Bracing in acoustic Guitars organizes the vibrating function of the top. The guitar top vibrates in an astonishing array of complexities. However the main modes are:
The Monopole: means one when the entire top moves up and down like a piston in an engine. Tonal association is with bass and presence.
Cross Dipole: Top goes up, down and cross ways like a teeter-totter – bass down – treble up and vice versa. Good cross dipole has good presence up close with loudness in close proximity. Flamenco Guitars are loud up close.
The long dipole is when the guitar top see-saws back and forth long ways across the top. Long di-pole is associated with being heard from far away – good carrying power.
The top: Tone woods are woods sliced thin for making sound boxes with conifers being the most widely used: spruces, firs, cedars.
The different species have different tonal characteristics and qualities.
Sitka Spruce has excellent tensile strength. “Ships masts and airplane wings have been made of this material.” Very strong yet flexible.
European spruce is much more brittle than Sitka: it would snap as a ships mast. The sound is brighter and crisper and has more harmonics than some of the other spruces. It’s tone is not as warm as Sitka.
Sitka being rather springy and supple rather than brittle, the sound is more round, fluffy around the edges and because of these qualities when made into a guitar face the sound is not so focused. Softer and fuzzier, it’s presence warmer, rounder, more fundamental, less overtones
Engleman spruce is relatively new for sound box tops It’s a very white wood and when aged shows a brown tan hue as opposed to the golden honey of a European spruce.
The other spruces, fir and cedars, have grain lines that are hard and it’s this cellular re-bar that gives the plate it’s longitudinal stiffness and virtuousness.
The grain lines in Engleman are less differentiated than in other spruces, They are softer than other spruces. In this respect Engleman is more like Styrofoam. It will need to be worked a little differently.
It’s a wonderful wood and among it’s qualities is excellent sound from it’s first playing.
Backs and sides:
Other custom woods available upon request.