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Mandolin Glossary

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An X-brace is a pair of pieces of spruce (or occasionally other wood, or composite/laminate) that are glued to the underside of an instrument top in an X configuration.

The two pieces are normally notched where they cross, in a box joint manner. Statically, an X brace functions as a pair of intersecting beams to distribute the downward pressure (or torsional load, in the case of a fixed bridge) of the strings on the bridge throughout the top.

Dynamically, the X brace influences the frequency of the top plate vibrational modes.

Authored by: John Hamlett

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