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Raymond Burley

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Santos Martinez  'Raymond Burley' signature guitar

Santos Martinez nbsp039Raymond Burley039 signature guitar
The musical instruments manufacturer and distributor John Hornby Skewes (JHS) is currently cloning my Martin Fleeson guitar in China. They will be producing a 'Raymond Burley' signature guitar in three different models: a spruce top (like the original), a cedar top, and an electro acoustic.
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The original was made for me in 1985; Martin died the following year. After acquiring the instrument I played it continuously for more than 20 years. I would rate it as probably the most versatile guitar I've ever owned. It was used on 16 CDs. Over the years it has been re-fretted twice by Christopher Dean and re-polished once by Roger Williams. Unfortunately it suffered small splits in the front and back from severe US and Canadian winters. The guitar was retired a few years ago. It's an instrument I would never sell - it served me well and is of great sentimental value.





The second prototype of the 'Raymond Burley Signature Guitar' arrived a few days ago and I'm pleased to report that it's everything I hoped it would be - and more. The attention to detail is remarkable and the quality of the chosen woods is superb. The neck shape is itentical to the original guitar and is therefore beautifully comfortable to play. Already the volume and sustain are excellent and, of course, these will only improve further with continued playing. The purchase price of £649.00, which includes a plush hard case, is an absolute bargain.

I will eventually be posting some clips of me playing the guitar on YouTube.

I congratulate Dennis Drumm, Paul Smith and the rest of the team at JHS for their expertise and enthusiasm.

The Santos Martinez Raymond Burley signature guitar is now available from the Ivor Mairants Musicentre, 56 Rathbone Place, London W1T 1JT (0207 636 1481). Rathbone Place is situated just off Oxford St. Further information about the guitar can be found on the shop's website: www.ivormairants.co.uk

Click the PDF icon at the bottom of this page for more information.

Below is a batch of photographs of the guitar and case:

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Amplifying a classical guitar can be quite a problem whether it be in an ensemble or a concerto situation. Until fairly recently I'd been amplifying my normal Philip Woodfield concert guitar quite successfully with an AKG 414 microphone. The AKG is a terrific microphone for concert playing or recording but during the recent tour with 4 Parts Guitar I sometimes felt I needed an extra volume boost without the fear of feedback. Dennis Drumm at JHS suggested the Santos Martinez SM650CEA guitar to me.


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I have to say I was more than a little sceptical having used bridge saddle transducers in the past; volume was rarely a problem but quality of sound often suffered, sometimes quite severely. The SM650CEA solved all my problems at a stroke. The balance of sound across the strings is perfect and playability excellent. A well known classical guitarist came to see me after one of the tour gigs and commented that the instrument produced one of the best amplified classical guitar sounds he'd ever heard - this from a guitar costing just £529.00. It's a gem.

This great article appeared in the October 11 issue of Acoustic Magazine. If you are having trouble reading it, please click the icon at the bottom of the page.

The Dec 2011 edition carried a full page picture and a 2 page review ( below ) of the guitar rating it 4/5 for build and sound quality. For a more detailed view click the icon at the bottom of the page.


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updated: 3 years ago