Guitar no. 17/114

Hauser I/Bream model 17

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, which Julian Bream played for many years. I had the original in my workshop in 2007 to restore the french polish on the top prior to it's return to the USA, where it now resides in the Metropolitan Museum, New York. I took the opportunity to study it, make some notes and drawings and take measurements so that I could make a copy of this great instrument in future. Well finally, here it is at last!

The construction of the top is somewhat different to the spanish "Torres" 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 slightly 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 tone, making it a very suitable instrument for expressive playing. The guitar has a quick, open response with a strong sound that is very well balanced and even in all registers and strings. The string separation or voicing is exceptionally good with this design, resulting in a beautiful sound of great clarity.There is a lot of contrast between the deep, well focused bass and the clear, pure treble.

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

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