I want to start a series of articles focusing in some of the biggest and most relevant guitar companies in Spain. There are many in our country and i will not be able to cover them all, but i will show the ones that i think have managed to gain international relevance and companies that have a broad line up of classical guitars, flamenco guitars and acoustic guitars from entry models to high-end concert guitars and luthier models.
It was in 1968 when Manuel Raimundo decided to try his fortune setting up his own guitar construction company. He counted only on his own experience and a small workshop that belonged to a relative. His first employees and his first representative, Salvador Cortina, arrived a few months after setting up his company and thanks to Salvador , he got his first important clients.
During this time he started to participate in the first national fairs, which helped him get new clients and make the “Raimundo” name known in all Spain . The national market remained small so he decided to try his luck with the international market, taking advantage of the foreign contacts he had already made. This new market demanded instruments of a higher quality and this provided an important challenge for the company.
In 1974 he started to attend the most prestigious international fairs in the sector. Frankfurt, Paris and Los Angeles , with the aim of finding new clients. After his first experiences he made the decision to only attend the Frankfurt Fair, because it was considered to be the most important of all. Since then he has continuously attended every addition of this fair, little by little widening the range of products and occupying more floor space.
In 1980 he now counted on a staff of 25 people and an approximate production of 12.000 instruments a year. The extension work he had carried out a few years earlier to the old workshop was no longer sufficient. The short term expectations were to continue growing and he took the opportunity to move the company to their current installations on Fuente del Jarro industrial state (Paterna), which were specially made for the construction of guitars. The investment paid off. In a few years the growth was spectacular. The percentage of the production that he exported also grew in a considerable manner since the early years of his presence in Frankfurt and as recognition for this effort in 1981 he received his first prize, he was awarded The Exportation Prize by The Chamber of Commerce.
In 1984 was when “Raimundo” exhibited for the first time at the Los Angeles fair. By this time more than 60% of the production was exported to countries such as Germany , France , Japan , Italy , Great Britain , Greece , Portugal , Turkey , Belgium , Denmark , Holland , Austria … With such high demands and new contacts made in the United States and South America , he could increase production and increment his staff. Once again, his installations were too small and in 1988 he carried out his first expansion to his current site specially for the finishing and packaging sections, with the result of a substantial improvement in the completion of the guitars.
He received The Quality Prize, awarded by IMPIVA in 1993. Perhaps it is the prize that they are proud of the most, for it was for the recognition of the effort that had been made for many years in this sector. The new additions to the staff once again made it necessary to carry out a second expansion, so in 1995 two new factories were built to house the sanding and polishing sections, which in turn helped to improve the quality of the instruments.
Currently he has a staff of 42 people, many of whom have been working for the company for more than 25 years. The current production rate is 20.000 units per year, of which more than 90% is exported all over the world and the factory covers an area of 3.000 m2 .
But in spite of constant growth, the way the guitars are made have not varied significantly during all these years. And this is not a coincidence. For them it is with pride that they can affirm that all of their guitars continue to be crafted by hand.
Buy their one words:
We like to think that we have never made two instruments alike, each one is different from the one before. This is our main characteristic: WE ARE CRAFTMEN. Proof of this is The Award of Commercial Craftsmenship (1991), The Chamber of Commerce for Craftsmenship(1993) and The NOVA Crafts Prize recently awarded by the Department of Commerce (2005). The love that only comes from the hands of our craftsmen is what make our guitars different form the rest and what has made “Raimundo Guitars” known throughout the world.