fine handcrafted guitars

FEATURES

RS Muth guitars include many unique features to enhance the structural stability, tone and playability of the guitar. A number of excellent traditional ideas, mainly from the Spanish tradition of building, have been married with forward thinking ideas and modern materials. Incorporating these features is very time consuming and yet they are standard on all of my guitars. They add substantial value to my guitars in terms of tone, stability and playability.

To enhance the stability of the neck, all of my guitars include the following special features: an independently supported fingerboard extension, a Spanish foot and A-frame bracing system to support the headblock, and a Spanish V-jointed headstock.

neck extension

In addition to a two-way adjustable truss rod, two carbon fiber rods run parallel to the outside taper of the fingerboard and extend all the way from the headstock to the ends of the fingerboard extensions to support the entire neck and fingerboard.

Inside the body, a well developed A-frame bracing system supports the neck and headblock. The soundhole braces continue through the brace just above the soundhole to form the A-frame and are terminated by mortising them into the headblock. A cross grain patch of spruce is then added to the inside area of the A-frame for additional reinforcement.

A-frame bracing

The brace just above the soundhole receives much of the load from the neck and is reinforced with carbon fiber. Not only is carbon fiber extremely stiff for its weight, but more importantly it will never deform over time as even well quartered wood will do.

For even more support, a "Spanish foot" is mortised into the headblock as a lever to help prevent rotation about the headblock. As one can see, the neck and its attachment to the body comprise an entire system utilizing both traditional methods and new materials and ideas to provide unsurpassed stability.

Spanish foot

Finally the headstock is attached to the neck shaft using a Spanish V-joint. This is a classic traditional design that is in fact stronger than a one piece neck. Not only does the grain of the headstock have the proper orientation in this design, but the tension of the strings work to pull the joint together.

Spanish V-joint

XTF bracing is a novel soundboard bracing system developed over the past several years by RS Muth Guitars. The initial idea was to incorporate aspects of classical fan bracing in a steel string guitar while recognizing differences in the amount of energy applied to the soundboard by steel strings. "X" designates the traditional X-brace, "T" designates the tunnel braces, and "F" designates the fan pattern in the lower bout.

soundboard bracing

XTF bracing is a hybrid system that accomplishes several tasks. The "tunnel" braces provide additional support to resist string torque while allowing the entire top to pump more freely. This results in more power and better bass response in the guitar. Fan braces intimately coupled with the bridge plate are used to support the lower bout. This system results in the enhanced expression of the tripole vibration mode typically found in nylon string guitars. This mode of vibration is very efficient and helps provide power to the trebles and higher harmonics. This results in rich fat trebles and greater balance throughout the frequency range.

Overall this system can be more lightly built since it effectively distributes the forces throughout the soundboard. Unlike many other systems, it does so in a way that takes into consideration the various vibration modes of the soundboard, especially the underutilized tripole mode. As a result, XTF bracing not only offers structural improvements, but offers a sonic advantage in terms of unprecedented tonal balance, clarity, sustain and response with lush trebles, a nuanced midrange, and a strong well defined bass.


bridgeplate
A unique feature of RS Muth Guitars is the two component bridgeplate and its integration with the XTF bracing system. The bridgeplate consists of a cross-grain spruce plate and a smaller carbon fiber patch to accept the ball ends of the strings. This stiff light-weight system is very strong and enhances the tone and efficiency of the guitar.

Properly integrating the bridgeplate with the fan braces is very important. In order to effectively resist excessive bellying in the lower bout, the fan braces need to be at their greatest height immediately behind the bridge. This is achieved by carefully overlapping the ends of the fan braces over the bridgeplate.

All RS Muth guitars now include double sides in which two thinner sides are glued together to provide an ultra stiff rim to receive the soundboard and back of the guitar. This not only enhances the sonic efficiency of the guitar but provides further support in the upper bout to resist rotation of the neck.