An innovative, new V-brace pattern for high-end Taylor acoustics
At this year’s Winter NAMM, Taylor introduced a new line of acoustic steel strings called ‘V-Class’. The series consists of three Grand Auditorium models that feature Taylor’s all new V-Class bracing, an innovation by master luthier Andy Powers that breaks with the tradition of X-braces on acoustic flattop guitars.
The V-bracing is formed by two braces that flare out in a ‘V’ shape, starting at the base of the top and ending on either side of the sound hole. Andy Powers explains why the V-bracing invigorates both the sustain and volume of an acoustic guitar: “It provides rigidity in the center of the guitar, delivering good sustain, but it has a lot of flex at the sides for volume.” Another benefit of the V-bracing is an improved tuning stability. “Because the movement of the top is more orderly, the fundamentals of each note are stronger, with fewer stray harmonics, and they ring more evenly up and down the neck”, Powers explains.
Taylor V-Class models
The three guitars in the new V-Class line are the PS14ce, which has a sinker redwood top and striped West African ebony back and sides; the K24ce that is entirely made out of koa and the 914ce with a Sitka spruce top and Indian rosewood back and sides. These new models look a lot like other Grand Auditorium guitars by Taylor, but they have a black graphite top nut instead of the usual white one and the signature of Andy Powers is highlighted in the new label in the soundhole.
To celebrate the introduction of the V-bracing, a flagship ‘Builder’s Edition’ model was created. This guitar has some luxury features, such as a beveled arm rest, a stylish fingerboard inlay and a compound cutaway with finger bevel.
The new V-bracing system will eventually be applied to all new Taylor guitars, but for now only the high-end models from the factory in El Cajon, California will be equipped with the V-bracing.