The guitar is an adaptation of the Torres design and was termed, “the greatest guitar of our epoch” by Segovia. Hauser had never built a Spanish style guitar having focused on the Venetian style. Having met Segovia he gained access to his 1912 Manuel Ramirez built by Santos Hernandez, took measurements and began building a Torres based design for Segovia.
The 1937 Segovia Hauser currently resides in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Richard E Brune gained access to the guitar & produced a meticulous study of the instrument including technical notes, detailed drawings and many photographs. This study was used as the primary source for the design & construction of my Hauser replica, although numerous other sources have been referenced.
Andres Segovia and Julian Bream, two influential classical guitarists of the 20th century, both performed on Hauser guitars. The best description of a Hauser guitar's musical attributes can be found in the book Julian Bream's - "A Life on the Road".
Key features contributing to the Hauser sound include:
The type of wood used for a soundboard contributes significantly to the timbre & dynamic of an instrument. Hauser used German Spruce, typically spruce from the Bavarian Mountains.
One aspect that separates the Hauser guitar from the Spanish school is the use of thicker soundboards. The Hauser soundboard thickness has a range of between 2.5 - 3.0 mm compared to the soundboards of Torres and Manuel Ramirez, which fell into the 2 mm or thinner range. This definitive characteristic is one of the most overlooked aspects of the Hauser design and all too often is neglected in replicas of this model of guitar.
The Hauser soundboard is initially constructed flat, unlike modern classical guitars which have a raised dome typically with the apex between the bridge & the soundhole. On the Hauser, the underside of the bridge is then belied into a arch & the top is domed into the underside of the bridge as the bridge is clamped & glued to the top. This is significant in terms of the guitars design & sound.
In addition Hauser carefully selected the wood for the bridge. Typically using Indian Rosewood selected for lightness. This produces a light but stiff bridge, minimising damping to the top & gains in mass.
Bracing & Plates
The area beneath the bridge is of particular importance. The 3 centre fan struts are left square underneath the bridge area. Hauser pioneered the use of spruce bridge plates beneath the bridge area, which he employed on this model. The fan struts are also meticulously notched over the bridge plate. And, the V struts (closing struts) are very low in profile relative to fan struts.
Back & Sides
Two of the most common woods found in the back and sides of Hauser's guitars are Brazilian and East Indian Rosewood. He even sometimes used both woods in a single guitar, an example being a 1936 guitar he built with East Indian Rosewood sides and a Brazilian back.
Hauser used a mixture of Spruce & Mahogany to make linings. He also made different types of linings, kerfed, solid & tentellones, used in different guitars & in different areas of the guitar.
Hauser used Honduras or African Mahogany for his necks. Spanish Cedar, a common classical neck wood, is not used in any Hauser.