2004 Fall Limited Editions – when Taylor Guitars first introduced Tasmanian blackwood

taylor355l712s

While still on the Taylor theme, I became curious as to when Taylor Guitars first introduced Tasmanian blackwood to their production.

Here’s an extract from the 2004 Fall Wood & Steel (Vol 42, p. 16) magazine published by Taylor:

Inasmuch as we love introducing new stuff for you to discover and explore, we are pleased to unveil a tonewood that is sure to catch your eye and your ear: Tasmanian blackwood. This beautiful wood shares some characteristics with its Hawaiian cousin, koa, in that its variegated coloring runs from a deep tawny to a light golden brown and is accentuated by rich dark grain patterns. Also like koa, Tasmanian blackwood has a warm, mellow tone highlighted by complex overtones. The more you know about this tonewood, the more there is to like.

Tasmanian blackwood’s charismatic visual allure will make the 300 Series Fall Limited Editions very special indeed. Each guitar will feature satin finish, mother-of-pearl fretboard markers, and a black/white/black fiber purfling on the body binding and in the soundhole rosette.

The 2004 Fall Limited Editions included 10 Tasmanian blackwood models in the 300 series, including three 12-string models. These had solid Tasmanian blackwood back and sides & Sitka spruce top. The models and production numbers were:

MODEL PRODUCTION
310-L7 Dreadnought 6-string 116
310ce-L7 Dreadnought 6-string with cutaway and ES 320
312ce-L7 Grand Concert 6-string with cutaway and ES 65
314-L7 Grand Auditorium 6-string 40
314ce-L7 Grand Auditorium 6-string with cutaway and ES 471
315-L7 Jumbo 6-string 5
315ce-L7 Jumbo 6-string with cutaway and ES (a) 34
354ce-L7 Grand Auditorium 12-string with cutaway and ES 37
355-L7 Jumbo 12-string 15
355ce-L7 Jumbo 12-string with cutaway and ES 47

(a) Model not listed in Wood & Steel Vol. 42.

These 1150 guitars may one day become iconic collector’s items in the new world of sustainable acoustic guitars.

Here’s a video of the 2004 355-L7 Jumbo 12 string Tasmanian blackwood:

And here’s one of these rare jumbos currently for sale:

https://reverb.com/item/3345670-taylor-355-l7-limited-edition-1-of-15-12-string-2004-w-taylor-hard-case

For 13 years Taylor Guitars have been championing Tasmanian blackwood to the world. Thank you Taylor Guitars!

Thanks also to Taylor Guitars for their assistance with this article.

https://www.taylorguitars.com/

Taylor Custom GS Grand Symphony Tasmanian Blackwood

tcgs2017b

Here is a stunning custom Taylor GS all Tasmanian blackwood currently for sale in the UK at Sound Affects Premier, Ormskirk, Lancashire.

Ok its £5298 or $AU8640.

Ouch!

But this thing is eye candy! I bet it sounds even better than it looks.

http://www.soundaffectspremier.com/guitars-c93/acoustic-guitars-c96/custom-gs-grand-symphony-tasmanian-blackwood-electro-acoustic-guitar-p6325

The specifications are:

  • Grand Symphony
  • Florentine cutaway
  • Tasmanian Blackwood top, back & sides
  • Mahogany neck
  • Special Ebony fretboard
  • 2-piece back configuration with .200 backstrip
  • Ebony headstock overlay
  • Performance bracing
  • 1-11/16² nut
  • Short scale (24-7/8²)
  • V- carve neck profile
  • Slotted peghead
  • ES2 electronics
  • Tusq nut
  • Micarta saddle
  • Clear pickguard included in case
  • Figured Maple body & fretboard binding
  • Maple, single ring rosette with bound soundhole
  • Gloss back & sides finish
  • Gloss top finish
  • Satin neck finish

Worldwide shipping is available.

I love the blackwood top, the Florentine cutaway and the slotted headstock.

Guitar by Taylor Guitars:

https://www.taylorguitars.com/

Tasmanian blackwood supplied by Tasmanian Tonewoods:

http://tasmaniantonewoods.com/

I hope this one finds a good home.

Go check it out.

Bold plan to breathe new life into SW timber industry

ffl

SW? As in south west Western Australia!

Just like the rest of Australia the logging of public native forests in south west Western Australia has been a battle ground for decades, with the forest industry now on its last legs needing continuous Government support.

The local forest conservation group the Western Australian Forest Alliance has come up with a plan to rebuild the forest industry and create jobs. The Plan is called Forests for Life.

http://forestsforlife.org.au/the-plan/

Normally I would be a bit sceptical of any industry plan developed by environmentalists, and from my reading the FFL plan certainly has some weaknesses.

What I do like though is that the broader community are getting behind the Plan, including the local Augusta/Margaret River Council.

http://www.amrshire.wa.gov.au/news/media-releases/1005/bold-plan-to-breathe-new-life-into-sw-timber-industry/

Here at last is the community taking the lead, showing initiative, adopting a positive attitude and working together.

This I like!!

The question now is will the forest industry and the WA State government get behind and support the Plan. The Western Australian Farmers Federation also needs to be brought on board to help give the Plan some economic credibility and community support.

I’ve already seen the potential for growing Tasmanian blackwood in SW Western Australia:

https://blackwoodgrowers.com.au/2015/11/11/blackwood-in-western-australia/

Imagine this happening here in Tasmania?

Two Fender blackwood guitars for sale

Here are two Fender Tasmanian blackwood guitars currently for sale.

First is a Fender Custom Shop Artisan Postmodern Bass PJ 2016 Tasmanian Blackwood:

fender-bwdpmbass

https://reverb.com/item/3919477-fender-custom-shop-artisan-postmodern-bass-pj-2016-tasmanian-blackwood

I’m not sure what a postmodern bass sounds like, but it sure looks great!

The second is an American Select HS Blackwood Telecaster:

fenderbwdtele

This Telecaster is for you budding Keith Richards types out there.

https://reverb.com/item/3991070-american-select-hs-blackwood-telecaster

Two fine instruments from Fender featuring Tasmanian blackwood.

www.fender.com

 

 

Plantation Koa tonewood in Hawaii

Because traditionally all tonewoods have come from native forests from trees that are hundreds of years old, the tonewood market is pretty obsessed with the opinion that no good tonewood will ever be grown in a plantation environment. It’s almost a religious dogma!

But a handful of people are out to prove otherwise.

My own research on blackwood wood quality and genetics shows that wood quality in blackwood is more about genetics and less about environment or speed of growth.

Bob Taylor from Taylor Guitars and Steve McMinn from Pacific Rim Tonewoods are two people out to show that plantation wood, combined with good research, selection and breeding, will provide a significant source of quality tonewood in the future.

Here’s a great video of what these people are looking to achieve in Hawaii with Acacia koa.

I would love to see a video of the story of making the young planted koa trees into guitars that is mentioned in this video. I think that is a significant story that the tonewood market needs to see and understand.

Paniolo Tonewoods has been working with Haleakala Ranch and Native Nursery on the island of Maui, Hawaii to selectively harvest and to propagate koa.  Here, Bob Taylor of Taylor Guitars, Scott Meidell of Haleakala Ranch, and Steve McMinn of Pacific Rim Tonewoods, discuss this exciting project.

http://paniolotonewoods.com/

https://www.taylorguitars.com/

http://pacificrimtonewoods.com/

Paniolo Tonewoods, a joint venture between Pacific Rim Tonewoods and Taylor Guitars, is a new project based in Hawaii, aimed at bringing koa and other ethically-sourced tonewoods to market.

Native only to Hawaii, koa has long been prized for its beauty and versatility. It has traditionally been the wood of canoes, surfboards and guitars.  Koa forests have been much diminished, and good koa lumber is now scarce. All over the world, hardwoods are becoming more difficult to responsibly harvest, yet the demand for beautiful wooden instruments keeps growing.

Paniolo Tonewoods is dedicated to meeting this growing demand with good forest management, reforestation, and innovation.  With Hawaiian groups, we are collaborating on new ways to plant, grow, and manage koa forests to ensure their vitality.

If only I had a few benefactors like Bob and Steve supporting farm-grown Tasmanian blackwood.

PS. I especially like Bob Taylor talking about the “heart and rind of the melon”, and the fact that the guitar industry has to stop only using the “heart” and tossing the rest away. I shall await the arrival of plain-grain maple guitars with much interest!

Select Grade Blackwood Timber for >$10,000 per cubic metre!

Wandering around the internet and here’s the first blackwood timber price list for the new year. This price list is for dressed select grade blackwood timber from a timber retailer in Sydney.trenddbwd

It contains a limited range of sizes.

It also contains little by way of volumetric price increases with increasing timber size to reflect the fact that larger dimension timber can only come from larger trees which take longer to grow and therefore should cost more.

What is shown here are select grade blackwood volumetric prices for the first time getting well into the 5 figures!!

I wonder when Tasmanian farmers will begin to take notice?

Martin Custom Shop 00-14 Fret Tasmanian Blackwood

martin-custom-shop-0014fdb-tazblkwood_2018002_angle-left__80417-1478028819-1280-1280

Here’s another one-off custom guitar from CF Martin featuring Tasmanian blackwood currently for sale from Moore Music in Indiana, USA.

http://www.mooremusicguitars.com/martin-custom-shop-00-14-fret-tasmanian-blackwood-8002/

This little beauty is very much in the traditional CF Martin style. Nothing flash. Just good old honest Martin quality.

 

Body Size: 00-14

Top: Sitka Spruce-Vintage Tone System

Rosette: Style 28

Back: Tasmanian Blackwood

Purfling: HD Zig Zag

Back Binding: 5/32” Grained Ivoroid

Back Inlay: .0325” B/W Boltaron

Sides: Tasmanian Blackwood

Neck: Genuine Mahogany

Neck Shape: Mod Low Oval

Headplate: Tasmanian Blackwood

Tuning: Machines: Gotoh Nickel Open Geared w/ Butterbean Knobs

Fingerboard: Black Ebony (Stain-Yes, Oil-Yes)

Radius: 16”

Width At Nut: 1 ¾” (1.750)

Width At 12th Fret: 2 1/8” (2.125)

Fingerboard Bind: None

Bridge: Black Ebony

 

Nice guitar!