Let’s start from the 19th century, when Christian Frederick Martin introduced the X-chaining or bracing for acoustic guitars in 1855. With this new concept we have moved from a classic parallel bar construction to a new X construction, designed to improve the sound and strengthen the bottom of the acoustic guitar.
THE NEW V-BANDAGE
A few months ago, after 4 years of study, Taylor Guitars presented at NAMM 2018 a revolutionary new V-bandage.
The new chain, designed by young luthier Andy Powers with Bob Taylor’s support, makes the central part of the top more rigid and the side parts more flexible.
Simply put, what are the advantages of the new Taylor V-Class Bracing?
ADVANTAGES OF THE INCATENATURE Taylor V-Class Bracing
The advantages of the new Taylor V-Class Bracing over the past are:
- More Volume.
- More Sustain.
- Greater Intonation.
- The V-Class Bracing makes the central part of the Top much more rigid and at the same time more flexible on the sides, optimizing the Volume/Sustain ratio.
IMPROVED THE VOLUME AND SUSTAIN RATIO
The Volume and Sustain ratios for stringed instruments are inversely proportional and vary depending on the rigidity of the top.
For example, the Banjo that has a flexible top, has a very high volume and no sustain; the Les Paul that has a very rigid body, has a lot of sustain but little, very little volume. With the new V-shaped chaining (see picture below) the central part is very rigid, but flexible on the sides and this compromise creates an excellent proportion between volume and sustain.
WITH Taylor V-Class Bracing BETTER Acoustic Guitar INTONATION
During the first tests of the new V-band, something unexpected happened!
No one could have imagined that this chaining would amplify the notes in a more harmonious way, with the consequence of an immediate and better overall intonation. In short, unexpectedly the difference from the beginning was felt compared to the past, reaching an almost perfect intonation and harmonization and without the need of a physical compensation of the guitar.
By 2018, the Taylor V-Class Bracing will only be installed on American models in the shape of a Grand Auditorium.
We just have to wait and see what road they will take with the other models of acoustics. Of course Taylor with this new chain has changed a lot the sound of the acoustics, by ear you can hear a warmer sound and balanced between ups and downs and as explained before a perfect balance between volume and sustain.
In short, whether the chain is X or V shaped, always remember that to have a good sound it is important to look at what’s inside an acoustic guitar and the way it was designed and built.