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Author Topic: Scalloped vs Non-Scalloped Bracing  (Read 105 times)
William2
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« on: July 02, 2022, 02:28:57 PM »

Is there an advantage to one of these bracing systems or is the type of bracing determined by the choice of top wood (spruce vs mahogany)? 
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StringPicker6
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« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2022, 02:34:57 PM »

I believe the scalloped bracing allows the top to vibrate more freely, to improve the sound and tone.  However, this concept does not apply to scalloped potatoes.   
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William2
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« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2022, 02:42:41 PM »

LOL!!! I noticed that the Martin 15 series (mahogany) was all non-scalloped bracing and wondered if this wood worked better as a top wood with a more substantial brace.
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teh
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« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2022, 04:46:36 PM »

I have three nice guitars with non scalloped bracing (2 Larrivees and one Martin) and three with scalloped bracing (two Martins and one Larrivee). Keep in mind that there is more time and skill required to scallop the bracing and as a result a higher price tag.

Of these 6 guitars, three are 14 fret and three are 12 fret, four have a Sitka spruce, one with moonwood spruce and one with a mahogany top. Two rosewood back and sides, two mahogany back and sides one flamed maple and one Walnut back and sides.

Body shapes - Martin Dread, OM, 000 and Larrivee LV, LSV and Parlor.

The point is that all of these guitars sound, play and feel different and are exceptional guitars (to my ear). My non scallopedMartin Dread and Larrivee LV are the two with the most volume. Hope this helps.

With regard to scalloped potatoes, I prefer thinner slices and choose thicker slices for my cottage fries.
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StringPicker6
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« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2022, 06:26:04 PM »

Agreed, scalloping takes more time and skill. Good example was that the Martin D-28 used to be non scalloped, but the HD-28 had scalloped bracing. I’m not familiar with the way Martin serves their potatoes.   
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B0WIE
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« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2022, 10:17:06 PM »

Not necessarily an advantage, but a difference. The scalloping allows more movement, which tends to increase bass response. I like the traditional Larrivee sound for it's balance so I'm personally less interested in a Larrivee with scalloped bracing. But, plenty of my other guitars have scalloped bracing and that's part of their sound. Again, it's not an improvement, but a difference.
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« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2022, 12:47:14 AM »

I'm afraid that I have no idea what kind of bracing my guitars have.  Could probably check the specs or peek inside but not interested.  I care what the guitar sounds like and that is up to the build.  If a luthier uses scalloped bracing and another doesn't, it may be based on the top wood or just the luthiers experience.  I'm sure that any wood, in the hands of a good luthier, would sound good either way.  Perhaps based on how thin the top can be made, perhaps on how stiff the top is or any other variable. 

I also like my scalloped potatoes to be as thin as possible.  Not that they vibrate better but I think they taste better.
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William2
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« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2022, 11:15:53 AM »

I have three nice guitars with non scalloped bracing (2 Larrivees and one Martin) and three with scalloped bracing (two Martins and one Larrivee). Keep in mind that there is more time and skill required to scallop the bracing and as a result a higher price tag.

Of these 6 guitars, three are 14 fret and three are 12 fret, four have a Sitka spruce, one with moonwood spruce and one with a mahogany top. Two rosewood back and sides, two mahogany back and sides one flamed maple and one Walnut back and sides.

Body shapes - Martin Dread, OM, 000 and Larrivee LV, LSV and Parlor.

The point is that all of these guitars sound, play and feel different and are exceptional guitars (to my ear). My non scalloped Martin Dread and Larrivee LV are the two with the most volume. Hope this helps.

With regard to scalloped potatoes, I prefer thinner slices and choose thicker slices for my cottage fries.

This is a fascinating answer. I always assumed that the scalloped bracing would yield more volume. What is the bracing of the instrument with the mahogany top?
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William2
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« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2022, 11:42:36 AM »

I think we all agree on how we like our scalloped potatoes. One of the reasons I brought this topic up was I was watching a review of a Martin Street master Dred and 000. In the review, the gentleman said that Martin has been making these mahogany guitars so long that they have found what is best for this type of guitar as far as bracing. He went on to say that too many instrument makers make all their instruments the same as far as bracing and don't consider the different characteristics of the woods involved. He said one size doesn't fit all. So I was just wondering if the non-scalloped brace was the best for a mahogany top instrument.

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StringPicker6
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« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2022, 03:28:07 PM »

Personally, I think the body size would be more of a factor than the wood. It’s the top sound board that does all the vibrating.  A parlor vs a dread and scalloped vs non, etc
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teh
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« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2022, 12:28:58 AM »

William

My mahogany topped LV03 12 string is non-scalloped. This guitar gives a full 12 string sound and works equally well for finger picking and strumming. I often have it tuned to dropped D or down a whole step.

I am considering a 00 mahogany topped Larrivee 6 string without a cutaway to complement/contrast with my parlor (spruce/flamed maple) and Forum VI (moonwood spruce and walnut). I priced out a custom Martin but based on the wait time and cost compared with the quality and workmanship on my FVI, that’s the route I will probably pursue.
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B0WIE
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« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2022, 07:55:40 AM »

I think we all agree on how we like our scalloped potatoes. One of the reasons I brought this topic up was I was watching a review of a Martin Street master Dred and 000. In the review, the gentleman said that Martin has been making these mahogany guitars so long that they have found what is best for this type of guitar as far as bracing. He went on to say that too many instrument makers make all their instruments the same as far as bracing and don't consider the different characteristics of the woods involved. He said one size doesn't fit all. So I was just wondering if the non-scalloped brace was the best for a mahogany top instrument.



Not big on whoever wrote that article. They say it's the "best" bracing for that guitar then go on to say say one size doesn't fit all. They should think about that in a bigger sense because consumer tastes vary. That's why there's so many different sizes, woods, bracing styles, etc. Larrivee has proven that you can have two otherwise identical guitars, with different bracing, and each will have their audience. So, there really is no "best" bracing. There's bracing that will appeal to various people.

Every day I consult recording engineers about their equipment and it never ceases to amaze me how some of the most highly regarded ears in the world can all hear things so differently. It's down to personal taste. Martin certainly isn't the pinnacle of guitar making and the writer talking about what other makers forget to do is kinda silly to me. Martin doesn't even make the best Martin anymore.
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William2
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« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2022, 01:21:32 PM »

Great points. I'm still leaning toward a Larrivee with a mahogany body and spruce top. But am interested in an instrument with a totally different flavor. But then I'd have to add so music that fits that type of instrument.
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