This Torres copy is a replica of the 1859 Antonio de Torres FE09. It is a Tornavoz guitar which was played by Miguel Llobet. The original instrument is owned by the Museu de la Música in Barcelona. I was fortunately allowed to study and examine the guitar. Thus, I was able to save all the necessary measurements and structural details which are necessarily needed for an accurate Torres copy. In addition, I was able to play the original Torres guitar, gaining impressions of its sound quality. This is very important, also to feel how the guitar reacts to the attack of the right hand to be able to include this feeling to my copy.
Antonio de Torres was by far the most important luthier of our history. One should honor his name and heritage, because without him the guitar in its present form probably would never have existed. That’s why I felt it was a great privilege that I had the opportunity to hold this Torres guitar in my hands. I am very happy to share this experience with you to carry on his fame with this replica.
The most important goal I want to achieve with my Torres copy, is to capture the unique sound of the Torres guitars. This is characterized mainly in a very strong fundamental sound, a dark and round tone. The structural approach therefore was quite different than today. The instrument has been built much lighter and, above all, the top was made much thinner than it is done today. Especially Torres went with his top dimensions to the limit, which is clearly noticeable in the sound of his guitars. Because I am consistently using the noted measurements of the original Torres guitar, I am able to reproduce this typical timbre in my copies.
Another special feature of this Torres guitar is the use of the Tornavoz which gives the instrument a very special timbre. Its installation lowers the resonances of the instrument, far below the E-string, making the basses very warm and round. Especially when using a lower tuning, such as 415Hz, this effect is clearly noticeable and lets the player clearly feel the past epoch of the 19th century.
As a finish, I am using only french polish for the entire instrument, which is applied by hand in the traditional technique. French polish has considerable advantages compared to other finishes. It leaves only a very thin, protective layer on the guitar due to the method of application, which allows a wider range of vibration for the top. In this way the instruments gains more volume and sonority compared to artificial lacquers. Shellac also has the advantage that it is reversible and very easy to maintain.