Ramirez Guitars - Difficult??

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
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petermc61
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Re: Ramirez Guitars - Difficult??

Post by petermc61 » Mon Mar 06, 2017 4:31 am

My observation is there is no more reason for a copy of a 'Manuel Ramirez 1912' to sound any better than any other copy of other famous guitars (eg Bream's Hauser or Romanillos). The original was no doubt great and the copy, using similar bracing and dimensions as the original, should have some of its character. However, any copy is just another guitar and will only sound truly great if you are lucky enough for everything, including a dose of luck, to come together 'just so'.

Cheers
Peter

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Michael.N.
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Re: Ramirez Guitars - Difficult??

Post by Michael.N. » Mon Mar 06, 2017 9:23 am

Philosopherguy wrote:
Grooveman JS wrote:While we're on this, I'd like to ask if anyone here who are owners or has any experience with a historical model that they make in the Ramirez shop: Manuel Ramirez 1912. I know that all the other models in the handcrafted or what they call the professional series guitars (Vino Traditional, Auditorio, Antigua, Centanario) are all based on the 1A as the main template with variations here & there. Does anybody know if the Manual Ramirez model is also based on the same construction. What about tone, does it sound very much like the other Ramirezs, what's playability like?
The Manuel Ramirez is based on Segovia's 1912 Ramirez that is in the Metropolitan Museum. I have heard that the Antigua is based on early 20th century guitars too, so likely it is closer to the design of the Manuel Ramirez then the more modern 1A.

I have heard a few people who have tried them say that the Ramirez 1912 Manuel is one of the best guitars they have ever played. I haven't tried one. I can imagine they are quite nice. HOWEVER, they are ridiculously priced.

If you go to the Ramirez tube channel you can hear some samples of most of the Ramirez lineup. The Antigua certainly sounds beautiful on there. But, I don't know anyone who has played one personally.

I am interested to hear if anyone else has any comments of personal experiences with some of these guitars!

Martin
The 1912 is undoubtedly much nearer to a Torres than it is to any 60's/70's Ramirez. If you look at the dimensions of certain Manuel Ramirez guitars (body length, body depth, bout widths) they can be remarkably similar to a Torres.
Historicalguitars.

Ortega
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Re: Ramirez Guitars - Difficult??

Post by Ortega » Tue Mar 07, 2017 11:01 pm

Grooveman JS wrote:
celestemcc wrote:
there are real gems & there're average ones
This video might show you some of the differences, a '63 spruce 1a vs a '72cedar 1a. The difference is subtle and some pieces sound better on the spruce than the cedar and vice-versa. But it is, to my ear, distinct. Love to hear others' thoughts on this one!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yB0CfAZ4UkY
Ya..... Can some of you who are familiar with these instruments & objective; elaborate & educate me on spotting the differences between the gems & the average (or what some in the other discussion threads would call lemons/duds) & which guitars are you referring to with respect to this point(is this particular to guitars of a certain era or this applies to modern Ramirezs across the board as well)......... :merci:
Sure, Grooveman.

Differences can only be spotted with the ear, and preferably with old, dead strings.

Here is a very good '76 cedar. It sounds above average. It is still not "phenomenal". Hand still recovering from surgery and dystonia here:
https://youtu.be/k5JGl8BdyC0

Here is "Holy Grail", '78 cedar again, in better recording circumstances and played with now much improved (post surgery) hand:
https://youtu.be/Ae9f067xfKQ

If you can find a specimen with absolutely even timbres across all frets, especially with respect to the high E string, this is an extreme rarity. Additionally, some specimens have a penetratingly beautiful high end that just cuts through the heart...sorry to be subjective and abstract, but such is the nature of much of the luthier's art (or the output of that of any artist, for that matter).

Listen if possible to the second clip with earbuds/ headphones, preferably of high quality. The difference between the guitars is incredible. The qualities one would find desirable in a golden age 1a would certainly be those found in clip 2...

It is difficult to play multiple specimens in one location before purchasing, and of course this is ideal...

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petermc61
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Re: Ramirez Guitars - Difficult??

Post by petermc61 » Wed Mar 08, 2017 1:18 am

:shock: Preferably with old, dead strings?? Why?

Grooveman JS
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Re: Ramirez Guitars - Difficult??

Post by Grooveman JS » Wed Mar 08, 2017 7:46 am

Ortega

all i can say about the 2 videos is the Holy Grail one is much better sounding; it sounds good ....as a matter of fact..... I would say that the 76 is not above average; it actually sounds quite bad ....thiny, cardboard box type sound...quite bad (I stress; not the player but the guitar). Here again there are other factors to consider like....recording situation (equipment, acoustics of place etc....) & his state of recovery from hand surgery....i wish him well in his recovery so he can continue to make music with his instruments.
Masaki Sakurai MA-RF
Antonio Picado Concierto DT

celestemcc
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Re: Ramirez Guitars - Difficult??

Post by celestemcc » Wed Mar 08, 2017 2:42 pm

[quote][
Here is "Holy Grail", '78 cedar/quote]

Who's the luthier for the '78, do you know? Mine had that high end...
2015 Connor spruce/Indian rosewood
1978 Ramirez 1a cedar

Xeperxi
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Re: Ramirez Guitars - Difficult??

Post by Xeperxi » Thu Mar 09, 2017 1:06 am

I own a 1965 Jose Ramirez 1a and it is by far my favorite playing and sounding guitar, out of any guitars I have owned or played. I can see for some it may be more uncomfortable to play, but for me it fits like a glove and is a pure joy to play. Just wish I had more money to buy more lol
1965 Jose Ramirez 1a Cedar
Cordoba C10

khayes
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Re: Ramirez Guitars - Difficult??

Post by khayes » Thu Mar 09, 2017 3:27 am

Xeperxi wrote:I own a 1965 Jose Ramirez 1a and it is by far my favorite playing and sounding guitar, out of any guitars I have owned or played. I can see for some it may be more uncomfortable to play, but for me it fits like a glove and is a pure joy to play. Just wish I had more money to buy more lol
Hi Xeperxi - just sent you a private message.
Ken

Dekselsedek
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Re: Ramirez Guitars - Difficult??

Post by Dekselsedek » Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:02 am

One of the first and best teachers I had, and a great friend still today, played a 70's Ramirez. Because he was fond of me and had another instrument on which to play, a Lacote copy, he lent me the Ramirez for a while.

Of course I was honored and really looking forward to eqealling that magnificent sound he could produce. But I soon found out that that sound was all made by serious effort. Both in the right hand and the left. Barre chords were much harder than the Antonio Lopez student guitar I usually played, and for producing a singing tone my lacking apuyando technique was not enough.

Needless to say this made me a little sad. It also made me fear that all the great guitars requiered a different technique. Nowadays I know better and through this exchange of instruments the most valuable lesson I learned was that player and instrument influence eachother. My teacher was capable of playing the Ramirez, but he was also forced to play it that way by the instrument.

Years later I found "my" instrument. A beautiful, Antonio Marin Montero from my birth year, 1982. It is easy to play and produces a lovely singing tone when I want it. I like to string it with Savarez Corum for that extra clarity and punch I like in my mostly 20th century repertoire.

The thing is, my friend the teacher, when he plays it, it sounds kind of forced. He has trouble with fret buzz. He works it too much on it, in my opinion. And I am sure that if I lent him my instrument he would be forced to alter some things as well.

Grooveman JS
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Re: Ramirez Guitars - Difficult??

Post by Grooveman JS » Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:33 pm

Hi Dekselsedek

If I'm ever in a situation where I have to choose between the 2 guitars; just based on "playability" only.....then like you; I'll definitely go for the Antonio Marin Montero. Glad you found your real "voice" to make beautiful music
Masaki Sakurai MA-RF
Antonio Picado Concierto DT

celestemcc
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Re: Ramirez Guitars - Difficult??

Post by celestemcc » Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:04 pm

But I soon found out that that sound was all made by serious effort.
This!.... This thread inspired me to take out my '78 1a a few days ago, and I played pieces that I'd learned on the Ramirez and ones I'd learned on the newer, short scale Connor.

To my surprise the Ramirez was easy on the left hand, or should I say, easier than it used to be, for all the pieces. I'm convinced my technique has improved from playing the shorter-scale guitar for 18 months. But after about a half-hour or so of playing the Ramirez, I found my whole body was tense from the effort of playing it, and that started affecting my playing.

Some of the things I played, particularly those with a Spanish aesthetic, are still glorious on the Ramirez. And I do love the wide string spacing for the right hand. But like the poster quoted above said, you have to find your fit. Again, I do admire the folks who can handle one!
2015 Connor spruce/Indian rosewood
1978 Ramirez 1a cedar

Grooveman JS
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Re: Ramirez Guitars - Difficult??

Post by Grooveman JS » Fri Mar 10, 2017 9:12 am

celestemcc wrote:
But I soon found out that that sound was all made by serious effort.
To my surprise the Ramirez was easy on the left hand, or should I say, easier than it used to be, for all the pieces. I'm convinced my technique has improved from playing the shorter-scale guitar for 18 months. But after about a half-hour or so of playing the Ramirez, I found my whole body was tense from the effort of playing it, and that started affecting my playing.

Some of the things I played, particularly those with a Spanish aesthetic, are still glorious on the Ramirez. And I do love the wide string spacing for the right hand. But like the poster quoted above said, you have to find your fit. Again, I do admire the folks who can handle one!
I find that changing guitars for the practice routine is always good.... to keep things fresh that is (different tones, feel & looks) & of course to ensure that I'm proficient on various instruments that i have.....I do that for both my Classical as well as the Contemporary music routine.

I got to say I'm becoming quite captivated with that Ramirez tone.......at least from what i hear on the videos.....
Masaki Sakurai MA-RF
Antonio Picado Concierto DT

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georgemarousi
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Re: Ramirez Guitars - Difficult??

Post by georgemarousi » Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:55 am

my input relatively to the last posts;

Somehow, after my daily practice with my 650mm guitars, I find very pleasant to grab the old 1A .. At that time ( late hours of course ), as being warm I am better able to handle the bigger scale, and I like that change in sound.. which also leads me to play slower and more ..atmospherically ! I really enjoy that moments - and I assure you this is driven by the A1 itself ! :o
--Classicals--
Paulino Bernabe Especial 2009
Ramirez 1A 1980
Alhambra Luthier india 2012
Juan Martinez nr 55 (the return @2014)
Yamaha cg 110 (as a kid @88)
--
student again since 2015, to my degree @..? - God bless!

Grooveman JS
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Re: Ramirez Guitars - Difficult??

Post by Grooveman JS » Sun Mar 12, 2017 7:41 am

OK I can accept that there'll always be peaks & troughs in the course of history for all guitar makers as a matter of fact everything in life...., I gather from here (from some Ramirez aficionados) that there are some real gems out there & there are also duds. What I'd like to know from current owners/aficionados is what do you think of the more recent Ramirez guitars made these days; I'm referring to the top models like the 1As, Antigua, Vino Traitional, Centenario, Manuel Ramirez historical model....I know the company has somewhat acknowledged the fact that 650 scale/52mm nut is the way to go, that's why its the standard today.....do they sound as good as the previous gems, do they play better (the company has also offered an option for a thinner neck)?
Masaki Sakurai MA-RF
Antonio Picado Concierto DT

Torres609
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Re: Ramirez Guitars - Difficult??

Post by Torres609 » Sun Mar 12, 2017 11:07 am

My brother owns both a 664 and 650 scale and when I play them, I find the difference isn't noticeable providing you've carefully set up the action height. The difference at the first fret is under 1.5mm so from my perspective, undetectable. Perhaps it's a psychological issue in that we expect 664 to be harder? My bro's 664 is set at 3.75 bass side and 3.00 treble side using D'Addario E46 strings (he's not an aggressive player) whereas the 650 needs a little extra height with 4mm bass side (same strings). They sound quite similar with the 664 having a slightly stronger bass response.

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