What are your thoughts on ladder braced guitars.

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by Hugokildare, Sep 12, 2020.

  1. Hugokildare

    Hugokildare TDPRI Member

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    Personally I’m a fan but would love to know your guys opinions on them.
     
  2. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I find ladder braced guitars unsuitable for the styles I play.
    Generally, they lack volume and have a “boxy/midrange-ey” tone.
    Some people like em’ for blues and slide playing.
    I’ve never liked them much.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2020
  3. Hugokildare

    Hugokildare TDPRI Member

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    Yeah I tend to play old delta blues so they seem to suit my style, that’s probably why I like them. I concede to the fact that they are **** for strumming though.
     
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  4. Boreas

    Boreas Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I am not a fan, but they sound pretty good for blues - probably because many of those old blues songs were recorded with cheap instruments. That being said, I currently own one and have owned 4 others.
     
  5. Hugokildare

    Hugokildare TDPRI Member

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    I
    n my humble opinion they either sound great or ****. The majority of ladderbraced guitars I played sound awful, except for the first one I ever tried funnily enough, which was a 1948 Gibson lg1. I just fort there was great note clarity and dynamic aswell as that old creaky delta blues sound. Also that thing kicks out a lot of volume for a small guitar. I ended up buying it.
     
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  6. 39martind18

    39martind18 Tele-Afflicted

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    I've owned two LG1s in my life. Each left me searching for the sound I love, that of my old Martin. I realize that looking for the sound of an 81 year old Martin D18 from a 55 year old LG1 is highly unrealistic, but actually, I was looking for a more Gibsonesque sound. Both LG1s had a good voice, but I found them boxy and very mid range heavy, not what I like. YMMV LG1#6.jpg
     
  7. Fireball519

    Fireball519 Tele-Meister

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    I play alot of music with a lady named Robinella. Her main guitars of choice are old B25 Gibsons. They sound great for her style(Americana jazz type stuff.) I usually either play a classical guitar or my Del Vecchio with her when we play acoustic. So, it's nice to be able to save my fingers and play with a softer sounding guitars
     
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  8. DrPepper

    DrPepper Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    The epitome of try before you buy...
     
  9. Richie Cunningham

    Richie Cunningham Tele-Meister

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    When we talk about the bracing on a guitar, are we generally talking about the bracing for the top?
     
  10. Boreas

    Boreas Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I still own a 54 LG1. Sounds great for blues and even for songs usually done on a resonator. It has great mid and treble. I find ladder types usually don't have quite as much sustain. This may be partially due to shorter scales like the Gibsons.
     
  11. Boreas

    Boreas Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Yes 99% of the time.
     
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  12. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    I love ladder braced guitars and the sound they make. Here is my 1932 Stella on the right complete with MOT fretboard (the little parlor on the left is X braced, we won't hold that against her)

    1210190945a.jpg

    My other ladder braced guitar is a very long scale (26.5) twelve string that is strung with cables and tuned in the cellar. I think Huddie Ledbetter or Willie McTell would be happy playing this

    IMG_2008.JPG

    Here is a look-see inside the 12 string

    IMG_1883.JPG

    Nothing fancy.

    I'll add one more thing about ladder braced guitars. I think the best of them have tailpieces which changes the whole dynamics of the top. With a pinned bridge you have all the rotational torques to deal with, when you put a tailpiece on you only have the perpendicular component and ladders handle that very well. Many of the great ladder braced guitars including the old Stellas and most of the SelMac's have tailpieces.
     
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  13. zbtvsk

    zbtvsk TDPRI Member

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    I think that they’re good for vocal accompaniment/self accompaniment because they tend to stay more in the mid range and aren’t going to fight with your voice for attention. I wouldn’t play my LG-1 in a band though.
     
  14. Stefanovich

    Stefanovich Tele-Holic

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    I had a Gibson LG-? that was ladder braced. The top was sinking real bad so I rebraced it using an X-brace pattern. The guitar sounded exactly the same afterwards. A bit disappointing really...
     
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  15. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have a great appreciation for the sound of a cheaply constructed guitar ...
     
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  16. VWAmTele

    VWAmTele Friend of Leo's

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    I love them in the right application. CSN&Y - no, early Beatles - absolutely. They sit well in the rhythm mix when you don't want the guitar over-powering voices and other instruments but still full enough to know it's there. My cs J-160E is my favorite guitar to play.
     
  17. stephent2

    stephent2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have a custom built ladder braced guitar, red spruce top, flamed mahogany back and sides and parlor sized. It’s a fantastic guitar. Loud, open, nice overtones and great sustain. Everyone who plays it is blown away.

    It’s a John How Ladder Braced Concert, the builder is no longer building. If you can find one,buy it.
     
  18. zombywoof

    zombywoof Friend of Leo's

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    I have been playing ladder braced guitars for 55+ years. If you think they are only suited to play some dirt-under-your-fingernail blues you have not been around the block with one. Here are two of my favorites:

    1930s Oscar Schmidt-made Galiano Jumbo (the same guitar which appears in Neil Harpe's Stella book).
    [​IMG]

    1942 Harmony H165 which they oddly intially marketed as a Stella.
    [​IMG]
     
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  19. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    John How built some wonderful guitars. Also check out Todd Cambio at Fraulini Guitars

    http://fraulini.com/
     
  20. Deeve

    Deeve Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    You're a fan - I see what you did there. . . quite a climb..

    Yeah - two.
    1/ Harmony Sovereign OM
    2/ Victoria Japan - 12 fret to body, nylon
    both from some-time in the 60s

    @Freeman Keller - I had no idea that braces were so large - or is that pre-shave?

    Peace - Deeve
     
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