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Please feel free to contact us with any questions regarding your instrument, repairs, any instruments we have for sale, ordering an instrument, or any instrument you wish to sell.

1000 North Rand Road No. 224
Wauconda, IL, 60084
United States


I began making guitars in 1966 in Dayton Ohio, where I worked out of my house. From 1968-1970 I lived in Mexico City, returning during the summers to build instruments at the Dayton location. 

During this time I was studying Anthropology and playing flamenco guitar professionally in various troupes in Mexico and around the U.S. In 1972 I moved to Chicago and worked briefly out of the back of a music store before moving to my present location in 1973. 

At that point I gave up any pretensions of being a professional guitarist and dedicated myself full time to lutherie.


My 800 Greenwood Street shop has undergone several renovations and changes over the years, the most recent being the 1995 massive renovation I did of the outside and inside of the building. 

As a result, my building is now climate controlled throughout the entire 4,000 square feet, and it has now acquired a nicer facade, with more interior showroom space than was previously available. 

Consequently, we are better able to serve those who prefer to visit the shop to select an instrument from our extensive inventory, which is housed in glass fronted rosewood cabinets. Being able to play many instruments side by side is very helpful in making a final selection, and we have full repair/restoration facilities on the premises for minor action adjustments to major restorations of valuable collector instruments.

1973 José Ramírez R-1043

1973 José Ramírez III 2a (Spain) No. R-1043, 664 mm scale, 53 mm nut, strings are spaced 45 mm on centers between 1st and 6th, action at the 12th fret is 5 mm on the bass side, 3 mm on the treble side, there is still 1.5 mm of saddle projecting above the bridge on the bass side, there is still 1 mm of saddle projecting above the bridge.  Cedar top, Brazilian rosewood sides and back, catalyzed urethane varnish, stamped Fustero tuning machines.  Condition is good, there is one previously glued crack on the upper bout of the back with internal cleats which has no effect on the sound nor longevity of the instrument.  These 2a (“segunda”) Ramírez instruments were virtually identical to the 1a models save for the wood and machine head selection, internally they are indistinguishable.  Actions varied considerably with 1a and 2a instruments depending on which specific solera (work board) they were assembled on, which is one of the reason the initials or identity of the specific maker is pointless in establishing the quality and playability of the instrument, which is why we discourage focusing on this detail.  Judge the instrument, not the label or stamp.  This instrument is a great example of the early 70’s Ramírez model which was revolutionary at the time, having many non-traditional features such as laminated sides, sprayed finishes, and synthetic glue used to assemble them.  The sound is huge with a bright penetrating treble and firm focused bass, very colorful, the embodiment of what some call the modern “Madrid School” of guitar making.  Playing instruments such as this Segovia was able to project to the furthest seats of the largest concert halls during his world tours without amplification.  Many players consider these older vintage Ramírez guitars to be much superior to those currently produced in Madrid, and the prices are certainly attractive compared to new models.  $5,000