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X-Braced Vs. Ladder braced

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  • X-Braced Vs. Ladder braced

    People opine about the tonal differences between different bridge pins and finishes. Anyway here's a guy who's replaced the entire bracing system in some old Harmony guitars. One is ladder braced. One is X-braced. One has bridge pins added. Some are pinless. You be the judge if they sound all that different.....or whether you'd be better off paying attention to the alloy of the strings.


    "I don't want to be immortalized through my work. I want to be immortalized by not dying." Woody Allen

  • #2

    I listened to the video twice, trying to pay close attention to the sound I was hearing. I guess we have to assume they're all strung with the same brand & type of guitar strings.

    1 - The X-braced sounded to me like it had a little more sustain.

    2 - The one with bridge pins sounded a little "twangier" than the two with the pinless bridges.

    3 - If I had to rank them according to which sounded the best to me, I'd rank the X-braced as best sounding, then the ladder braced and the pinned bridge example coming in last.

    4 - If I listened to all three of them on three different days while blindfolded, I doubt that I could tell which one is which. They all sounded pretty damned good. Not hard to understand why these old Harmony Sovereigns are highly sought after.  


    Three Dreads......2 Martins and 1 YamahaA fiddle, a mando, a uke, eight harmonicas, a Zoom H2, a Panasonic recorder, coupla penny whistles, an Italian made Titano accordion, three handguns, at least a dozen chess sets, more power tools than Bob Vila, and one old Westclox "Big Ben" wind-up alarm clock that still works! Oh, BTW, I forgot to mention my ocarina and maracas.


    • Freeman Keller
      Freeman Keller commented
      Editing a comment

      I do hear a difference between the ladder and X braced - the ladder seems to have a sharper attack, the X much much more sustain (almost a reverb sound to it).   The pinned bridge sounds pretty much like the other ladder braced one.

      Usually when I think of a pinless bridge it would have a tailpiece - these look more like the Ovation or Lowden style bridge with hole thru to the back.  I would think that there would be more of a difference between a pinned bridge and a tailpiece, which many of the old ladder braced guitars did have.

      They all sounded pretty good - I liked the ladder braced the best for the kind of bluesy stuff he was playing.