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Old 01-30-2018, 09:08 AM
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invguy921 invguy921 is offline
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Default ??'s For the builder community: "V" bracing?

Most of us now know that the newest innovation from Taylor has been announced and demonstrated at NAMM..."V" bracing. Taylor has MUCH to say about the tonal improvements utilizing this approach. Despite a number of different approaches to bracing that I have seen, most are very similar. Of course it is hard to argue with what has worked for years, right??

Not that Taylor has necessarily been the "industry standard", but certainly many of their innovations through the years have become commonplace in building today and as such their new ideas should be studied. Heck, my guess is that their R&D budget is larger than that of most builders , and I'd be shocked to think they would make such a big deal about something that really isn't a big deal...right??

Here's a pic from Taylor's website:



The Story here:

https://www.taylorguitars.com/guitar...-bracing/story

So my questions for anyone, but primarily directed at our gifted Luthier community here on AGF are as follows:

1) What are your general thoughts about this approach?
2) Have you ever built a guitar with bracing like this? If so, what were the results and have you continued to use this approach?
3) Do you have any intention of trying this?
4) Is this potentially as significant as the bolt on neck to future guitar building?


Thank you for adding your thoughts. I know that many are curious about this new approach and what it might mean for the future. Your time and wisdom is appreciated!!
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Last edited by invguy921; 01-30-2018 at 09:16 AM.
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Old 01-30-2018, 09:22 AM
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Mark Hatcher Mark Hatcher is offline
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I’d guess by the looks of it this will save them some manufacturing costs and still reach their target sound.
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Old 01-30-2018, 09:54 AM
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Guitars44me Guitars44me is offline
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Smile Good questions Mike!

Trust Mike to come up with good questions for the awesome Luthiers here!

I have yet to play one of these new braced Taylors. But I did talk to Tim Luranc a couple days ago, who played a bunch of them at NAMM. According to TL the new bracing results in a louder guitar with a more "forward tone". And somehow they have managed to patent Andy Powers new design...

For what I do louder is better, as I am playing a lot of unamped gigs! Not sure about the Forward part, tho. I guess it is time to visit the Taylor campus and the "petting zoo".

I will chime in here again after I play a few and pick Tim's brain some more.

Cheers

Paul
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Last edited by Guitars44me; 01-30-2018 at 10:04 AM.
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Old 01-30-2018, 10:02 AM
Simon Fay Simon Fay is offline
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The lutherie community is fairly innovative - this approach is not unusual although I'm unsure if anything absolutely exactly like Taylor's has been used. Folks have been combining steel string and classical style bracing for years tho' -- and the "idea" here is old treaded territory if you look outside what's been done by factory brands. In other words, departure from the x-brace to longer "with the grain" structural braces is not unusual at all. Trevor Gore's falcate bracing (google for images) is a similar idea but taken a bit further IMO, in terms of optimizing this particular style - however, it involves far more labor than a factory could spare.

In terms of the resulting sound -- well, that's where you go and try them and see what you think. Perhaps this style will allow Taylor to optimize their sound better than they were with an x-brace. The build style afforded to solo shop or small shop is very different than a factory context. I'm all for innovation - perhaps this is exactly what Taylor needed to build a better guitar.

If I played a Taylor and loved this sound then maybe I would experiment with falcate bracing but I'm incredibly pleased with the structural and tonal opportunities afforded by an x-brace. You can shape the sound very easily and you have very good control over the monopole, cross dipole and long dipole. The one thing I would be concerned about is the kind of movement/distortion that might take place at the bridge if I built in this style. Unlike Taylor, I (and many in the lutherie community) brace my guitars very lightly. Again, this is one of the reasons why I like an x-brace is because the bridge patch design allows me to build the guitar the way I want. Falcate bracing gets around this by incorporating carbon fiber veneer into the bridge patch and brace construction.

One last word, bracing patterns do have an effect on the overall sound but the way the guitar is built and the bracing shaped also has a massive effect as well. It's the last part that's very difficult for factories to optimize fully due to warranty concerns and additional labor costs. If I were Taylor, I would never build as responsive and vibrant a guitar as I possibly could because I would want the extra durability that comes from a slightly more rugged construction.
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Last edited by Simon Fay; 01-30-2018 at 10:20 AM.
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Old 01-30-2018, 10:09 AM
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In terms of the resulting sound -- well, that's where you go and try them and see what you think.
This is the best advice you can give in any situation
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Old 01-30-2018, 10:17 AM
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Steve Kinnaird Steve Kinnaird is offline
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Agree with Simon--your ears will be the ultimate judge if this is a forward step.
It will be different. And some of us think that will be a good thing for Taylor.
I'd guess a sound somewhere between an X brace and ladder-brace system.
The cynic in me figures they're giving up trying to outdo Martin on sound, and looking for other paths.

Steve
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Old 01-30-2018, 10:31 AM
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rogthefrog rogthefrog is offline
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op mentioned the bolt on neck in the context of Taylor innovations. They may have been the first to do it at scale, but iirc it's in the Cumpiano book and was probably in use even before that.

I'm curious what the new bracing sounds like. Probably sounds like a guitar.
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Old 01-30-2018, 10:44 AM
IndianHillMike IndianHillMike is offline
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Originally Posted by invguy921 View Post


1) What are your general thoughts about this approach?
2) Have you ever built a guitar with bracing like this? If so, what were the results and have you continued to use this approach?
3) Do you have any intention of trying this?
4) Is this potentially as significant as the bolt on neck to future guitar building?
I think it's great that a big company is trying something different and showing there's more than one way to brace a guitar. About half of my guitars over the past 7 or 8 years have been built based off of the idea of a "V" starting at the end block -- structure and load wise it just always made a lot of sense to me. I'm constantly evolving and changing my bracing patterns and I eventually cut off the lower section of the "V" (not really doing much besides looking cool and adding a high point of stiffness) and I've been beyond happy with how they've been sounding. I've always still had an x-brace, but others in my shop have made steel strings without an x as I'm sure many many other builders have as well. So, from a building perspective I don't really see this as a significant development in the evolution of guitars with nothing really new or innovative. Maybe from a player's viewpoint though it will open some eyes that there's no magic to a Martin x-brace -- it's just another means to an end with various pros/cons like any other bracing pattern.

Mike
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Old 01-30-2018, 11:00 AM
markallen markallen is offline
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Originally Posted by Guitars44me View Post
For what I do louder is better, as I am playing a lot of unamped gigs! Not sure about the Forward part, tho. I guess it is time to visit the Taylor campus and the "petting zoo".
Hey Paul, I had a chance to play one of the "V" braced guitars at NAMM last week and actually thought of you while playing. My personal style is pretty basic strumming and light fingerpicking. The beautiful RT I got from you fits the bill perfectly. While there didn't seem to be any noticeable difference to me in my style of playing, I did think the top felt louder or "more active" for someone with a more percussive playing style.

I think you will probably like them.

Cheers,
Mark
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Old 01-30-2018, 11:30 AM
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I like the idea. It puts strength in exactly the right spot so that bracing can be lighter and still do the support job it needs to do. That said, there is a lot of good history behind the X brace and it's hard to argue with success. I would like to know if the good engineering translates in to good sound.
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Old 01-30-2018, 11:32 AM
IndianHillMike IndianHillMike is offline
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Originally Posted by rogthefrog View Post
op mentioned the bolt on neck in the context of Taylor innovations. They may have been the first to do it at scale, but iirc it's in the Cumpiano book and was probably in use even before that.
Not quite the same but Stradivari used nails to help hold his necks on so metal hardware is no stranger to that part of an instrument!
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Old 01-30-2018, 11:39 AM
LouieAtienza LouieAtienza is offline
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I’d guess by the looks of it this will save them some manufacturing costs and still reach their target sound.
That's why it's only on their expensive models...
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Old 01-30-2018, 11:45 AM
Jeff Scott Jeff Scott is offline
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Originally Posted by j. Kinnaird View Post
...I would like to know if the good engineering translates in to good sound.
However it sounds, so long as the Taylor name is on the headstock it will sound like a Taylor.
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Old 01-30-2018, 11:56 AM
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That's why it's only on their expensive models...
LouieAtienza, who sets the pricing for a large guitar manufacturer? Engineering? Manufacturing? Or Marketing? I don’t believe expensive models indicates anything but what they expect the market will pay.
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Old 01-30-2018, 12:05 PM
LouieAtienza LouieAtienza is offline
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LouieAtienza, who sets the pricing for a large guitar manufacturer? Engineering? Manufacturing? Or Marketing? I don’t believe expensive models indicates anything but what they expect the market will pay.
Exactly... Because if this is so great, then what of their non-V-braced guitars? The four models this is available on are their high-end models. But I guess they did the same thing when they rolled out their "slanted" back braces...
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