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CA_Sevilla01

 

Posts: 31
Joined: Feb. 11 2017
 

Jose Ramirez 1AF 656 Negra any good? 

Just want to know if any of you guys have any experience playing the Ramirez 1AF Flamenco guitar? i know they do have a "Negra" version and are they any good? are they worth the $10,000 price tag? thanks

Mark
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 1 2020 4:13:36
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2087
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: Jose Ramirez 1AF 656 Negra any good? (in reply to CA_Sevilla01

In today's market the buyer is to beware of any purchase from popular makers, even my own guitars, without first being seen and played to verify their quality to the potential owner.

If you are an experienced player and understand quality, then you are better positioned to make an educated purchase. If you are buying from a music company then understand that their price mark-up could be as high as 50%; example they buy at 5,000 dollars and then sell it for $10,000.......if so, then this could give you the advantage to ask for a discount.

It all depends on how much you like the guitar and how willing the company is to negotiate a price.

BTW, I don't take orders anymore, I just keep my hand in at one or two guitars a year and when finished, I call around to see who wants it.

_____________________________

Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 1 2020 7:59:42
 
Echi

 

Posts: 719
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: Jose Ramirez 1AF 656 Negra any good? (in reply to CA_Sevilla01

I have a 1AF blanca spruce top 656 scale and find it just excellent.
Beware: it’s a guitar which gives her best to people with strong fingers and with HT strings.
If you play with a light touch, low action etc. it tends to sound sweet and with a certain classical tone; better for you a Granada style guitar.
Instead, if your technique let you push her properly, you get a forceful and strong tone with good bite and a lot of musicality.
It’s loud and with sweet trebles.

Different matter is the tag price, probably too high considered that former Ramirez employees like Teodoro Perez, Jose Romero and Pedro de Miguel make a similar guitar for less.
Second hand market is the best option for Ramirez but spruce topped ones are not easy to find:
The Ramirez made before 1965 are spruce topped and very similar in tone but usually less bold as they weight just around 1 Kg.
The most of the used Ramirez from 65 to the beginning of the eighties are cedar topped, very reminding Sabicas.
IMHO the Ramirez spruce guitars made till 1995 are a very good deal.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 1 2020 9:20:35
 
mark indigo

 

Posts: 2886
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
From: UK

RE: Jose Ramirez 1AF 656 Negra any good? (in reply to CA_Sevilla01

quote:

are they worth the $10,000 price tag?


probably not! I wouldn't buy a guitar like this new. You could get a comparable guitar from a less famous but just as good (or better) luthier for less. I would only buy a guitar like this second hand, for not more than half the new price. This blanca is 4k: https://www.guitarsalon.com/store/p6002-jose-ramirez-quot1afquot.html

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 1 2020 18:24:55
 
gbv1158

 

Posts: 400
Joined: May 29 2009
From: Italy

RE: Jose Ramirez 1AF 656 Negra any good? (in reply to CA_Sevilla01

I have a ( second hand) 2005, 1AF blanca spruce top 656 scale; is an excellent concert flamenco guitar.
I use normal tension strings and it works for me ( I am not a musician!)
Naturally, the Anders Heliasson blanca (Anders is ex foro member and GREAT luthier and gentleman) I had him make her for me almost ten years agò, sounds better!

Others friends of mine that have Ramirez 1AF blanca, (2004-2005-2006), they have a good opinion too.
Here in Italy, once in a while, you may find these guitars for 2500 to 3500 euro.
good luck!

ciao,
Giambattista
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 1 2020 20:12:42
 
CA_Sevilla01

 

Posts: 31
Joined: Feb. 11 2017
 

RE: Jose Ramirez 1AF 656 Negra any good? (in reply to CA_Sevilla01

Thanks all for the replies!!!!! : )

I have heard many great things from the Ramirez Guitar shop and the 1A's as you guys know are the very best that Ramirez Shop has to offer. Id figure the 1 AF's are amongst some of the best flamenco guitars currently being produced along side Conde, Graciliano, Gerundino Hijo, Teodoro Perez to name just a few. It definitely does help to get advice from people that have owned one of these 1AF's, helps me make my mind up in regards to buying one. There are a few videos of the 1AF but there is one that i like and its from the Ramirez website



I have never heard of this guy before but he can really play with it. I think i may pick one up and if its not to my suiting...i may just re sell it down the road to a friend or list it for sale on the classified sections on the Foro.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 1 2020 21:07:52
 
RobJe

 

Posts: 685
Joined: Dec. 16 2006
From: UK

RE: Jose Ramirez 1AF 656 Negra any good? (in reply to CA_Sevilla01

I wonder how many people here have paid $10000 for a guitar. It is a serious amount of money and if the guitar is new it would be quite possible to find your investment halved if you subsequently try to resell it. I have never paid quite this much (even after allowing for inflation) but I have had some fantastic guitars over the years.

The true test of a guitar is to play it and see. It is necessary to be able to play flamenco to a decent level to make a secure judgement. It is necessary to play the actual guitar as guitars with the same model number and label are not all equal.
If this is not possible you have two other possibilities - recommendations or ‘other clues’.

Well you have one solid recommendation and another that notes that a (much less expensive) luthier made guitar is better. I have no argument with these two posts, but I will just point out on the issue of recommendations generally that there is an in-built tendency for us owners to hype up the guitars we own. We have to justify the expenditure to ourselves/partners/husbands/wives/friends, whatever secret disappointments we have.

You can gather plenty of other evidence from the internet. Flamenco guitars from the 60s and early 70s were favoured many professional guitarists of that era – Sabicas of course as Echi says, and even the young Paco de Lucia. Modern Ramirez guitars (post 1980) are rather different. I note that Solera flamenca who deal in good quality guitars have 13 Ramirez flamenco guitars listed in previous sales and they are all from the period 1962-76. How often do you see professional guitarists playing a modern Ramirez flamenco?

Good luck with your quest for a good guitar.

Rob
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 2 2020 14:57:17
 
Echi

 

Posts: 719
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RE: Jose Ramirez 1AF 656 Negra any good? (in reply to CA_Sevilla01

I perfectly agree with the most of the previous post.
Regarding pro-players, Josè Luis Monton comes to my mind but for sure Ramirez is not anymore among the leading brands nowadays.
I think Ramirez is more focused on the market of classical guitars, and their marketing strategies (very high prices and no serious discounts for flamenco players) for sure will not favour a growth in the flamenco market.
They are not alone: Contreras and Bernabè are not more spread than Ramirez in the flamenco market and yet, they don’t seem to care too much.
Probably it’s not a profitable niche for them.
I think Ramirez are good quality flamenco guitars though.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 2 2020 15:35:43
 
mark indigo

 

Posts: 2886
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
From: UK

RE: Jose Ramirez 1AF 656 Negra any good? (in reply to CA_Sevilla01

quote:

I have heard many great things from the Ramirez Guitar shop and the 1A's as you guys know are the very best that Ramirez Shop has to offer.

I have played at least 3 really great Ramirez guitars (not owned, but tried out guitars belonging to other people), but they were all blancas and all from the late sixties or very early seventies. I have no idea what the current ones are actually like, but I expect (and have been told by others) that they will be different... I have seen the guitars from that early era go for 3-4k.

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 2 2020 23:09:41
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2778
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Jose Ramirez 1AF 656 Negra any good? (in reply to mark indigo

I have had a '67 Ramirez cypress/cedar blanca since it was new. On the inside foot of the neck it has the initials of Antonio Martinez, one of Ramirez's best known oficiales. Some dealers have told me the initials increase the value of the instrument, others have said it makes no difference.

It's a great guitar. Not just a good guitar, but a great one. I say this having owned and played an '82 Arcangel Fernandez cypress/spruce blanca for nearly 20 years.

I have played a few other Ramirez blancas from the same period which were as great, and several which were not as great, but still very good guitars. These instruments in excellent condition are priced $5,500-6,500 on dealers' web sites. You could pay much less in a private sale.

The Ramirez guitars of the present day are not generally seen to be of the same high quality as those of the 1960s. They are well built, cosmetically excellent, but not generally seen to be as high quality in sound and playability as those made under the direction of Jose Ramirez III in the 1960s.

In the early 1970s Ramirez expanded production significantly. An additional workshop was set up in another building, and many more workers were hired. Sound and playability became more variable.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 2 2020 23:39:57
 
Tom Blackshear

 

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Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: Jose Ramirez 1AF 656 Negra any good? (in reply to Richard Jernigan

quote:

In the early 1970s Ramirez expanded production significantly. An additional workshop was set up in another building, and many more workers were hired. Sound and play-ability became more variable.


The last time I corresponded with Amalia Ramirez, she had about 12 people working in the main shop, building three first class guitars a week. Three master builders, three apprentices, three secretaries, and three on her sales staff.

This was about 10 years ago.

Now, I have no idea what her shop contains.

And for your personal Ramirez flamenco guitar, I have not seen or played a more technically perfect instrument from the Ramirez work shop. It did exactly what I told it to.

_____________________________

Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 3 2020 20:18:38
 
Mark2

Posts: 1506
Joined: Jul. 12 2004
From: San Francisco

RE: Jose Ramirez 1AF 656 Negra any good? (in reply to CA_Sevilla01

I found a Ramirez 1A blanca back in the early 80's for 700.00 It was mint. I showed it to my teacher who was a professional from Spain. He said it was a very good guitar, and he would have also bought it at that price. But he went on to say "Don't think you have the best, because there are better guitars" I still have the guitar, and after banging on it for thirty or so years, it is far from mint. But it's still a very good guitar, with a sweet tone, somewhere between a normal blanca and a negra. It can really deliver that older style tone if you like. And it has the growl when you push it, but is capable of sweet single note expression when you caress it.

A few years back I had Lester Devoe make me a guitar, and it was not 10k, but in that neighborhood. To me it surpasses the Ramirez. If I lost it, I would buy another one without hesitation. Of course I'd happily pay 700.00 for another Ramirez 1a, but unless I played the Ramirez in question and felt it was the be all end all of flamenco guitars, no way I'd come close to letting go of 10k for it.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 3 2020 22:10:35
 
Echi

 

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Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: Jose Ramirez 1AF 656 Negra any good? (in reply to CA_Sevilla01

I agree with the description of the sound: balanced with sweet tone. In my case also powerful.
In fact new Ramirez are nothing else but the same guitar made famous by Sabicas (same plantilla, same bracing and geometry) but with spruce top and (I guess) thicker plates for added boldness and sweetness in the trebles.
In my 1986 Ramirez, the quality of the workmanship is evident as the quality of the woods; in line with the high standards of Ramirez.
Btw, speaking of professional players, my very Ramirez used to belong first to the great Manuel Cano and after to the leading player of the GuitArt quartet. Sides and back have been repaired 3 times, but I like it.
Sweet, fat and firm trebles are a big plus for a guitar, not a limit.
This becomes evident if you play whatever piece of Amigo or Rey and eventually is a quality recalling Sabicas in the past and the guitars of Reyes nowadays.
The basses or my Ramirez are instead firm.
It’s not all gold: my main guitar (an old Conde) is stronger and I like it more, but it’s not as lyrical as the Ramirez.

Speaking of price, 700 $ is nothing and 10.000 is too much imho. For 5000 you are plenty of good alternatives in the same league and very connected with Ramirez (Teodoro Perez, Pedro de Miguel, Jose’ Romero, Manuel Caceres, Manzanero jr. etc.).
For less than 5000 you are plenty of good alternatives elsewhere either or you just will look at the second hand market.

Robje, I dealt many times with Solera and they buy (for very few Btw) just what they are sure to sell quickly, hence their preference for cedar Ramirez. Also Ramirez built many more cedar flamenco guitars than spruce ones and that’s why is easier to find them in the 2nd hand market.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 4 2020 10:07:30
 
RobJe

 

Posts: 685
Joined: Dec. 16 2006
From: UK

RE: Jose Ramirez 1AF 656 Negra any good? (in reply to Echi

I was not a fan of the pre-1967 spruce top Ramirez flamenco – perhaps I only played bad examples so I am open to persuasion – but they seemed to me to have been eclipsed by the Conde guitars of the same period. When I visited Ramirez in 1968 I was really impressed with what they had done with cedar (starting from 1967 I think). I played several examples and liked every one of them. Incidentally the price of a Ramirez 1a was £100 in the shop (£200 - 220 from UK importers). The mark-up is not as big as it looks because there was a 100% tax on musical instruments at the time. Conde guitars were cheaper and they also had a range of player-friendly lower cost models.

Ramirez started numbering guitars in 1967 I think (starting at 2000) so it is easy to check production volume by looking at some numbers. It seems to have been 300-400 a year at the start but rising rapidly. Numbering was abandoned in the mid-80s at about 19000 – big numbers like this don’t suggest careful one-luthier craftsmanship perhaps! These big numbers were driven by classical guitars and I think that flamenco production declined.

Gerundino started using cedar very soon after Ramiarez. I remember being really impressed with the first one that I found in the UK in about 1970 even though it was cracked. I seem to remember that Jose Ramirez III once confessed that he had lost his way a bit in making flamenco guitars – I can’t find the reference anywhere. I had a 1970s cedar guitar parked in my house for a couple of years recently and it had none of the charm of my 1968.

I am interested to hear that current Ramirez flamenco’s are partly based on the earlier ones.

Rob
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 4 2020 15:27:54
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2778
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Jose Ramirez 1AF 656 Negra any good? (in reply to RobJe

In his book, ¨Things About the Guitar¨ Jose Ramirez III discusses changes to the classical guitar at some length, but says that he could not change the design of the flamencas due to the conservatism of flamenco players.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 5 2020 2:14:21
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2778
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Jose Ramirez 1AF 656 Negra any good? (in reply to Echi

quote:

ORIGINAL: Echi

It’s not all gold: my main guitar (an old Conde) is stronger and I like it more, but it’s not as lyrical as the Ramirez.



For many years the only guitar I got to play regularly that I preferred to my Ramirez was a '73 Conde spruce/cypress media luna which belonged to a good friend.

Now I like the Arcangel Fernandez better, but not everyone who compares the two agrees with me.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 5 2020 2:21:31
 
Echi

 

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Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: Jose Ramirez 1AF 656 Negra any good? (in reply to CA_Sevilla01

“Things about the guitar” it’s more a self-promo book. Many stories are edulcorated to the point of misleading.
It’s much more interesting to speak with a former Ramirez ‘oficial’ like Jose Romero or Felix Manzanero (Rip) to get anecdotes of the time and a better picture of how the things were in the sixties.
Felix said he could assemble till 4 Ramirez guitars per month (not counting headstock slots, rosettes and varnishing) as he got paid for guitars handed over to Ramirez for inspection. The makers had always to be precise and fast to work in Ramirez.

In the sixties Cedar was seen as the new flavour and Ramirez considered a champion.
We praise Barbero (and with a reason) but Sabicas preferred Ramirez guitars and for sure Ramirez made great cedar guitars.

The things really changed with Paco.
The Conde negra used by Paco was definitely a stronger and firmer guitar, fitting in all regards his incredible technique.
Not that I dislike the first recordings of Paco with blancas... but they are more traditional guitars.
In fact Conde worked hard in the seventies and made great flamenco guitars and sold them well.
Conde set the standard.

Ramirez didn’t follow the new trend (which practically means he didn’t make favourable prices to flamenco players and didn’t listen to any player for suggestions).
He was happy enough with his market share in the flamenco world and with the endorsement of Sabicas and Manolo Sanlucar.

In the eighties the scenario changed as the new generations of flamenco players preferred Conde almost exclusively (Felipe Conde has some merits here).
At this stage Ramirez IV designed the current flamenco blanca, evolving the famous cedar model with some elements of the Conde A26 blanca. IMHO he did it well, respecting the tradition but adding some boldness.
I’m not saying the new Ramirez blanca is a better guitar though.
Unfortunately he died too soon to fully re-establish a connection and collaboration with the flamenco community.

Richard, I’d love to have an Arcangel, but it’s not easy if impossible to get a good sounding one for reasonable prices.
I got a Manuel Caceres and a Leonardo Plattner instead, both great makers and connected with Arcangel. Eventually I sold them but that’s life.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 5 2020 9:23:13
 
Ricardo

Posts: 11604
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Jose Ramirez 1AF 656 Negra any good? (in reply to CA_Sevilla01

quote:

are they worth the $10,000 price tag? thanks


No. I played at least the blancas at NAMM 2018. You can’t compare these things to the old ramirez 3 up till 1990s. The price is shocking. A lot of new conde guitars have held up despite predjudice against them. Further I no longer buy into the idea that sabicas and paco are the main influences for using ramirez and conde. The influence of conde starts with the two main influences for how we accompany buleria or solea cante, one with half compas and one never cut, always 12. It’s because of the sheer number of recordings of cante they did in Spain. That would be Niño ricardo and Melchor de Marchena. Flamenco is a very closed society, if something is trending it spreads like fire. Turns out conde guitars got the sound everyone wanted, including paco. He was a follower not a trend setter in this regard. Ramirez was certainly able to compete price wise, but segovia was the biggest commercial so they needed big numbers of units sold since 1961. Of course mainly classical but now the name is a household name world wide thanks to segovia. I believe these old used guitars conde and ramirez to be fairly priced in 5k range today. For sure the ramirez guitars you see used in rito y Geografia were not because of sabicas influences IMO. Maybe paco used one ramirez because he met sabicas in USA, but even for him that guitar was rarely used. Conde remains the standard for the bulk of Flamenco history up to the modern era of Internet when nonsense opinions of average joe take over marketing trends.

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 5 2020 13:00:49
 
Echi

 

Posts: 719
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: Jose Ramirez 1AF 656 Negra any good? (in reply to CA_Sevilla01

quote:

It’s because of the sheer number of recordings of cante they did in Spain.
That would be Niño ricardo and Melchor de Marchena. Flamenco is a very closed society, if something is trending it spreads like fire. Turns out conde guitars got the sound everyone wanted, including paco.
He was a follower not a trend setter in this regard.

Ricardo, I always read you with interest.
Probably at the beginning it’s like you say, Nino Ricardo set the path, and drove many to Conde but later on Paco became definitely a trend setter on his own. The sound of Paco and his negra rocked.
I think you are right with people like Paco Cepero or Pepe Habichuela or Morao but younger players like Enrique del Melchor, Riqueni, Franco (in this case playing Rodriguez) Nunez or Tomatito I’d say were more continuous with Paco.

In the very past flamenco players could get the best guitars from the shops of Manuel Ramirez’ disciples (Santos Hernandez from one side, Domingo Esteso from the other). Modesto Borreguero wasn’t really an option because of his problem with drinking.
The shop of Santos followed with his disciple Barbero and then Arcangel, the shop of Esteso with the Conde brothers. These 2 shops were competitors.
It’s well known (and documented by Bruné in the Urlick book) that both Monoya and Ricardo played Santos till Nino Ricardo passed to Conde after having been cheated by Santos with a less than satisfactory guitar paid in advance with tanks of olive oil.
Btw, there is a video out there of Ricardo’s widow showing Ricardo’s guitars to a friend: one of the guitars is the broken Santos, said to be his favourite, the other one is the Sobrinos with ‘Cathedral’ headstock offered to him by Faustino. This for sure brought people to the side of Conde.
It’s also well known that Arcangel wasn’t a valid alternative. First because he was too expensive. Second, because even before selling all his future production to a Japanese dealer, he had devoted himself to classical guitar making, as he was tired of not being paid by flamenco players or to deal with players wanting a quote for guitars sold through their influence.
At this point it’s clear that Conde and Jose’ Ramirez used to be the best makers of flamenco guitars from ‘55 on in Madrid.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 5 2020 13:14:26
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2778
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Jose Ramirez 1AF 656 Negra any good? (in reply to Echi

quote:

ORIGINAL: Echi

Richard, I’d love to have an Arcangel, but it’s not easy if impossible to get a good sounding one for reasonable prices.
I got a Manuel Caceres and a Leonardo Plattner instead, both great makers and connected with Arcangel. Eventually I sold them but that’s life.


I didn't pay a reasonable price for my '82 Arcangel when i bought it almost 20 years ago in perfect unplayed condition. However, within two weeks of buying it I began to receive offers from Japan for up to 25% more than I had paid...

How were the Caceres and the Plattner?

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 6 2020 1:43:19
 
Echi

 

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Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: Jose Ramirez 1AF 656 Negra any good? (in reply to CA_Sevilla01

Caceres makes a perfect copy of the Arcangel but with his own aesthetics.
He worked for Ramirez for 10 years, then, once independent, he used to sell some guitars in Japan through Arcangel and eventually he worked for Arcangel himself for 11 years, so he knows how to make it.
Building quality and woods are at the top.
I wasn’t fully happy with the sound even though the potential was there and was quite reminding the Arcangel I had played previously. I think it’s a kind of guitar which takes a lot to open up and rewards you afterwards. In the meantime it sounded dull (and I have strong fingers).
Plattner also makes lovely guitars. He hand makes guitars in the old shop of Arcangel in Calle Jesus and Maria using Arcangel moulds and methods with very high standards. Both guitars are not loud but very projecting.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 6 2020 8:26:38
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2087
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: Jose Ramirez 1AF 656 Negra any good? (in reply to Echi

quote:

Plattner also makes lovely guitars. He hand makes guitars in the old shop of Arcangel in Calle Jesus and Maria using Arcangel moulds and methods with very high standards. Both guitars are not loud but very projecting.


I'll share this information one more time about Arcangel Fernandez's way of fine tuning the voice in his guitars.

A mutual friend/guitarist who was very good friends with the builder, told me that while he was visiting Fernandez late one night, when the builder's apprentices had left work, they decided to go to the bowling alley and get pizza.

But before they went, Fernandez told him that he had to make some adjustments to two guitars that were almost ready to sell. Elario told me that Fernandez unstrung the guitars, took some course sea salt on his wet finger tip and went inside to rub the fan brace/s to alter the tone.........then they went to dinner.

Now, did Fernandez share this adjustment with his apprentices? I don't know but I have experimented with this technique and can attest that it causes some sensations when used on certain fan braced areas of the top.

I have since graduated with fine sand paper for my own voicing and articulation of the top.

So, what Fernandez actually did with the fan braces, I can't say, but what I do know is that it can make a difference when used properly.

_____________________________

Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 6 2020 19:47:06
 
Echi

 

Posts: 719
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: Jose Ramirez 1AF 656 Negra any good? (in reply to CA_Sevilla01

This guy here is serious about testing the dampening of the woods and fine tuning by modifying the bracing. It’s impressive how many backs of Brazilian rosewood he set apart. Look at min 3.10 on.



I have not elements to say that the difference between the guitars of Arcangel and Caceres or Plattner is in the fine tuning even though it’s a possibility.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 6 2020 21:00:22
 
Tom Blackshear

 

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Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: Jose Ramirez 1AF 656 Negra any good? (in reply to Echi

quote:

This guy here is serious about testing the dampening of the woods and fine tuning by modifying the bracing. It’s impressive how many backs of Brazilian rosewood he set apart. Look at min 3.10 on.


What this fellow is doing is correct, as far as matching wood tone. There is merit to this but I'm talking about micro measure by just touching a fan brace with sand paper and getting a change of tone and articulation.

The bridge on my Conde style build is off the tap tone due to it size and shape, so I'll have to adjust it by polishing the inside braces. Once a builder learns the balance of each brace and knows where to go to get a better sound, then the tone can be qualified.

Again, these are microscopic adjustments.

I know what Arcangel Fernandez did, just to not what extent he did them.

I followed his lead on the guitar I made that Chaconne Klaverenga played. It was a total experiment that worked.



_____________________________

Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 6 2020 23:32:09
 
Echi

 

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Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: Jose Ramirez 1AF 656 Negra any good? (in reply to CA_Sevilla01

Tom, you know that there is a certain discussion about your method.
I don't doubt it works for you and I think that eventually many luthiers have their ways to try to improve their instrument, even once the box is closed.

Nonetheless, this 3d is about Ramirez and Arcangel entered into it a little off topic: Maybe it's better to focus on Ramirez, don't you think?

If I am correct Ricardo said he dislikes the current guitars made by Ramirez.
I for one spoke about the production of spruce topped Ramirez made from 1955 ton1965 and from 1980 to 1990 or so.
In my opinion the luthiers working in Ramirez in the eighties and the quality standard of those years are still high.
Ricardo made an interesting point about the flamenco environment being very self referential.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 7 2020 13:03:46
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2087
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: Jose Ramirez 1AF 656 Negra any good? (in reply to Echi

quote:


If I am correct Ricardo said he dislikes the current guitars made by Ramirez.


There is always going to be some inconsistency with guitar building but I believe that Amalia is on the right track with her running of the company.

The product they produce is tried and accepted to be of higher quality than many guitar factories. But things are starting to get very competitive with-in the myriad houses of fine guitars, and this tells us that we are being subjected to a wider range of good guitars.

Practically everyone is making deals to keep their doors open. And if Amalia doesn't have to give incentives to sell her product, then she is actually ahead of the game.

My understanding is that her flamenco guitars respond well if thinned a little toward the middle of the top; at least this is what I've found with some Ramirez flamencos that I have examined. But of course this is not the only technique that makes them work.

Opinion on this is good but do we throw the baby out with the bathwater due to certain opinions, when the general consistency is holding in the market place.

_____________________________

Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 7 2020 14:43:39
 
CA_Sevilla01

 

Posts: 31
Joined: Feb. 11 2017
 

RE: Jose Ramirez 1AF 656 Negra any good? (in reply to CA_Sevilla01

You guys have some phenomenal advice to give!!! Did not know all that about the early Cedar Ramirez, or Conde, or Gerundino. I was aware of Arcangel Fernandez just making nothing but classical guitars since there was a big demand for them, especially in Japan. I know I did hear that the Cedar Ramirez flamenco’s are the most popular? The one I am thinking of buying has German Spruce on top, I like spruce but you can’t go wrong with the cedar Ramirez 1A’s. The Ramirez 1A’s that the Ramirez shop is putting out now and days are questionable in regards to the playability and sound. I did own a 1A classical with hopes of playing flamenco on it but the action was “Built” too high for any type of fast flamenco playing. It was a nice guitar strictly for classical so I had to return it. I am hoping this 1AF will be different and I will also be able to play classical on it also.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 9 2020 8:02:41
 
Echi

 

Posts: 719
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: Jose Ramirez 1AF 656 Negra any good? (in reply to CA_Sevilla01

Problem with old classical Ramirez is the neck angle, which is hardly good for today’s average classical technique and definitely too high for flamenco playing.
Segovia drove Ramirez III to a guitar set up of 5 mm action at the 12th fret and 8 mm at the bridge..
In the eighties Ramirez IV changed the whole geometry with the idea to make the guitar more easy to play.
You may find a classical Ramirez made in the eighties with a suitable action fo flamenco but rasgeos would be not good enough anyway.
Flamenco Negras have instead a flamenco set up (around 3 mm action) and usually you can spot them for the smaller sides.
Manolo Sanlucar played a Ramirez negra for a decade.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 10 2020 10:14:26
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2778
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Jose Ramirez 1AF 656 Negra any good? (in reply to Echi

quote:

ORIGINAL: Echi

It’s much more interesting to speak with a former Ramirez ‘oficial’ like Jose Romero or Felix Manzanero (Rip) to get anecdotes of the time and a better picture of how the things were in the sixties.



Echi,

Has Felix passed away? His son Ivan still maintains the web page, and apparently keeps the shop open. I would be sad to hear of Felix's passing.

Jose III was a fascinating character, always interesting to talk to, when he took the time. But I really liked both Manuel Contreras Sr. and Felix, warm hearted and friendly men, of the greatest skill and integrity, both as artisans and in business.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 10 2020 23:47:07
 
Echi

 

Posts: 719
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: Jose Ramirez 1AF 656 Negra any good? (in reply to CA_Sevilla01

Yes, unfortunately Felix passed away a year ago. His son Ivan keeps running the business.
I used to own this guitar made by him in 2002 and she was exceptionally well made.
https://www.flamencoguitarsforsale.net/en/felix-manzanero-guitars/flamenco-guitar-felix-manzanero-2002/
Ivan started making guitars in 1977 (here in the foro it appeared the ad of a Manzanero jr. for sale of those years) and he is well into the business.
Felix had learned french polishing from Modesto Borreguero and went to work at Ramirez when he was just 14.
He learned guitar building mostly from Antonio Martinez whilebin Ramirez and in few years he became a oficial de primera and then one of the best in Ramirez.
After some years he left to open his own shop (as Paulino Bernabe and Manuel Contreras did) but he preferred to run his business as a one man shop. The serial number of my former 2002 guitar was above 1000, so he built and sold a lot.
Few people know that he always kept a special link with Arcangel and Marcelino Lopez.
He was a gentleman and fully deserves to be an historical figure of the Madrid guitar making.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 11 2020 8:32:45
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