2011 Tobias Braun SP/SW
|Back & Sides:
Tobias Braun is one of the best Central European makers we've seen to date. He uses spectacular materials including gorgeous German spruce which is covered in bearclaw and has irregular, yet tight and beautiful grain patters. The wood used for the back and sides is satinwood, which is quite difficult to work with, so most luthiers choose not to. Enrique Garcia and Francisco Simplicio were adept with it, and Tobias Braun intends to re-introduce it, since he believes that the sound is enhanced. The tone of this guitar is very clean and extremely loud, with a very robust, rounded, thick, yet clear quality of sound. He uses a small tornavoz, about 16mm deep, to increase projection and clarity. An interesting aesthetic feature is the use of a key-motif in the rosette, which is borrowed from an ancient stone boundary marker located near Braun's workshop just outside of Vienna (see photo). Braun also uses customized Rubner tuners which are engraved with his initials.
The plantilla and bracing pattern of this guitar are based on extensive notes that Tobias took several years ago of a 1924 Santos Hernandez guitar. This Santos was in the possession of its original owner - one of the leading female guitarists of the 20th century - Luisa Walker, student and disciple of Miguel Llobet. Although Braun works from detailed blueprints that he made during his examination of the original guitar, his instrument has been slightly modified to suit the needs and demands of the modern concert guitarist. The width of the nut has been increased from 50mm to 52mm. The thickness of the neck, soundboard and back have all been slightly increased as well. All other measurements (thickness of the sides, braces, spacing of braces, etc...) are identical to the original. The resulting guitar is a wonderful modern concert instrument, with full, steady trebles and penetrating basses. Yet one can also discern the old-world sound of the great Spanish masters, and with this guitar, it is to Santos that Tobias Braun tips his hat.