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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.

1983 Jose Ramirez 1a #16997


1983 Jose Ramirez III 1a (Spain) No. 16997, 664 mm scale, 54 mm nut, cedar top, Indian rosewood sides and back (sides laminated with Spanish cypress), original catalyzed urethane varnish, Gold plated engraved Fustero tuning machines.  Near mint condition, there is one repaired hairline crack several inches long on the lower back.  Action is very good measuring 3mm on the treble and 4.5 mm on the bass side at the 12th fret.  In our opinion, this instrument was probably made a bit earlier than the stated date of 1983 on the label, based on several features:  The neck is the older style hand cut neck and head rather than the CNC machined versions that appeared later and are used by the shop today.  The finish is the good version of the catalyzed urethane as sprayed in the Ramirez shop itself, as opposed to the sprayed finishes done elsewhere for them under contract.  And the sides are lined with Spanish cypress which they began to phase out in the early 1980’s in favor of maple.  Also the Fustero machines are the older version used in the 1970’s with hand engraved plates and more delicate worm tabs.  By the early 1980’s much of the inventory in the Ramirez shop was beginning to back up due to declining sales, so instruments that had been completed years before were not actually labeled and numbered until they were actually sent out to dealers.  So we suspect this instrument was actually made closer to the late 1970’s based on these and several other details observed in the guitar.  As for the instrument musically, it is a very fine example of the classic Ramirez 1a with brilliant trebles, thunderous basses and that patented Spanish “Madrid” sound which just sings forever and is seducing to listen to.  These instruments are never boring, and while the scales are not for everyone, the sound is something audiences respond to.  $5,000