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Old 01-02-2007, 04:37 PM
Rodeo Rick Rodeo Rick is offline
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Default Old Sigma DR-7's...are they vaulable?

Hi all...

I have an old Sigma DR-7 Guitar....s/n 6860. Bought it new in 1970. Still have the tag that hung on it...$139.00

At the time Martin marketed it as 'their materials, but made abroad..." In fact, it has an "M" on its side above the headstock logo 'Sigma'

For many years it was my main working guitar...played it solo and in bands through high school, and in college, 'till I upgraded.

Just got it out, and took a second look...man, that looks like sitka on the top, and I'll be darned if it doesn't look like rosewood on the back and sides. Gorgeous pattern. Looks just like excellent rosewood.

Is it? And if so, would it be worth replacing the adjustable bridge (with two big screws on it, meant for consumer adjustments....yikes!) and getting it up and running? Would doing that mess up its value? Or...speaking of value, will it always be a $139 guitar?

Plays great, sounds great...

Thanks as always....
__________________
1997 Martin D-45
1998 Collings 0001
1998 Huss & Dalton CM-R
2006 Martin OMC-AURA
1972 Ovation Folklore
1969 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe
1998 Spector NS2-4 Bass
1970 Sigma DR-7
1965 Welson Acoustic
1999 Baby Taylor
2006 Seagull Coastline Cedar Folk

Mesa Boogie Mark IV...Maple/Wicker
The Original Pignose
MBox Pro Tools Studio
Neumann 103

Last edited by Rodeo Rick; 01-02-2007 at 04:52 PM.
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  #2  
Old 01-02-2007, 06:29 PM
macfawlty macfawlty is offline
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Default I have two Sigmas and love them both

I have the DM-5 and the DR-41. I hadn't played much for the last 25 years and before that played classical and some jazz. When I picked it up again, I decide I wanted to play steel string acoustic type music. I love the sound of the acoustic (who on AGF doesn't right??). The DM-5 I had bought for my wife to replace a Nagoya of hers that I snapped the neck on. It has a spruce top and mahogany back/sides. When I first picked it up, I didn't like the sound. There was a chip in the saddle so I thought I would take it to get replaced 'cause it buzzed. When I got it back set up right with a bone saddle it was like a completely different guitar. I was amazed. I liked it so much I decided to buy the DR-41 for a little more bling and a rosewood back/sides. I got the DR-41 saddle and pins replaced as well and I love it. These guitars (particularly the older ones) sound as good as any Martins I have tried, but to be fair, there are a lot of good Martins I have not tried. I did recently order a Taylor but I will always give fair play to my Sigmas. The value is not really collectible. The age would make it more valuable but these are VERY UNDERVALUED guitars IMO. If anyone wants a Martin but can't afford it right now, find an older Sigma and get it set up with a new saddle and pins and it may really surprise you.
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Taylor 815C coco/cedar
Taylor 410e
Taylor 314ce
Taylor 110e
Martin D-18GE
Little Martin Felix II
Sigma DM-5
Sigma DR-41
Martin 000x1e
Washburn 314k Parlor, 125th anniv.
Yamaha FG730s
Liberty Mahogany resonator
Epiphone Emperor Joe Pass
Epiphone Sheraton II
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  #3  
Old 01-02-2007, 08:21 PM
macfawlty macfawlty is offline
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Default Check your dating... Sigma web site

The Sigma web site which lists past models indicates they did not make anything prior to 1979 (http://www.sigmaguitars.com/pastmodels.html). If you click on the model, it goes to an appraisal site that lists the value at $x.xx. If that's the case, I'll take a dozen of them and give them to friends. I have seen Sigmas on eBay. The value is not real good. The top of the line new Sigma DR-41's go for around $xxx. I don't know how good the new ones are. I played one new model in GC that was crap. Zager EZ-Play guitars (http://www.zagerguitar.com/) used to use the DR-41 as their top model so there must be something decent for them to work with. I say, replace the bridge saddle and keep it as a beater... might be a real good sounding beater.
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--------------------------
Taylor 815C coco/cedar
Taylor 410e
Taylor 314ce
Taylor 110e
Martin D-18GE
Little Martin Felix II
Sigma DM-5
Sigma DR-41
Martin 000x1e
Washburn 314k Parlor, 125th anniv.
Yamaha FG730s
Liberty Mahogany resonator
Epiphone Emperor Joe Pass
Epiphone Sheraton II
Fender Amer. Std. SSH Strat
Ibanez SZ520
Fender Squier Strat
Fender Strat Mini

Last edited by rlouie; 08-02-2009 at 07:45 AM. Reason: no price discussion rule
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  #4  
Old 01-03-2007, 05:01 AM
Rodeo Rick Rodeo Rick is offline
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Default

Hi again...

Thanks very much for the information! I appreciate it.

Quote:
The Sigma web site which lists past models indicates they did not make anything prior to 1979
Trouble is, I have the original receipt from the music store, dated 1970! And as the original owner, I was there! lol

This, I believe, is one of the first Sigmas ever, and I mean ever. Its serial number is only 6860. I believe it was built back when Sigma truly was a department of Martin. In fact, the label inside the guitar says as much. And all the cards, etc that came with it say 'CF Martin" at the bottom.

Later, I believe Sigma split off from Martin and became its own company. That's probably when their individual dating began. Maybe 1979?

Maybe Martin can give me some answers. They're always helpful.

Regardless, I think I'll take your advice, and keep it. I'll replace the saddle, keep brand new strings on it...and just play it. And play it. Like you said, a beater....but a real good sounding beater!

Thanks again! I appreciate your answers.
__________________
1997 Martin D-45
1998 Collings 0001
1998 Huss & Dalton CM-R
2006 Martin OMC-AURA
1972 Ovation Folklore
1969 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe
1998 Spector NS2-4 Bass
1970 Sigma DR-7
1965 Welson Acoustic
1999 Baby Taylor
2006 Seagull Coastline Cedar Folk

Mesa Boogie Mark IV...Maple/Wicker
The Original Pignose
MBox Pro Tools Studio
Neumann 103
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  #5  
Old 01-03-2007, 05:44 AM
elExtranjero elExtranjero is offline
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Default "not a beater"

I've got to disagree with the continued labeling of these old Sigma's as "beaters". I got my DM4-CV in about 1987 at a bluegrass shop in MD for apx $xxx. A couple of years ago I had the tuners replaced with high end Gotohs and the nut and bridge done in bone, bone pins, and a fret job. Total bill of about $xxx.

I've spent probably 250 hours in guitar shops in the last few years playing Martin, Gibson, Taylor, etc. I DID buy an XXX-RS for finger picking, but I have YET to find a dread that sounds any better than this old Sigma. Some of them sound DIFFERENT, but not better. I've even played some of the old guitars you find occasionally. Andersons guitar gallery in Frisco has had some very very old Martins for example, and I've played some 30 to 50 year old J45s. I actually have tried to talk myself INTO buying an HD28V or the new Taylor GS. But every time I play one, then come home and play this old Sigma (yes, I know I should play them side by side), I just can't honestly say they sound any better.

Maybe it's my ears (I'm an amateur hack) or maybe it's sentiment, but I think the $xxx spent on my Sigma was the best investment I've made on guitars EVER! I'm planning a full fret job on it in the next few years. My advice is, if you like the old Sigma you've got, and it sounds like you do, don't skimp on it. It's worth far more than the sum of its parts, and the bone parts and Gotoh's really did make a difference on mine! I seriously doubt these guitars will ever have any "value", except to guys like us that appreciate a good sounding guitar.

....your mileage may vary....

Last edited by rlouie; 08-02-2009 at 07:45 AM. Reason: no price discussion rule
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  #6  
Old 01-03-2007, 07:43 AM
Rodeo Rick Rodeo Rick is offline
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Default

Didn't mean to diss the Sigmas....

Obviously, both of us own them, and we're proud of it.

But I can't honestly say my 36 year-old Sigma is the best sounding guitar I have. Some of my instruments sound like grand pianos. Incredible definition, balance from bass through mids and treble, and cannon-like projection. As much as I love the Sigma -- and I do -- it can't compete.

If your experience is different, excellent!
__________________
1997 Martin D-45
1998 Collings 0001
1998 Huss & Dalton CM-R
2006 Martin OMC-AURA
1972 Ovation Folklore
1969 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe
1998 Spector NS2-4 Bass
1970 Sigma DR-7
1965 Welson Acoustic
1999 Baby Taylor
2006 Seagull Coastline Cedar Folk

Mesa Boogie Mark IV...Maple/Wicker
The Original Pignose
MBox Pro Tools Studio
Neumann 103

Last edited by Rodeo Rick; 01-03-2007 at 11:00 AM.
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  #7  
Old 01-03-2007, 01:40 PM
macfawlty macfawlty is offline
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Default What I'm proud of...

No, seriously, you don't hurt my pride. You have some killer guitars and I'm afraid that Sigma's, while some of them "can" sound really good for the price (as compared to the only logical comparative brand, Martin), they don't compete with the jewels in your personal collection. What I am proud of is that I have a couple guitars that sound great but didn't cost me a lot of money. That is a rare thing. Most of what is inexpensive sounds inexpensive. I always think it's interesting when I find a guitar that sounds hundreds better than the price. What I cannot stand is guitars in the $1500-3000 range that I think sound awful. I notice it with a lot of Gibsons especially. I wonder if anyone else notices the same.
__________________
--------------------------
Taylor 815C coco/cedar
Taylor 410e
Taylor 314ce
Taylor 110e
Martin D-18GE
Little Martin Felix II
Sigma DM-5
Sigma DR-41
Martin 000x1e
Washburn 314k Parlor, 125th anniv.
Yamaha FG730s
Liberty Mahogany resonator
Epiphone Emperor Joe Pass
Epiphone Sheraton II
Fender Amer. Std. SSH Strat
Ibanez SZ520
Fender Squier Strat
Fender Strat Mini
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  #8  
Old 01-03-2007, 03:46 PM
sharkydude50 sharkydude50 is offline
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Default Old Sigma

I got a DR-9 back in 1978 that is now reduced to a beach axe for me here in FL. I have it apart right now, as it needs a fret dressing and a new bone saddle. In 30 plus years all I've ever done was replace the machines with Grovers and install a bone nut. I paid $xxx for it then and must say that it was my only guitar until 1997! Just like the old Timex watches used to say "Takes a lickin' and keeps on pickin'" Beautiful rosewood 3 piece back and sides. Def. a Sitka top.
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Last edited by rlouie; 08-02-2009 at 07:46 AM. Reason: no price discussion rule
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  #9  
Old 01-03-2007, 03:56 PM
DaveG DaveG is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by macfawlty View Post
it goes to an appraisal site that lists the value at $x.xx
Actually that's what the appraisal site charges to give you the value, not the value of the guitar.

Dave

Last edited by rlouie; 08-02-2009 at 07:46 AM. Reason: edited out price in quote
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  #10  
Old 01-03-2007, 04:27 PM
Bm7b5 Bm7b5 is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveG View Post
Actually that's what the appraisal site charges to give you the value, not the value of the guitar.

Dave



That gave me a chuckle.....
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  #11  
Old 01-03-2007, 05:26 PM
macfawlty macfawlty is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bm7b5 View Post
That gave me a chuckle.....
Ok, so I didn't take the time to actually read it. I don't think I would pay the $x.xx for the appraisal anyway. With a low-end guitar, the value is in the ear of the holder. Rodeo Rick has got so many nice guitars, I don't think he's losing any sleep over it.
__________________
--------------------------
Taylor 815C coco/cedar
Taylor 410e
Taylor 314ce
Taylor 110e
Martin D-18GE
Little Martin Felix II
Sigma DM-5
Sigma DR-41
Martin 000x1e
Washburn 314k Parlor, 125th anniv.
Yamaha FG730s
Liberty Mahogany resonator
Epiphone Emperor Joe Pass
Epiphone Sheraton II
Fender Amer. Std. SSH Strat
Ibanez SZ520
Fender Squier Strat
Fender Strat Mini

Last edited by rlouie; 08-02-2009 at 07:47 AM.
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  #12  
Old 01-03-2007, 09:13 PM
Rodeo Rick Rodeo Rick is offline
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Hi again...

Talked to Martin today. Mike in customer service told me that the Sigma I have is made of 'rosewood laminate,' not solid rosewood.

Bummer.

He also told me that when Martin had the Sigma line under its wing, it kept all the records of each one until its warranty ran out. Then, it deep-sixed them.

So, thanks to all of you, and Mike at Martin, I have my answer.

Sigma DR-7's will never sell for a ton of dough.

But, Sigma DR-7's, especially very old ones, are valuable....as sweet old guitars that play beautifully and sound excellent. It's a value that will take hold in the player's heart, not in the marketplace. They're good enough to fill a room with great tones, good enough to fill my head with memories, and hey, good enough to be handed down to your kids, as their first acoustic.

And that...is an heirloom.
__________________
1997 Martin D-45
1998 Collings 0001
1998 Huss & Dalton CM-R
2006 Martin OMC-AURA
1972 Ovation Folklore
1969 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe
1998 Spector NS2-4 Bass
1970 Sigma DR-7
1965 Welson Acoustic
1999 Baby Taylor
2006 Seagull Coastline Cedar Folk

Mesa Boogie Mark IV...Maple/Wicker
The Original Pignose
MBox Pro Tools Studio
Neumann 103
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Old 01-04-2007, 09:18 AM
Bm7b5 Bm7b5 is offline
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I'll give ya $100.......
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"Now these three remain, Faith, Hope, and Love, but the greatest of these is Love"
<><

McPherson 4.5W RW/ZI
Taylor 812ce - Taylor 514ce - NS32-ce
Adamas W-597, Epi John Lee Hooker Sig #23 of 220, Squire Black Strat
Jay Turser Maple OM
Taylor W14ce / 422-R Babies x 3
Fishman 130W Tri-Amped Performer Acoustic Amp
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  #14  
Old 01-04-2007, 10:29 AM
macfawlty macfawlty is offline
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Rodeo Rick, thanks for the info. I might call Mike and ask him about my DR-41. I don't think the rosewood on mine is laminate. I can see the grain on the inside which appears to match the grain on the outside... but I could be wrong. I happened to stop by Guitar Center last night (because I am incapable of passing it when in the neighborhood). I played a variety of Martins. The new HD-28 I played sounded no better than a $400 Takamine. To be fair, I played the Martin D42 which sounded real good. Very similar to my DR-41 but with maybe the slightest edge soundwise. I tried a Taylor 612ce that sounded positively awful (even for maple, which I don't like anyway). Are Martins typically inconsistent that way?
__________________
--------------------------
Taylor 815C coco/cedar
Taylor 410e
Taylor 314ce
Taylor 110e
Martin D-18GE
Little Martin Felix II
Sigma DM-5
Sigma DR-41
Martin 000x1e
Washburn 314k Parlor, 125th anniv.
Yamaha FG730s
Liberty Mahogany resonator
Epiphone Emperor Joe Pass
Epiphone Sheraton II
Fender Amer. Std. SSH Strat
Ibanez SZ520
Fender Squier Strat
Fender Strat Mini
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  #15  
Old 01-04-2007, 01:26 PM
Jim Jim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macfawlty View Post
Rodeo Rick, thanks for the info. I might call Mike and ask him about my DR-41. I don't think the rosewood on mine is laminate.
The DR-41 is laminate. At the very affordable prices Sigma sells their guitars, one should not expect them to be all solid woods. If you would like to confirm this for yourself, here is a link to Sigma's website's description of the DR-41: http://www.sigmaguitars.com/dr-41.html

As for the 1970 Sigma, rarity has very little to do with commercial value when it comes not only to guitars but to pretty much anything else. Demand is the primary element in determining what something will sell for. Scarcity is secondary. For example, one of my hobbies is oil painting and I could offer one of my paintings for sale and count myself lucky to get $100 for it - barely more than the cost of the oils, canvas, and brushes it would cost me to paint it. It will be a one and only original, but the demand is not there for it. On the other hand, a painting of the same size and subject by a still living famous artist who is in very high demand will go for something like $25,000 or more. The best way to determine something's "value" in terms of cash is to auction it in a place where there are many willing and interested buyers. For something like a guitar, unless it was owned by a really famous player which can add enormous value unrelated to the guitar as a guitar, the best place to determine value these days is Ebay. Watch the Ebay auctions and track ones where a guitar actually sells and keep track of those. In a matter of a few months you will have a very accurate price range for the commercial value of a guitar. You can pretty much ignore prices when the guitar does not sell other than to note that those prices are higher than the guitar's commercial worth. Keep in mind that the commercial value is completely unrelated to sentimental value to the person selling it. If you have owned your Sigma for all of those years I doubt you would be at all satisfied to let it go for its commercial value which is about what you paid for it. Instead you should just keep it an enjoy it, or give it to a friend at some point - like I do with many of my paintings into which I have invested a lot of emotion.
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