Ramirez 1A Scale 665mm vs 650mm

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
michaelquek
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Ramirez 1A Scale 665mm vs 650mm

Post by michaelquek » Fri Apr 28, 2017 12:35 pm

Why Ramirez 1A makes guitar scale 665mm while most of the conventional guitar is 650mm?
Did Ramirez mis-calculate the construction of guitar?
Or is there significant technical advantages for the players?
Please guide me.
I am your friend, new guitar player and need your advise

celestemcc
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Re: Ramirez 1A Scale 665mm vs 650mm

Post by celestemcc » Fri Apr 28, 2017 3:59 pm

Someone correct me if I'm wrong... but nowadays the "standard" size for the 1A is 650, with the option of 664. It's the older 1As from the 60s forward that had 664 as standard. I don't know when they switched to the smaller scale, though.

Not a miscalculation: it was a deliberate effort to make the guitar's sound bigger and louder. Some people, notably those with larger hands, prefer the 664. One thing I did love about it was the wider string spacing for the right hand. But the 1A (older ones, I mean) is not known as one of the more easy-to-play guitars; my old teacher said mine was like "playing a 2x4". But it is what it is, and is beloved for that unique, characteristic, beautiful sound.

(For what it's worth, I play a 640 guitar now...!)
2015 Connor spruce/Indian rosewood
1978 Ramirez 1a cedar

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David_Norton
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Re: Ramirez 1A Scale 665mm vs 650mm

Post by David_Norton » Fri Apr 28, 2017 4:24 pm

The 664 size was very intentional. The logic was that longer strings provided more volume, and there is certainly some validity to that. The offset was a more difficult-to-play instrument, which was seen as an acceptable trade-off to the professional players of that time, but not accepted so much any more.
David Norton
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Echi
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Re: Ramirez 1A Scale 665mm vs 650mm

Post by Echi » Fri Apr 28, 2017 10:16 pm

664 is still a size quite common for flamenco guitars.
I have a couple of guitars with 664 mm diapason and don't find them harder to play than my 650 scale.

The problem of playability with the old Ramirez was due to many factors: the low bridge action (generally 8 mm) together with a high action at the 12th fret and a flat neck profile.

John Stone
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Re: Ramirez 1A Scale 665mm vs 650mm

Post by John Stone » Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:54 pm

Yes, Jose Ramirez III put a great deal of thought into scale length. He believed that there were sonic advantages to the longer scale. As the owner of a long-scale 1a as well as shorter-scale guitars, I see his point. Lots of good information in his book Things about the Guitar.
2001 Manuel Velazquez
1977 Ramirez 1a
2014 Cordoba C10
They said, "You have a blue guitar, You do not play things as they are." The man replied, "Things as they are / Are changed upon the blue guitar."

Elitista2
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Re: Ramirez 1A Scale 665mm vs 650mm

Post by Elitista2 » Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:02 pm

There are little differences between 650 an 664. There are good Ramirez 664 and 650 and bad Ramirez 650 or 664. Advantages in projection for 664 but also more difficult to play.
Ramirez 1a traditional has some caratheristics in construction and sound that you can find as
in 664 as in 650!
2012 Ramirez Elite

Laudiesdad69
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Re: Ramirez 1A Scale 665mm vs 650mm

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:23 pm

I went to my favorite local music store and they had a 1A. It was from 1967. The guitar's scale was too long for me. I went in there a and played it for several days to try and "wake" it up. After a couple of weeks I still couldn't get used to it. I couldn't stretch on it like I can on a 650mm guitar. It really didn't seem that loud. We strung it up with Augustine classic red med tension strings. My 4NE was louder with the same strings.

Keith
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Re: Ramirez 1A Scale 665mm vs 650mm

Post by Keith » Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:30 pm

JR3 rarely did anything by accident as evident by his writings in his book, Things About the Guitar. He mentions doing research on the 650mm which he writes never matching the quality and power of the 664mm scale. Thankfully his research did not point to a scale length 2mm longer as the perfect length. JR3 mentions a Stradivarius guitar with a 740mm scale length. That length sounds demonic.
be true to the one you love but have many flings with different guitars

bluesnik
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Re: Ramirez 1A Scale 665mm vs 650mm

Post by bluesnik » Mon May 01, 2017 2:05 am

Lest we forget that before Torres the average scale of the 'guitarras de tablao' in the first half of the nineteenth century was 630mm. Torres, realizing that in order for the guitar to fill larger venues and be accepted in concert halls, there would need to be an increase in volume and resonance. He did this by increasing the overall size of the body and by extending the string length to 650mm and developing a different fan bracing.
It seems Jose Ramirez III took this idea to the next level with his 664mm scale. JR III experimented with varying string lengths in his lifetime but claimed he could never match the quality and power of the 664 mm scale. It is generally acknowledged that the longer scale length produces more volume and some believe (myself included) that it is also one of a number contributing factors to the unique and enviable tone of the vintage 1a guitar.
2014 Ramirez 'Conservatorio' CD/IN
1975 Ramirez 1a Classical CD/BR
1976 Ramirez 1a Flamenco CD/CY

Grooveman JS
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Re: Ramirez 1A Scale 665mm vs 650mm

Post by Grooveman JS » Mon May 01, 2017 7:14 am

if there are all the "supposed" advantages of 664 scale then why is Ramirez going back to 650 as the standard?
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Grooveman JS
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Re: Ramirez 1A Scale 665mm vs 650mm

Post by Grooveman JS » Mon May 01, 2017 7:17 am

It was not just Ramirez, other guitar makers followed suit for that period.....i think it was the 70-80s.... & why are they all reverting back to 650.....
Masaki Sakurai MA-RF
Antonio Picado Concierto DT

Echi
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Re: Ramirez 1A Scale 665mm vs 650mm

Post by Echi » Mon May 01, 2017 7:52 am

The guitar made by Ramirez in 65 was very modern for the time.
As in the case of Torres, he didn't make innovations ever seen before, but instead gathered into one model, many features rarely seen before here and there: laminated sides, long diapason scale, ebony strip reinforcement, cedar top, catalized urethane finish etc.
Ramirez was the first company to use as a standard 664 diapason on a large scale.
The point is that some years after Massari Kohno came out with an instrument as powerful as Ramirez if more, with 650 mm diapason and comfortable round neck.
Beside Kohno also other local competitors of Ramirez like Contreras and Bernabè could build you a guitar with a shorter fretboard.
Obviously Ramirez updated his famous 1a model making a shorter diapason.

Coming back to the topic, 664 mm makes a well noticeable difference in the flamenco guitars.
I can tell it for sure for the guitars I own and I've tried, even of the same maker.
The guitars with longer diapason seems a little more powerful.

Grooveman JS
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Re: Ramirez 1A Scale 665mm vs 650mm

Post by Grooveman JS » Mon May 01, 2017 10:58 am

Echi wrote:
Mon May 01, 2017 7:52 am
............
The point is that some years after Massari Kohno came out with an instrument as powerful as Ramirez if not more, with 650 mm diapason and comfortable round neck.
Beside Kohno also other local competitors of Ramirez like Contreras and Bernabè could build you a guitar with a shorter fretboard.
Obviously Ramirez updated his famous 1a model making a shorter diapason.

That's exactly my point! :bravo:
Masaki Sakurai MA-RF
Antonio Picado Concierto DT

bluesnik
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Re: Ramirez 1A Scale 665mm vs 650mm

Post by bluesnik » Mon May 01, 2017 3:39 pm

Echi wrote:
Mon May 01, 2017 7:52 am
Obviously Ramirez updated his famous 1a model making a shorter diapason.
Ramirez still makes both scales. When you order a 1a or ‘Traditional’, you have the option of specifying 650 or 664. John Mills chose a 2012 1a with 664mm scale on his 2013 recording “Segovia, The Ramirez Years” to ‘promote an authenticity of tone’ from that era.
2014 Ramirez 'Conservatorio' CD/IN
1975 Ramirez 1a Classical CD/BR
1976 Ramirez 1a Flamenco CD/CY

Dave M
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Re: Ramirez 1A Scale 665mm vs 650mm

Post by Dave M » Mon May 01, 2017 8:57 pm

I was unaware that flemencos are often built with a longer string length. But I notice that many flamenco players use a capo on the first fret so they would end up with around a 630 string length. I've always assumed they were looking for that sharper attack and less sonority that the shorter length might give them.

Dave
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