Long-bar Bracing Design

Long-bar build, crossover guitar spruce and indian rosewood.


Long-bar front bracing for cutaway version in model 12


Model 16 Long-bar braced small-bodied 12-string spruce and satinwood.

spruce and satinwood nylon 12-string guitar

This design has two long parallel (almost) bars supporting the top, running the length of the guitar instead of a transverse bar below the soundhole with fan braces. The elliptical soundhole is there to accommodate the position of these bars. The famous french maker Etienne Laprevotte in the C19th used an elliptical soundhole, and for the same reason, but whereas he used transverse bars in the lower bout which arched over the longitudinal bars, I chose to use several light transverse struts which joint underneath them. The purpose of this design was to be able to increase the working area and length of the top, at the same time supporting it more strongly than a traditional fan-braced one, but without sacrificing a low body resonance ( this one is F ), to produce a response well suited to other styles of playing than classical or flamenco - not that you can't use it for classical playing - you can. It works well too. The response is very " immediate", meaning that a full sound comes out without having to make large efforts in tone production. Having said that, a wide range of tone colour is available if you have good tone production technique. The sound is clear and well separated with warm, deep bass and very good sustain in all registers. Really easy and enjoyable to play!


The top photo shows my prototype Long-bar guitar. The one below shows the bracing on a cutaway version I subsequently made.

I also used a variant of this system in a small-bodied nylon 12-string guitar - bottom photo.