The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #96492 Message #2769088
Posted By: Willie-O
19-Nov-09 - 07:08 AM
Thread Name: Martin Conservatoire (Canadian Martin Guitar)
Subject: RE: Martin Conservatoire (Canadian Martin Guitar)
"Basically, I'm wondering how you know "Sigma's that had problems were labeled Conservatoire". Were you a Martin dealer?"
This practice wasn't a big secret. I toured the Martin factory in Nazareth in 1983 with Dick Boak as guide (and I was the whole tour group), and he told me a similar thing. Sigmas were all supposed to be quality inspected at Nazareth, and those that failed were rebranded--in the US it was not Conservatoire, I have been trying to remember the name ever since. He didn't mention that Sigmas had been imported directly to Canada, and (presumably) inspected there, but it makes sense that they would have shipped them directly to BC rather than going through another importation process with their low-end guitars.
Boak said that if a branded Martin failed quality inspection, it was put through a bandsaw. No off-branding for the real Martin models. I guess that's how they came up with the half models you used to see on display everywhere (although would they want to display them? one wonders.)
They used to take the Martin name that seriously...now its Cowboy geetars, and Felix the Cat...sheesh.