1943 Jose Ramirez II SP/CY
|Back & Sides
|Jose Ramirez II
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Jose Ramirez II (1885-1957), the eldest son of Jose Ramirez I, took over the Ramirez workshop in 1925 after a twenty-year stay in South America. At this time, the workshop employed four workers: two journeymen Alfonso Benito and Antonio Gomez, an advanced apprentice Marcelo Barbero, who years later would become a famous guitar maker, and varnisher Manuel Rodriguez (nicknamed "Marequi"), whose son Manuel Jr. eventually became a well-known guitar maker. Under Ramirez II's direction, the workshop produced mostly plain, inexpensive but adequate guitars, particularly after 1936, during the Spanish Civil War, when high quality materials were difficult to obtain. Despite these challenges, Ramirez II was able to fill the economic niche for well-made guitars bearing the name of a famous workshop. These instruments were very usable for serious musicians both in flamenco and classical genres.
This particular guitar is a fantastic example from precisely this era, with a full-sized feel comparable to most modern instruments (many Ramirez guitars from this period are notably "smaller" in size). The sound is very old-world - loose and responsive with a clear fundamental and lovely bouquet of controlled overtones contained in every note. It also has a rich, sustaining classical tone, which is noteworthy given that the back and sides are made from cypress. It is in excellent playing condition with with several well-repaired cracks in the body that are perfectly stable. Overall, a very playable example from the workshop of Jose Ramirez II who helped define the style of the great mid-century Spanish guitar.
For more information on Ramirez, be sure to read The Ramirez Family: Masters of the Guitar, or for information on the Ramirez family members, from Amalia Ramirez back to Jose I and for some interesting fact-checking on myths and facts about this legendary workshop.