Museum: Classical Guitars

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2012 Oskar Graf Hauser Style Classical

Serial 2/12. Oskar Graf's first classical models were styled after the guitars of Hermann Hauser, and the Hauser-inspired design remains this builder's preferred style and sound for his own classical builds. This example, completed in early 2012, is built with absolutely stunning tonewoods -- very old, perfectly quartered and straight-grained Brazilian rosewood back and sides, and an incredible bearclawed German spruce top. The bindings are of curly koa, and the guitar features a hand-assembled mosaic rosette that is in perfect proportion to the instrument's top and ornamentation. Oskar's French polish is beautifully and finely applied throughout, and the guitar is clearly a masterpiece by one of the finest builders the world has seen.

The top's bracing is a 7 fan layout, with Hauser-styled arched transverse uppers. The workmanship inside the guitar is as clean and meticulous as Graf's purfling miters are on the outside, and astonishingly perfect. Spanish foot design, with a south American mahogany neck and ebony fingerboard. The tuners are hand-crafted by Oskar's brother, Jorg Graf ( and of the highest caliber; with hand-engraved plates, highly precise gearing, and beautiful pearl buttons. 52mm nut-width, 650 scale; polished bone nut and saddle.

The guitar has a tonal sophistication that is not often encountered. Along with a profound expressiveness, it has the warmth of a very lightly built guitar, but retains the volume, clarity, and power that most lightly built classicals lack. The trebles sing in every position of the neck, basses are full, articulate, and deep.

In nearly perfect condition, the guitar shows only light finish scratches behind the tie-block of the bridge. Concert-quality fretwork and set-up.

With Calton case

Click HERE for our hi-def video feature of this instrument.

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