What's New

May 2011

As I said in my last update, I now consider myself semi retired and having cut my production in half I average only six instruments a season. Most of them are still orders but also some instruments I always wanted to build and now have the time for.

One of those was the reissue of my “Hauser” classical model.  Way back in 1973 it was the first classical guitar I ever built. Following a plan, more like a sketch, of a 1930 Hauser that I had gotten from Jean Larrivee, I continued to build guitars in that style right into the early 80’s.

A few years back I had the chance to see a “Hauser” I had built in ’76 for Eli Kassner, Toronto’s acclaimed guitar teacher. It had aged beautifully, had great tone and power and it gave me the incentive to revisit that design. And so my “35 Anniversary Project” became the reinterpretation of that old Hauser design. This was not to be copy, just as my earlier guitars were not copies, but more like a homage to Hermann Hauser. And just maybe, I also wanted to find out for myself how my experience of over three decades of guitar building would influence the result. Using that exquisite set of 30 year old Brazilian rosewood with a wild “Haselfichte” spruce top might have also have contributed to the outcome. It might well be the finest guitar I’ve built, a wide dynamic range, expressive, with beautiful singing trebles and a warm bass. It’s as close to my ideal guitar as I’ve ever come.

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2009 Hauser “Haselfichte” top

2009 Hauser “Haselfichte” top

You can hear it played by Patrick Kearney on YouTube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUK2BhtImHg

Continuing with that design, I just completed a custom order of a Hauser with Cypress back and sides and spruce top, a very light and vibrant classical in the materials of a flamenco guitar.

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The unique arched bars of the 1930 Hauser design

The unique arched bars of the 1930 Hauser design

As the last of the season, one that I wanted to build for some time and one that also connects to an earlier period of guitar making, a Curly Maple, spruce top classical that will round out a year of very traditional guitar building. I hope to have that guitar ready in time for the Montreal Guitar Show, July 1 to 3.

On the other side of the spectrum I'm working on another 16” Archtop guitar. The smaller form appeals to me and also seems to work well as I'm trying to develop the more acoustic aspects of the instrument. The Sitka spruce top is fine grained and dense with quite a bit of “Bearclaws”. The back and sides are nicely matched Bigleaf Curly Maple from British Columbia, it's well quarter-cut with a deep and even figure. I had visions of finally doing a real Sunburst finish, but then it would be a shame to cover up this lovely grain so I'll give it just a light shading. This too will be a guitar I’ll bring to the Montreal Guitar Show.

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Before the top goes on

Before the top goes on

I really haven't kept up with all the new communication tools like Facebook or YouTube, and so after looking at Patrick Kearney's clip on YouTube I was surprised to see that quite a few other guitarists playing Graf guitars have posted clips. You can find them by searching “Oskar Graf” or “Oskar Graf Guitars”. Yes, there’s also one of me giving a talk in German about my approach to guitar making. I think it has English sub-titles so you can sort of follow my ramblings.

In closing, rumours that I've quit building are a bit premature! I'm going to continue at a reduced pace for a few years yet. Just because I don't update my website regularly, I know the last update was nearly 2 years ago, doesn't mean that I've stopped working.

For a listing of guitars I have for sale, please visit “The Collection” page and check out my newest instruments.