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Soundboards and Soundboard Bracing


Asymmetrical fan bracing


Asymmetrical fan bracing is used on flat soundboards. The asymmetrical arrangement of the struts and the angle of the lower strut on the soundboard produces the desired balance between bass and treble ranges. The quality of the wood used to make the struts has an important role in this design.

Torres – domed fan bracing

This bracing system with a domed soundboard was developed by Antonio Torres (1817 – 1892) – one of the most influential guitar makers there has been.

The struts are flattened behind the bridge and stiffened in front of it. This is done to support the varying pressure and tension to which the domed soundboards is subject.

The design improves responsiveness (attack), facilitates a good range of dynamics and produces a full and rich sound, strong in overtones.


Lattice – domed lattice bracing


The latticesoundboard was developed by Greg Smallman – the Australian luthier brought to the world’s attention by guitarist John Williams.

The thicker the wood the greater its strength. And conversely, the thinner it is the less strength it has. In fact the strength of wood is squared with increasing thickness (twice the thickness = more than four times the flex stiffness). However a thin soundboard has a lot to recommend it acoustically and sot the lattice bracing was developed as a means of giving the required strength to an extremely thin soundboard. The thickness of the soundboard on Hanika lattice models is about 1.3 millimetres – being a value which is technically important to resonance.

The reduction in thickness produces a considerably faster response in conjunction with a greater range of dynamics without causing any corresponding losses in the substance of the tone. A balanced range of sound is thus achieved across all positions.


The Hanika doubletop soundboard design draws inspiration from and further develops designs pioneered by Gernot Wagner and Matthias Dammann.

This layered sandwich design uses an outer cedar soundboard that is only 0.6 millimetres thick. A Nomex mat (an ultralight aramid honeycomb) is used as the central section. The inner soundboard section is made with a carbon fabric. Underneath this sandwich structure there is a Torres bracing structure.

This uncompromisingly lightweight design increases volumes and responsiveness while producing a superior balanced sound. Many advanced players consider this type of soundboard allows the greatest possible musical expression. Conversely, it is probably fair to say that newcomers to the guitar are not going to realise the potential of doubletop soundboards.

Hanika Composite

The Hanika Composite grew out of the Hanika Doubletop. Layers of various materials in different thicknesses are combined here to achieve the flexural stiffness required to meet the demands of the resonating soundboard. This design requires no soundboard bracing so that it is possible to reduce weight even further in important sections of the instrument.

The result is a rounded tone with excellent dynamics and response. The soundboard is used on the Fusion model.