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View Full Version : Sigma Ukuleles about to hit the music stores



Ukador
12-25-2014, 11:13 PM
Hello everybody !

Sigma is about to sell their own Ukuleles.

All solid wood with a vintage look.

http://www.sigma-guitars.com/index.php?id=645

I've already seen some of them for sale on eBay and they cost just a little less than their MSRP which is quite a lot if you ask me.

Any thoughts about these Ukes ? Where are they produced ? What quality do you expect ?

I would have chosen a lower market entry price as they have to compete against brands like Ohana or Kala

Kayak Jim
12-26-2014, 02:29 AM
I agree, for that money you could buy a Pono or a Opio. Or a Mainland and have some money left over.

PereBourik
12-26-2014, 04:08 AM
Just bought my son a Sigma guitar. It was a long distance purchase. He's in Australia and I bought it online in Australia and had it direct shipped. He's thrilled with it. The quality is there I guess.

There's an historical connection with C. F. Martin guitars, though I don't know if that is still true. The headstock logo is in the same style as Martin's. If the Martin connection is still there they'd have to bring these in under the prices of the Mexico-built S1, C1, T1.

UkerDanno
12-26-2014, 04:46 AM
Very interesting! Their website says they are made in Korea. Seems like they are licensed through Martin somehow, maybe?! They look like copies of the Martin style 2's. The gigbag looks exactly like the one I got with my C1K. Available on ebay from Germany $400 shipped to the US.

Captain America
12-26-2014, 05:21 AM
I had no idea the company was still in business. The first Sigma guitar I saw was probably around 1980 and it was very nice and felt good and was nice sounding. Since then, I've run into many dogs and one or two good guitars. Mostly dogs. Gods knows what the ukes are like, but I'll keep a lookout.

katysax
12-26-2014, 05:27 AM
In the 1970s Martin started importing guitars made in Asia. I don't remember whether the original Sigma were Japanese or Korean. The guitars were Martin copies but Martin did not want to cheapen the brand by putting Martin on the headstock. They used to sell them at my local Sam Ash which had a large number of them and I used to go in and try them. They were highly variable, kind of like they shipped with no quality control. They were all like a Martin D-18 in build. If you got a good one it was like getting a D-18 for $200 but there were plenty of bad ones. Many of them could be rescued by a good setup. Martin shut down the brand. I'm not sure why. When they revived their import strategy, Martin started selling the imports under the Martin Brand. There are Sigma aficionados who love the old Martin Sigmas.

The Sigma name went dormant. There are a lot of companies trying to build their brands by buying up dormant brand names and launching new products. My guess is that this new Sigma is one of those companies. If there is any connection to Martin at all it is probably that the company bought the name Sigma.

philpot
12-26-2014, 05:31 AM
Well, for those of us on this forum who are aware of better ukes for the money, these would have to play like butter and sound like angels to be worth it. Like Kayak Jim said, in that price bracket, I'd always recommend a mainland. But Lanikai manages to sell some instruments in that price range, so these might not be a total flop for the company. I hope they're nice.

timmit65
12-26-2014, 01:45 PM
I think I can shed some light on this...Apparently, the trademark for the name Sigma expired, in the US, and Martin Guitars didn't know or didn't care. St. Louis Music, now the Alvarez Guitar Distribution Company, (They actually launched the brand and had the instruments made for 30 years +) owns the Sigma Guitar trademark in the US! This I know, I was a St. Louis Music Rep. for a while and knew this happened. Mark Ragin the CEO applied for and received the Trademark...for the USA. So if you go to http://sigmaguitars.us , you see Sigma Guitars USA @ St. Louis Music © 2013 | All Rights Reserved.

After doing a little Googling, I also found that AIM must have bought the right to use the name and the "Since 1970" phrase, from Martin? Here's what their website, http://www.sigma-guitars.com/index.php?id=222, says about.... "We at AMI feel committed and obliged to this tradition. As a distributor of fine acoustic and classical guitars for over 25 years, it is a great honour that we were able to obtain for some parts of the world the rights of the time-honoured name “Sigma Guitars Est. 1970” as well as the distinct Sigma logo. Our business partner and guitar manufacturer is one of the most respected makers who has been building outstanding quality guitars for over 20 years." So there are at least 2 Sigma guitar companies operating!

So what does this mean for the the Uke Folks?....I suspect it might be hard to find/buy the AIM (the ones making the ukes) in the US! I'm scheduled to attend NAMM, so I'll let everyone know what I hear.

Tim

timmit65
12-26-2014, 01:57 PM
I hit post too quick! Here's the story..You will be able to buy them in the US, but they'll have the name KINDRED Guitars on them. Their distributor will be Six String Brokerage, LLC. Looking at the AIM page list them for the USA, along with this....

Six String Brokerage, LLC
Nazareth, PA
Phone 1-(484)-293-1375
Email: info@kindredusa.com
www.sixstringbrokerage.com
Our SIGMA guitars are sold on the US market under the name "KINDRED Guitars"

Tim

Mattyukaholic
01-29-2015, 11:26 AM
I'm really interested by this. I really want to try one out. The build and aesthetics look exactly like the new Martin S2s. I'd imagine quality is not that near at one sixth of the price.

ukulelekarcsi
01-29-2015, 10:34 PM
The Southern Ukulele Store has a video with sound sample up. Nice, but no Martin.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SULlDra99PA

On the other hand, here's a Sigma-song on a Martin ukulele:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kgd-0LOQRgA