Ugh, got a phone call about my Ramirez being a fake.

JefBrown
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:40 pm

Ugh, got a phone call about my Ramirez being a fake.

Post by JefBrown » Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:59 pm

Hi there. My second post after an introduction.

I bought this Ramirez guitar from 1959 last winter. I took it to a luthier to have some work done, loose brace and intonation. He asked me a lot of questions about the instrument like where I got it from etc. He wasn't sure about the authenticity of it. In his words he's never seen walnut used as the back and sides, the label to him is wrong, the tuners aren't correct. He feels its just a cheaply constructed guitar someone slapped a Ramirez label into. Need less to say I'm bummed out about this. I did pay a lot for the instrument but it's not really about the money. However I like the guitar much but not enough for it to be a lifetime instrument. My other guitars are more useful. I'd never want to sell it without having a proper idea of what it is.

I was in the vintage guitar business for years myself. I've had to make that horrible phone call numerous times on old Gibsons, Fenders, Martins etc. We all make mistakes and I don't care to think the seller did this intentionally and he sells a lot of these old guitars.

So please, have a look and let me know what you see. I'm taking it to another place in NYC for a second opinion. The luthier encouraged that which I think is cool. I would always do the same myself unless I was 110% sure something was fake.


Thanks much! JB
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

JefBrown
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:40 pm

Re: Ugh, got a phone call about my Ramirez being a fake.

Post by JefBrown » Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:51 pm

Ok, got a call from luthier and now he thinks it's likely authentic. He's contacting Ramirez to get their opinion. I'm grateful he's being super thorough. I do know for a 1959 it's unusual... small body, simple rosette, 647mm scale. We found a couple from the 40's like this one. Feeling better.

User avatar
souldier
Posts: 1108
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 4:45 pm

Re: Ugh, got a phone call about my Ramirez being a fake.

Post by souldier » Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:21 pm

It would make sense to go directly to Ramirez to find out as they'd know their own guitars/history the best. Some aspects do look a bit fishy like the basic design of the rosette, the tuners and woods used.. but its hard to say as I'm more familiar with later Ramirez guitars and I'm not quite sure how they've evolved over the years. If it is authentic, it does seem to be a lower end model.
"Success grants its rewards to a few, but is the dream of the multitudes.
Excellence is available to all, but is accepted only by a few." - Christopher Parkening

User avatar
petermc61
Posts: 6513
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2012 12:11 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: Ugh, got a phone call about my Ramirez being a fake.

Post by petermc61 » Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:54 pm

Having owned a 50’s Ramirez II before I am not so sure I concur entirely with your luthier about being a fake.

The headstock is certainly Ramirez style, I don’t know what about the label looks un-original, the rosette while not as complex as those typically done by Ramirez in the 50s and 60s is very much like an early 1900s Ramirez I I own.

The two slightly unusual things are the wood used for back and sides and what appears to be a rosewood fretboard in lieu of the more commonly used ebony. It is also known that Spanish luthiers over the years have used many different woods. It may well be that this was a bit cheaper guitar the buyer wanted so slightly cheaper woods and a simpler rosette might have been used to try and achieve that.

User avatar
Michael.N.
Posts: 7186
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2007 7:28 am
Location: UK

Re: Ugh, got a phone call about my Ramirez being a fake.

Post by Michael.N. » Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:42 am

It may well be a Ramirez but it's hardly one of their finest guitars which is probably what led to the luthiers conclusion that it was a cheaply made instrument. It's not the wood or the simplicity in it's appointments but some of the execution isn't up to the standards of a finely made instrument.
Historicalguitars.

User avatar
Keith
Posts: 1367
Joined: Sun May 06, 2012 5:48 pm
Location: Land of Daniel Boone

Re: Ugh, got a phone call about my Ramirez being a fake.

Post by Keith » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:45 am

Three things stand out to me. 1. It appears the headstock may have been re-shaped. The curves leading to the top do not look symmetrical. It could be the angle of the photo but the right side (photo of the rear) looks more square than round whereas the left looks more round than square. 2. The strings leading from the nut to the tuners make what appears to be a very sharp change in direction. The slots appear to be too narrow and from the photo it looks as if they are rubbing on the headstock. Some of the angles and such could be the result of the much thinner rollers. 3. The label is crooked. Related to the label, the wood exposed where part of the label has been removed does not look different from wood adjacent to the label. Of course the label could have been full intact until recently. The headstock shape and label could be non-issues but the slots seem to be something I doubt JR 2 or 3 would have let out the door.
be true to the one you love but have many flings with different guitars

guitarras en la espiritu de la:
Marcelo Barbero
Jose Ramirez III

JefBrown
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:40 pm

Re: Ugh, got a phone call about my Ramirez being a fake.

Post by JefBrown » Sun Aug 12, 2018 12:52 am

Thanks much for the replies. I'm anxious to hear what they have to say at Ramirez.

We found a couple from the 40's that have similar features such as 647mm scale and not the finest woods / construction. And there's a blurb on GSI stating something similar on a 1947 model they have. That guitar is also 647mm as well. So it's a mystery. I do really enjoy the sound and it records the best of my guitars. It doesn't allow me to get lazy cause it's the most sensitive guitar I own. I hold it just right and it projects beautifully. I don't and 1/3 of the sound goes away!

When I get an answer I'll share it and maybe the info will be helpful to someone. -J

JefBrown
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:40 pm

Re: Ugh, got a phone call about my Ramirez being a fake.

Post by JefBrown » Sun Aug 12, 2018 12:56 am

And with regards to the fingerboard material, my gut felt off about it when I first got it, but that '47 model on GSI appears to have the same material and the same amount of frets (Bb is as high as this one goes!). I found a couple more examples that appear to be the same.

simonm
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 8205
Joined: Sat Jun 27, 2009 10:22 am
Location: Germany, Würzburg. Spain, IB

Re: Ugh, got a phone call about my Ramirez being a fake.

Post by simonm » Sun Aug 12, 2018 5:46 am

A well known luthier told me that 18 frets (instead of 19) was quite common on Spanish guitars before the international market standardized on 19.

bushweek
Posts: 344
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 2:27 am
Location: Canberra, Australia

Re: Ugh, got a phone call about my Ramirez being a fake.

Post by bushweek » Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:18 pm

Interesting - well some good news, it is old!

Ramirez made cheaper tablao guitars back then - I suspect that is the style it is, or which has been copied. It may well be legit - dont despair just yet. At the same time, Ramirez has outsourced making of the cheaper guitars for a hundred years... and there have been fakes for that long too.

If u can, loosen the strings and put your phone in and take some photos of the interior. If it is legit the soundboard and likely side will be stamped with the Ramirez stamp. If fake, u probably wont find one...

JefBrown
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:40 pm

Re: Ugh, got a phone call about my Ramirez being a fake.

Post by JefBrown » Wed Aug 15, 2018 2:18 am

bushweek wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:18 pm
Interesting - well some good news, it is old!

Ramirez made cheaper tablao guitars back then - I suspect that is the style it is, or which has been copied. It may well be legit - dont despair just yet. At the same time, Ramirez has outsourced making of the cheaper guitars for a hundred years... and there have been fakes for that long too.

If u can, loosen the strings and put your phone in and take some photos of the interior. If it is legit the soundboard and likely side will be stamped with the Ramirez stamp. If fake, u probably wont find one...
Cool. I've heard this about the tablao guitars. All this is fascinating.

I know he took photos of the inside to send to Ramirez. I told him to go ahead and do whatever necessary work needs to be done if it's legit. Haven't heard back since last week so hopefully it's all good. Not a big sounding guitar, it's a small body, but what I get out of it is really beautiful and balanced. So either way I'll enjoy it.

j

User avatar
zavaletas
Posts: 327
Joined: Sat May 19, 2007 9:51 pm
Location: Tucson

Re: Ugh, got a phone call about my Ramirez being a fake.

Post by zavaletas » Sat Sep 08, 2018 10:54 pm

This is a cheap estudio guitar sold by Ramirez in 1959. Such guitars were likely made in a factory in Almansa or Valencia for the Ramirez shop, and always carried a label that was distinct from those made in their shop, and never signed.
James, Zavaleta's La Casa de Guitarras

User avatar
Jacek A. Rochacki
Posts: 1357
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:44 pm
Location: Bydgoszcz, Poland, Europe.

Re: Ugh, got a phone call about my Ramirez being a fake.

Post by Jacek A. Rochacki » Sun Sep 09, 2018 9:21 am

Many years ago Señor Antonio Picado, as employee of Taurus in Barcelona was also building estudio guitars for Ramirez.
Antonio Picado, model 60, 2015, Cedar/IRW. Scale 640 mm.
Antonio Picado, model 62, 2018, Cedar/Madagascar Palosanto. Scale 640 mm. Doble Tapa.

JefBrown
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:40 pm

Re: Ugh, got a phone call about my Ramirez being a fake.

Post by JefBrown » Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:11 pm

I've gotten so many opinions on this. My luthier shared it with 2 of his colleagues who gave it a thumbs up. So maybe it is, maybe it isn't. We came across this 1947 model that has similarities, 647mm scale, small body etc:

https://www.guitarsalon.com/store/p5379 ... -spcy.html

But perhaps this was built elsewhere as well?

It's been a learning experience either way, so thanks for sharing.

GuitarsWeB
Posts: 294
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2018 6:55 pm

Re: Ugh, got a phone call about my Ramirez being a fake.

Post by GuitarsWeB » Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:19 am

This is a cheap estudio guitar sold by Ramirez in 1959. Such guitars were likely made in a factory in Almansa or Valencia for the Ramirez shop, and always carried a label that was distinct from those made in their shop, and never signed.
I agree with James. I once owned a 1949 Ramirez Flamenco, very nice quality for the time, headstock with almost the same as later Ramirez. As Richard Brune once wrote, “ the label is the least reliable item to go by.” Never judge a book by the cover, never judge a guitar by the label., very easy to make any label, especially nowadays.

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