Description: Acoustic Guitar - 1964 Jose Ramirez 1a blanca flamenco guitar
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Many people regard the 1960’s as the ‘golden age’ for Ramirez guitars. I’ve never been quite sure why this is, but I suspect it’s due to the superior timber available at the time, combined with the consistently fine craftsmanship of the many talented luthiers that Jose Ramirez employed back then. The quality of his instruments made them the choice of many top concert performers, including Sabicas, Carlos Montoya, Juan Serrano and (dare I say?) Manitas de Plata. This spruce top example is typical of this quality and was originally sold by the Ramirez workshop to the U.S. market where it became the treasured possession of a professional guitarist in San Fransisco for many years. Not surprisingly perhaps, the top shows some wear in the form of minor nail damage just below the golpe plate, and a couple of ‘string dings’ behind the bridge. Otherwise, this guitar is in very nice condition with no cracks or repairs, and no significant marks on the back, sides, neck or headstock. The neck appears to have remained stable….there’s just a slight curve giving the relief necessary to provide a comfortable low action without excessive buzz. The fingerboard shows some inevitable wear from extensive use during its 48 years although the frets are perfect, having been professionally levelled and re-profiled during my ownership. Scale length is standard 656mm, giving the easy feel typical of Ramirez flamencos.
The tone of this guitar has an unmistakable ‘old’ quality, but with a rich lustrous texture that seems to improve the more it’s played. There’s plenty of volume, and the trebles are clear and even. The basses have that characteristic dry punch and the balance is very good too. I once played it to a guitarist friend of mine who knows nothing about flamenco, and he said it sounded ‘organic’….. an interesting description for the earthy sound of a good flamenco guitar! Whatever you want to call it, it’s pretty damn good!
Inside the soundhole the initials on the heel are PC (probably Pedro Contreras Valbuena). The label is the type with the light blue edging. There is a small ‘Espana’ sticker partially covering the address. I’ve seen this on other 60’s Ramirez instruments. Presumably Jose wanted to make sure his overseas buyers know where Madrid is…..this was 1964, after all!
Overall, this is a fine instrument, as well as a desirable piece of flamenco guitar history at a realistic price. The superficial cosmetic blemishes are quickly forgotten when it’s picked up and played, and it’s destined to give many more years of pleasure to whoever owns it.
It comes with a thickly-padded zip-up case. Please contact me for further details and photos.
Pictures: Acoustic Guitar - 1964 Jose Ramirez 1a blanca flamenco guitar