It takes a lot of guts and knowledge to take this piece of wood down to the bare minimum. And Hauser, with the traditional regularity of thought, the strength, the rigidity, all things--he couldn't really go further in his thicknessing of the wood as the Spaniards. And that is because the bass resonance of the Hauser--it hasn't got to the level of the...if you listen to the first recording of Segovia in 1912, Ramirez, Santos Hernandez, the bass is...deep. And the Hauser never got that resonance, never got to that level. And that is precisely--this is my opinion, for what it's worth--because he didn't quite go a step farther into that situation
I like the adage that the best guitars are built at the cusp of disaster. Which means that--just strong enough to hold together. So that they're maximally able to respond without breaking.
..there is a lot of talking about tuning the guitar to G, G sharp and all that. Because some of the innovative guitars, they are tuned to that. And they haven't got the quality that is required for the classical guitar.
There is a lot of speculation about tuning the soundboard to a specific frequency. And that, it cannot be done on the open [plate]. And when you put it on [the guitar], the thing changes. What happens is that some guitars for some reason sound better, or people think they sound better. But what happens, that's the area where the normal guitar, the resonance of the normal Spanish guitar concentrates in the space of about 10 or 12 cycles (gestures up and down) and that is it.
But you cannot control that. It happens by, if you like, by natural resources, that the guitar is built up to that set of frequencies.
And when some people think, it hits there, its a good sound. Well, I don't think that is because if you could tune anything to G sharp or G and not produce the sound quality.
I read somewhere that Herman Hauser used to sit on a chair with a jug of beer and get the guitar in tune by taking [off] here and you know, there, pieces and scraping. I think that is to me, total nonsense.
People today, they finish the guitar and then they tune the guitar by, with a little plane, taking a piece from the bass...and that sort of thing, until they get the resonance they think [is good]. Well it could work to a specific frequency, but we haven't got to, we haven't acquired enough knowledge to produce, or more or less control, fixed resonance. And all this is open...it's good in a way, because it creates a field for people to think about it, you know...but there is you know, you could really change [the soundboard] by scraping.