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  #1  
Old 08-31-2023, 02:57 PM
buzzsawlouie buzzsawlouie is offline
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Default V Bracing build

Hi all,

I have a friend who is asking me to build a guitar for him. He is convinced that a V brace is the way to go. I have built a few x brace with no major issues. Any special considerations in the build process to worry about? Any difference in top thickness or voicing (finger tap)?

Any advice appreciated!

Mark
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Old 08-31-2023, 05:34 PM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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What is he trying to achieve or accomplish? Have him play some comparable model Taylor’s with X and V bracing, and listen very critically to things like sustain and overtones. Preferably you can listen to. V bracing does nothing for my playing and makes the guitar sound “thin”. Having tried several the only ones that seemed to benefit were the Grand Pacific x17 slope shoulder body shape.
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Old 08-31-2023, 07:42 PM
buzzsawlouie buzzsawlouie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl49 View Post
What is he trying to achieve or accomplish? Have him play some comparable model Taylorís with X and V bracing, and listen very critically to things like sustain and overtones. Preferably you can listen to. V bracing does nothing for my playing and makes the guitar sound ďthinĒ. Having tried several the only ones that seemed to benefit were the Grand Pacific x17 slope shoulder body shape.


Thanks, he is a pretty good player been playing a long time and a big fan of Taylors. He is interested in a hand built custom piece all Koa. Not trying to talk him out of a v brace, in fact wouldnít mind building one. Just wondering if my approach to bracing and voicing the top will be any different than what I have done on my x braces..
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  #4  
Old 09-03-2023, 07:50 AM
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Mark Hatcher Mark Hatcher is offline
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There is no way to say whether you would have to change your voicing process. There is likely as many voicing processes as there are people who build guitars.
If your voice process includes separately targeting bass, mids and treble responses and the balance between them and your voicing process includes setting the difference of pitch between the top and the back then maybe you donít need to change the basics of your voicing process.

As I see it you will need to do a lot of your voicing magic or you will be left with a very dry sounding guitar.

I say this for thee reasons:

1) The general consensus seems to be that V braced guitars tend to be dry sounding.

2) Koa can have a dry maple like sound

3) A koa topped guitars like most hardwood tops tend toward a dry sound.

Youíll have your work cut out for you. Hopefully, in the end after trying to overcome these challenges you will have a guitar that still has some life in it.

Iíll give you some unsolicited advice too. Whatever guitar you make, it has your name on it. If you are hoping to develop a career you donít want a dud you made in your experimental years to suddenly appear on the market and start bouncing around the guitar community (in the way duds do).

Iíd take a love it or burn it approach on this one!
Mark
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Old 09-03-2023, 09:30 AM
buzzsawlouie buzzsawlouie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Hatcher View Post
There is no way to say whether you would have to change your voicing process. There is likely as many voicing processes as there are people who build guitars.
If your voice process includes separately targeting bass, mids and treble responses and the balance between them and your voicing process includes setting the difference of pitch between the top and the back then maybe you donít need to change the basics of your voicing process.

As I see it you will need to do a lot of your voicing magic or you will be left with a very dry sounding guitar.

I say this for thee reasons:

1) The general consensus seems to be that V braced guitars tend to be dry sounding.

2) Koa can have a dry maple like sound

3) A koa topped guitars like most hardwood tops tend toward a dry sound.

Youíll have your work cut out for you. Hopefully, in the end after trying to overcome these challenges you will have a guitar that still has some life in it.

Iíll give you some unsolicited advice too. Whatever guitar you make, it has your name on it. If you are hoping to develop a career you donít want a dud you made in your experimental years to suddenly appear on the market and start bouncing around the guitar community (in the way duds do).

Iíd take a love it or burn it approach on this one!
Mark
Thank you Mark for your reply! I get your point about the "voicing process" and realize my question is rather vague. I appreciate the advice about Koa and v-bracing. I will be sure to share that information with my friend. Also good point about the "experimental" aspect of this. I don't have any solid plans to do this commercially, but one never knows where life will lead us. I don't think my friend will throw me under the bus in the community but who knows where this will end up. Plus I not sure I would be happy with myself if my first commision (if can call this that, just doing it at cost) was viewed as a dud.

Thanks again for your advice!!
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Old 09-03-2023, 11:02 AM
Howard Klepper Howard Klepper is offline
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So you plan to give all the labor of building a guitar away for free? And do this for the privilege of building with someone else's bracing design? Maybe your friend thinks that by paying for materials, he is helping you to get some practice. I suggest that you see it a different way.

As Mark implied, you need to do some thinking about whether or not to regard yourself as a professional, or even as a wannabee professional. The way I see it is that if you build professionally, you are not just selling the use of your hands and eyes and tools to someone who has an idea about how they would build a guitar if they could. You are also selling your knowledge, experience and judgment. And, as Mark said, your reputation goes out the door with each instrument.

Less abstractly, the client tells you about the sound, appearance, and playability of the guitar they want. Your first decision is whether you can build what they want. The next one is whether you want to--is that the kind of guitar you want to have seen as representative of your work? Do you want to spend the time and effort creating it? Then, if you are going ahead, you choose the construction that will shape the sound in the desired way. That is the expertise the client came to you for.

The client doesn't get to tell you how to brace the guitar. The client either trusts that you know how to get the sound they want, or they ought to go elsewhere.

It's also telling that you didn't mention at first that this is to be an all-koa guitar; you only asked about how to build to a bracing pattern you have never used. Building a hardwood topped guitar presents its own set of challenges and adaptations. Doing both is a tall order for a beginning builder

It's all up to you and your friend, and I have no idea about what kind of relationship you have. But I can say that if it were my friend, even if he or she wanted to pay me my going price, I would not accept this commission. I'd suggest to the friend that he buy the Taylor he apparently wants.
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Last edited by Howard Klepper; 09-03-2023 at 01:32 PM.
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  #7  
Old 09-04-2023, 12:44 AM
Haussmann Haussmann is offline
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The concept of v-bracing was patented by Taylor in 2016, but it had already been published much earlier (2012) on a Dutch guitar forum: http://www.gitaarnet.nl/forum/showth...-X-Y-Z-bracing
So, in fact, everyone is free to use the v-bracing concept..
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  #8  
Old 09-04-2023, 09:05 AM
printer2 printer2 is offline
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Pepe Romero, Jr Inverse Fan Bracing. Orfeo Magazine #10



https://issuu.com/orfeomagazine/docs/orfeo_10_en

In the 1970's Miguel Rodrigues made some reverse fan brace classical guitars.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w00ty90qZcI



Bracing in a Gibson Mark guitar.
(Evans 272)

http://ffden-2.phys.uaf.edu/211.web....gton/body.html
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  #9  
Old 09-04-2023, 11:53 AM
buzzsawlouie buzzsawlouie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard Klepper View Post
So you plan to give all the labor of building a guitar away for free? And do this for the privilege of building with someone else's bracing design? Maybe your friend thinks that by paying for materials, he is helping you to get some practice. I suggest that you see it a different way.

As Mark implied, you need to do some thinking about whether or not to regard yourself as a professional, or even as a wannabee professional. The way I see it is that if you build professionally, you are not just selling the use of your hands and eyes and tools to someone who has an idea about how they would build a guitar if they could. You are also selling your knowledge, experience and judgment. And, as Mark said, your reputation goes out the door with each instrument.

Less abstractly, the client tells you about the sound, appearance, and playability of the guitar they want. Your first decision is whether you can build what they want. The next one is whether you want to--is that the kind of guitar you want to have seen as representative of your work? Do you want to spend the time and effort creating it? Then, if you are going ahead, you choose the construction that will shape the sound in the desired way. That is the expertise the client came to you for.

The client doesn't get to tell you how to brace the guitar. The client either trusts that you know how to get the sound they want, or they ought to go elsewhere.

It's also telling that you didn't mention at first that this is to be an all-koa guitar; you only asked about how to build to a bracing pattern you have never used. Building a hardwood topped guitar presents its own set of challenges and adaptations. Doing both is a tall order for a beginning builder

It's all up to you and your friend, and I have no idea about what kind of relationship you have. But I can say that if it were my friend, even if he or she wanted to pay me my going price, I would not accept this commission. I'd suggest to the friend that he buy the Taylor he apparently wants.
Thank you, Howard, for the sound advice! You raise some good points. I have two 6 stings on one ukelele build under my belt and am almost done on a 3rd 6 string. I am nowhere near what one would consider a professional. I am pleased for the most part with the results of my builds so far but am certainly beginning to realize the nuances of the build process and its effect on sound and playability. Talking to my local luthiers and studying this forum it seems that experience is really the best if not the only way to learn. I unfortunately am not a great player either, so it begs the question how many guitars do I build for myself to get this experience, or do I take on some jobs like this for family and friends to help me move in the right direction? This line of discussion sounds like it could be its own thread!
This friend fully understands my level of expertise, he in fact is the one that really made the suggestion that I get into building for which I am glad as I really enjoy this. That said, everyone is raising some good points and will have to have a frank discussion with this guy about expectations.

Thanks again!!
Mark
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  #10  
Old 09-04-2023, 07:43 PM
printer2 printer2 is offline
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A Size 5, not quite a V brace, close enough for me. I just see the bracing as a way to manage the string load. Lighter for light playing, heavier for windmill strumming. And it is always easier to take away than add. I try not to overthink it.

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  #11  
Old 09-22-2023, 08:24 AM
Henning Henning is offline
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Hello

Structurally the V-bracing is a more preferable type of bracing then for instance the ladder bracing. My experience is mainly theoretical, from books, but I know how to "shape" wood, bone etc. and have made some adjustments and repairs, more or less successful of guitars, ukuleles, violins etc. As so many have been negative previously in this thread, or perhaps rather realistic(?). Here is what seems to be a commercial positive concept of how to carry through a conversion to V-bracing. Perhaps your friend wants a guitar that he can say about: "a friend of mine built it for me". The sound of an instrument (the result) will be different between two builders with exactly the same prerequisites; tools and material...
To like a tone of an instrument is often a matter of getting used to how it sounds.
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