Guitar 17/111

This is my new Hauser Model 17, classical fan-braced spruce top and indian rosewood back and sides. Scale-length 653mm. Nicolo Alessi Hauser style tuning machines.

It is a copy of a 1940 Hermann Hauser I guitar. The one played by Julian Bream for many years. I had it in my workshop a number of years back to restore the french polish on the top. I took the opportunity to make a few drawings and take measurements so that I could make a copy in future. Well finally, here it is, some, er, 8 years later.

The construction of the top is somewhat different to the spanish tradition - although fan-braced, there is very little, if any doming of the front, which keeps tension in the top low, and necessitates a change in neck angle. The head angle is also somewhat shallower than my usual build. These factors, among others, affect the response and sound of the guitar, giving it a pliant string feel with lots of scope for colouring the sound. There is a lot of contrast between bass and treble. Basses are warm, deep and dark, but also crisp and well defined. The trebles are very pure and clear with less harmonics present than in my normal fan-braced design where they are richer and rounder ( using the same spruce/indian combination). The guitar has a quick, open response, and a very well balanced and focused beautiful sound with exceptionally good voicing.

The original has a very low body resonance of E flat ( i.e. below the pitch of the bass string). However, I did not try to replicate this, but tuned the body to F where I am very happy with the balance achieved.

I built this guitar to demonstrate the new Hauser model, but sold it straight away to Gavin Leone, who already owns a Model 12 spruce/madagascar rosewood guitar of mine. So I've made another one to replace it...see it on my Demo Guitars pages.

Gavin Leone writes:

"Since I have owned this instrument I have found myself practising for longer - it’s very hard to put down once you start playing. It combines tone qualities of both my other classical/spanish guitars ( one cedar and the other spruce top). I wanted to find a guitar with that lovely deep, dark bass ( that I get from my cedar), and a top end brightness that would complement my Bream inspired style of playing. It’s difficult to find a guitar that mixes these qualities with the composure and balance that a concert guitar needs - unless you can afford an old Herman Hauser that is.

I have owned this guitar for 12 months now, and it keeps getting better,a really fine accomplishment, well done Rohan! "

See photos of the original here.

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