Sigma OMR-21 review

  • £383

Big value in a small guitar

Image 1 of 2 Sigma OMR 21
For a relatively low-priced instrument the OMR-21 certainly does not lack class
Image 2 of 2 Rear
The OMR-21's rosewood back and sides contrast the spruce top

Our Verdict

The perfect steel- string? Damn close. Affordable and classic-looking with a sound that punches above its price.

For

  • Great starter instrument. Price. Great build.

Against

  • Heard better low-end from an OM.
Buying options

Having previously played two huge Sigma jumbos (the recently reviewed JR12-1STE and JRC-40E), the OMR-21 feels like a child's travel guitar feel to this writer at first. Still, the nonetheless fully formed 14-fret OMR-21 exudes class and heritage.

"As a fairly small proposition, the OMR-21 offers a comfortable and intimate playing experience"

It has a solid Sitka spruce top, a satin neck, back and headstock crafted from laminated Indian rosewood and the mahogany neck appears of a high visual grade. It's beautifully understated: the dark tortoiseshell-style binding has no inner purflings, and its small tortie pickguard gives it real sophistication.

As a fairly small proposition, the OMR-21 offers a comfortable and intimate playing experience. Hugely popular with fingerpickers, the OM typically has a wider nut, and it's the same here. Whether intended or not, the neck profile is slightly flat-backed, which makes thumb-behind positioning feel natural.

The neck is unbound and there's little to criticise about the fingerboard and fretting: yes, the frets are typically small gauge - never great for big bends - but the compensated bone saddle and nut add upmarket class, and the setup is almost too slinky.

Sounds

"The lower end has a fundamental oomph to it; the mids sound strong and upper fret higher position lines also have a little power"

OMs, understandably, seem to have a narrower sound than your typical jumbo or dreadnaught, but the lower end has a fundamental oomph to it; the mids sound strong and upper fret higher position lines also have a little power. To our ears, the guitar is working as a whole.

It's not the richest, roomiest low end we've heard from an OM, but at this price you really shouldn't be disappointed. For these hands, that extra nut width spacing feels spot on. It's one of those easy instruments that can be fingerpicked, strummed or used pick and fingers. It feels and - for the most part - sounds right.

As a starter guitar for the serious student there's little to bemoan here and we suspect the OMR-21 will impress even the more experienced players.

Tech Specs

No. of Frets20
Scale Length (Inches)25.4
Country of OriginChina
HardwareIndividual Grover enclosed, chrome-plated tuners
BridgeRosewood with compensated bone saddle
Weight (lb)4.31
Back MaterialLaminated Indian rosewood
Left Handed Model AvailableNo
Neck MaterialMahogany
Top MaterialSolid Sitka spruce
NutBone/44.94mm
Sides MaterialLaminated Indian rosewood
Scale Length (mm)645
Weight (kg)1.95
Fingerboard MaterialIndian Rosewood
Available FinishNatural gloss with satin neck/head finish (as reviewed)