old Sigma catalogs. That's another reason to suppose they were only made in small numbers, if they get in the catalogs.

    Since the "15" is what Martin called a "quality" number, it's as good as you think it is! I don't know if you have to tune it down so much as to make sure you never use strings heavier than Lights. Light strings have only 75% of the tension of Medium strings at the same tuning, and I've seen evidence that the use of Mediums will damage Sigmas over the long run.

    R. W. Maiden, all I can tell you is that you have a solid wood mahogany Sigma in the DM-4S. I concentrate on buying the Japan-made Sigmas, so I haven't had the chance to look over Korea-made Sigmas. The serial number suggests it might be from the mid-80's, when Martin and the Japanese manufacturers were setting up their joint Korean factories. In a Japanese Sigma the "S" would mean sunburst finish. Today, the "C" would mean Cutaway. Is it a cutaway?

    The "sideways M" logo means Made in Japan between 1970 and 1980. These models are usually the most valued Sigmas, so it was probably a good one. The "214" is probably an internal stock reference and doesn't help figure on the model. Sorry I can't be of more help.

Sterling Webb