Well, Richard, I don't quite agree with your last statement. Charlie Derrington and I have this discussion from time to time. I have been arguing we should offer an X brace model for a segment of the market we do not currently have. He has been clear about his opinion that X bracing is not a good way to build an instrument that is expected to last for 80 years. Experience has shown us that X braced mandolin have a tendency to get top fatigue and can suffer a muddiness in tone after a period of years. Since we have worked on every major brand of mandolin over the years (pre-Gibson) we have a pretty good taste for the advantages and disadvantages.
Personally I like the tone of an X braced mandolin, but he is right about the top fatigue and muddy tone. Now let me be clear. There are always exceptions to the rule and I'm sure there will be a few who will wish to disprove our comments by their experience. I can appreciate that, but overall the statement still stands. It is a general rule not applying to each and every mandolin ever built.
I doubt we will build any X braced mandolins while Charlie is the big dog, but I still argue with him from time to time.
Have a Great Day!