Opinions Wanted- Ramirez 1a

Javelin

Opinions Wanted- Ramirez 1a

Post by Javelin » Mon Apr 21, 2008 7:55 pm

I have stumbled across a fairly priced Ramirez 1a, a couple of years old, brazilian rosewood/ cedar top.

I have been thinking about getting a cedar top and would appreciate comments/opinions regarding the 1a.

Thanks!!

cn90

Re: Opinions Wanted- Ramirez 1a

Post by cn90 » Mon Apr 21, 2008 8:27 pm

CANNOT go wrong with Ramirez 1A.

I have owned my Ramirez 1A for 10 years and love it.

Just check it out the usual way for:
- wear and tear
- any cracks
- straightness of the fingerboard
- always check with with new strings so you can objectively evaluate the sound with new strings.

I happen to have also the Ramirez 1A cedar top, the sound is very deep and warmer than my other (spruce) guitar.
The Ramirez 1A is usually sold for around US$4-6K, give or take.

Javelin

Re: Opinions Wanted- Ramirez 1a

Post by Javelin » Mon Apr 21, 2008 8:36 pm

I really appreciate the input and am glad you like your Ramirez!

The pricing you mentioned gives me pause however, Zaveletas has a 99 listed for 4800, some sites have new listed around 10-12. I was thinking 7 to 8 would be a fair deal.

cn90

Re: Opinions Wanted- Ramirez 1a

Post by cn90 » Mon Apr 21, 2008 8:54 pm

Javelin wrote:I really appreciate the input and am glad you like your Ramirez!

The pricing you mentioned gives me pause however, Zaveletas has a 99 listed for 4800, some sites have new listed around 10-12. I was thinking 7 to 8 would be a fair deal.
I got mine at Richard Brune Chicago shop in 1998 for $4200.
Sorry I was thinking of US currency in 1998!
With inflation and oil price now at $115/barrel, who knows where the currency is going!!!

With persistence and patience you may be able to find one at US 4K or so.

PS: I would not buy a new Ramirez. A good used one is better because any crack would have shown up after 10 years or so.
Small cracks are normal and have absolutely no impact on sound quality.
Go to e-b-a-y and search under "Ramirez 1A", there is one for sales now for $4K, Palmdale CA.

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GEO
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Re: Opinions Wanted- Ramirez 1a

Post by GEO » Mon Apr 21, 2008 10:04 pm

When you're in the $4000+ range, why not get a custom built guitar? Your choice of woods, neck profile, scale length, finishes, etc.

Cheers,

geo
(US) (GER) The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches, but to reveal to him his own - Disraeli

jdhunt

Re: Opinions Wanted- Ramirez 1a

Post by jdhunt » Mon Apr 21, 2008 10:31 pm

I bought a 1973 Ramirez 1a spruce top on e-b-a-y a month ago for $2,500. Sometimes you get lucky. It has a great sound. It's taken a little getting used to the slightly longer and wider neck, but I love it. If you buy one and decide you don't like it, you should have no trouble selling for at least what you paid for it.

New ones I've seen seem to be in the $10-12k range. You mentioned one on Zavaleta's for $4,800. I've looked at the pictures - nice guitar, good price. Zavaleta has an outstanding reputation.

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Jae Lee
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Re: Opinions Wanted- Ramirez 1a

Post by Jae Lee » Tue Apr 22, 2008 12:04 am

Dear jdhunt,
Nice to see you again. Glad to hear that you like it. So, finally was it identified as a spruce?
I'm also a Ramirez hunter. I researched a lot, but still your deal was the best! Who was the seller?

I think a used Ramirez 1A costing $4000-$5000 is a fairly good deal. If it is equiped with Brazilian rosewood, it couldn't be better, of course.

jdhunt

Re: Opinions Wanted- Ramirez 1a

Post by jdhunt » Tue Apr 22, 2008 6:28 pm

Jaesarang,
You have a good memory. I haven't had a definitive verification of the top, but am fairly certain that it is spruce, with Indian rosewood. My understanding is that Brazilian rosewood is more expensive, so $4-5K sounds like a good price, depending on condition.
The seller of mine was 3grizzlys on e-b-a-y -- I'm sure he was disappointed at the selling price. I almost felt bad about buying at such a low price - almost.

Javelin

Re: Opinions Wanted- Ramirez 1a

Post by Javelin » Tue Apr 22, 2008 11:42 pm

GEO wrote:When you're in the $4000+ range, why not get a custom built guitar? Your choice of woods, neck profile, scale length, finishes, etc.

Cheers,

geo
Good question, first, I have an affinity for Spanish guitars; secondly, I am not convinced that a custom $4000 guitar would be of higher quality than a Rameriz 1a or comparable guitar; thirdly (and why I posed the question) is that my perception is that the Rameriz 1a, while not custom is certainly hand make by a master luthier in a long tradition. That is why I am drawn to this guitar.

Marcus Dominelli
Luthier
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Re: Opinions Wanted- Ramirez 1a

Post by Marcus Dominelli » Wed Apr 23, 2008 4:06 am

Hi Javelin,
If you like the Ramirez 1a go for it, but don't think they're all alike - I've seen a couple that were real 'dogs'.

Also, watch the neck projection on them. Most of the ones I've seen have an overly low neck projection. In practical terms this means that the action cannot be lowered much past medium without having a very weak break angle on the strings, especially on the treble side of the saddle. This weak break angle, if severe, can make the trebles sound really thin on these guitars. Considering they tend to be bass heavy anyways, this is an especially bad thing.

You might not want my opinion on this but I'll give it to you anyways. If Ramirez walked into the world lutherie scene today with his 1A's and tried to flog them, he would probably be struggling to make a living harder than most of the better makers today. This is not an insult to Ramirez. If it were not for the Ramirez legacy, and Segovia, and all the other great Spanish makers, we would not be so far as we are today, either as luthiers or players.
And we have that legacy to build on, and perhaps make better guitars.

Consider doing yourself a favour and look at some of the great guitars being made by today's builders. I'd be surprised if it did not change your outlook.
-Marcus Dominelli
Dominelli Guitars

Pumping Carbon

Re: Opinions Wanted- Ramirez 1a

Post by Pumping Carbon » Thu Apr 24, 2008 12:21 am

You need to play a Ramirez 1A before you buy one. It's going to have a very different tone than, say a spruce-top Bernabe. I like the warmer, sweeter tone of the cedar-top Ramirez, but there all different. Brazilian rosewood is a big plus.

Allan

Re: Opinions Wanted- Ramirez 1a

Post by Allan » Thu Apr 24, 2008 12:56 am

I've tried the old ones and loved them, even though they were difficult for me to play. However, the new ones, the 650mm 1A's, are a different story. I've played those and even though they cost a fortune they sound like plastic guitars to me. None of the deep dark Spanish sound and warmth that emanates so famously from their predecessors. If you're looking for the classic Ramirez sound, I would suggest looking for an older, used guitar.

Allan

MikFik

Re: Opinions Wanted- Ramirez 1a

Post by MikFik » Fri Apr 25, 2008 1:26 am

If you are serious and going to spend $5000 for a classical guitar, I strongly suggest you play it before you make the commitment to buy it. Mail order brides don't work out well very often either.

Marcus Dominelli
Luthier
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Re: Opinions Wanted- Ramirez 1a

Post by Marcus Dominelli » Fri Apr 25, 2008 3:10 am

I'll bet you that statistically, mail order brides are just as likely to work out as a conventional marraige. But I guess that does'nt say much for either!
:P MD

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Michael.N.
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Re: Opinions Wanted- Ramirez 1a

Post by Michael.N. » Fri Apr 25, 2008 9:37 am

Well my views on this Ramirez certainly ain't going to change their fortunes so I'll offer my thoughts. Over the years I've come across a small number (perhaps 8 or 10) of these and I'm just about going to side with Marcus on this one. I've heard some that sounded pretty poor. In fact I once tried one in a guitar shop and directly told the owner of that very shop how poor it sounded. I was a little surprised when he fully agreed with me and he even referred to it as a 'lemon'. Having said that I've also come across some that sounded very good. Aesthetically there are much better looking guitars out there but I freely admit that's a very subjective opinion.
Historicalguitars.

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