Different types of guitars have different sound aesthetics, e.g. different colour-spectrum characteristics (the way the sound energy is spread in the fundamental frequency and the overtones), different response, etc. These differences are due to differences in construction; for example modern classical guitars usually use a different bracing (fan-bracing) from that used in earlier guitars (they had ladder-bracing); and a different voicing was used by the luthier.
- Vihuela, renaissance guitars and baroque guitars have a bright sound, rich in overtones, and their courses (double strings) give the sound a very particular texture.
- Early guitars of the classical and romantic period (early romantic guitars) have single strings, but their design and voicing are still such that they have their tonal energy more in the overtones (but without starved fundamental), giving a bright intimate tone.
- Later in Spain a style of music emerged that favored a stronger fundamental:
“With the change of music a stronger fundamental was demanded and the fan bracing system was approached. … the guitar tone has been changed from a transparent tone, rich in higher partials to a more ‘broad’ tone with a strong fundamental.
- Thus modern guitars with fan bracing (fan strutting) have a design and voicing that gives them a thick, heavy sound, with far more tonal energy found in the fundamental.