Posted on 4th February 2018 by Dan
For the NAMM 2018 show, Taylor have rolled out 4 brand new acoustic models all fitted with their revolutionary V-Class bracing. Taylor describe V-Class bracing – an alternate to the more traditional X bracing used on many guitars built in the last 100 years – as a new “sonic engine” and as the new internal framework that adds more volume, extra sustain, and even better intonation.
This may seem to be a somewhat bold claim, however, if any guitar manufacturer was to successfully change such an integral piece of an acoustic guitar’s design, it was always going to be Taylor who did so.
An acoustic guitar’s bracing acts as its internal framework and is perhaps the biggest influencer in the shaping of its sound. For a long time, traditional X-bracing (so called due to the shape of its design) has provided great stability whilst also producing a balanced voice.
The traditional X-bracing fitted to the inside of the guitar’s top intersect just behind the sound hole. This creates a certain trade-off between volume and sustain as the soundboard (the guitar’s top) needs flexibility to move to create more volume, as well as also requiring a rigidity to provide greater sustain. By definition, if you increase one, you’ll experience a decline in the other.
V-Class bracing changes that, allowing an acoustic guitar’s top to be both rigid and flexible to produce both more volume and sustain. Taylor have discovered that the V-class bracing has also had a positive impact on the guitar’s intonation.
Extra volume is provided thanks to the V-bracing controlling the flexibility of the top, ensuring a more orderly rocking motion and therefore more volume. Longer sustain is possible as the V-bracing maintains stiffness along the middle of the guitar, parallel to the direction of the strings, keeping them in motion and resonating for longer. Intonation is also improved as the top is more in tune with the vibrating strings. Interference is eliminated, preventing notes from wavering and sounding slightly out of tune, meaning more consistent tuning for notes played anywhere on the neck.
Taylor have introduced V-Class bracing with four new models, all expected to land in the next few months. There’s the Builder’s Edition K14ce, which features koa paired with torrefied spruce, new body counters and a smooth beveled cutaway. There’s the gorgeous-looking PS14ce which is fitted with exotic stripe West African ebony back and sides, and a sinker redwood top. Then there’s the all-koa K24ce, and the 914ce that boasts a rich-sounding Indian rosewood back and sides.
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