Jose Ramirez strings

Choice of classical guitar strings and technical issues connected with their use.
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petermc61
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Re: Jose Ramirez strings

Post by petermc61 » Sun Aug 14, 2016 2:46 am

MessyTendon wrote:Peter the strings are said to be manufactured for Amalia Ramirez via on-line product literature. I really just want to know who makes them. I refuse to pay twice the price for nylon strings when the variety of quality strings is out there.

Whatever the strings are, I think 16$ for Nylon/Silver strings is kind of questionable when the leading manufactures offer the same materials and workmanship for half the price or less.
Hi Messy

Not sure we are going to agree on this, but from my perspective the fact that you can get perfectly reasonable nylon strings for US$7-8 is not a compelling argument for not paying $16 for a set. It would be a compelling argument if the sets at that lower price point sounded as good. Maybe you can point me to something I have not tried but I have used D'Addario, La Bella et al and the only strings under $10/set I like (on some guitars) are Aranjuez Suave or Brilliante Silver 500, and that's mainly because of the trebles, and Augustine Imperial Black (but they don't last that long).

However, none of those strings sound like Ramirez. I think Riffy described their sound well, but I'd add they have brightness on top of the plumpness - sort of like a hot fudge sundae string. I can't imagine a guitar sounding bad with them. So, if you want that sound, you pay the price.

I might add that they probably are made by one of the larger manufacturers - but so what? That manufacturer will interrupt their production, change dyes, change source metals and do a small production run (maybe as little as 5000 sets of strings). This adds a cost compared to the big manufacturer just running their own stuff though in far great volumes. If you want that, you pay for it. If you don't, fine. Just don't presume they are identical to some cheap string and disbar trying them for that reason alone.

I use $8 string sets, I use $16 string sets and I use $25 string sets. If given sets make my guitars song best and given the investment I have made in guitars I use strings at all these price points, but ONLY if the more expensive string really brings out the best in an instrument.

All the best
Peter

Aaron Powell
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Re: Jose Ramirez strings

Post by Aaron Powell » Sun Aug 14, 2016 7:40 am

Questions!
Is there much of a difference in sound (price is obvious) compared to Optima 6 Silver medium?
All be tempted to order due to this thread. Never used carbon string before, should I try the carbon G? For comparison I am content with the Optima 6 sound, have no idea about longevity yet, but cost is great for me. I have Sauve 800 to try next. My guitars were intonated with Classic Black strings with about 6 hours use if it matters.
Thank-you for help, cheers Aaron

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Contreras
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Re: Jose Ramirez strings

Post by Contreras » Sun Aug 14, 2016 9:27 am

petermc61 wrote:
MessyTendon wrote:Peter the strings are said to be manufactured for Amalia Ramirez via on-line product literature. I really just want to know who makes them. I refuse to pay twice the price for nylon strings when the variety of quality strings is out there.

Whatever the strings are, I think 16$ for Nylon/Silver strings is kind of questionable when the leading manufactures offer the same materials and workmanship for half the price or less.
Hi Messy

Not sure we are going to agree on this, but from my perspective the fact that you can get perfectly reasonable nylon strings for US$7-8 is not a compelling argument for not paying $16 for a set. It would be a compelling argument if the sets at that lower price point sounded as good. Maybe you can point me to something I have not tried but I have used D'Addario, La Bella et al and the only strings under $10/set I like (on some guitars) are Aranjuez Suave or Brilliante Silver 500, and that's mainly because of the trebles, and Augustine Imperial Black (but they don't last that long).

However, none of those strings sound like Ramirez. I think Riffy described their sound well, but I'd add they have brightness on top of the plumpness - sort of like a hot fudge sundae string. I can't imagine a guitar sounding bad with them. So, if you want that sound, you pay the price.

I might add that they probably are made by one of the larger manufacturers - but so what? That manufacturer will interrupt their production, change dyes, change source metals and do a small production run (maybe as little as 5000 sets of strings). This adds a cost compared to the big manufacturer just running their own stuff though in far great volumes. If you want that, you pay for it. If you don't, fine. Just don't presume they are identical to some cheap string and disbar trying them for that reason alone.

I use $8 string sets, I use $16 string sets and I use $25 string sets. If given sets make my guitars song best and given the investment I have made in guitars I use strings at all these price points, but ONLY if the more expensive string really brings out the best in an instrument.

All the best
Peter
Just adding my 2 cents to what Peter has said, I have also used the full spectrum of strings, and have (so far) found the $25 price point to my liking, in two specific examples. I did like the Ramirez set, but not as much as others. It could be different on another guitar.

In this regard, if you are happy with any particular $8 set ... why pay more? We are in a subjective realm, are we not?
Put down the bagpipes ...
... and no one gets hurt.

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Michael.N.
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Re: Jose Ramirez strings

Post by Michael.N. » Sun Aug 14, 2016 9:48 am

It's unlikely that Ramirez 'designed' these strings. I doubt that they have the expertise in respect of polymers and the physical properties of string material. That's usually left to the chemists and the string makers. They may have had some input but it's more likely to be selection of existing string materials IMO.
Historicalguitars.

MessyTendon
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Re: Jose Ramirez strings

Post by MessyTendon » Sun Aug 14, 2016 7:34 pm

Yes Michael, that's my main argument, we are getting a set of nylon strings for twice price and unkown manufacture. I'd prefer to know what I am paying 16$ for...To each his own.

I am not found of premium boutique products unless I know extra workmanship is known to actually be done.

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Michael.N.
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Re: Jose Ramirez strings

Post by Michael.N. » Sun Aug 14, 2016 7:46 pm

There are quite a few makers/players who put their name to strings: Ramirez, Conde, Bernabe, Hauser, John Pearse, Pepe Romero.
AFAIK none of them have any chemistry, material science or string making expertise. My guess (and it is a guess) is that they are rebranded or they have been sent samples of strings and they have then selected according to taste. I can't think for one moment that they were asking for specific details of strings according to their own ideas and formulas. I'm not even sure that any string makers are manufacturing their own monofilament nylon/floss but just buying it in from specialists suppliers. They will mill, polish and wind them though.
Last edited by Michael.N. on Sun Aug 14, 2016 8:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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es335
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Re: Jose Ramirez strings

Post by es335 » Sun Aug 14, 2016 8:12 pm

Michael.N. wrote:... I'm not even sure that any string makers are manufacturing their own monofilament nylon/floss but just buying it in from specialists suppliers. They will mill, polish and wind them though.
There are a few exceptions like Mimmo from Aquila and perhaps d'Addario!? But for most of the string brands I do second this assumption! :wink:

riffmeister
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Re: Jose Ramirez strings

Post by riffmeister » Sun Aug 14, 2016 8:21 pm

Free market system means you can buy whatever strings float yer boat. If that happens to be an inexpensive string set, go for it! It's good to have choices....

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Michael.N.
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Re: Jose Ramirez strings

Post by Michael.N. » Sun Aug 14, 2016 8:36 pm

es335 wrote:
Michael.N. wrote:... I'm not even sure that any string makers are manufacturing their own monofilament nylon/floss but just buying it in from specialists suppliers. They will mill, polish and wind them though.
There are a few exceptions like Mimmo from Aquila and perhaps d'Addario!? But for most of the string brands I do second this assumption! :wink:
Not sure about Aquila. I think that they might buy in the nylgut (polyester?) and polish it. Pure gut is a completely different matter. Winding is certainly done by the string makers. Unsure about D'adarrio too. It's by no means certain that they manufacture their own nylon just as I have my doubts that they manufacture their own steel for steel strings.
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MessyTendon
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Re: Jose Ramirez strings

Post by MessyTendon » Mon Aug 15, 2016 1:01 am

Yes Michael you are correct. The string manufactures most certainly do not produce the chemicals and plastic necessary to make strings. In fact there is a video of the Aquila factory where a tourist came to the shop and took video. You can see the small storage area full of spools of various threads.

What I like and respect about Mimmo is that he in fact is involved in the process of making gut strings for historic instruments. His modern strings are plastics which he has put his heart and soul into finding materials that make good sound. His research led him to take the risk of acquiring such materials to market.

Here is a video...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_Cwe_pz0Uo

Seven minutes in you can see the bulk spools of material. We as average people could not afford to simply buy these bulk spools and expect to save money...His 8-12$ a pack is most reasonable.

But with this Ramirez stuff, we are essentially buying the same thing...bulk spooled nylon product for a premium. Nylon trebles are more or less the same materials. We think of them as different but our biases are unfounded.

I can say I like nylgut...not because of the fancy name...but because it is a different material than standard nylon. It's a plastic of different composition.

I am not asking Amalia to provide trade secrets, because she has no experience making strings, only marketing them. All I want to know is who makes them...not where the company gets the raw materials, I just want to know who makes the darn things.

I am sure if I asked MImmo where he got the nylgut material he'd say "‎sul mio cadavere" But realistically do you think these Ramirez strings would be considered special if the source was from one of the big manufactures?

I think it's great the Romero string product is La Bella and that the Romero family has said they like the sound of the materials, the extra 3-5$ over the standard La Bella line...that's a simple choice, of getting the "other" nylon. Whatever that might be :)

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petermc61
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Re: Jose Ramirez strings

Post by petermc61 » Mon Aug 15, 2016 1:42 am

Messy

You really gotta let this go or they'll end up having you committed!!! :shock: :lol:

There are probably 50 brands of string available worldwide. Most are OEM built to the specifications of the various brands. I struggle to see why Ramirez so gets you passionate.

As others have said, and I recall you agree, few of them wind their own wire and/or draw their own filaments. Certainly none of them run a mine or a refinery.

What might be a more interesting thread is which manufacturers make their own wires and draw their own filaments. Among premium manufacturers I suspect probably less than 10 internationally. I don't, however, know.

Regards
Peter

es335
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Re: Jose Ramirez strings

Post by es335 » Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:32 am

Michael.N. wrote:... Not sure about Aquila. I think that they might buy in the nylgut (polyester?) and polish it...
I do remember Mimmo stating that he acquired a monofiliament extruder to produce his own monofiliament treble strings which might explain his expanded range of innovative treble string creations. This was just rcently and most probably after the said video was taken and might not neccessarily apply to his complete range of plastic trebles.

On the other side the reported quality problems with these very interesting and innovative creations document why most if not all string suppliers rely on specialised companies for treble strings. Monofiliament extrusion is a hot production process which runs best if not interrupted and even D'Addario with 50% or more market share covers only a small fraction of the production capacity of such machines! :wink:

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Thanagan
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Re: Jose Ramirez strings

Post by Thanagan » Fri Aug 26, 2016 11:09 am

I purchased 6 packs just now (3 MT and 3 HT) from SBM while in the US. I'm excited to try them out on my 1a!
Jose Ramirez 1a, Cedar (1976)
Juan Hernandez Profesor, Cedar (2013)
Yamaha SLG130nw

Jack Douglas
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Re: Jose Ramirez strings

Post by Jack Douglas » Fri Aug 26, 2016 12:00 pm

What's great for all of us who buy classical guitar strings are the extensive choices we all have. We can extoll the virtues of a particular maker or mix and match to our hearts content. I love that there are more choices than I will ever try. I like the new Ramirez and Aquilea and Pyramid and Knobloch and,,,and...
For me it's not a concern who developed the chemical formula or whose name is on it. The bottom line is how it feels to my fingers and sounds to my ear!!!
I remember when Hannabach was available from only a couple of purveyors and D'Addario was the assumed standard. Oh, and carbon strings didn't exist. We have it so good these days!
Hauser III 2014!

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petermc61
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Re: Jose Ramirez strings

Post by petermc61 » Fri Aug 26, 2016 12:06 pm

Indeed we do, Jack.

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