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Discussion Starter #1
I bought an acoustic guitar at a thrift shop today for 30 clams. I almost put it back and walked away, it was so beat-up, and with no name or identifying marks on it. Except the tuners. I checked the guitar twice because it didn't look like the average Chines chop shop axe, and that's when I saw that the tuners had 'C.F. Martin' engraved on them. Without going into the other similarities it has to Martin guitars, what else would have Martin tuners on it? I'm in a quandary. Do I have a B-grade Martin here?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Due to my visual handicap and general gweebishness with computers, it is very hard for me to put up photos. I can't get them in focus anyhow, and they're all blurry, just like my eyesight. It LOOKS like a Martin, with the same style headstock. The headstock is closed, not open. The top is laminated maple, sides and back mahogany, neck looks like oak. 18 frets. Black binding on both sides of the body, painted on top to look 2-ply. The waist is very shallow. The sides are joined at the back by a V shaped piece of the same material as the binding. The bridge and fretboard are rosewood. There's a moderate crack straight down the middle of the back, and the fret ends are just a tad rough. The bracing inside the sound hole has a hole to allow access to the truss rod. There is bracing all around the sound hole, too. Dot inlays on fretboard look like abalone. Nut is quite thick, but I think it's plastic. I also think it's aftermarket, it doesn't look quite right. It's going to need some work. The last owner had it tuned WAY too high and the neck is bent forward, so it'll be off to my luthier after I get my Aria bass back from him.
 
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If you use a camera phone, there is a focus box that all you need to do is touch the screen and it focuses automatically.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I don't have a camera phone, and I don't propose to buy one. For now, all I can do is paint word pictures. BTW, the guitar doesn't have a pick guard, and never did.
 

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Do they look like this?

There are many various Martin branded tuners for sale on ebay, etc. Possibly one of the previous owners replaced the originals??

I agree with @Gimper that it might be a Sigma.

 

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Discussion Starter #8
The tuners are the same ones as on the guitar I picked up. Thank you! I find it odd that there is no Sigma branding on the guitar, though. As for the tuners being an upgrade, that's possible, but who would put expensive Martin tuners on an inferior guitar? 40 dollar saddle on a 10 dollar horse... Did Martin release any B-grade Sigmas?
 

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Used Martin branded tuners do not seem all that expensive. Maybe they were just sitting around in someone's parts drawer or on a broken guitar.
...the possibly and maybe list could go on forever.

As to the $40.00 saddle on a $10.00 horse...I'm guilty of that (and so are many others here in the forum). Sometimes one just loves that specific horse.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well, I now have it back, and it's deffo a Sigma kit, sez my luthier. It plays and sounds really good, even if it looks a bit out of kilter. The nut was replaced with a bone, strings replaced, and guitar set up - $70.00. Also got the Aria bass back all set up to go - that was another 70 clams. I'm not complaining...
 
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