Posted on

Improved X Bracing

Improved X Bracing

by Don Musser

Originally published as Guild of American Luthiers Data Sheet #172, 1981 and in Lutherie Woods and Steel String Guitars, 1997

After building a number of guitars with the standard steel string X-bracing pattern, I noticed some problems. First, even when the braces were precurved to a 25' radius, there was still a deformation just behind the bridge that was caused by the upward pull of the strings on the inner bridge plate. Energy which could have gone to sound production in the whole top was being lost to wood deformation in a small area of the top.

Second, there was always a problem of creating a guitar having both an outstanding bass and treble response. Good bass response requires less or lighter bracing on the bass side of the top. A crisp, well-defined treble requires more or slightly heavier bracing on the treble side. The challenge was to be able to achieve both without retarding either.

Become A Member to Continue Reading This Article

This article is part of our premium web content offered to Guild members. To view this and other web articles, join the Guild of American Luthiers. Members also receive 4 annual issues of American Lutherie and get discounts on products. For details, visit the membership page.

If you are already a member, login for access or contact us to setup your account.