Monday, January 14, 2008

Me & My Sigma




Back in 1981, I bought my first new guitar. It had been kickin' around the showroom at Halpin's Music in Alton, IL for a little under a year, but no one seemed to want it coz is was not a "real" Martin. It was a considered a knock-off, just a Sigma. When I played it, I fell in love. Hey, if it's made to Martin specs, plays like a Martin, sounds like a Martin, then guess what? So I wrote the check and took my new baby home. A beautiful solid mahogany body dreadnought with solid spruce top, rosewood fretboard and bridge, Sigma logo, "Anniversary" and snowflake/diamond fret markers like a D-28 in mother of pearl, and it was all mine. Over the years I have always loved this instrument. There are others, a fine Ovation and a Fender 12-string that fight for my attention, but the Sigma gets more time. The thing is just a pleasure to play. Then came the internet. Now I know that there were only 100 of the Sigma 10th Anniversary models made. Quite a bit of Googling seems to reveal that very few are still with their original owners. Who knew I'd own a piece guitar history? I just wanted to play.

23 comments:

Glenn M. Walls said...

got one also, that accounts for 2 of them.

Anonymous said...

I have serial #815983 inherited from my Aunt 26 years ago. She bought it new in WPB, Fla. Just had the neck reset, set up and plays sounds like a dream! So that makes 3!

Anonymous said...

I got one the other day from a lil old lady who said her son bought it new and he has since passed and she wanted to get rid of it! so I picked it up and am looking to sell it for 800.00 if nayone is interested! email me at skibu20032003@yahoo.com for info!

Anonymous said...

I've got one that my Dad bought me when I was in high school in 1980. Still play it all the time. Beautiful sound. Played it at a "breakfast jam" this morning! Dallas, Texas

fr.anthony said...

I bought a Sigma anniversary in London for my 21st Birthday. I'd never part with it. Had a Fishmann pick up put inside and plays crisply and perfectly in tune. Check out my playing of it in the Cathedral Santiago de Campostela 2009, on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMckvgUcAYY
Father Anthony McNeill ofm

Anonymous said...

I am the proud owner of a D10 and I can attest to the quality of these guitars. My Taylor has a faster neck but sounds one-dimensional compared to the D10. Been playing for 32 years and know for a fact that it can go toe to toe with a vintage Martin because I have one of those too.

Anonymous said...

I have serial #817537. I am in London UK. Mine has 10 stamped on the brace then a space followed by 9. Does anyone know what this means? Fab tone, deep n rich mid tones, snappy Martin bass and clear bright trebles. Just a joy. Better than any budget Martin imho

William said...

Back in 1981 my folks helped me with the purchase of a new Sigma D10 Anniversary that was hanging on the wall at Eckroth Music in Mandan North Dakota. I was 17, and now 29 years later it hangs on the wall of my studio. It still gets played quite a bit and sounds great. Cannot find a serial number, but there is a Sigma Guitars, CF Martin and Co. logo with a 10 next to it, further over is a 9, and all are stamped in the cross brace that runs down the center of the back. This guitar has played many a gig, been refretted, and a Martin Thinline pickup installed.

BEACHBUM said...

I got my D10 Anniversary about 20 years ago in trade for and old stand up piano. Best trade I ever made.

Anonymous said...

I am excited I have been playin guitar for 20 years and never had a good guitar bought my D-10 on ebay waiting for delivery..oh ...boy..before that I had a Johnson that I bought at a yard sale for 10 bucks...I wore the fretboard down playin it..in only a few years..T.C.F florida

Anonymous said...

Selling one: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sigma-D-10-1980-Anniversary-Edition-/170781922701?pt=Guitar&hash=item27c365558d#ht_500wt_1239

Anonymous said...

I bought my D-10 back in 1981 just out of high school In Alpena Mi. #824180 Bought it when I moved to Detroit, once I played It, I had to have It! I've had plenty of guitars, but I've never, or will I ever sell my Sigma!!! So Sweeet!!

will said...

Any one find out what the # 9 is for after the #10 on the Sigma D-10?

Anonymous said...

How much were the Anniversary D-10's when they were new in the 1980's? Anybody?

Ruralgurl said...

When I bought mine in 1981 NOS it was marked at $400.00 but I did some talking and got it for a bit less. (Not bad for a 17 year old...) I wrote the check for $400.00 even. They'd thrown in extra strings, a new Jim Dunlop capo, a Martin guitar polishing kit, pics and I think a Doobie Brothers songbook plus tax.

Anonymous said...

I own 2 D-10. One I bought just a few hours after it hit the shelve at our local guitar shop a hard shell case 2 sets of Martin light gauge bluegrass strings a pick and a Martin guitar strap. the other I bought about 4months ago after a little repair work by a local artist to upper neck plays as good as new

Sam L. Parity said...

Just picked one up today. Beautiful guitar with snippy tone. Plays great. Apparently, the nine means it is a factory second! They marked it that way usually because of finish irregularities. Don't see anything wrong with mine. After 30 years, they all have a regularities! Looking forward to owning this for many years to come.

Rik Sin said...

Mine is # 817435 and has the same 10 and 9 beside the logo

Rik Sin said...

Is there any way to figure out which one of the 100 made that you have?

Rik Sin said...

Is there any way to figure out which one of the 100 made that you have?

Rik Sin said...

Mine is # 817435 and has the same 10 and 9 beside the logo

Rik Sin said...

he D-10 '9' had cross grain sanding marks, finish runs and/or a rough finish, rough or chipped inlay and/or bindings, poor repairs, small indentations and/or discolorations.
The D-10 '8' had finish checks, shrunken end pieces, filler discolorations, dents and/or a very thin finish.
Instead of 'seconding' these by labeling them as 'Picador' guitars, and/or voiding the warranty completely, Martin decided to invoke a warranty exception and lower the price by a few points. The affixed warranty card was amended to read..."Your D-10 '9' (or D-10 '8') is not warranted against cosmetic defects."[16]

Rik Sin said...

he D-10 '9' had cross grain sanding marks, finish runs and/or a rough finish, rough or chipped inlay and/or bindings, poor repairs, small indentations and/or discolorations.
The D-10 '8' had finish checks, shrunken end pieces, filler discolorations, dents and/or a very thin finish.
Instead of 'seconding' these by labeling them as 'Picador' guitars, and/or voiding the warranty completely, Martin decided to invoke a warranty exception and lower the price by a few points. The affixed warranty card was amended to read..."Your D-10 '9' (or D-10 '8') is not warranted against cosmetic defects."[16]