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Author Topic: question about x-bracing  (Read 1773 times)

Offline shoveller

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question about x-bracing
« on: August 12, 2011, 06:35:11 PM »
Been a long time since I posted here...got fed up with a couple people's rancorous antics but they seem to be gone now... so let's talk guitars!

Got a new guitar today.  WG7SACS - grand auditorium size (= OOO, I think), solid spruce top, catalpa back/sides, cherry sunburst finish. Real pretty guitar, and I found it online for a pretty good price.

But...when I opened the box, I heard an unholy clunk!  A quick peek inside the soundhole revealed a chunk of bracing.  Not just loose, but knocking around free as a bird in there!

I got a flashlight and a mirror and was able to determine that it was part of the X-brace, which had split lengthwise, so that a remnant was still attached near the bridge (on the treble side), but it had separated completely from the top out near the purfling.

I'm sending it back, but I do have two questions for you guys:

1) Would this sort of damage ultimately prove fatal?  I would think that over time the missing/damaged X-brace would allow the top to warp severely in the vicinity of the bridge.

2) Would this sort of damage influence tone? The tone of this instrument seems a bit...I dunno...rattle-y, for lack of a better word.  OOO-size guitars tend to be a little more on the jangle-y side, compared to a dreadnought, but I've never hear one that sounded like this.  I ask because I need to decide if I want an exchange or a refund.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts on this.

Cheers,
Shoveller

Offline Pike

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question about x-bracing
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2011, 10:29:57 AM »
I'd say yes and yes shoveller...
 

Offline YerDugliness

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question about x-bracing
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2011, 08:22:45 PM »
quote:
Originally posted by shoveller

2) Would this sort of damage influence tone? The tone of this instrument seems a bit...I dunno...rattle-y, for lack of a better word.  OOO-size guitars tend to be a little more on the jangle-y side, compared to a dreadnought, but I've never hear one that sounded like this.
Cheers,
Shoveller



I'd have to say yes, also, Shoveller.

It doesn't take a loose brace to cause unknown tone variations.  I bought an expensive custom shop Breedlove 000 guitar, and despite it having the most pure tones I've ever heard, there always seemed to be something just a little bit amis...sort of a barely perceptible hiss sound, but it wasn't juiced. It was consistent, though, so I had about decided one of the ball-ends on the strings was buzzing under the bridge plate.

Then, one day, I dropped a pick into the soundhole, and as I was shaking the guitar to get the pick to move into the area where I could retrieve it, a dry leaf fell out.  End of problem.  I have no idea when or where the leaf got in there, all I know is that the hiss stopped. I suspect that somehow it became glued to the wood inside the body and as the wood vibrated, so did the leaf.

As for size influencing tone....you're right.  My WMJ11S has a more jangle-y tone than my D61SW...but that is to be expected as the internal volume of the body is smaller and it will therefore not reinforce the lower tones as well. What it gives up on the lower end, though, it more than makes up for in increased playability (but, I think a large part of that is the cedar soundboard).

If it were me, I'd have Washburn replace it under warranty, and if one with intact bracing still doesn't sound right to you, then you could assume you need a different body style.

Myself, I'm curious about Washburn's new Grand Auditorium bodies.  My WMJ might well be a mini-jumbo...soon as I find a Grand Auditorium body I'll be able to feel the difference, though.

Cheers from.....

Dugly [8D]

YerDugliness, Esq./Post No Bills
Guitar Playin' FOOL, retired & attempting to age disgracefully!!
Washburns: WD32SW, D61SW, C124SW, and WMJ 11S
Other fine acoustic guitars by Breedlove (custom shop Revival Series 000), Darren Hippner (#506), Takamini (2005 LTD), Epiphone (Masterbilt AJ500RC), and Yamaha (G231-II)

« Last Edit: August 13, 2011, 08:24:11 PM by YerDugliness »
YerDugliness,Esq./Post No Bills
Guitar Playin' FOOL, attempting to age disgracefully!
Washburns:WD32SW,D61SW,D62SW,C124SWK,
WMJ21S(2),WGO26SCE,WSJ60SKELITE,WG26S (2).
Other fine acoustics:Breedlove custom shop 000,Hippner #506 Hauser,Takamini 2005 LTD,Epi Masterbilt AJ500RC

Offline shoveller

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question about x-bracing
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2011, 11:18:50 AM »
Thanks for confirming my suspicions, gents.

I'm going to return it to the vendor and have them send another one.  The rattle that I'm hearing over the jangle seems most pronounced on the treble strings (which is the side of the bridge where the damage is), so if I can get one with proper bracing I think I'll  be quite happy with the tone (especially considering the price I paid).

As to the size/shape question...I have a Blueridge Bristol which is supposedly a copy (dimension-wise) of a OOO Martin.  Washburn's new Grand Auditorium body has the same outline, but the body of teh Washburn is perhaps a half inch deeper.

Offline Pike

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question about x-bracing
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2011, 12:21:30 PM »
quote:
but the body of the Washburn is perhaps a half inch deeper.
That's a good thing...