Jose Ramirez Guitars 1964-1972
Jose Ramirez III apprenticed under his father Jose Ramirez II and guitar builder Alfonso Benito. Jose Ramirez II was not content building to traditional models, and did much research in the area of acoustics. Through his many successful innovations, he established a high demand for his guitars by some of the finest performers. One highly notable innovation was his implementation of western red cedar from North America as a tone wood for the soundboard. The success of western cedar as soundboard wood proved to be one of the most important and significant changes in the history of modern guitar.
During the 1960’s, Jose Ramirez III began to introduce the 664mm string length in his guitars. Segovia probably had much to do with this change. The instruments with increased string length were perceived as more powerful and better able to project. To this day longer scale length guitars continue to be preferred by many performers.
Andres Segovia toured with the Jose Ramirez 1969 guitar from 1969 to 1977. Obtained from Antigua Casa Sherry-Brener in 1969 he said this guitar was perfect in all aspects, but as expected he out grew the quality of this guitar.
In 1977 he called the Sherry Brener shop and claimed that this guitar would not “respond” to his commands, trading it in for another of our guitars. Earlier that year, in a desperate intent for getting the sound he wanted, he hit the guitar with his fist creating a little crack on the top, which was expertly repaired by Frank Hasselbacher (Agustine guitar maker).
This ten string guitar was designed by the fine guitarist Narciso Yepes. The ten string guitar has four additional basses which are tuned diatonically in order to expand the range of the guitar, and produce more harmonic resonance. Yepes claimed this would be the first perfect guitar.
Nevertheless, contemporary music has been written for it, including music by Gismonti, Ohana, Suarez, etc. Famous Performers are Narcizo Yepes, Andre Miolin, Goran Shollscher and Cesar Quevedo, among others.