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Old 10-19-2019, 08:48 AM
s11lko s11lko is offline
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Default Taylor Guitar bracing

I'm not experienced enough to form an opinion, but I'm very interested in this.

Is the new 'V' or the old 'X' type bracing better?

Pro's & Cons? Thoughts and opinions?
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Old 10-19-2019, 08:52 AM
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I don't think it's a matter of which is better but more a matter of preference. My own preference is for the "revoiced" bracing/models that Andy Powers developed just after he came on the Taylor scene....
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Old 10-19-2019, 08:54 AM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s11lko View Post
I'm not experienced enough to form an opinion, but I'm very interested in this.

Is the new 'V' or the old 'X' type bracing better?

Pro's & Cons? Thoughts and opinions?
Both classes of bracing sound excellent and I would think you could be pleased with a model in either bracing pattern. I recently bought a new Taylor 717e Grand Pacific Builder's Edition Wild Honey Burst. All my other Taylors are 2015 and 2016 model versions and have the newer X-Bracing. Let me state that of all the guitars in my signature if I had to make a choice to keep only one, it would be the V-Class-Braced Taylor 717e Grand Pacific. It has a full, articulate, resonant, and harmonically pleasing tone. All Pros and No Cons with this model.
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Last edited by SpruceTop; 10-19-2019 at 09:09 AM.
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Old 10-19-2019, 09:07 AM
vindibona1 vindibona1 is offline
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There are numerous threads about this already. And the short answer is: It depends.

MY PERSONAL TAKE...
In general I prefer the Xbraced models to the v braced. That doesn't mean that some of the V brace models don't sound good or even great. Taylor's new series, the Grand Pacific models all have V-bracing and are tearing up the guitar market right now and seem to be some of the most popularly acclaimed models currently in the Taylor line. You have to try guitars yourself, with the understanding that every instrument is unique unto itself. And while you may love on unit of a given model you may hate a different unit of the same exact model. It is my strong opinion that you have to audition every guitar that is on your purchase radar or you are rolling the dice.

The V brace design claims to have "better intonation" and sustain. In actuality, what it does is it makes the harmonics resonanting in the body more aligned with the intonation of the fundamentals and standard overtones generated by the strings. However, many of the V braced models do that at the expense of bass volume, which the clearer, brighter lower highs exacerbate the perceived loss of bass. This isn't necessarily so in all models. So again, it depends.


But one of my own personal experiences is what has confirmed my general bias toward the X braced models...
I had taken my Taylor 814ceDLX (X) to a local shop to see if I was interested in purchased a 90's vintage 910. I just didn't want to duplicate the sound I had with the 814. I ended up buying the 910. HOWEVER, as I stood there gabbing with the owner, I saw an 814ceDLX (V) hanging across the room. Here was the perfect chance to do a side-by-side comparison. So I played a few chords and licks on my guitar then picked up the V brace model. As I played the 814V I could see the owner's face grimace. In comparison the V braced model was bright and thin and comparatively unpleasant. Even without the side-by-side trial I wouldn't have selected that guitar as a potential purchase candidate. Could it be just that unit? I don't think so. I'd played a number of them in other stores (without my guitar for comparison) and was not taken with the V version of the 814ceDLX. Having said that, there were a few CE models that I liked in the V bracing. The 714ce was one of them. I can't remember the other models.

I'm sure there will be others who will offer different opinions. And the truth is that everyone's ears have a preference in what they want to hear in a guitar. So don't just take my word and opinion as fact. Go play and listen for yourself. Then decide.

Last edited by vindibona1; 10-19-2019 at 09:12 AM.
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Old 10-19-2019, 09:17 AM
tbeltrans tbeltrans is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vindibona1 View Post
There are numerous threads about this already. And the short answer is: It depends.

MY PERSONAL TAKE...
In general I prefer the Xbraced models to the v braced. That doesn't mean that some of the V brace models don't sound good or even great. Taylor's new series, the Grand Pacific models all have V-bracing and are tearing up the guitar market right now and seem to be some of the most popularly acclaimed models currently in the Taylor line. You have to try guitars yourself, with the understanding that every instrument is unique unto itself. And while you may love on unit of a given model you may hate a different unit of the same exact model. It is my strong opinion that you have to audition every guitar that is on your purchase radar or you are rolling the dice.

The V brace design claims to have "better intonation" and sustain. In actuality, what it does is it makes the harmonics resonanting in the body more aligned with the intonation of the fundamentals and standard overtones generated by the strings. However, many of the V braced models do that at the expense of bass volume, which the clearer, brighter lower highs exacerbate the perceived loss of bass. This isn't necessarily so in all models. So again, it depends.


But one of my own personal experiences is what has confirmed my general bias toward the X braced models...
I had taken my Taylor 814ceDLX (X) to a local shop to see if I was interested in purchased a 90's vintage 910. I just didn't want to duplicate the sound I had with the 814. I ended up buying the 910. HOWEVER, as I stood there gabbing with the owner, I saw an 814ceDLX (V) hanging across the room. Here was the perfect chance to do a side-by-side comparison. So I played a few chords and licks on my guitar then picked up the V brace model. As I played the 814V I could see the owner's face grimace. In comparison the V braced model was bright and thin and comparatively unpleasant.

I'm sure there will be others who will offer different opinions. And the truth is that everyone's ears have a preference in what they want to hear in a guitar. So don't just take my word and opinion as fact. Go play and listen for yourself. Then decide.
I am beginning to think that V-bracing works better for some guitars and not as well for others. I don't care for the sound of the 814 and 914 V-braced guitars. I prefer the X-braced versions, but prefer many other brands/models to these regardless. I recently purchased a K14ce Builder's Edition that is V-braced V-class, they call it) because its sound is (to me) "magical".

What I mean by "magical" is that when I am playing it, I am not practicing scales, arpeggios, and chords, but instead just exploring the sounds it can make. I have encountered very few guitars, whether mass produced or boutique that have that effect on me. That is solely why I bought this guitar.

I certainly have absolutely no idea how an X-braced version of this same model would compare because this is the first K14ce I have encountered. However, I can say that the V-bracing certainly didn't hurt the bass response, and the clarity (regardless of what tuning is used) all over the fretboard is something I can truly appreciate.

So, it really still comes down to try before you buy, rather than forming an opinion based on forum chatter.

In other words, I agree with the post I quoted...

Tony
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Old 10-19-2019, 01:19 PM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is online now
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Originally Posted by tbeltrans View Post
I am beginning to think that V-bracing works better for some guitars and not as well for others. I don't care for the sound of the 814 and 914 V-braced guitars. I prefer the X-braced versions, but prefer many other brands/models to these regardless. I recently purchased a K14ce Builder's Edition that is V-braced V-class, they call it) because its sound is (to me) "magical".

What I mean by "magical" is that when I am playing it, I am not practicing scales, arpeggios, and chords, but instead just exploring the sounds it can make. I have encountered very few guitars, whether mass produced or boutique that have that effect on me. That is solely why I bought this guitar.

I certainly have absolutely no idea how an X-braced version of this same model would compare because this is the first K14ce I have encountered. However, I can say that the V-bracing certainly didn't hurt the bass response, and the clarity (regardless of what tuning is used) all over the fretboard is something I can truly appreciate.

So, it really still comes down to try before you buy, rather than forming an opinion based on forum chatter.

In other words, I agree with the post I quoted...

Tony
Thanks, Tony, for your V-Class experience. Although I've only played a 317e and the 717e V-Class I recently bought, your experience with your new K14ce V-Class mirrors my V-Class experience. I had a 2013 K14ce ES1.3 that sounded superb and I'm sure your new V-Class version sounds even better. Koa is a magical tonewood that sounds different but great from the get-go!
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Old 10-19-2019, 05:59 PM
tbeltrans tbeltrans is offline
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Originally Posted by SpruceTop View Post
Thanks, Tony, for your V-Class experience. Although I've only played a 317e and the 717e V-Class I recently bought, your experience with your new K14ce V-Class mirrors my V-Class experience. I had a 2013 K14ce ES1.3 that sounded superb and I'm sure your new V-Class version sounds even better. Koa is a magical tonewood that sounds different but great from the get-go!
With all the discussions around here about V-class, I am going to have to go to Guitar Center when I get home next week and try a variety of V-class Taylors. A K14ce Builder's Edition is a rather elite and expensive guitar.

I have played the new Taylor V-class 814ce and 914ce, and was not moved enough to want to buy either. I will be curious about different models across their line and with different tone wood combinations.

Our local Guitar Center stores (three of them these days) carry much of the product line, but seem to stop before the K14ce. I bought mine while on vacation here in Arkansas. The one I have is the only one I have played, so I don't know how much variability there may be in the "magical" quality I hear in mine.

I do agree that there is something about Koa. A few years ago when I attended the Taylor Road Show at one of our local Guitar Centers, the guitar that really jumped out at me among those they brought for us to play with, was a Koa model though I can't recall which one. I think it was at the level that they now call Builder's Edition though. I don't remember what they called it then. That was before V-class, but during the time they changed their bracing just a little bit. Later, I wished I had bought that guitar, so am very happy to have found this one instead.

Tony
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Old 10-19-2019, 07:36 PM
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flaggerphil flaggerphil is offline
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I have both and would not consider either "better." They're just two different good says to brave guitars.

IMHO.
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Old 10-19-2019, 08:17 PM
tbeltrans tbeltrans is offline
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Originally Posted by flaggerphil View Post
I have both and would not consider either "better." They're just two different good says to brave guitars.

IMHO.
To me, this is a very "even handed" post - a most welcome addition to this thread.

Tony
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Old 10-19-2019, 11:13 PM
Taylor Ham Taylor Ham is offline
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The V Class bracing gives a very particular sound, which could be pleasing or disappointing depending on your perspective.
Claim- V Class bracing improves intonation
My experience- Well, yes and no. Intonation for fundamental notes on X brace guitars with saddle compensation can be very good if they're made well. With V Class bracing I have noticed that there is more agreement between notes in general, particularly noticeable for higher frequency harmonics and up the fingerboard. Play an open E chord EEBEBE and listen to them stack up. not to say that it doesnt happen with X Brace guitars but it definitely is brought out by the V brace.
Claim- V class increases sustain
My experience- Depends on a lot of variables. String mass, tensions, tunings, etc. In general, the character of the sustain V vs X is different. because of the purity of the sound, the notes retain more of their original identity rather than diffusing in the familiar way. For how much longer? still not willing to say, since my guitar is still opening up. But definitely will not disappoint.
Claim- V class increases volume
My experience- compare baselines with the same body shape. dread will probably have a little more potential than a GA. that said, 214ce from 2006 was not lacking. V class 314 had a little too much jangle, almost like a 12 string, but quiet. my V class 324- thumpy and loud. Guitars are individuals that sometimes follow trends. Important to point out that V class guitars tend to project more forwards as well and what you hear may not be what someone 10 feet in front hears.

In General-
The tone is very pure. Almost like the opposite of distortion pedal? picture transparent colored glass vs translucent rainbow glass. Some may call it sterile and tinny. Others may like it. I can try to elaborate more if anyone is interested or has a contrasting opinion
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Old 10-20-2019, 01:16 AM
ManyMartinMan ManyMartinMan is offline
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I played them at NAMM last year and found them unremarkably similar to the reimagined Taylor’s I had played. The one’s I’ve played more recently seem to be more treble-heavy and a bit unbalanced compared to previous editions of the same model. After playing around with non-factory strings I find them a bit more balanced but never “bassy”.
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