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heads on fire 12/25/2011

Sigma DM-5 : heads on fire's user review

« Great import acoustic. »

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DM-5 Dreadnought Specifications =

Made in Japan
Spruce top
Mahogany back and sides
Black and white binding
Natowood neck (joined at the 14th fret)
Rosewood fingerboard
Nickel-silver frets
Open in-line tuning machines
Adjustable rosewood bridge
Adjustable truss rod through peghead from 1970 through 1979
Unbound peghead


This is part of Martin's Japanese import line of the 70s - Sigma. The DM5 is basically a Martin-designed dreadnaught guitar, with the same bracing as a USA model, but different woods. It has a "natowood" neck - I'm honestly unfamiliar with this type of wood, but I can say that the neck of the guitar I'm playing on plays well, is still in good shape after at least 30 something years, and the guitar's sound overall is very bold and bright, so the wood can't be that bad!


This is a shocker of a guitar. Breaking this guitar out of the case at a gig, most anyone assumes it's a USA Martin until they get really close. It looks just like one with the exception of the logo, and it sounds just as good. The tone has a warm yet thick fundamental, a punchy midrange, and the airy top end just floats on top. This guitar is great for flatpicking, slower or lower-tuned fingerstyle, and percussive guitar styles.


Overall, this is a great guitar for the money. They can still be found for dirt cheap because the Sigma name never got that much recognition. Martin makes great guitars in the USA and Mexico now, but back in the day, their Japanese imports were great quality as well. The DM5 plays, sounds, and looks just as nice as a lot of mid-level instruments that are made nowadays, and they can still be found in dusty pawn shops and flea markets for merely a song.