Here’s a truly historic and stunning instrument – an 1868 Antonio de Torres in spruce and CSA rosewood. This particular Torres is from the end of his ‘First Eopch’ and features a tornavoz. You can hear for yourselves how the tornavoz affects the sound in the videos below. It’s a mystery how Torres was able to create a guitar with such tremendous bass response that somehow doesn’t drown out the trebles, but rather seems to complement them. This 150-year-old guitar single-handedly makes a strong argument for a re-examination of the tornavoz in the modern guitar!

In addition to Chris Garwood taking a first look and playing excerpts from Bach, Barrios, Brouwer and Tarrega to show off this guitar we were lucky enough to have Evan Hirschelman in the showroom to remind us (as Andrew York has in the past) that these are not just historic instruments fit for ‘old’ music, and that there’s a reason that Torres guitars still inspire luthiers around the world.

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4 Responses to “1868 Antonio de Torres – Evan Hirschelman and First Look”

  1. Torres is just gorgeous!

  2. David Bruce says:

    I own a guitar based on Torres Suprema. What does a tonavoz look like and where would it have been placed in the guitar?

    Thanks David Bruce

  3. Monique Ledermann says:

    That guitar has the sound a lot of us have been looking for, warm, lots of overtones, sustain, even throughout. She also has that cello quality….is it just the tornavoz effect….well whatever it is, congratulation for obtaining this gem…enjoy it while you have it (I would never sell it 🙂 )
    Thank you for all your great postings, GSI is one of my favorite sites!
    Monique, Montréal

  4. A Tornavoz is a round metal Tube (think tube of toothpaste) attached to the sound hole inside the guitar. It does not attach to back. You do not see the Tornavoz from the outside of the guitar. The idea is the same as a bass reflex port on a speaker system. Yuris Zeltins did a tour de force repair on one. Usually you remove the back of the guitar to work on an guitar with a Tornavoz.. We rigged up a camera system that Yuris snaked under the Tornavoz and then did the repair without removing the Tornavoz. Forgive me as I forget what the repair was. It could have been re-in forcing the bridge. Yuris made custom tools for the job. Fishman Amplification makes a device called an O-Port. You snap a funnel shaped plastic ‘Tube’ into the inside of the guitar. Take it in and out. A modern day Tornavoz.
    DeForest Thornburgh
    The Blue Guitar


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