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This guitar is the result of the first edition of the Masters Tribute Guitar Making Course. Built around the the genius Manuel Ramírez, one of my favourite luthiers of all times. I cannot deny I am hugely influenced by the Ramírez tradition, for some reason I cannot explain I feel deeply atracted by this design and the more I read about the story and life of maestro Manuel, the more I like. Of course, in the ingredients of my own guitar design, Manuel places a key role. So building this guitar along with François, the student and at the same time already a master luthier, is a dream come true.
What else could we have wish to start better than a Manuel Ramírez?
"He was honoured as the official luthier of the Madrid Royal Conservatory"
We owe many things to the Ramirez saga, and this is one of those: the use of the Cedar tops. Thuja Plicata was introduced by J.Ramirez II in 1965, commonly known as Red Cedar, and of course is the wood used here, probably my favourite wood as a guitar player. As a luthier, I cannot find a favourite wood because I love them all!
This guitar achieved an amazing deep, silky, warm tone thanks to the love and care put in place when crafting this top, that of course, features a Ramírez inspired bracing, that provides those little nuances and endless expression to the player.
The predisposition towards experimentation and the constant research of new standars were key factor throughout his whole history. I am pretty sure that, if maestro Manuel Ramired had have access to the myriad of new materials and techniques we have nowadays, he would have used them. In this rosette we combined the very traditional Spanish mosaic rosette with rings of blue resin. It is impossible to tell in this picture, but check the headstock centre blue river and you will know what I mean. The blue circles sourrounding the central mosaic match perfectly the blue colours of the rosette.
Detail of the headstock - 24k live edge Kingwood and blue resin
Manuel Ramirez headstock profile, one of the most beautiful on earth!
Fortunatelly whe have way more option for the back and side woods than we have for soundboards. In this guitar we used, just to challenge ourselves even more, this amazing set of Malasyan Blackwood. It is hard, difficult to work with, such a challenging wood. Once you make an instrument witht this type of woods, then everything else feels easier. This is a very advanced course and students here are usually already experienced luthiers willing to go to the very limit. Just bending this wood was a whole oddysey... that was not fun at all! By the way, in this course, you take the custom made side bender home, as well with a matching solera, sides mold, headstock jigs... we had to write down a checklist to make sure we didn't forget to package any of the numerous items included in this course!!
BRIDGE and ARMBEVEL
If you look at historical instruments from Ramirez family... you will notice not all of them are just square. They were not afraid of making an oval or rounded bridge, so we wern't. As part of the learning included in this course we even featured a nice armbevel in blue colour, just to make it more fun, where fun is a nice euphemism for more difficult. This are just two examples of the idiosyncrasy of this course. But the list is endless... a little over three weeks were we enjoyed our passion for lutherie every day, and the final result really tells it.
I can consider myself this course a total success and an amazing experience from the personal point of view. What a beautiful and intense time here in the workshop, enjoying a passion for lutherie every day during three weeks! Merci beacoup François for making this dream a reality!
Should you be interested in living your own guitar making experience with no limits, just name a master guitar maker of the past and we will do it. Contact me for further details.
- Top: Red Cedar
- Body: Malaysian Blackwood
- Neck: Spanish Cedar
- Fretboard: Ebony
- Headstock: Kingwood
- Bridge: Pauferro
- Binding: Pauferro
- Decorations: Perloid, 24K gold leaf
- Tuners: Rubner
- Nut: 52mm
- Scale: 645mm
- Frets: 20