I have been playing the Sigma OMMRC-1STE for the last few weeks and wanted to share a few thoughts about it.
So what we have here is a 000 sized guitar, also known as an ‘auditorium’ which for me, along with the slightly larger ‘grand auditorium’ is kind of where the sweet spot is between playability and portability. This particular model sports a Solid Sitka Spruce Top, Madagascar Rosewood Back and Sides, Satin Finish Mahogany Neck, Indian Rosewood Fingerboard, Die Cast Machine Heads (someone said Grover but no indication of that), Bone Nut & Saddle. It comes fitted with D´Addario EXP16 Strings and electronics are provided by a Fishman Isys+ with built in tuner. Pickup is the under saddle piezo type.
This is an extremely well made but understated guitar. Looking around the body and neck it has been finished to a high standard. All joints are nicely finished, no excess glue anywhere and inside has had as much care given to it as the outside. Frets are smooth with no sharp edges. The body has a nice gloss finish and shows off the grain of the wood well. The neck has a satin finish which I find makes for easier travel up and down the fret board.
The action comes set fairly low and is around 2.5mm at the first fret rising to just under 5mm at the 12th fret. There is no fret buzz at all and I found it very easy to play. It was also spot on tune when I took it out of the box, which given the low temperatures outside at the moment is a testament to the quality of materials used and the initial setting up of the guitar.
So what does it sound like? Obviously not easy to translate how something like an acoustic guitar sounds into words, which is why there will be a video review to follow but for now I will say it suits my particular style of playing very well. I tend to use a lot of alternate tunings but mostly play in dropped D so that is the low E string (the thickest string) tuned to D with all the other strings in standard tuning. This provides a drone effect and works well particularly with finger picking and melodic styles. The Sigma OMMRC-1STE positively shines with this type of playing. The tone is bright and projects well but is not too bright, being held in check by the Rosewood back and sides and whilst they don’t make as pronounced a difference as a solid back and sides would you can still hear them at work. Of course the guitar is equally at home when strumming and it would fit well with any style of playing.
As for the Fishman Isys+ it’s a tried and tested unit and does what it does well enough. The built in tuner is certainly very useful and accurate. However I tend not to use the built in pre-amp systems on most acoustic guitars as I find they do not truly represent the real sound of an acoustic. They are very handy in the absence of anything else of course but I tend to do all my recording using the IK Multimedia iRig Acoustic Stage, which I will talk more about in another review but suffice to say I have not yet found anything that translates the true sound of an acoustic guitar as well as it does.
To sum up I have to say that I really like the Sigma OMMRC-1STE. It’s very well made, has a great feel to it and is wonderful to play. It should definitely be on your shortlist if your looking at guitars in this price range. It’s not as fancy looking as some but Sigma have spent the money on build quality over aesthetics and I will take that any day.
Street Price £339.00
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