2020 Hans van Velzen "Santos" CD/CY
|Back & Sides||Cypress|
|Scale Length||650 mm|
|Nut width||52 mm|
In Hans' quest to understand the period of guitar making in Spain at the turn of the 19th/20th centuries, he notes that Santos Hernandez built the Manuel Ramirez guitar that was given to Andres Segovia in 1912, which tells us something about the extraordinary skills of this man. From Santos Hernandez you can draw a line to the Granada school, especially in the work of Manuel de la Chica and Antonio Marin, which brings us into the 21st century. Hans deeply appreciates the way all these great builders are connected through history by building, sharing and refining based their mutual and accumulated knowledge. In his exploration to learn from this tradition, evaluating the work of Santos Hernandez is his focus for this instrument which is "based on" a 1933 Santos Hernandez. Hans likes to note that this is not an exact copy, for one thing because Santos Hernandez never used cedar tops on any of his guitars! Apart from that, all the dimensions are quite similar to the original guitar. The rosette is a copy of a different Santos, from 1919. The design of this rosette struck Hans as very modern and contemporary, so decided to use it. Compared with his "1917 Garcia" model model, Hans feels his Santos model has a more "modern" sound. The main reason for this, apart from the different tonewoods used, is the type of bracing, which is more akin to flamenco bracing, even though this instrument is completely "classical" in its tone, especially assisted by the cedar top which gives added warmth to the sound. Cypress and cedar are not commonly paired, although it has been done by Jose Ramirez, Pepe Romero Jr, Edmund Blochinger and several others with outstanding results, just as Hans has done here.