The late ‘60s was a challenging time for the iconic US guitar manufacturers. The emergence of the Japanese copy guitar market had reached full speed at extremely competitive prices compared to the US originals. Here was a challenge, instead of taking legal steps some of the US companies launched a counter offensive, and in 1970 “Sigma Guitars” were born.
They were hand built by specially trained luthiers in the premium guitar factories in Japan then shipped to the US for inspection and despatched to the USA and worldwide markets. The early Japanese Sigma guitar range was quite different to the instruments built in the following years after a move to Korea. With new model numbers in place every guitar featured a redesigned logo and the following words written with pride: “Sigma Guitars Est. 1970”.
“Sigma Guitars” had quickly established an excellent, even legendary, reputation. Some models were said to be of outstanding quality, both, in construction and sound. That’s why it is striking, but not surprising, that there are hardly any second-hand Sigma guitars up for sale. Most owners still swear by their instruments and would never part with them. There are Sigma fans, Sigma communities, Sigma websites; and even collectors have specialised in Sigma guitars.
The brand has now been rejuvenated by AMI of Germany, a distributor of fine acoustic and classical guitars for over 25 years. AMI state: “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 distinctive 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.”