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:
|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:
(NOTE TO REVERB USERS: If you are searching for blackwood guitars on reverb the search only picks up “blackwood” if it is in the title of the advertisement. If blackwood is in the text and not in the title, it will not appear in your reverb search results. The above 355 Jumbo is a good example of this faulty search program. You will also need to search by make and model to find blackwood guitars.)
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.