Guitar - General/Acoustic


Sarah wrote at 2008-05-12 02:26:22
I have a 12 string picador now, and sigma apparently took over the company and are now factory made guitars rather than hand made ones. The one I have, is estimated around 1000, but only if it was in good condition. Mine needs to get re-strung but I'm sure it's still worth a lot.

Jim Selvaggio wrote at 2010-09-05 09:52:19
The Picador name is owned by Martin Guitars and parts of their "Sigma" line.They were manuafactured in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan for Martin. One of the inside braces should be stamped with "Martin" The Japan versions are the best and arguably just as good as their Pennsylvaia counterparts. Why the name? After contruction, if there were ANY blemishes found once shipped back to Martin (for inspection before sale) The name "Martin" was removed and a "Picador" sticker applied. Usually the "Blemish" was a slopy glue job (no big deal) because in those days Martin guarded their quality control strongly. They sold new for around 300 (depending on what year you have) and go for that or higher on EBAY (generally speaking). Hold on to yours they are going up in value. Hope this helps. Jim Selvaggio

Grant wrote at 2013-11-29 11:52:39
 I have  researched this Product extensively and have found that the Picador is in fact a full Martin Guitar not a Sigma as some have stated  these guitars were made in Japan originally and if there was any blemish Martin would not put Martin on it but would put a foil sticker on thus Picador Martin went to the trouble of actually having the name made as a martin product legally in 1974 but let the legal rights go around 1983  the sound of these guitars is supposed to be supurb  and I have read reviews fro session musicians who own them and they say they are priceless   I have seen them come and go on ebay   but the real testimonial is from owners who swear they  look and sound as good or better than the Martins of the day  I am in the process of owning my first Picador and will post the results when its mine

Simon wrote at 2014-01-04 09:56:08
I want to add to the post of Grant's I am a sessions musician and also a collector of vintage guitars. I have researched the Picador extensively mainly because I have had one for the past 30 years mine is a dreadnaugt a D 28  it is every bit a Martin I have used this guitar on a lot of recordings the comments have been numerous  ....some of the things I have learned are the early Picador's were almost a Martin shame guitar first off Martin was having guitars built in Japan ...oh noo and then some had a slight blemish  these would get a Picador sticker inside and on headstock I was told bye a Martin Employee  that the head stock was finished in the good old U S of A  so the Martin Badge was not on the headstock.  Another fact is  Martin did in face register a company in 1974  which recognized the Picador  but some of these Gems were made before the registration Date there should be a serial # on the head stock on all pre 1974 Picadors  a lot of these guitars are found in Pawn shops as there is not a lot of knowledge on the guitar builder I have yet to hear any Picadors that are not as good or equal to the Martin they were going to be A lot of the early production was on the Parlour model which was a very popular model  in the Day to anyone who has been lucky enough to find one of these gems good for you most have been stored away and unplayed my advice is have a good luthier check it out set it up enjoy the more it's played the better it will sound imagine being stuck in a box in a closet for 20 to 40 years all it will want to do is get loud and proud  good luck to all........Simon

Simon wrote at 2014-01-04 10:07:05
...........Hello again something I for got to add to my last post Picador was never part of the Sigma Line as previously stated Picador is or was a registered Identity owned bye C.F.Martin this trademark was expired in 1986 so the Picador line was finished I have never seen a Picador that was not made in Japan for anyone hold onto yours if you have one the value will only go up but as I said play it lots  the sound you get will be amazing   ....Simon

Kevin wrote at 2014-01-04 15:48:39
Hi there I have some information that was told to me bye a Martin Luthier  he told me that Martin was having guitars built in Japan and other off shore places The Picador name was introduced as a separate Identity but in fact was a Martin company I have researched this and found it to be true in 1974 Martin registered a Company and trade mark for guitars as Picador the word is these are in fact Martin guitars with some cosmetic flaw  not a Sigma as some have stated these guitars cover every line Martin was building at the time from Dreadnaught to Parlor  I have heard these guitars and the sound is definitely of Martin quality a lot of Pawn shops and second hand shops know very little of the value of these instruments so some people have been lucky enough to pick them up for a fraction of there worth Picador let the name go in 1986 so for anyone with one of these Gems hold onto them no more will be produced .On a side note a lot of these guitars have been stored and haven't been played in years so if you have the good fortune to find one of these Gems play it a lot to loosen the top up and you will be amazed at the sound  hope this of some help and again this was told to me only Martin themselves will have the correct  facts  

Donna wrote at 2014-03-13 18:58:15
.....I'm really confused  I have owned a Picador guitar since Christmas of 1973. In the last couple years I have tried to get an appraisal only to be told more or less that it's a mystery who actually owned Picador Guitars. I  have done research and have read statements made bye Luthiers that were employed bye Martin and have had answers from complete denial to a statement made bye an individual that says he talked with a President for Martin Guitars in the 90's and this guy was supposed to have used the Picador name for 6 months .This I find as a contradiction as I have stated I got mine for Christmas in 1973 .

    Upon further digging I found the Trademark registered in the U.S  for 1974  which would be a year after mine was given to me, but nevertheless its a trademark which Martin denies they owned.

   When I asked my Brother where my guitar was bought he told me that my Parents bought the guitar from a outlet much like a Pawn Shop and my Parents were told at the time that Picador was a guitar that had a cosmetic flaw and Martin would not sell it as a Martin  My brother went on to tell me that the guitars were made in Japan at the Matsumoka  guitar company and Martin had commissioned this company to make guitars for them.

    So I looked  further and was told that the Sigma line was built in this facility, some have stated that the Picador was a Sigma guitar that wouldn't make the cut again something to do with cosmetics ,but I wondered why if Martin had registered a Name Trademarked Picador why would they have to cover it up.

  Some of my reading has in fact said Martin had these guitars made and when they had a flaw then the Martin name was removed and Picador Labels were put on I'm puzzled as to the degree of difference in the origin of the maker of my guitar I have had many many compliments on both the sound and the quality of my guitar my Model is a dreadnaught which is identical to Martins produced in the same time frame  

  I'm wondering if anyone out there can clear this mystery up for me and others trying to get a value on these guitars   Donna  

American joe wrote at 2016-05-17 21:05:16
Ive seen and sold many martins,sigmas,and picidors. Believe me they are not relabeled martins! It takes about 3 seconds (focus time?)to tell.  

Guitar - General

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Bill Ruxton


What kind of old guitar do I have? Is it valuable? How old is it? Where was it made? Is it worth repairing? Advice on buying new or used guitars, accessories, etc. [Note: While I can give some general info on approximate values of types of instruments, neither I nor anyone else can do an "appraisal" without actually seeing and handling the instrument] I have almost 40 years` experience as a player and afficianado. If I don`t have an answer myself, I can often refer people to other authoritative sources.

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