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There is, in my opinion, an impact of string tension, among other factions, upon the infrastructure of an acoustic or archtop guitar.
A question presented is: Whether exceeding string gauge that a guitar bracing is designed for tightens or creates excessive tension to the top?
Further, when excessive string tension is applied it restricts the guitar's top from vibrating thus restricting a guitar's sound.
Also, is there an impact of higher or lower string gauges on a guitar that has a short or long scale?
There is the opinion that using a high tension string on the bracing of a short scale instrument is more responsive sound wise, that is, over powering the same string gauge that would be used on a full scale instrument braced accordingly.
Finally, the question of whether using a lighter wood for bracing on a short scale guitar to balance sound makes a difference?
Well, as Bob Taylor states (Taylor Guitars) by changing string tension on standard bracing you get a different sound. If bracing differently for lower tension string(s) then a guitar has another (different) sound not necessarily better.
So, luthiers or factories probably experiment with different bracings appropriate for certain string gauges. Moreover, probably that's why factories issue their instrument with recommended strings that meets their specifications and for best sound acoustically speaking.
I concur with this rationale, but I also use a natural sense, that is, the sound of a guitar is part of the experience, but how it plays is the other part of the acoustic experience.
When I notice that a guitar (any style guitar) plays stiff (hard to play) besides string action and etc that indicates to me that tension on the top (and the neck) is stressed. Either string tension, instrument age/condition, structural, or some other condition is impacting the instrument.
If the above is a sensation that is happening then a qualified technician or a luthier needs to review the instrument to determine the issue and the remedy to improve a hard playing guitar. Sometimes the answer is as simple as: String gauge.