Bracing is the internal framework that helps shape the sound of an acoustic guitar. V-Class bracing is a groundbreaking new Taylor design — a new sonic “engine”— that transforms the way an acoustic guitar top vibrates to dramatically improve the sound. Developed by master guitar designer Andy Powers, it marks a bold departure from traditional X-bracing, producing notes that are louder, longer sustaining, and more in tune with each other. Discover the history and inspiration that brought us to this turning point in guitar design.
While traditional X-bracing has stood the test of time for over 100 years, it creates an inherent trade-off between two key elements of an acoustic guitar’s sound: volume and sustain. A guitar’s top (the soundboard) contributes to both. Volume comes from the flexibility of the top, while sustain comes from stiffness.
The trade-off is that when you make something stiffer, you reduce its flexibility, and vice versa. With an X-braced guitar top, increasing one comes at the expense of the other. V-Class bracing changes that. Now an acoustic guitar top can be both stiff and flexible in ways that produce more volume and sustain. And as it turns out, this innovative bracing design also improves the intonation of the guitar. Discover how we broke away from tradition and reinvented what the acoustic guitar can do.
V-Class guitar bracing controls the top’s flexibility, creating a more orderly rocking motion across both sides of the top. The controlled flexing movement produces greater volume.
V-Class bracing maintains stiffness along the middle of the guitar, in the direction of the strings. That rigidity keeps the strings in motion, producing notes that resonate longer before fading out.
V-Class bracing makes the top more in tune with the vibrating strings. This eliminates much of the interference that causes some notes to waver and sound slightly out of tune. As a result, notes and chords played anywhere on the neck are more consistent and in tune with each other.
The ultimate goal of V-Class bracing is to give players an inspiring tool that does a better job of helping them express themselves in the context of the modern musical world. More than ever before, guitarists are playing alongside precisely tuned digital instruments, and into microphones, computers and other recording gear that magnify the guitar’s every sonic detail. With a design that brings the guitar’s strings in tune with the top and body, V-Class bracing also puts the guitar in tune with the surrounding musical landscape. It will spark new songwriting ideas, make recording easier, sound better in a performance setting, and give players the fresh musical discoveries they crave.