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Taylor V-Class Bracing - a Revolution in Acoustic Guitar Design

Taylor V-Class Bracing V class acoustic guitars v bracing v brace
Taylor V-Class Bracing

Taylor V-Class Bracing - a Revolution in Acoustic Guitar Design

V-Class bracing is a ground-breaking design that aims to provide the Holy Grail of acoustic guitar tone; sustain and volume in equal measures. Read more about how Taylor has reinvented the way its acoustic guitars are made.

Taylor V-Class Acoustic Guitars

Taylor has always had a strong interest in innovation. While the acoustic guitar world is not typically known for its grand developments, Taylor bucked that trend in January 2018 as they unveiled V-Class bracing.

Developed by Taylor's master luthier Andy Powers, V-Class bracing aims to give guitars a superior response over traditional X-braced designs. While outwardly unassuming, V-Class guitars offer enhanced intonation and dynamic range when compared to their X-braced counterparts. They also provide the perfect - and often illusive - balance of loud volume with long sustain.

Taylor K24ce Electro Acoustic, V-Class Bracing

When first released, V-class was only available on a few select models, but now in October 2018, V-Class bracing has trickled its way down the Taylor family.

The V-Class bracing system is available at multiple price points on Taylor's range of '14ce' cutaway electro acoustic guitars.

What is V-Class bracing?

Taylor V-Class Acoustic Guitars

Taylor V-Class bracing uses struts of wood arranged in the shape of a 'V' to give strength and support to the top of an acoustic guitar. This design is a ground-breaking development, compared to the traditional 'X' shape that has been used in guitar construction for the past 100 years or so.

How Does V-Class bracing improve my sound?

V-Class bracing provides an illusive balance of strength and sustain. The strength of the design allows the guitar to resonate for longer, while the flexibility enables it to project with more volume. With previous bracing designs, these two characteristics are very hard to achieve in equal measure; V-Class is the solution.

V-Class bracing splits the soundboard into long segments of vibration, parallel with the strings. This creates stiffness along the middle of the guitar for enhanced sustain.

Taylor V-Class Acoustic Guitars

Another benefit of V-Class bracing is enhanced intonation; chords and melodies will sound more 'in-tune' when compared to X-braced guitars, right across the neck. This lets you play higher up the neck with voicings you may never normally choose to use, for fear of tuning instability.  

Watch this video to see more about V-Class bracing from Taylor.

How Does V-Class bracing compare to X-Bracing?

V-Class bracing offers a different sound and response to traditional X-bracing. The new design is both strong and flexible, meaning notes ring for longer, project with greater volume, and intonate more accurately across the neck. This provides you with greater dynamic range, bringing out all the nuances of your playing.

Watch this video from Guitarist Magazine for a great comparison of V-Class against X bracing.

Why did Taylor develop V-Class bracing?

X-bracing has been used for over 100 years in acoustic guitar construction. Why now, then, did Taylor choose to try something new? Andy Powers (Taylor's chief designer) explained, "I feel like I'm at a cul-de-sac [with X-bracing]".

He goes on to say, "I inherited the X brace when I made my first guitar - it was how you made a guitar… Curiously, every guitar that I played out there in the world also used X braces and there was this really wide variety of tones."

Andy was frustrated by the compromise between sustain and volume with X-bracing; there is always a trade-off between the two characteristics. He compares the strength of an acoustic guitar top to a solid body electric guitar - the strength gives great sustain but no acoustic volume. On the other hand, he compares the flexibility of an acoustic guitar top to a banjo top - the flexibility gives great volume with no sustain.

Taylor V-Class Acoustic Guitars

"It's a compromise between these two opposing forces," says Andy. "Both of these are good qualities - I don't want to have to compromise!"

V-Class bracing is the result that aimed to solve this compromise. A keen surfer, Andy took inspiration from the interactions between large waves of water. He found that, if you split the guitar into long regions with a V-pattern bracing, you can achieve both strength and flexibility.

"The V-Class idea fundamentally changes the characteristic of a top… Once we got rid of that fight [between volume and sustain], what you get is balance".

See some artist reactions to Taylor's V-Class bracing

Shop Now | See the full range of Taylor V-Class Guitars at Gear4music  

Taylor V-Class Acoustic Guitars

By Matt Wilkinson

Posted on 23 Oct 2018 12:43 to category : Instruments News

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