By Chris Gill | Photo by Massimo Gammacurta
The guitars made by Hermann Hauser Sr. (1882–1952) were favored by maestros like Andrés Segovia and Julian Bream, which helped make them some of the most desirable classical guitars ever made. As a result, original Hauser guitars sell for tens of thousands of dollars, and even instruments made today by his grandson, Hermann Hauser III, have very long waiting lists.
For those with less patience or more limited liquid assets, the Cordoba Master Series Hauser is a very worthy alternative. Cordoba acquired an original 1937 Hauser (the same year as Segovia’s favored instrument) and analyzed every detail, including wood thicknesses, bracing patterns, wood grain, and vibrations, to produce a faithful reproduction that replicates a Hauser’s distinctive clarity and projection as well as its incredible playability. The Hauser is one of Cordoba’s four Master Series instruments, which also include guitars that pay tribute to the work of Manuel Reyes, Miguel Rodriguez, and Antonio de Torres.
The Cordoba Master Series Hauser is entirely handmade by Cordoba’s finest craftsmen at their California workshop. Materials include a solid Engelmann spruce top, solid Indian rosewood back and sides, and a Spanish cedar neck with a traditional profile and ebony fingerboard. The nut and saddle are bone, and the tuners are gold-plated Gotohs with ebony buttons. Exquisite but tasteful decorative embellishments include eight-ply maple and ebony top purfling, three-ply maple-and-green back and side purfling, an 11-ply center back strip, and a dazzling rosette with a mosaic-and-rope design. Savarez Cristal Corum high-tension strings and Cordoba’s hardshell humidified case provide crowning, professional-quality touches.
With its 650mm scale length and impressively responsive top, featuring Hauser’s fan bracing pattern with seven struts, the Cordoba Master Series Hauser delivers powerful but articulate piano-like bass and exceptionally sweet treble. Individual note definition across the guitar’s entire frequency range is outstanding and well balanced, allowing each note in chords to be heard clearly.
The variety of tonal colors and textures that the guitar delivers at different picking locations between the sound hole and near the bridge is stunning, ranging from warm and mellow to an aggressive, percussive bite suitable for flamenco-style flourishes. The 52mm nut width and traditional neck profile provide playability familiar to most classical guitarists, but the action is low enough (and buzz-free) to let even players accustomed only to electrics play comfortably.
Unlike most other nylon-string instruments in its price range, which are better suited to pop or modern styles, the Cordoba Master Series Hauser is an expressive instrument with dynamic response and projection that are ideal for classical concert performers.
LIST PRICE $4,425
Cordoba Music Group,cordobaguitars.com