The Marfione Concert Classical series guitar is modeled after a 1912 Ramirez played for many years by Andres Segovia. The story behind this 1912 Ramirez is one from which legends are born.
The Young Segovia traveled to Madrid in preparation for an upcoming concert. He approached the great maker Jose Ramirez, inquiring about a possible rental of a suitable guitar for his concert. Intrigued by the young Maestro’s request, Ramirez accommodated him with a very fine guitar, which all evidence shows was a modified 11-string. History suggests that one of Ramirez’s foremen, Santos Hernandez was the actual builder of the instrument. Maestro Segovia played this guitar throughout the early years of his career, ultimately putting it aside in favor of Hauser instruments. He donated the instrument to the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art just before his death with the stipulation that it never be played again.
While I didn’t adhere to the decorative elements of the Ramirez, I did conform to the critical body and neck measurements as well as the bracing patterns detailed in Richard Brune’s drawings. The back and sides of my instrument are constructed of Cocobolo. The top is Sitka Spruce (not a typical wood for classicals). The neck is Spanish Cedar. Fingerboard and headstock are Ebony. Bridge is Rosewood. The headstock on this guitar is quite beefy. Nonetheless, the instrument is quite well balanced and overall rather light. This particular instrument incorporates a Gurian-style pinned neck as opposed to the traditional Spanish heel. Attracted to the old world approach of the pegs and compression joint and the ease of which one could adjust or remove the neck I thought I would give it a go. It was a valuable exercise and motivated me to explore other neck joint options. And as much I like this system, I have opted for two more progressive approaches going forward. I will incorporate either a bolt-on or adjustable neck depending on the the client’s wishes.