Pushing boundaries every step of the way, from ultra-playable guitar necks to a revolutionary body shape, Taylor has never been afraid to stray from the norm. This year’s focus? The guitar top. Taylor have analysed and questioned a century-old method of craftsmanship and redesigned it from the inside out, with dramatic effect.
Most acoustic guitars you’ll find on the market have a top that is reinforced by a pattern of wooden struts which provide structural support and also plays a key role in how the guitar sounds. These wooden reinforcements are known as the bracing of the guitar. For more than a century, acoustic guitars have used some form of an X-style bracing, where two pieces of wood cross below the soundhole in an X formation, which has been widely recognised as the industry standard.
An age-old problem
Master guitar designer Andy Powers continues Bob Taylor’s never-ending desire to challenge the status quo. One of the ‘acceptable’ flaws of an X-braced acoustic guitar is an unhappy compromise between volume and sustain – a stiffer top produces longer sustain, whereas a more flexible top delivers more overall volume from the guitar.
Introducing the V-Class
Powers’ solution to this problem is his revolutionary V-Class bracing system. Two longitudinal strips of wood run from each side of the sound hole forming a V as they get to the bottom of the guitar. Additional horizontal strips and a reinforcing plate work in conjunction with the longer pieces. This new sonic ‘engine’ transforms the way the top vibrates.
According to Taylor, this bold new method makes the top more flexible and rigid in the spots where you need it, improving volume, sustain and even intonation. The V-Class bracing is designed to provide rigidity in the center of the guitar, which delivers good sustain, and at the same time allowing flex at the sides for volume. This also changes the way the guitar vibrates as it is played, eliminating much of the interference that causes some notes to waver and sound slightly out of tune. Improved intonation throughout the neck of the guitar allows players to play with confidence all over the fretboard.
More power to you
The ultimate goal of the V-Class? Taylor wants to inspire players to express themselves in this modern musical world, not only sparking new songwriting ideas, but making recording easier and support you to sound better in performance settings.
The V-Class bracing was first introduced on some of Taylors higher-end models, like the 914ce, K24ce and the new Builder’s Edition K14ce. Now, Taylor will be introducing V-Class bracing to their standard line throughout 2018.
Head down to our flagship store at The Star Vista and experience the V-Class guitars for yourself. The revolutionary improvements the V-Class bracing brings have to be tried out to be believed. All the V-Class guitars above are available at Swee Lee, so just ask one of our experts and we’ll be more than happy to assist.