Taylor head of design Andy Powers’ redesigned ‘V’ bracing pattern is turning out to have an impressive impact on the Taylor sound.
Steel strung guitars are generally braced with an X pattern established by Martin & Co. guitars long ago. X bracing balances the strength of a top and its resistance to warping with its inherent flexibility. Tonally X bracing gives you a fairly rich blend of overtones often audibly ‘clashing’ especially on the upper frets. Volume is increased for open strings, falling away as you play up the neck. Taylor’s new V bracing separates out the dynamic by causing the bracing, ie the stiffness to run down the top more centrally in a ‘V’ shape. Consequently, the left and right sides of the top resonate in a less chaotic fashion than the traditional X brace. Intonation is improved, the dissonance between strings minimised and volume maintained the further up you play.
Andy’s own Builder’s Edition 614 models have been amongst the first to feature the new bracing pattern as well as other delicious features such as rounded or ‘rolled’ edges and armrests as well as extra relief in the cutaway for maximum comfort and playability. The satin finish is smooth and ‘silent”, ie producing less handling noise especially when plugged in.
Here’s the link to our site: https://www.gak.co.uk/en/taylor-614ce-builders-edition/919138 and in Wild Honey Burst: https://www.gak.co.uk/en/taylor-614ce-builders-edition-wild-honey-burst/919139
Customer response has been very enthusiastic. The V bracing is immediately audible and does not have to be ‘demonstrated’. Taylor has always built with the end users experience in mind and for many customers one of the most attractive features of any Taylor guitar is its playability. The Builder’s Edition 614ce is all of that plus the sound of the V bracing. I hear a very balanced response with notes that blend rather than clash. And (amazingly) less actual drop in volume as you play up the neck.
Here’s the link to the Taylor site: https://www.taylorguitars.com/guitars/acoustic/v-class-bracing/story
Grand Pacific models have been even more spectacular. Taylor has always wanted to make the large-bodied dreadnought shape their own in a very discerning market when the most iconic dreadnought models are the Martin D18, D28 or a Gibson J45. Grand Pacific models have sloped shoulders and Dreadnought sized bodies yet somehow differentiate easily from comparable Gibson and Martin guitars.
The full, expressive bass power and dynamic range are matched with Taylor’s perfect clarity as well as the improved volume and intonation that comes with the V bracing.
They really are that good.