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In May 1922, José Ramírez Martínez was born. He began working in his father’s workshop at the age of 18; and although he did not enjoy any privileges, he was soon admitted as a first class officer and soon began to experiment to further develop the guitar as a concert instrument.

Due to the lack of materials, his research was unprofitable and triggered several discussions with his father, as José Ramírez II sold his experiments without being able to follow up his work as he would have liked. In 1954 his brother Alfredo, who was doing the administrative work and was also his best ally, died. He was convinced that, with his research work, José would achieve his goal.

His many investigations bore interesting fruit; such as the discovery of the red cedar for the soundboard in the year 65, which was later adopted by practically all the guitar builders in the world (although at the beginning he was very criticised for departing from the “traditional”). He also tried with different varnishes; for lack of a more consistent and richer varnish that not only protected the wood, but also favoured the sound of the instrument; since at that time the guitars were still varnished with gomalaca. Finally he managed to get the owner of a laboratory, who sympathized with his concerns, to make for him a urea- formol based varnish that gave an excellent result.

He made several tests with the length of the string, arriving at the shot that gave him the best result as far as the projection of the sound, without being too uncomfortable: 664mm. However, there was also a demand for a shorter string length, which made it necessary to design a guitar with a 650mm string length. That model was called C86, referring to its year of creation, 1986. Later, his son José Enrique, modified its design, maintaining the 650mm string length and changing the name of the model.

In 1983 he designed the chamber guitar with the intention of eliminating the “wolf” notes. It gave some quite positive results: greater cleanliness and clarity in its sound, making this guitar a good instrument for studio recordings. Among his experiments and studies, it is a must to dedicate a space to the 10-string guitar, designed by him in the early 60’s. First he made some tests based on the “viola d’amore”, but as he did not obtain satisfactory results he sought the collaboration of Narciso Yepes. He also developed the 8-string guitar together with the guitarist José Tomás.

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