ramirez 1a for big hands ?

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georgemarousi
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Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2016 8:10 am

ramirez 1a for big hands ?

Post by georgemarousi » Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:38 am

Hello all!

From time to time I consider switching to my Ramirez 1a as my main instrument (664mm). I am very tall (1,97m) so I find that my big hands fit better on that thick neck. * Note that I have a new nut with reduced string spacing and a shaven bridge for quite low action, so the playability of my 1a is very good *

Now I play mainly a Bernabe especial (650mm) that has a quite thin neck, so at some positions I find my thumb tends to hug the fretboard and show up over it.. so my left hand doesnt stand very comfortable and I feel this leads to discomfort and/or mistakes.

Soundwise as you can imagine or know, Ramirez has a darker sound, maybe wins on the treble sustain and roundness, while Bernabe seems more modern, has a great unique rich sound and with better voice separation in comparison.

The truth is that I seldom see around the old 1a as the main performance instrument of other players. Could the 1a be a drawback for me for more modern repertoire (for example) soundwise, or elsewhere?

I would like to stick on one of the two istruments as I move on to my degree hopefully at 2019.

What would you do in my place / what would be your advice?

:merci:
--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!

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petermc61
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Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: ramirez 1a for big hands ?

Post by petermc61 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:44 am

The 1a should not be a problem for you to play given your hand size and it’s setup.

I suspect you are over thinking it. Whether others play a 1a or not any more is as much a fashion trend as anything.

Which instrument connects with your heart better? Which allows you the greatest musical expression? Which one do you get immersed in totally and lose track of time with? That’s the one to stick with.

Regards
Peter

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georgemarousi
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Re: ramirez 1a for big hands ?

Post by georgemarousi » Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:27 pm

petermc61 wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:44 am
The 1a should not be a problem for you to play given your hand size and it’s setup.

I suspect you are over thinking it. Whether others play a 1a or not any more is as much a fashion trend as anything.

Which instrument connects with your heart better? Which allows you the greatest musical expression? Which one do you get immersed in totally and lose track of time with? That’s the one to stick with.

Regards
Peter
Hi Peter,

thanks for your reply! "Which one do you get immersed in totally and lose track of time with" .. a very important quote! 8)

You are right.. I am kind of stuck in the middle of the pros and cons of each side, and afraid to make a "wrong" decision..

I think I will give 1-2 months to the Ramirez 1a and see how it goes / inform this thread also :)


ps. Since both the guitars are amazing but pricey too, I forgot to add that I will maybe sell later the guitar that's left..
--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!

Rognvald
Posts: 226
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2017 1:21 am

Re: ramirez 1a for big hands ?

Post by Rognvald » Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:46 pm

"Which instrument connects with your heart better? Which allows you the greatest musical expression? Which one do you get immersed in totally and lose track of time with? That’s the one to stick with." petermc61



Nice!
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

celestemcc
Posts: 720
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 5:43 pm

Re: ramirez 1a for big hands ?

Post by celestemcc » Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:56 pm

Which guitar do you love most? That's all that matters. The 1a may be "outmoded" to some, but if the sound speaks to you, and you love it, that's the one to use. If the Bernabe is the one, use that one. Never mind what people say; people are always going to have an opinion. Yours is all that matters when it comes to your guitar.

For that matter, nothing says you can't play both guitars in concert, if one sounds better to you in particular repertoire! There really is no "wrong" choice here.
2015 Connor spruce/Indian rosewood
1978 Ramirez 1a cedar

Philosopherguy
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Location: Niagara, Ontario, Canada

Re: ramirez 1a for big hands ?

Post by Philosopherguy » Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:54 pm

Although the 1A's aren't as popular as they once were, I think that is more a function of price than anything. They used to be more affordable. Plus, there is just much more choice these days in terms of good luthier guitars. I don't think most serious players would say that a 1A is no good for modern repertoire (provided you have one that is playable). You can always put more modern sounding strings on a 1A and you are going to get a little bit more of a modern sound out of it. There are still artists that use 1A's for recording: John Mills recently used one. Xuefei Yang has used a Ramirez Elite to record some of her recent stuff. So, I think you are in good company with a 1A. I'm sure there are tons of players that still use 1A's for performing. 1A's are still selling pretty well, so people must be playing them. Ramirez hasn't gone bankrupt yet!

All the advice above is correct though: play the guitar and sound you love. For me, nothing beats that big Ramirez tone, except maybe that old 19th century Torres like sound.

Martin
*************************************************************
2013 Ramirez 130 Anos - Spruce
2013 Ramirez 4NE - Cedar
1998 Dean Harrington - Spruce
1977 Kuniharu Nobe - Spruce
1971 Yamaha GC3 - Spruce

John Stone
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Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2014 5:32 am
Location: Ohio, USA

Re: ramirez 1a for big hands ?

Post by John Stone » Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:55 pm

petermc61 wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:44 am
The 1a should not be a problem for you to play given your hand size and it’s setup.

I suspect you are over thinking it. Whether others play a 1a or not any more is as much a fashion trend as anything.

Which instrument connects with your heart better? Which allows you the greatest musical expression? Which one do you get immersed in totally and lose track of time with? That’s the one to stick with.
I think this is right on. I have normal-sized hands and moving from my 650mm Velazquez to my 664mm 1a is effortless. I can feel the difference at times, but don't find it to be an issue. I think many people imagine that the difficulty is greater than it really is.

My Ramirez is a little more difficult to play, but only because the action is a bit higher.

I also don't find that my spruce Velazquez has significantly better note separation than my cedar Ramirez. I've done a lot of comparison of the guitars in this respect. At the moment, I'm enjoying my Ramirez even more than my Velazquez. I love the big, round, pure sound. It's a bit darker, so I play it a bit differently in order to bring out more overtones and clarity. I also find it to have about as much color as the spruce guitar, and the colors are really musical.
Last edited by John Stone on Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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."

astro64
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Location: American Southwest

Re: ramirez 1a for big hands ?

Post by astro64 » Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:23 am

From nut to twelfth fret the difference will be half of 664-650 so 7mm, assuming both instruments have similar saddle compensation. The reach from nut to 5th fret is increased by 3.5mm, not a little over 1mm.

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