Back when I was reviewing Taylor Guitars blackwood models in chronological order I missed a rare gem!
Taylor has been researching and developing guitar electronics and pickup systems for many years.
This resulted in the Expression System 1 (ES1) in 2003 for Taylor acoustic guitars, followed in 2005 by the T5 hollowbody hybrid guitar in 2005, and the T3 semihollow body in 2009. Both the T5 and T3 models are still in production.
In 2007 the Taylor R&D had evolved to the point of developing pickups that suited solidbody guitars, so the decision was made to develop a range of solidbody electric guitars.
These were launched in 2008 with three models – Standard, Classic and Custom.
The initial Custom model had a Walnut top with Sapele body and neck(Wood & Steel Vol 54, p. 16).
The Custom model then quickly expanded to include a stunning Custom Koa/Blackwood model with a flamed Koa top and Tasmanian blackwood body and neck (Wood & Steel, Vol. 55, p. 18).
The Custom Koa model then changed to having a mahogany body and neck (Wood & Steel Vol 56, p. 33).
But as Taylor quickly discovered, breaking into the already crowded and conservative solidbody electric guitar market would be a long, hard battle.
On top of that the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) hit the world economy sending guitar sales plummeting.
From what I can find on the internet, Taylor put little effort into marketing and promoting their solidbody guitars, with the result that only 45 of these Custom Koa/Blackwood beauties were built (Taylor Guitars, pers. com). They are rare premium electric blackwood guitars.
The solidbody Custom models only lasted 2 years!
The Standard and Classic models died out in 2013!
“On a related note, you may notice the absence of our SolidBody from this year’s line. That’s because we wanted to take this year to explore some new design ideas. We’ll be sure to share new developments as they unfold.”
And with that simple statement in 2014 Taylor declared the end of their brief venture into the solidbody electric guitar market.