Opinions Wanted- Ramirez 1a

Pepe Vergara

Re: Opinions Wanted- Ramirez 1a

Post by Pepe Vergara » Sat Apr 26, 2008 4:26 am

I would not hesitate to buy a Ramirez done under Jose Ramirez III's direction.


Re: Opinions Wanted- Ramirez 1a

Post by XLR » Sat Apr 26, 2008 5:15 am

I've played a number of Ramirez 1A's. They varied a LOT in quality of sound. A few were as good as anything I've ever played - in their own unique way. Others weren't much different than a good Takamine, hate to say.

Posts: 411
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2007 9:42 pm
Location: Benbrook (Fort Worth), Texas

Re: Opinions Wanted- Ramirez 1a

Post by Gil_Wade » Wed Apr 30, 2008 3:47 pm

An older Ramirez will be a little harder to play due to the longer scale and the higher action. The tone on it should be really good. So the question revolves more around your own style and drive to play than the guitar itself, in my opinion. My teacher equates the older long-scale Ramirez's to a formula one race car ... it is a specialized instrument built for a specialized purpose. If you choose to drive it on the highway during your daily commute you will get hard-to-use steering, poor gas milage and few comforts. If you are in a race approaching 200 mph then you want the tight steering and the other stuff that is a detriment on the highway.

If you want a "pretty" guitar, don't get the Ramirez (Jose Ramirez III would send you to a furniture store). If you are looking for easy playability, don't get the Ramirez (though the new ones are easier to play than the older long-scale ones are). If you are looking for one of the sweetest sounding, loudest, most consistant guitars out there and consider the extra work to play it a fun, fulfilling challenge, get the Ramirez.

I consider any of the long-scale Jose Ramirez III Indian Rosewood/Cedar guitars to go for around $4,000 on that not-to-be-mentioned-site...usually slightly more. Brazilian is worth somewhat more. Cracks, etc would lower the value...though normally don't affect the sound. I have seen some very scratched up, chipped, etc. Ramirez's that still sound good. I have played one of the newer Ramirez's. It seemed easier to play to me than my personal guitar. It is not as loud as the long-scales. It seemed to be well made. I have read reviews from those who love the guitars and hated them...both the long-scale and the newer ones. To balance out Michael.N's remarks I have handled 8 - 10 Ramirezs and none of them would I have hesitate to take home. My teacher has been playing and selling Ramirez's since the 70's and has seen a few "bad" ones...usually ones mistreated by the owners. The think that the new ones are inflated in price. $14,000 sounds too high for a 1a. That not-to-be-mentioned-site has one that the owner is now down to $7,000 and if it doesn't sell he says he will keep it...quite a distance from the $11,500 he says he paid for it a year or so ago.
Gil ( o )===:::

Gilbert Wade, Certified Music Practitioner

"Use the talents you possess, for the woods would be silent if no bird sang except the best." Anonymous

"I get a lot of requests...but I play anyway." from a cartoon


Re: Opinions Wanted- Ramirez 1a

Post by Javelin » Wed Apr 30, 2008 9:09 pm

Thanks txclassplayer,

Your take on it is similar to mine. I am interested in a newer guitar and have also been watching the one on that site that won't be mentioned for 7k.

Pretty is subjective, easy to play also although I'm not to worried about it being a bass player by trade so my chops are ok, longer scale might even be an asset!

I'm pretty much in wait and see mode, interested in a nice cedar top to compliment my Montero spruce. Looking for a deal not a steal!


Re: Opinions Wanted- Ramirez 1a

Post by Hunt-man » Fri May 02, 2008 1:35 am

Javelin wrote:
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.


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.
I have a hard time buying guitars based on brand or maker alone. There is tremendous variation in guitars, even from the same luthier, some are dogs and some sing like angels. It really is all about the individual guitar IMO. Nothing other than playing it will tell if it will be the right one. I've bought a few guitars by picture and description alone and I haven't been happy yet.

So my question is: Have you gotten to play it yet or do you have to buy it first? If you have to buy it what is the return policy?


Re: Opinions Wanted- Ramirez 1a

Post by Javelin » Sat May 03, 2008 6:51 pm

I've slowed down a little bit on my typical impulse buying style. The one I was looking at was a newer guitar from an individual so no stated return policy.

I have had good luck buying guitars site unseen, but mainly electric, so the subtleties and nuances of a guitars sounds are not as varied (in my opinion a strat generally sounds like a strat, a les paul generally sounds like a les paul, etc.). There seems to me to be a much greater tonal range within classical guitars by the same luthier.

so anyway, I wait , I ponder, I shop....


Re: Opinions Wanted- Ramirez 1a

Post by fereng01 » Sat May 03, 2008 7:52 pm


I bought a Rameriz 1a in 1974 ordered it thru Rameriz. I found the treble strings to be weak and out of balance with the bass strings. Of course I was a novice. I found the action to be high and also it was 660 mm but the price was good about $600.00 and the customs duty was reasonable.
Suffice it to say. I sold the guitar and thought Rameriz was not for me. Although years later I found the sound to be exceptional when I heard one concert player (not Parkening) play one.
But over 30 years later and my thoughts have changed. I love Parkening's Rameriz both his recording guitar and traveling guitar for concerts. And recently I have heard a Centenario Rameriz, they are suppose to be the best. Only a few are made in the shop over seen by Amelia Rameriz. But price is steep unless price is no object. They sell for over $20,000.
The website Dreamguitars.com has one that you can hear a sound bite. It sounds magnificant If I had alot of presidents ( US currency) I would certainly buy that one!



Re: Opinions Wanted- Ramirez 1a

Post by MikFik » Sun May 04, 2008 12:44 am

Abit of good advise: Don't be fooled by sound clips. What you're really evaluating is the microphone and the room. We're talking about real money here so don't be a chump. Try it before you buy it. If in doubt, don't buy it. If you have no other choice than to buy sight unseen, there are reputable dealers that offer return policies. I recently had an instrument built for me with MY purpose in mind as it was built. I couldn't be happier. It was $7000 well spent and it is a very personal experience to play it.
If you like the neck shape and the long scale of a Ramirez 1a then I hope you get one. There's nothing like a good Ramirez. Just be aware that there are bad ones out there too so be careful.


Re: Opinions Wanted- Ramirez 1a

Post by fereng01 » Sun May 04, 2008 1:23 am

Dear MikFik ,

I guess you read to much into what I was saying. I certainly would never never spend $23,000 for a guitar without spending alot of time with it. But I believe a sound clip does give some insight neverthless. If you listen carefully on the dream guitars site you can actually get a good clue as to what might please ones ears. I right away noticed that this guitar was special. Of course I wouldnt bet the farm that I was right but after playing for over 3 decades I think I have an inkling, what pleases my ears, even if it was the microphone and room helping out. But if I did have the money I would certainly go to North Carolina and further investigate this particular guitar. They also had a Hauser III but that didnt capture my ears as much as this Centerario Rameriz. The sound of a great Rameriz is very special. Its 's funny though Christopher Parkening might be the only one playing a Rameriz of his level on the concert scene today and somehow he doesnt play anything else. That sound captivated him from the get go. I heard early on he owned a M. Rodriquez but never looked back once he played a Rameriz.

All the best,


Re: Opinions Wanted- Ramirez 1a

Post by raphaeljohn2002 » Fri May 09, 2008 7:50 am

If you love the Ramirez sound of the old Chris Parkening Recordings or the Segovia Recordings,
I agree with the folks who recommend buying a vintage Ramirez. You can get them for between $4000 and $5000
and you can always sell it for what you paid should you want something else later. (Last I checked, the Classical Guitar Store in Philadelphia has one or two in stock).

Also good advice is to play the guitar before buying....
In my experience, even with the vintage instruments, there is quite a bit of variability between instruments.

I would recommend looking for a guitar built before about 1977.
I have played a few nice ones made later but the average quality went down hill in the late 70's
(NOTE: If you go earlier than about 1970, the prices increase significantly because
the particular luthier can be identified and this has added some "collectable value").

I still own a '76 that I bought new in NYC...picked it out of 6 that just arrived at Orozcos.
I have some very high quality modern guitars as well. And, I am always pleasantly surprised at how good the old '76 sounds.
In my opinion, this particular guitar compares well to many modern instruments....I have friends with fine instruments as well.
Mine is cedar / brazilian and like most cedar tops, the sound is warmer than Spruce but the separation of voices isn't great.

Hope this helps!


Re: Opinions Wanted- Ramirez 1a

Post by sandollars » Sun May 11, 2008 3:44 pm

I think this is like a guy coming in to a car forum and asking what year of Corvette he should buy.

The guy with the 56 will tell you it's the best.

The guy with the '04 will tell you the same.

And so on.

The Porsche guy will tell you to buy a Porsche

The Viper guy, a Viper.

Bottom line is any year Ramirez 1a is a fine guitar, among the best guitars in the world and surely in the top 5 most renowned, and if you can find one used for under 6k that SINGS to you, you will NEVER lose your money if, later, you decide she isn't for you.

It's like money in the bank.

JMHO :wink:


Re: Opinions Wanted- Ramirez 1a

Post by jdhunt » Sun May 11, 2008 4:02 pm

A '58 Corvette is the one to have. (sorry, couldn't resist)


Re: Opinions Wanted- Ramirez 1a

Post by sandollars » Sun May 11, 2008 4:04 pm



Re: Opinions Wanted- Ramirez 1a

Post by musicalforests » Sun May 11, 2008 9:13 pm

Javelin wrote: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.



Re: Opinions Wanted- Ramirez 1a

Post by Consiliere » Mon Oct 06, 2008 5:31 pm

I have just received my 1972 Ramirez 1a Cedar/Brazilian bought on e-b-a-y. My first impression is that I have never heard such sustain and separation. The second is that I will have to struggle with that 664 mm scale length and that 54 mm nut width.

Return to “Advice on buying, selling or valuing a guitar”