Adjustment of Action on a Ramirez Ia Especial

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
BrunoB
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Location: Cumbria

Adjustment of Action on a Ramirez Ia Especial

Post by BrunoB » Tue Apr 09, 2019 12:13 pm

Where can I go in BW England to get the action of a Ramirez adjusted? :-
I have a 1997 Ramirez 1a Especial that hasn't been played for nearly 20 years but which now, or so I thought, plays pretty well after a year of playing. I then tried another guitar today the action of which had been adjusted for me many years ago and I realised that the Ramirez action is far too high. Pieces that I had been having difficulty with on the Ramirez were eminently playable and as all the other dimensions of the two instruments are the same I can only assume that the action on the Ramirez is the likely culprit. In all other respects I think the Ramirez is the better guitar!!
So, can anybody suggest luthiers in NW England who would be happy to deal with action problems on a Ramirez?
Many thanks

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souldier
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Re: Adjustment of Action on a Ramirez Ia Especial

Post by souldier » Tue Apr 09, 2019 12:26 pm

How much room do you have left on the saddle? It's actually an inexpensive and easy job to do yourself if you're willing. I've done this a tonne of times on my own guitars without issue. All you need is a nice sheet of 150 grit sand paper and a hard flat surface. I can provide further instructions if you're willing to go this route.
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BrunoB
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Re: Adjustment of Action on a Ramirez Ia Especial

Post by BrunoB » Tue Apr 09, 2019 3:55 pm

The action at the 12th fret 6th string is 6 - 6.5mm. The saddle height is just over 3mm. These are approximate because I don't have the right calipers. I suspect that the guitar may need a bridge reshaping to get much change. The nut action is about 2mm so I suppose a combined nut and saddle reduction might be possible? One luthier did look at the guitar a little while ago but he was, as he said himself, 'not experienced with Ramirez guitars' to take on the task. Som what do think?

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Michael Lazar
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Re: Adjustment of Action on a Ramirez Ia Especial

Post by Michael Lazar » Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:49 pm

Old Ramirez 1a's are notorious for collapsing in the upper bout to the extent that the neck angle changes. I've seen at least four like this and have repaired two. The action on this one is 4 to 5mm too high and the saddle height would need to be reduced by 8 to 10mm in order to correct it. There's probably not enough room to do this. In order to remedy the two that I dealt with, I had to remove the fret board and replace it with a reverse tapered board in order to correct the neck angle. On one of them I had to replace the bridge as the saddle retention portion had been planed all the way down to the bridge arms in an effort to lower the action. These guitars were quite old and otherwise stable and in good condition. After 10 years for the first and 8 for the second, they are still fine.

BrunoB
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Re: Adjustment of Action on a Ramirez Ia Especial

Post by BrunoB » Wed Apr 10, 2019 4:30 pm

Having taken some photographs with some ruled paper measurements the action is not that bad. The 12 fret action bass is <5mm and the treble action is 3.5mm so in fact it is possibly normal. I think a trip to a luthier might be in order but I expect the answer is not what I want to hear!!

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petermc61
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Re: Adjustment of Action on a Ramirez Ia Especial

Post by petermc61 » Wed Apr 10, 2019 4:51 pm

BrunoB, please confirm how you are measuring action - top or fret to bottom of string?

Trev
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Re: Adjustment of Action on a Ramirez Ia Especial

Post by Trev » Wed Apr 10, 2019 5:05 pm

If near local fails and you are considering posting the guitar, David Merrin in Olney, Bedfordshire is your man. He has a website with contact details.
Trev
Robert Welford 1978
Alvarez Yairi 1981
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TomBeltran
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Re: Adjustment of Action on a Ramirez Ia Especial

Post by TomBeltran » Wed Apr 10, 2019 5:37 pm

BrunoB wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 4:30 pm
Having taken some photographs with some ruled paper measurements the action is not that bad. The 12 fret action bass is <5mm and the treble action is 3.5mm so in fact it is possibly normal. I think a trip to a luthier might be in order but I expect the answer is not what I want to hear!!
Hi BrunoB - Those measurements are, for the guitarists I work with, on the high end of normal. But I am a bit confused by your measurements. There are typical standards for taking the measurements, although there are certainly variations.

For the nut, I fret just in front of (instead of behind) the second fret, on each string; the string should just clear, i.e., leave a little space between the top of the first fret and the underside of the string - barely perceptible movement when fretting the string. From there, I adjust to suit.

For the action at the 12th fret, you measure the space between the top of the 12th fret and the underside of the string.

Also, I would be interested in the measurement taken just in front of the bridge, between the top and the underside of the string, for both high and low E.

For the saddle, the measurement is taken from the top of the lip, or wood part of the bride, to the underside of the string, at the front of the saddle (facing the nut). In my experience, 3mm is on the high side for Ramirez 1a guitars.

BrunoB
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Re: Adjustment of Action on a Ramirez Ia Especial

Post by BrunoB » Thu Apr 11, 2019 5:10 pm

Tom,
the 12th fret measurements are from top of fret to bottom of string. The first fret gap appears a little large 1.5 mm and that would fit with the problems in first/second position presumably due to the nut. Front of bridge is 10.5 mm bass and 8.5 treble.

DerekB
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Re: Adjustment of Action on a Ramirez Ia Especial

Post by DerekB » Thu Apr 11, 2019 5:23 pm

To answer the original question, I would recommend Roger Williams who is in Litchfield. He is a luthier who specialises in adjusting guitar actions. I know he is a long way from Cumbria but I am sure you would find the journey worthwhile. His charges are very reasonable.
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Trev
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Re: Adjustment of Action on a Ramirez Ia Especial

Post by Trev » Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:41 pm

DerekB wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 5:23 pm
To answer the original question, I would recommend Roger Williams who is in Litchfield. He is a luthier who specialises in adjusting guitar actions. I know he is a long way from Cumbria but I am sure you would find the journey worthwhile. His charges are very reasonable.
Lets hope in that case the OP's guitar is to Rogers liking. Mine certainly wasn't. Quote email : there is little that can be done to correct the inherent flaws I'm afraid, too many features need to change. Understanding has moved on since the guitar was made (1978). He didn't even want to see the guitar.
Trev
Robert Welford 1978
Alvarez Yairi 1981
Takamine Hirade H20 1995

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