FRETS.COM Illustrated Glossary

Cross Brace
© Frank Ford, 9/11/98 Photos by FF

The "x-brace" or "cross brace" is the major component of the guitar top bracing system developed by Martin in the 1840s:

Clearly it's called x-brace or cross brace because the main braces cross to form the letter "x."

This famous bracing system carries the load of the string tension and maintains the stability of the top while allowing the top to be flexible to vibrate freely.

150 years later, this
x-bracing is the only standard bracing system for steel string flat top guitars!

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