As an owner of an old 1A of 1980 (664mm), and several other - fair to very good - guitar(s) of 650mm let me tell you what I think;
Yes, the playability is generally a bit more demanding in the old A1, as all dimensions of the fretboard are a little bit increased ( area of 644 x 54+ mm.. ). I would not recommend that for small hands ( I am tall, so it's OK for me at least ).
But, personally, I have lowered the saddle almost all the way down possible, and things are not that hard; action is around 3mm low E, 4+mm high E ( looks even higher than it actually is, as around the 12+ fret as the fretboard is curved on purpose, to allow bigger string movement! ). On my 1A there is even some more room for the saddle, and may be even more with some hadrware job on the wood of the bridge, but I think it's already on a good spot, not to hard for the fingers and also allowing very big amounts of string vibration.
Also the small radius of the fretboard ( ! ) helps a lot, especially doing barre's. Advantages of the bigger nut width (54mm) also exist, as the fingers have more room when they are to close to each other at difficult close lh positions - something that in the opposite example (wider positions ) would require more effort for the fingers..
Moreover, the best stings/tension that I have settled on so far, daddario carbon mediums ( and not only me but a proffessional using an old A1 too! ) are also not too hard also - especially their basses - but they bring out a very powerfull and quality sound from the instrument ( I have been there recently, where a similar old 1A, unplugged, greately fullfilled a 200 -square-meter hall with 120+ people ! )
To sum up, I believe that if you like the character of the guitar, which is the classical spanish sound and repertoire, with the fullest, deepest and sweetest guitar trebles you can get, and the overall moody and rich sound, get an old 1A and work on that extra mile to master it; Believe me, the result is totally worth it !
ps. Though I haven't tried a newer ramirez of 650mm, I assume that it should be easier on playability, alike the rest 650mm guitars
Last edited by georgemarousi on Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Paulino Bernabe Especial 2009
Ramirez 1A 1980
Alhambra Luthier india 2012
Panagi Brothers 1970
Juan Martinez nr 55 2014 (the comeback)
Yamaha cg 110 1988 (the 1st)
2014: the comeback