I have grown up hearing about the defects in the woods used in guitars, the knots, the kinks, the veins of irregular tones ... and for me it became something of the most normal until I began to see that wood which appearance was not supposed to be adequate was discarded in the search for an absurd perfection, misunderstood, wood that was beautiful with its spots and irregularities, wood that once put on a guitar sounded good, so good and sometimes even better than others which appearance was homogeneous and, if you rush me, even boring. My father started to use that wood for guitars that he called second class (noted on the label as 2ª), although the construction quality was the same as the ones of 1st class, but he knew that many customers were going to object to the appearance of the woos. And later we have done the same again because a supposed aesthetic defect cannot be above the sound quality.
In the search for the pristine and, at the same time, the imperishable, the immortal ... all so alien to nature, we have been destroying our world, indiscriminately cutting down trees and using a small part of them considering the rest as waste material. Something similar to the manufacture of plastics, perfect, indestructible ... For me these are processes that go hand in hand in a denial of the natural. Of course, we are not going to accept wood with cracks or knots that can become holes, all of which is unacceptable to build a guitar, it is obvious. But the so-called defects of the wood are actually peculiarities produced by nature, the capricious nature that loves unique, unrepeatable, singular shapes. Just as there are no two identical fingerprints, neither are two trees alike. Even the wood of the same tree acquires different shapes in each piece, because it is life passing through its veins and rings, and because one moment is never the same as the next, and this is engraved in the experience of the tree.
I don't like having to use wood to build our guitars, and it only comforts me to know that their life will continue as music on instruments as different from each other as their wood, because despite the fact that the construction of a guitar is identical to that of its task sister (we usually do them, traditionally, four by four), each one will have a different sound, even if the soul is the same. Yes, the soul, the soul of the trees that participate in its elaboration together with the soul that we put in them during their construction, adding the soul with which the guitarist permeates its grain.
My father (JR III) used to speak with great sadness about the mistreatment suffered by the Brazilian rosewood, about the abuse of its felling out of all control, being the victim of an absolute lack of protection. In his book “Things about the Guitar" he comments: "One day talking with a Brazilian logger, I learned that there were many loggers who, because they did not bother to use the saw or the ax to fell a rosewood tree, followed the simple procedure of making a hole in the base of the trunk, place an explosive charge and the thing was solved with the greatest comfort. Naturally, the explosion produced unnecessary cracks along the entire length of the trunk, which significantly reduced its use, but this did not matter, there were many trees ”. And another anecdote that he often told us recalling his father José Ramirez II, and which he also exposes in his book, could not be more descriptive about the contempt with which wood, our forests, our trees are treated: “My father who, on one of his trips, was in Rio de Janeiro for several days in 1925 and who, walking through the city and contemplating how they were paving a street, saw something that in his first sensation he considered to be a false impression of the senses, but no, it was an incredible reality: the fire in the boilers to melt the material was fueled by pieces of the most splendid dalbergia nigra cut out of amazing planks. He immediately got in touch with the construction contractor with whom he soon sympathized with the help of a few drinks and proposed the purchase of those wonderful planks. The contractor, who must already be in the ineffable stage of friendship protests, promised that he would send to Spain not only those planks that were worth nothing to him, but some more and given away. My father insisted on paying it to seriously compromise what he saw as doubtful. The contractor was even offended by doubting his <<sincere>> friendly offer. My father, may he be in glory, is still waiting for the boards “