Shopping Cart


Your shopping bag is empty

Go to the shop

1988 José Ramirez 1a Vintage Cedar Top Nylon String Classical Guitar w/ Case


+ shipping

Up for sale, a 1988 José Ramirez 1a classical guitar in excellent condition and in perfect working order, complete with a hardshell case. Considered the oldest running direct lineage of Spanish luthiers, seamlessly passing on the tradition since the late 1800s, Jose Ramirez guitars are a cornerstone of the Madrid school of guitar makers and are world renowned for good reason. Famously designated "1a" (which stands for "primera" in Spanish, and means "1st" or "highest" quality), the 1a represents Ramirez's top quality workmanship, with exquisite detail and wood choice.

This meticulously crafted guitar comes from the era of José Ramirez III and features a Ramirez-braced (a technique developed by JR III utilizing spruce bracing and combining ladder and fan bracing styles) solid cedar top, bookmatched solid rosewood back and sides, and a two-piece mahogany neck capped with a thick slab ebony fingerboard. The guitar has a sweet and sonorous tonal character that's balanced and harmonically-rich with piano-esque clarity. The instrument is very receptive to dynamic playing, from soft, delicate plucks, to passionate rasgueados and strums that highlight a full and sonorous lower midrange. The lower bout measures 14 1/2” in width, and the body depth is 4 1/4”. Weighing 4lbs 1oz, this José Ramirez has been professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with normal tension D’Addario strings and optimal classical action.

The two-piece mahogany neck is reinforced by a central strip of ebony and has a full D-shaped profile carve with generous shoulders and faintly rolled fretboard edges, measuring .880” deep at the 1st fret and 1.055” at the 9th. The thick slab ebony fingerboard retains the flawless stock slender fretwire. This guitar plays cleanly up the straight neck with medium action, measuring 12/64” on the bass side at the 12th fret and 9/64” on the treble side. The scale length is 665mm, and the bone nut measures 54mm in width. The slotted headstock features a rosewood veneer and carved crown shape, and the gold-plated engraved tuning machines turn smoothly and hold accurate pitch.

On the body, the rosewood bridge sits flush with the cedar top on all edges, and the saddle is at its lowest point of adjustment. The string spacing at the bridge is 57mm (2 1/4”). The body is framed by mult-ply purfling, and the soundhole features an ornate multi-ring rosette. The label dates this guitar to 1988 and is signed by José Ramirez III.

Cosmetic wear on the gloss finish is limited to some small dings across the strum path, with similar, more restrained wear on the lower bout on top. There are some concentrated light finish scratches at the bass-side waist on the back, and a few additional minor marks on the body as a whole. The smooth gloss finish on the neck profile is pristine.

A black alligator hardshell case is included.