Problems With Traditional Acoustic Guitar Construction

For centuries, great guitars have been constructed in a traditional fashion. Many beautiful instruments still exist that are built using this tradition homepage. Traditionalists overlook some of the inherent problems with the steel string acoustic guitarists. Guitar building is being taught just as it always was. However, it takes some open-minded people to think outside the box and address these inherent flaws.

What are the flaws inherent in current acoustic guitar design? Let’s take a look at the dynamics and flaws of the current acoustic instrument. The body of an acoustic guitarist is braced on its back but has little reinforcement or bracing at the sides. The guitar’s top, which is the sound board for the instrument, has been braced to produce specific frequencies. The top of the guitar serves as the soundboard. It holds the shape of the sides and is subject to great stress when the tension of strings is added. Finally, the guitar is tuned for standard pitch. The strings pull the strings up to the neck, then to the nut and tunings. This bridge is where the string anchors to the top. The strings are pulling on the top of the guitar and pulling the bridge. They also pull the neck up and forward at where the neck connects to the body and top of the guitar.

A number of guitar builders were the first to introduce an alternate bracing system into the guitar. This takes the stress off of the top of guitar and makes it more flexible. Also, the guitar’s structure can be changed dynamically. What happens to guitars that are made the traditional way? These stresses result in the sinking of the sound hole and bubbling up of top around bridge. This causes a high playing action that lasts over time. Additionally, the top has a double purpose, holding the shape and sound board of the guitar sides. This movement can be compensated by filing down the bridge and/or saddle to reduce the action, until the bridge becomes too thin or cracks. This problem can lead to expensive neck resets that will be required fifteen or twenty-years later.

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