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These photos are from Martin Guitars. These are regular dreadnought tops just as they are used in making Martin
instruments. The little "love handles" at the waist are for alignment
during the manufacturing process, as are the two little holes at the top.
Here's the standard, non-scalloped bracing as used in a regular D-28 or D-18. These are samples from Martin guitars dealer. This bracing has remained essentially unchanged since its introduction in late
1944. At a slight angle, you can see the profile of the braces a little better. The older top is from a 1974.
The "scalloped" brace top is a reissue of the bracing style Martin
used before the introduction of the heavier straight braces near the end of
World War II. Viewed from an angle, the scalloped areas are clearly visible "below"
the intersection of the two main cross braces. You can see the scallop pretty well on the actual 1943 Martin top. It is difficult to see the difference by simply looking into the soundhole.
The lower priced "1-series" guitars, such as D-1 and DM, have a
simpler "A-frame" bracing system, which is different in every respect
except for the main truss, a "cross brace" that Martin
developed before the Civil War.
The 16-series (D-16, D-16TR, etc.) uses a "hybrid" system which combines elements of both the A-frame and scalloped bracing styles.
There are fewer braces than the original scalloped system, but most of the original
functional elements are still here. It could be that this system will afford the tonal complexity of the
original with the added strength and stability of the A-frame design.
Note: All prices in US Dollars