1927 Hermann Hauser I SP/MP
|Back & Sides||Maple|
|Scale Length||650 mm|
|Nut width||51 mm|
|Luthier||Hermann Hauser I|
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By the year this instrument was built in 1927, Hermann Hauser was already well-acquainted with the work of Antonio de Torres - indeed he had seen and studied Miguel Llobet's 1859 (FE 09), even having drawn a plan of it in 1922, and in 1926, acquired an 1860 Torres (FE 13) from Llobet - two instruments that would have a permanent impact on his style. In 1924, he met Andres Segovia for the first time and was also able to examine his 1912 Manuel Ramirez (built by Santos Hernandez), and again, this instrument also had a profound effect on his own work - most famously the "Manuel Ramirez" head on Segovia's guitar would remain a favorite of Hauser's for over a decade after his first encounter with it and appear on many of his guitars (including this 1927).
As for sound, it’s remarkably ahead of its time. As already noted, Hauser was exploring and building various Spanish styles in the 1920s and his guitars from this period tend to have a more “Spanishy” sound which should be expected. However, the style of sound that Hauser is most famous for developing – what Julian Bream called the “teutonic sound” (improved balance, clarity, brilliance in the trebles, evenness of sound, sturdy/firm basses) is fully expressed in this 1927 maple guitar. This sound becomes more commonplace in instruments he built in the mid-1930s and beyond, so it’s really astonishing to hear an earlier guitar already fully-loaded with these qualities normally associated with his later instruments. It is fitted with a "zero fret" which makes the open strings sound like the fretted notes - as all notes vibrate between a fret and the saddle which maximizes consistency and evenness of tonal character. It is also incredibly powerful, even by modern standards - this easily in the top percentile of Hauser I guitars we've seen for volume.
This guitar also has “manu propria” handwritten on the label. Hauser I over the years was known to have employed various assistants/apprentices (including his son) who would assist in various aspects of the build process. Guitars with the designation on the label “manu propria” (like this 1927 guitar has) indicate that everything was done by Hermann I completely by himself. These attributions appear rarely in Hauser guitars and are considered by collectors to add indisputable evidence as to the authenticity and authorship of the guitar. Condition is excellent for such an old instrument - it appears the back was removed and re-attached, likely to gain easier access to the single repaired small crack in the upper bout of the soundboard, and some overpolishing has been done as well. Otherwise, the guitar is in excellent condition with normal wear given the amount of performing that has been done on it. It is in performance-ready condition, either for the concert stage or recording studio, or simply for a luxurious evening of private playing. Truly a remarkable and rare instrument built by one of history's most important luthiers.