Ramirez 1A bridge dimensions

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
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josswinn
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Ramirez 1A bridge dimensions

Post by josswinn » Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:24 pm

A friend has asked me to look at his 1973 Ramirez 1A. It’s had work done to it in the past, including a new bridge which is misaligned. I know about the action on this model but can’t find what the original bridge (not saddle) height would have been. If you have an early 1A, please could you measure the height of the bridge above the soundboard, just in front of the saddle?

Thank you.
Joss Winn

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rinneby
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Re: Ramirez 1A bridge dimensions

Post by rinneby » Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:33 pm

I'll check, hold on.
1964 - Masaru Kohno
1967 - Masaru Kohno
1989 - Antonio Marin Montero
2017 - Tobias Braun

Feel free to ask me anything about Japanese classical guitars.

TomBeltran
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Re: Ramirez 1A bridge dimensions

Post by TomBeltran » Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:56 pm

I've measured many mid to later 1960's to very early 1970s Ramirez 1a guitars. I have not seen a standard measurement, because fretboard thickness and the set of the neck vary on every 1a guitar I have worked on. As a result, the height of the bridge varies as well. In general, the height of the lip of the bridge, ranges from 7-8.5 mm (bass) and 6.5-7.5mm (treble). Given the range, here are some the bass-treble measurements for specific cedar topped guitars (the best ones) I have worked on: 8 and 6.5, 8.5 and 7.5, 7 and 6.75. The one spruce 1a I measured (1964) was 7.25 and 7. The string height just in front of the bridge might be meaningful, from the top to the underside of the strings, which generally, is about 9mm (bass) and 8mm (treble).

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josswinn
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Re: Ramirez 1A bridge dimensions

Post by josswinn » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:09 am

Thanks Tom. The bridge in front of the saddle on this guitar is 8mm/treble and 8.3mm/bass. I was thinking that the bridge had been replaced, partly because it looks out of alignment with the polish and also because the workmanship is rough and the tie block doesn’t have the decoration I’ve seen in photos of other A1 models. Nut to front of saddle measures 665mm, not 664mm.
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Joss Winn

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rinneby
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Re: Ramirez 1A bridge dimensions

Post by rinneby » Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:48 am

Yes, 8-9 mm on the bass side and around 7 mm on the treble seems "normal" - My friends 1971 measure this.

/Jon
1964 - Masaru Kohno
1967 - Masaru Kohno
1989 - Antonio Marin Montero
2017 - Tobias Braun

Feel free to ask me anything about Japanese classical guitars.

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josswinn
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Location: Lincoln, UK

Re: Ramirez 1A bridge dimensions

Post by josswinn » Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:12 pm

Thanks Jon. What do people think about the bridge in the images? Would you agree it is a replacement compared to those you have seen? The colour of the wood, the tie-block, the height, the placement and the workmanship all seem wrong for this guitar.

The plastic saddle that's currently in use is 1mm above the wood and the break angle is next to nothing. I can only imagine that if it is the original bridge, the original saddle would have been higher and consequently the action would be higher than the 4.9/4.4mm it is now.
Joss Winn

astro64
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Re: Ramirez 1A bridge dimensions

Post by astro64 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:13 pm

The saddle slot also does not seem angled as on Ramirez guitars.

TomBeltran
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Re: Ramirez 1A bridge dimensions

Post by TomBeltran » Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:38 pm

In my opinion, it is not an original Ramirez bridge. Of course there are variations, as the bridge height range of measurements shows. I cannot recall seeing a 1a bridge of such light, course grained wood for the time period, as you observed. And as you mentioned, the tie-block is not original, and it seems very large; out of proportion to the rest of the bridge.

The side view shows more issues. The space between the tie-block and lip (the ramp) is too high, which is probably a major cause of the break angle issue. Otherwise, the saddle extending 1mm over the top of the lip is, at least based on my experience, on the low end of the typical range.

Also, the part of the lip that is closest to the tie-block is lower than the front of the lip. I imagine this was done because otherwise, the string would hit the wood.

At the extreme end of the bevel (side view), at the edge, the wood is uneven, with the rear being noticeably higher (thicker) than the front.

What you might considers, is to upgrade the bridge in situ. The slot for the saddle could be made a bit deeper. The ramp or space between the tie-block and back of the lip could be made much deeper (below the level of the arms), and the back of the lip could have a straightened slope to give clearance to the string. The string holes could be plugged, and to avoid messing with the tie-block itself, you might consider converting it to a 18 hole bridge so the height of the tie-block is not an issue. The finish on a Ramirez, again in my experience, is very difficult to match, both for gloss and color. I have had some success with french polish and then micro-mesh. But I would simply leave the bridge on, but with the repairs.

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