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Long overlooked and relegated to an obscure corner of the collectible market, Sigma by Martin guitars have recently gained popularity among a new generation of collectors.

If you’re one who has developed a taste for them (or other vintage Japanese brands), you likely know that Martin – as it readily admits – kept few notes regarding the Sigma line.

Labels and stamps continued to say “New York” until 1898.

Unlike most guitar manufacturers CF Martin remains in family hands.

Beginning around 1800 certain cabinetmakers were building guitars, in particular Johann Georg Martin, Christian Friedrich Martin, Carl Gottlob Wild and Carl Friederick Jakob; later on August Paulus, Johann Friedrich Durrschmidt, Heinrich Schatz, Christian Gottfried Seifert, and Christian Friedrich August Meinel.

It would have been hard not to notice the growing popularity of the guitar, to the point where music critics were declaring it a fad. Christian Friedrich probably had his eye on something besides Kuhle’s harps, however, as on April 25th, 1825 he married Kühle's daughter, Ottilie Lucia Kühle, who was a harpist and singer in St. Out of the stipulation in the Guild Articles that only Masters of the Guild might produce violins and similar wares, there arose a long dispute between the Violin Makers Guild and the cabinetmakers' trade.

Seeking to compete in the market for budget-grade instruments, in 1970, Martin began importing acoustic guitars made by subcontractors in Japan.

The instruments employed economy-minded materials like laminated woods for their tops, sides, and back, but were generally well-constructed.

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