José Enrique Ramírez García was born in Madrid during May 1953. He started working as an apprentice in 1971 and reached the category of journeymen in 1977. In 1988, he decided to run the family business with his sister Amalia. His idea was to re-define the models that were being built then. In the middle of the 80’s, a change had been detected in the taste in sound of some guitarists.
In 1979, he got the recognition of Andrés Segovia, since the Maestro chose, from among several guitars that the workshop had previously selected and had sent to him. The one constructed by José Enrique was the one chosen. This was a big surprise and especially a big satisfaction for him. His joy was so great that he wrote a great dedication with signature that was stuck beside the label. Mr. Segovia used this guitar until the end of his days, and according to the letters written by Segovia to José Enrique, he used it with great satisfaction.
In 1991 he began building a guitar with all the characteristic sound of the sixties, which he named Traditional, and another one, which didn’t have anything to do with the previous one, one which expressed that clear and direct sound which was the solution for new tendencies. That guitar, after several experiments, was completely defined in 1992, and he denominated it as the Special.
Today, two lines are built in Ramirez’s workshop. Essentially, José Ramírez IV defined and improved the work done by his father, although he also introduced his own innovations. Besides defining the two lines of professional classic guitars, he developed techniques of construction that made them the most comfortable and easy instruments to play, and also more stable in their assembly, thus avoiding in some cases, and reducing in others, the deformations due to the movement of the wood.
Another important chapter is the addition of the student guitars. This never attracted José Ramírez´s III whose interest was centered exclusively, in the professional guitars. In fact, already in the time of José Ramírez I, those guitars, dedicated to beginners, students and people with less purchasing power, were sold in the workshop as an alternative to those made by hand that, which naturally, were much more expensive and of a very superior quality. That is still the case today.
José Ramírez I, who had rejected guitars “made in series”, had also seen the necessity of selling them in his business. At the beginning he didn’t put a label on them, but with time he realised that this was a mistake because people would come to his shop with complaints and he couldn’t prove the guitar was really made in his workshop. So, finally, he ordered some special labels, different to those of the professional models and resolved the problem.
José Ramírez II kept selling student guitars made in series, and more than that, he also designed some student models and ordered them from the best manufacturer in Valencia. One of those models remained in the workshop until the middle of the 1970s. By then, and for many years since, student models were sold, which were not designed by Ramírez. These were chosen from among the normal production of selected factories, based on the most acceptable quality. José Ramírez III, like his grandfather, rejected the student guitars, which is why he didn’t care about the eventual disappearance of those guitars designed by his father. However, José Ramírez IV didn’t think this way.
He was very aware of the importance that those guitars could have for beginners. Offering the student guitar would bring a guarantee of quality supported by the Ramírez name. His argument was that a beginner shouldn’t necessarily start playing with a professional guitar, and that it was necessary to offer an instrument that, besides being accessible in price, should have good quality and be pleasant to play with. This “Relationship Marketing” undoubtedly, leads to sales of the professional models to some of the beginners, who have become used to, and trusted the Ramírez brand.
This vision, prompted him to, during 1986, design a student line, manufactured exclusively for Ramírez, with a special selection of wood and strict construction standards. This line was welcomed in the market, as a good starting point toward professional use. Later, coinciding with changes in the professional models, José Enrique designed another, more economic, student line than the previous one, denominated ” R “, being based on the insole of the professional pattern C86.