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Martin Conservatoire (Canadian Martin Guitar)

18 Nov 06 - 08:13 AM (#1887541)
Subject: Martin Conservatoire
From: Mooh

An acquaintance has a guitar named Conservatoire on the headstock and on the interior label. Under Conservatoire on the label it reads "The C.F. Martin Organization in Canada".

It's not a bad sounding or playing instrument but I haven't yet had a chance for a thorough inspection.

Anyone have information?

Peace, Mooh.


18 Nov 06 - 08:38 AM (#1887567)
Subject: RE: Martin Conservatoire
From: Mooh

Nothing in the Blue Book or the Martin Book that I can find...yet.

Peace, Mooh.


18 Nov 06 - 09:49 AM (#1887616)
Subject: RE: Martin Conservatoire
From: Mooh

Yes, I have written to Martin, but it would cool to hear from the grass roots about it too. I do wonder if the instrument was outsourced.

Thanks.

Peace, Mooh.


19 Nov 06 - 03:14 PM (#1888423)
Subject: RE: Martin Conservatoire
From: Mooh

Bumpity-bump.


19 Nov 06 - 03:36 PM (#1888435)
Subject: RE: Martin Conservatoire
From: Peace

I have never heard of a CF Martin "Organization' in or out of Canada. Looking forward to what you glean from your search.


19 Nov 06 - 07:13 PM (#1888577)
Subject: RE: Martin Conservatoire
From: Mooh

Peace...The word "organization" seemed very odd to me, which is one reason why I ponder the fraud idea. I swear I'm comimg up empty handed. I am going to get picture evidence if Martin doesn't help me in any way.

Peace, Mooh.


19 Nov 06 - 07:14 PM (#1888580)
Subject: RE: Martin Conservatoire
From: Peace

I cannot find one reference to a guitar that might be so named--other than your posts to the 'cat. Strange.


19 Nov 06 - 07:38 PM (#1888600)
Subject: RE: Martin Conservatoire
From: Mooh

No evidence, no kidding! I wonder if a well meaning Canadian Martin representative, authorized repair person, or builder with some Martin connection is responsible. I also wonder if someone was just trying capitalize on the name. Or was it another one of those short-lived Martin ideas like their electric solidbodies, or double cutaway acoustics?

Peace, Mooh.


19 Nov 06 - 07:40 PM (#1888603)
Subject: RE: Martin Conservatoire
From: Peace

Heck, even if it WAS a short-lived idea, there'd be some mention SOMEwhere, no?


19 Nov 06 - 09:30 PM (#1888663)
Subject: RE: Martin Conservatoire
From: Mooh

Well, I mentioned it, LOL! I know what you mean. I intend to take pictures when I get a chance next week. Quite curious to hear from Martin.

Peace, Mooh.


29 Nov 06 - 11:37 PM (#1896215)
Subject: RE: Martin Conservatoire
From: Mooh

Peace...Since you've been curious, here are some specifications. Model C320, serial number on label C7340, serial number on heel block (where Martin said to look) 120777, made in Japan. Owner isn't sure of age, maybe purchased in 1970s. I have taken pictures but they're still in the camera. Will re-contact Martin with new information.

Peace, Mooh.


08 Dec 06 - 02:33 PM (#1903698)
Subject: RE: Martin Conservatoire
From: Mooh

Martin confirmed today that there was indeed a part of them known as The Martin Organization In Canada which marketed instruments from a warehouse or some other distribution hub back in the '70s. [I believe that Keif (Keif's?) Music was a part of it as they are still a Martin distributor in Canada.] These guitars were sometimes Japanese in manufacture, but the name Conservatoire hasn't yet been verified. However, Martin has been sent photos and are interested. The gentleman who spoke with me was very nice, curious, helpful, and will be researching the case. With a history as public and documented as Martin's, it's pretty cool to find something unusual, however modest.

Peace, Mooh.


19 Dec 06 - 12:35 PM (#1913805)
Subject: RE: Martin Conservatoire
From: Mooh

Well, here's the latest and probably last from Martin:

"After viewing the photos of the Conservatoire Guitar and showing them to some of the other long time employees here at the Martin Co. it is our opinion that the Martin Co. is not associated with the distribution of that line of guitar. The label inside the guitar does not resemble any type of label that the Martin Co. would use. The head stock shape is not a Martin design. I'm sorry to say that it's not a Martin product."

I have one other lead that will take considerable time to verify.

Peace, Mooh.


19 Dec 06 - 12:52 PM (#1913819)
Subject: RE: Martin Conservatoire
From: Peace

Thanks for your good work on this one, Mooh.


23 Jan 08 - 07:41 PM (#2243227)
Subject: RE: Martin Conservatoire
From: GUEST

Hi

I have a Conservatore C320....the CF Martin Organisation in Canada guitar and had it since the mid 80's.
Its a great sounding guitar.

Robert.


24 Jan 08 - 08:02 AM (#2243509)
Subject: RE: Martin Conservatoire
From: Mooh

Interesting Robert...PM me if you're interested in more.

Peace, Mooh.


01 Nov 08 - 07:34 PM (#2481996)
Subject: RE: Martin Conservatoire
From: GUEST,Another Conservatore Owner

I also have a Conservatore, model c 305, the label inside says "The CF Martin Organisation in Canada". I bought it new, in Edmonton in the mid-70's. I tried a few years ago to get some information about it but hit a dead end. I'm glad to learn a little bit about it here. Thanks, Ron


01 Nov 08 - 10:08 PM (#2482103)
Subject: RE: Martin Conservatoire
From: Tim Leaning

Its intriguei err interesting innit?


02 Nov 08 - 05:26 AM (#2482293)
Subject: RE: Martin Conservatoire
From: Mooh

All I know about it is in this thread, as the owner who was a student of mine has moved on. I wonder how many other such guitars are still out there.

Peace, Mooh.


12 Dec 08 - 08:49 AM (#2513447)
Subject: RE: Martin Conservatoire
From: GUEST,Z

I have conservatore model no. C200. Bought it off a friend in 1994 for 10$. He said his father had bought it at Eaton's in the 70's or 80's. The label says The CF martin organisation in canada. Made in Korea. I haven't played it in 14 years. The guitar is in pretty bad shape but still salvageable. It was my first guitar so it's worth fixing...


28 Jul 09 - 01:06 AM (#2688552)
Subject: RE: Martin Conservatoire (Canadian Martin Guitar)
From: GUEST,Dan

Hey, I've got one of these Conservatore-CF-Martin-Organization-of-Canada model 320 too.

I bought it new around 1980 for $125. My guitar teacher went down to Nelson's music here in Victoria BC and thought it "sounded OK for a beginner's guitar. Mine says Made in Japan on the label.

It's got a cracked body, I'm wondering if it's worth fixing.

-Dan


19 Aug 09 - 10:43 PM (#2704325)
Subject: RE: Martin Conservatoire (Canadian Martin Guitar)
From: GUEST,Eric

My father-in-law has the Conservatore C110 that he purchased from a private seller 3 or 4 years ago. I was just on here trying to find out anything I could about it for him..Not much available, Huh!!
Eric


31 Aug 09 - 01:28 AM (#2712671)
Subject: RE: Martin Conservatoire (Canadian Martin Guitar)
From: GUEST,sandro

I too have a Conservatore C110. I had this guitar since 1990 siting in a basement. Just wondering tha same as every body about it's history. thanks sandro


29 Sep 09 - 03:28 PM (#2734376)
Subject: RE: Martin Conservatoire (Canadian Martin Guitar)
From: PaddyL

I bought a Conservatoire model C100 in the early '80s at a place called "Richard's Music" in Montreal. I bought it when I first took lessons but it's still in good shape. It's a 3/4 body classic style with nylon strings. Just had the tuners and the bridge replaced. The bridge is (was) bone and the part of the tuners that wind the strings also looked like bone.
The label says "Martin Organization Canada" and "Made in Korea". If I remember, it cost me less than $200 and was my first guitar. I still play it. It's easy to play and sounds pretty good.

The label on the headstock says "Richard's" (the music store name) so I'm thinking this may have been an inexpensive import that was sold by the Martin distributor in Canada to music stores who could sell it as their own brand kind of like Sears Kenmore brand appliances are sold now. In fact, I vaguely remember the salesman saying something like that.
Richard's has gone out of business since then.


30 Sep 09 - 10:42 AM (#2734988)
Subject: RE: Martin Conservatoire (Canadian Martin Guitar)
From: GUEST,mike446

hi i just bought a conservatore c-210 in great shape for 85.00--in canada--she was 50 years old and said it was her guitar since teens
like every one else?--cant fined a thing on these guitars? thats strange?
thankd mike


17 Nov 09 - 01:17 AM (#2767545)
Subject: RE: Martin Conservatoire (Canadian Martin Guitar)
From: GUEST

Conservatore was a low-end guitar imported by Martin (the Canadian division, that is) back in the 70's and 80's to compete against other low-priced imported acoustic guitars. These guitars were brought in from the far east and sold throughout Canada as "Sigma" and "Conservatore". Basicially, Sigma's that had problems were labeled Conservatore. This is a chapter in Martin history that's been swept under the proverbial rug for obvious reasons.


17 Nov 09 - 08:01 AM (#2767652)
Subject: RE: Martin Conservatoire (Canadian Martin Guitar)
From: Mooh

Guest...Obviously, my previous research indicates that Martin denies any connection. It's also obviously a lie, as many folks have indicated. Sure, Martin didn't make them, but there has to be a connection. There's the rub when dealing with imports I guess.

Basically, I'm wondering how you know "Sigma's that had problems were labeled Conservatoire". Were you a Martin dealer?

Peace, Mooh.


18 Nov 09 - 08:31 AM (#2768343)
Subject: RE: Martin Conservatoire (Canadian Martin Guitar)
From: Mooh

There's some conversation here:

http://theunofficialmartinguitarforum.yuku.com/topic/92019/master/1/

It adds considerable more information.

Peace, Mooh.


19 Nov 09 - 07:08 AM (#2769088)
Subject: RE: Martin Conservatoire (Canadian Martin Guitar)
From: Willie-O

"Basically, I'm wondering how you know "Sigma's that had problems were labeled Conservatoire". Were you a Martin dealer?"

This practice wasn't a big secret. I toured the Martin factory in Nazareth in 1983 with Dick Boak as guide (and I was the whole tour group), and he told me a similar thing. Sigmas were all supposed to be quality inspected at Nazareth, and those that failed were rebranded--in the US it was not Conservatoire, I have been trying to remember the name ever since. He didn't mention that Sigmas had been imported directly to Canada, and (presumably) inspected there, but it makes sense that they would have shipped them directly to BC rather than going through another importation process with their low-end guitars.

Boak said that if a branded Martin failed quality inspection, it was put through a bandsaw. No off-branding for the real Martin models. I guess that's how they came up with the half models you used to see on display everywhere (although would they want to display them? one wonders.)

They used to take the Martin name that seriously...now its Cowboy geetars, and Felix the Cat...sheesh.

W-O


19 Apr 11 - 11:28 PM (#3138647)
Subject: RE: Martin Conservatoire (Canadian Martin Guitar)
From: GUEST,Francis

I've got one too! Aproximatly 35 year old Conservator from the CF Martin Organisation in Canada Made in Korea. My mother bought it used for 50$ when she was twenty and now she's fiftry. Best guitar i ever had the chance to play with, sounds great and in perfect condition! I won't ever sell this guitar! Je vais appeller un vendeur qui connait cette marque au courant de la semaine, il m'a assurer qu'il pourrait me donner tous les détails à son sujet!


14 Aug 13 - 11:13 PM (#3549193)
Subject: RE: Martin Conservatoire (Canadian Martin Guitar)
From: GUEST,evan paul

Yep, I got one of them geetars now, just bought it tonight, no strings, no saddle and needs tuners. Hope it sounds half decent when I get it going. No cover on the truss rod hole, and looks like the truss rod has been turned in very deep, wonder what the action will be like. Mine is model C320 but the 2 could be a 9 not very distinct and it's made in Korea. The body and finish is pretty good after I cleaned it, fretboard filthy, took me a long time to get the crap out.


20 Oct 14 - 10:10 PM (#3670929)
Subject: RE: Martin Conservatoire (Canadian Martin Guitar)
From: GUEST,Paul

I just bought a used Conservatore today. It needs strings but is in excellent shape but as you described, mine reads the same.
There is a set of classical strings on it .... Do you know what strings should be on it?
Thanks for any info


20 Oct 14 - 11:06 PM (#3670940)
Subject: RE: Martin Conservatoire (Canadian Martin Guitar)
From: GUEST,Paul

Forgot to mention, mine is 3/4 size and model C100
Paul


20 Oct 14 - 11:06 PM (#3670941)
Subject: RE: Martin Conservatoire (Canadian Martin Guitar)
From: GUEST,Paul

Forgot to mention, mine is 3/4 size and model C100
Paul


16 Aug 16 - 09:20 PM (#3805475)
Subject: RE: Martin Conservatoire (Canadian Martin Guitar)
From: GUEST

Interesting conversation here. I have one too. It's not "Conservatoire" it's, "Conservatore". From all that I've read, I gather it's a Sigma, and the headstock from Levin Goyas, all connected to overseas manufacture, mainly, as mine is, from Korea. I also have a Vega, another Martin connection, and my Conservatore is way way better than that, better sound, better build, really solid.

From what I gather, a lot of people here and elsewhere, pan these guitars as inferior to Martin or even Sigmas. Let me remind you, these never cost thousands of dollars, as did Martins, they were cheap guitars
I have a Sigma Dm-4, this sounds every bit as good as that and the build is great, neck straight, not bad for a 40 year old guitar, has a little laquer scratch on top, poor thing, could have been a sigma, but had to be labelled Conservatore.

So Martin has a reputation to uphold, they're not going to say, yes, it's one of our labels, if I ran Martin I'd do the same, deny it ever existed. I've been around guitars forever, I have so many, acquired a taste for sound, this guitar sounds great for the money.

I once compared a suzuki dread with a Martin D-45 built in the 50's with solid Brazilian back and sides, and spruce top, a friend of mine owns it, beautiful guitar, we did a blind test, man it was hard to distinguish, not just for me, but for my friend who owns it too.

So all you owners of Conservatores, play them and love them, you can't find anything that sounds that good for the money.


15 Feb 19 - 07:05 AM (#3976828)
Subject: Canadian CF Martin Conservatore Guitar
From: GUEST,david

Hi, I have a Canadian CF Martin Organisation "Conservatore" acoustic guitar Model C100 (made in Korea) w/ a foil "Renaissance" sticker over a possible "Sigma?" label on the headstock (haven't peeled so don't know for sure!). I understand these guitars are referred to as the "Edsel" (if you will!) of Martin guitars! This is a handsome guitar with a decorative sound hole and pierced headstock with mother of pearl keys! I would like to learn more about this particular guitar and show pics of same to share with this forum but how do I upload the photos? Thank you! David


15 Feb 19 - 11:58 AM (#3976895)
Subject: RE: guitar
From: GUEST,Bignige

Doesn't sound like a proper Martin to me. No reference to anything like that in the Martin year book


15 Feb 19 - 12:24 PM (#3976899)
Subject: RE: guitar
From: Backwoodsman

I read somewhere that flawed 'Sigmas' were given the 'Conservatore' designation. This was back in the day when the Korean? Sigmas were being put out as a 'cheap' Martin range.


15 Feb 19 - 01:15 PM (#3976912)
Subject: RE: guitar
From: leeneia

The Sigma guitars page has a link called Find Your Sigma. Have you tried that?

If you like playing it, don't worry about the Edsel remarks.

I think that you can put a link to a photo on the Mudcat, but can't put a photo on the forum itself. You can probably put the link in a message by following "Make a link (blue clicky) below.


17 Feb 19 - 12:46 AM (#3977224)
Subject: RE: Martin Conservatoire (Canadian Martin Guitar)
From: leeneia

My computer is doing funny things - skipping pages, losing e-mail addresses. The post above was supposed to go elsewhere. Ignore it.