Beginning in , the year Martin took on partners and incorporated, the headstock stamp remained the same, but the inside center strip stamp read "C. Even after Martin moved to his new home in Cherry Hill, near Nazareth, Pennsylvania, his guitars were sold through a representative in New York, so the New York stamp remained.
In , after this sales arrangement dissolved, the Martin company began stamping their guitars "C. The earliest Martins have paper labels, sometimes accompanied by an outer back stamp as well.
Martin also occasionally used paper labels on instruments built for dealers, or other special editions. Finally, Martins supplied with coffin cases had a label glued to the inside of the top of the case which indicated the style and size of the guitar. Surprisingly, a fairly large percentage of the original cases have survived with the labels still glued to the cases over a century later. In , Martin began stamping the style name and size on the neck block below the serial number.
For a short time in , Martin also stamped the serial numbers of some guitars on the end of the headstock. Martin's friend and co-worker from Saxony to New York to Pennsylvania, was listed as a partner for a short time in the late New York period. When the Martin family moved from New York to Pennsylvania, they sold inventory to Ludecus and Wolter for liquidation.
I've located Hudson Street Martins with similar labels and the following numbers: Flat ebony fingerboard, round end fretboard No. Raised ivory fingerboard, tapered fretboard No. Martin Coupa label with the "John F. Nunns" store stamp and Coupa's Chestnut Street address attached: This label appeared in a small number of zithers built for P.
Louis Brachet of Philadelphia in the 's. The Tiple is a ukulele size instrument with double strings that was developed for the Wm.
Smith Company in New York in The serial number for each year shows the serial number of the last guitar that was built in that year. So, if your serial number is for example then your Martin guitar was built in So the serial numbers for Martin Guitars built in are and But once they started this numbering system they estimated that they had built guitars before starting the system — so the first one in the system is I hope this helps you to discover when your Martin guitar was built if you are curious or need to know it for any other reason.
Uploaded by clusternote [ CC BY 2. When I wrote this post March , they only had up to on the Martin site — https: Not sure when they did that exactly, but they do seem to be slow to update them.
Probably your best bet is to contact Martin and see if they can send you a list of serial numbers. The final Telesales catalog to feature Sigma instruments was published in late Kevin Dunham repairs and restores guitars, operates nossigmamartinguitars. He is compiling information for a book on the brand. This article originally appeared in VG November issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine.
Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.
Log into your account. Home Classic Instruments Sigma by Martin. Gen I Seeking to compete in the market for budget-grade instruments, in , Martin began importing acoustic guitars made by subcontractors in Japan. Gen II By , the initial Gen II instruments had arrived, and while they retained the spatula headstock and covered truss rod, they turned things up a notch by introducing solid tops.
Raised ivory fingerboard, tapered fretboard No. The sole current U. The last serial number that a guitar received in was , and the last serial number the company made for was Other Sigma instruments included mandolins, banjos, acoustic and electric Bass guitar basses and solidbody and Semi-acoustic guitar hollow body electric guitars. In the brand was finally changed to C. So, if your serial number is for example then your Martin guitar was built in
Its laminated-mahogany back and sides gave it a bright, warm tone. Made by Tokai Gakki, it had a great, percussive low-end attack and remarkable overall balance. In , solid-top Sigmas were re-named numerically to correspond to the Martin model they emulated, and this was the top of the line. Gen III In , the entire line was again re-named and re-categorized.
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