The Lattice Guitar
The lattice guitar type is categorized by the grid style of bracing for the sound board. In these types of guitars, the bracing is made from carbon fiber composite strips. These strips are then layered in a lattice pattern. Afterwards, the bracing is glued with epoxy resin to the bottom of the thin soundboard for reinforcement. The carbon fiber used in these types of guitars varies a lot anddepending on what type is used and how much of it is used, there will be differences in sound dynamics. Nonetheless, other factors in these types of modern guitars can also influence the same qualities.
The design of this kind of guitar bracing is similar in concept to the bracing in airplane wings. However, the idea to use carbon fiber bracing in a grid to create the now iconic guitar top design started by an Australian guitar maker “Greg Smallman”. After his invention was created, him, and others after him, spent lots of time and conducted lots of research to achieve the types of results we can see and hear today from lattice guitars. Nonetheless, modern builders keep developing and improving upon this type of construction. All to make the instrument louder, more dynamic, and to increase the volume. They also work on improving sustain, projection, and making the guitar sound fuller in general. To this day, Greg Smallman’s technology is popular in Australia. However, it is also widely used by various Luthiers around the world. As such, his guitar design is widely favoured by many professional musicians concertizing all over the world.
Lattice Guitar Construction
The lattice guitar construction is very complicated and requires a professional’s eyes, hands, ears, and tools. In addition to this, there are also little to no good guitar plans for this type. As such, a master is needed to create these instruments with fine quality.
In terms of differences with the lattice classical guitar bracing vs double top bracing, there are many. In the former type, the soundboard design is that of a thin top with grid-like bracing. In the latter type, the soundboard is a sandwich of two thin skins and a Nomex core in between. These construction differences effect almost all sound qualities as well as the volume and playability. Lattice guitars, when compared to double top ones, are more dynamic with a wider total range. They are also less sensitive to humidity, temperature, and climate. Such properties make it unlike other guitar types, including the double top. As such, they are more reliable for various environments.
These features are important for traveling musicians. However, double top guitars are easier to control. With them, it is also more painless to direct the sound.
When looking at differences between lattice guitar bracing vs traditional bracing for a classical guitar, you will notice that because of the construction, the two vary significantly in sound quality, playability, and dynamics. Traditionally braced guitars
have better tonal qualities and sound characteristics when compared to the more modern, composite braced guitars. On the contrast, the latter type ends up being much louder than traditional fan braced guitars. They are also easier to play, and it is easier to make them sound. As such, players with a light and soft technique or weaker nails or fingers may prefer it more. These players would become much more accurate at producing the correct sound. They may also be more able to just make a fuller, more charming, and real sound in general.
Another difference between the traditional fan braced guitar and the composite guitar type, is the scale. With the latter type, you can have a shorter scale without losing power. This attribute makes the instrument more comfortable and easier to play for smaller hand players without compromising on the sound quality of the volume.
All Wood Lattice Guitar
Wood lattice guitars are made without carbon fiber. As such, they are not called “fully lattice guitars”. One large attitude of all wood lattice guitars is that they are not as loud as composite guitars. The reason for this, has to do with the construction differences. To build all wood lattice guitars, more wood is required to be as a replacement of carbon fiber bracing. The sound board also must be thicker. Such is the case is because the bracing is not as strong as the carbon fiber composite structure in the original version. These two factors result in stiffer overall construction as well. However, what you do get is an interesting sounding version of the original. It looks great and provides a unique experience.
Lattice Braced Classical Guitar
The lattice braced classical guitar is a great option for many. These can be simply enthusiastic guitar players and those preforming at large concerts and traveling around the world. This guitar’s modern construction allows them to produce powerful sounds with deep emotions. As such, they are deeply valued by many. However, to really appreciate these types of guitars, they should be of high quality. Yet not all of them are. Usually, the best composite classical guitars are custom-made ones. Many times, custom-made pieces are from either a group of skilled professionals or just one individual builder. In any case, when guitars are custom-built, details are more heavily considered and prioritized. As such, more time is spent crafting and perfecting the guitars so that they can be precisely personalized for people. The whole process takes lots of care and wise judgement so that nothing is missed from the customer’s desires. This way, higher quality is also achieved. That is, if you find the right person with the right materials.
Fan braced guitars use an old Spanish type of bracing for soundboard. With this style, there are usually 5, 7, or 9 braces located in a fan pattern with a few harmonic bars or diagonal bars. Some fan braced guitars also have a support brace under the bridge. One advantage of building guitars this way is speed as it is quicker than going the lattice rout. With this method, the guitar can also be adjusted after construction is complete.
The X bracing structure is another option. The defining trademark of this structure is that there are two big braces placed in an «X» shape. Such style is mainly used in the steel string guitar industry. The reason why many use this X-brace technology is that it fits better in acoustic guitars. It is also more effective because the string tension is almost 3 times higher with steel strings when compared to nylon ones. As such, the durability the «X» brace provides is essential for steel string guitars. Nevertheless, such bracing technology can still be used in guitars with regular strings.
Lattice Braced Acoustic Guitar
The lattice braced acoustic guitar can be a great option for those who want a powerful and unique instrument. These guitars can also be quite nice looking which is a big plus. They may even be a new starting point for developing innovative guitar ideas. As such, they are great for those who are looking to try something new too. However, lattice braced acoustic guitars have a disadvantage when metal strings are used. When such is the case, the instrument could become too loud and screamy with an unnatural sound.
Lattice Guitar Price
Lattice guitars are not cheap because of the work they require to correctly make. However, despite the price, there is a lot of market demand for them. All because of their sheer performance and elegance. As such, it is very difficult to find a low price for a good quality composite guitar. Similarly, it is hard to find one on sale. Due to the demand, many dealers sell this type of instrument with a high margin. So, it is not always the best idea to buy from large company dealers. The best route to take is to find a reputable Luthier, that you trust, to build you a custom guitar. Normally, Luthiers sell to their friends or coworkers in universities first. As such, the waiting list may be up to 10 – 15 years. Nonetheless, if you are serious about your career, it is worth it.
All in all, the average price for a custom high-end lattice guitar starts from $10, 000 USD and up. This price of a finished guitar is determined by many factors. These are the materials used, the amount of work put in, and the experience of the Luthier. There are also factors such as the origin of the guitar, shop and equipment costs, taxes (which must be paid in the country where the guitar was made), shipping costs and delivery taxes if the guitar was imported, and much more. Another reason why the price is as it is, has to do with the Luthier themselves. They need to have detailed knowledge and proficient skills to make well-balanced modern guitars with lattice bracing. For such guitars with good projection, high playability, and great craftsmanship, the builder needs to be very experienced. They would have needed to go through lots of practice as well as trial and error.
The process of creating guitars requires intellectual work from the Luthier too. They need to have a full understanding of the process and be able to imagine new prospects. Once they have something in mind, they need to know how to achieve their goals.
Due to the labor intensity and dedication needed to create the best guitars, most good builders can’t make more than 8 – 12 premium guitars per year. This is too plays a role in the price.
Nonetheless, there can be times when some instruments made by a professional go on sale. Usually this occurs when there is an old model in inventory that needs to be sold. There may also be some guitars in storage with small finish flaws, so the price is lowered. Another way lattice guitars might go on sale is if the Luthier is just starting out or is in an economic situation where they need money to invest into some new projects.
Lattice Guitar Sound
The lattice guitar sound is loud and rich. These sound attributes make it an excellent instrument in general. However, they are especially great for concerts because they are loud enough to fill a big auditorium with a thousand seats. All without the need for an amp. As such, they are irreplaceable for performances in larger halls. Nevertheless, they can still work well for very small auditoriums. In addition to this, they are wondering for playing in duet. Their sound is very versatile which makes them the prime candidate for accompanying signers or other instruments such as a piano, violin, flute, or even the harp. As such, the lattice guitar sound has become iconic.
Lattice Braced Guitar Luthier
Over the years, there have been many great Luthiers who worked on lattice braced guitars. Among these are Greg Smallman, Jim Redgate, John Price, and Stephen Hill. However, now there are more Luthiers who are sure to make a statement in history, like Mark Usherovich.
Lattice Guitar In USA and Canada
There is a big market with much demand for lattice guitars in the USA and Canada. People living in these places like to try new things and are generally progressive. It is the homeland of Tesla and other modern technologies. So, it is natural for the lattice guitar to fit right in. Many are curious and ready to try something new, so this type of guitar can be a great option. Already, we know that there are a lot of professional concertizing players in the USA, Canada, and Mexico who like to play on these kinds of guitars. As such, the type of guitar they play is becoming more popular as a whole. There are also thousands of classical guitar music programs in cities like New York, Toronto, Berlin, Paris, and many other places. These are all locations filled with thousands of students who love to play on lattice guitars. In addition to this, there are many enthusiasts who admire classical music, historic composers, and guitars in general. They make playing the guitar their finest hobby. These too, can appreciate the lattice guitar type.
Across the USA and Canada, there are already many dealers who provide fine quality custom guitars. As such, there are numerous options for customers who are looking to invest in their hobby or career by purchasing a lattice guitar. For those wanting to buy from individual Luthiers, there are
some options available too. Given that in the US and Canada, the economy is well established, there are some buyers who have the means to look into high quality custom guitars crafted by the hands of professional Luthiers.
The UK, France, Germany, and Australia also have great markets. All filled with passionate guitar
enthusiasts who love to support sole creators.