List of products by brand Jose Ramirez

Ramirez guitars

Jose Ramirez Guitars

The most internationally recognized Spanish guitar brand who have been making guitars for generations

Founder of the Ramírez dynasty, José Ramírez de Galarreta y Planet, was born in Madrid in the middle of the 19th century. As was commonly the case at that time, he sought an apprenticeship at the age of 12, and soon began training in the workshop of master luthier Francisco González. He spent the following 10 years there, learning his trade.

Sometime between the years of 1880 and 1882, he completed his apprenticeship and gained his independence. He then set up shop as a luthier in the Rastro area of Madrid, which was (and still is, to this day) famous for its bustling commercial activity. Here he received a constant flock of flamenco guitarists in search of a solution to the poor sound projection of the instruments that were available at the time; these guitars were no competition to the noisy flamenco venues and bars of the city, where bailaores danced to accompany the music.

Ramírez gave a lot of thought to the conundrum, and after some trial and error, he created his famous ‘Tablao’ guitar, named after the stage on which the flamenco musicians and dancers performed. The Tablao was a big guitar with a body width of 28cm and 38 cm, but with a side depth of only 8-8.5cm and it solved the problem by producing a much more powerful sound.

In time, José Ramírez came to be known as the most outstanding guitar maker of the 19th century, second only to Antonio Torres, who is credited with inventing the modern classical and flamenco guitar. He trained many of his own apprentices, including his younger brother Manuel Ramírez and then his own son, José Ramírez II, and because of this his workshop became the cornerstone of The Madrid School of Guitar makers.

Today, Ramírez is considered the oldest house of Spanish guitars; a plaque on the pavement outside of the main entrance to their shop in Calle de la Paz, placed there by the town council, thanks them for their services to the city.

Currently, the 5th generation of the Ramírez dynasty, Cristina and José Enrique, manage the firm under the supervision of José Ramírez’s great-great-great granddaughter Amalia. Each of them oversees a different area of the business.

Amalia was one of the first women to enter the traditionally male-dominated world of guitar-making and she is responsible for quality control and research and development; she monitors the construction of each instrument and designs new studio and professional instruments. Her nephew José Enrique supervises the running of the workshop, as well as carrying out his own investigations into new models, whilst her niece Cristina manages the commercial side of the business.

Some 140 years after José Ramírez I first opened his workshop, his legacy is stronger than ever. Ramírez is one of the most well-known Spanish guitar makers in the world today and numerous awards and prizes are testimony to their enduring acclaim.

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