Monthly Archives: January 2016

New Taylor 300 Series solid Tasmanian blackwood


After years of waiting Taylor Guitars have finally included Tasmanian blackwood into their standard line of guitars!!

This is the first time a major international guitar manufacturer has incorporated Tasmanian blackwood into its standard production.

This is farm-grown Tasmanian blackwood.


Taylor Guitars master guitar designer Andy Powers explains why the refinements applied to the new Taylor 300 Series make the guitars the most dynamically responsive, expressive instruments the series has ever offered. He also talks about the addition of Tasmanian blackwood to the series…

…. and why it’s one of his all-time favorite tonewoods, from its warmth and dynamic range to its sustainable sourcing outlook.

You can’t ask for a better recommendation than that now can you?

Nonetheless, blackwood has been attracting an ever-growing following among guitar makers and players. The supply is also sustainable, with a healthy sourcing outlook for the future.

Ok that’s enough! You can stop now!!

The 300 series are Taylor’s lowest price solid wood guitars.

How do you introduce a relatively new unknown tonewood into the American market?

You bring it out at a low price so the market is better able to experience the magic of Tasmanian blackwood.

My only request to Andy Powers!

Please also include Tasmanian blackwood as a top wood option in the 300 series!!!

Please let us have a Taylor 300 that speaks 100% Tasmanian blackwood.

Now we want guitar buyers to stampede these new Tasmanian blackwood models from Taylor guitars.

Tasmanian blackwood – the profitable, sustainable quality tonewood.


Lapoinya and Forestry Tasmania profitability and commercial management


Here’s a great video interview with economics commentator John Lawrence who has been following the mismanagement of Forestry Tasmania for a very long time.

His comments relate somewhat to the current conflict around the logging at Lapoinya in north west Tasmania. But much of his observations relate to FTs general business operations.

I have two comments to make in relation to what Mr Lawrence has to say:

  1. John talks about FT profitability and covering the costs of harvesting and overheads. But the discussion is almost as if the objective is to breakeven. Forestry is a business! It’s about making profits NOT breaking even!! I think the best analogy is to remember that FT competes in the marketplace with private forest growers. And private forest growers do not grow trees in order to break even. They grow trees so they can make a profit. They grow trees so they can put food on the table and a roof over their heads. Forestry Tasmania needs to be run just like the private businesses against which it competes. Forestry Tasmania needs to set commercial performance objectives and meet them ever year without fail!
  2. Later in the interview John Lawrence talks about selling our native forest wood as if it were all special species. It’s about marketing and product placement. Every single log needs to achieve top dollar. It’s a great idea. I remember making the same recommendation 25 years ago to a meeting at FT. The FT senior managers at the meeting laughed at the idea.

But it’s way too late!

The forest industry should have been reformed along commercial lines back in the mid 1980s when the Hawke-Keating economic reforms were in progress. But the forest industry refused to reform. By my reckoning the last chance the forest industry had to reform was during the RFA process in the late 1990s. But once again the forest industry resisted change.

And now it’s too late!

The public native forest industry is all but gone. Decades of politics, conflict and waste have driven the industry to the point of extinction.

Any idea that there is still something that can be rescued is pure delusion.

Forestry Tasmania is now just a political play thing. A toy to help win the next State election.

The problem for Tasmania is that no politician has the courage to face the truth.

Deloraine Stringfest Update

Stringfest Logo

The Deloraine Stringfest Facebook page Wednesday announced there would be no festival this year.

We are currently reviewing our options and dates for 2017.

That’s a shame.

Looking back at my comments on last year’s festival I still think those comments remain relevant.

Developing a broader audience from the non-musical side of the festival, so that the festival lives up to its objectives (and avoids becoming yet another music festival) is essential – but problematic!

Given the highly contentious and politicised nature of anything forestry related in Tasmania, putting more of the Festival focus on timber, timber growing and timber craftsmanship becomes difficult.

Where does the wood come from? Public native forest, World Heritage Area, lake salvage, farm salvage, commercial private grower??

Is the wood certified? Is it sustainable? Is it profitable?

All of this immediately generates tension and conflict because so many people have such a wide diversity of opinions and expectations.

How can the Festival navigate this social, political and economic minefield and survive?

But for the Festival to live up to its objectives that is exactly what it must do:

The Aims of Deloraine StringFest Tasmania are:

  • To present a festival of stringed instruments, showcasing Tasmanian luthiers, Tasmanian tone-woods and instruments;
  • To recognise Tasmanian instrumentalists and provide a social gathering for musicians, both professional and amateur;
  • To highlight the craft of luthiers and the pre-eminence of Tasmanian timbers used world-wide to create quality crafted stringed instruments; and
  • To provide ongoing recognition of Deloraine as a centre for craft and arts excellence.


The Festival must lead to the future and not be bound by the forest policies, practices and conflicts of the past.

A part of that future is profitable, sustainable farm-grown Tasmanian blackwood.