The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #71908   Message #2489615
Posted By: GUEST,Bozeman
10-Nov-08 - 04:17 AM
Thread Name: Sigma Guitars
Subject: RE: sigma guitars
To All interested in Sigma DR-11

I have a Sigma DR-11 that I purchased new in 1978 for about $335. It has a solid spruce top, rosewood keyboard, and I believe solid (?)rosewood back and sides. Like others described here, it is a three-piece back, and has mother of pearl inlays around the sound hole and on the neck.

It has gold leaf "Sigma" on the head, AND it says "Est. 1970," which contradicts another post in this thread that use of this didn't start until 1980.

I've wanted a real Martin ever since I bought this guitar, and just today took my DR-11 in to a local music shop here in Bozeman (a signature Martin Dealer), and my DR-11 sounded as good or better than some of the new D-28s I played: Honestly!

Though my older Sigma, which is one of the "Made in Japan for CF Martin" models has a few dings and would probably benefit from a good retooling, it's in pretty good shape and I am amazed at the sound quality. The dealer was quick to offer me $350 on a trade in on the Martin I was looking at, and I decided since my Sigma sounded notably better than the JC16RGTE Premium I was looking at to keep it. Glad I did after doing a bit more research and reading here that apparently (a) many of the 1970's Japanese Sigmas are considered to be pretty good guitars, and (b) the DR-11 may be one of the rarer models.

Perhaps the lesson in all of this is that when I bought this guitar, a friend of mine who DID own several Martins said that the quality of wood--and of course the general quality of the design--was VERY important. At that time, the DR-11 was thought to be very similar to Martin's D-35. Over the years, my spruce top / rosewood sides and back guitar has aged nicely, and if my sound test today--confirmed by two others--is any indication, my original buy was a darn good deal!

I'd love to hear more from others who own a DR-11, or from anyone who knows more about their history and current value.