20. Brace yourself

Bracing stuff – and pretty much any pun you can think of about bracing – as we head inside the Carolan guitar to take a look at how our design has challenged tradition.

Carolan Guitar

Anticipation is running high within the team. All the codes are designed. All the laser cutting and engraving is complete and passed on to Nick. So our job is done. We now nervously await and brace ourselves for the completion of the guitar. We’re not the only ones bracing ourselves, however, as Carolan’s Soundboard and back panel are currently having internal wooden struts fixed to strengthen and reinforce them against the enormous tension exerted by the strings and the neck. Without these the guitar will warp, fold and collapse into a splintered mess.

The placement, shape and size of these bracing’s are paramount to how strong the guitar is, but also what it sounds like. Minor adjustments can dramatically change how the soundboard resonates and therefore the tonal quality of the guitar. There are different bracing techniques for different types and styles of guitar, but the X-Bracing pattern devised by C…

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