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Taylor Guitars’ Urban Tonewoods, Part 1
 
Taylor’s Andy Powers discusses the company’s latest effort in using sustainably harvested woods.
December 21, 2022
 

It’s no secret that many of the woods that are traditionally used in guitar construction have become problematic to use. In the most obvious cases, such as Brazilian rosewood, the wood is endangered and can’t legally be imported to the US and many other countries. In other cases, the limitations are less drastic, but between the lower quality of many traditional guitar tonewoods and a greater awareness of the need to harvest responsibly, most guitar makers have begun to look for alternatives. Taylor’s commitment to building environmentally-friendly guitars includes working with companies such as Pacific Rim Tonewoods to increase the use of sustainably harvested woods, reducing the waste of cosmetically imperfect ebony through its operation in Cameroon, and developing designs such as the multi-piece NT neck (which uses wood more efficiently than a one-piece neck).

In an effort to source wood that grows close to its Southern California home, Taylor started the Urban Woods Initiative, and in 2000, the company released the Builder’s Edition 324ce and GTe, which are built with urban ash back and sides. Earlier this year, Taylor began using urban ironbark for the back and sides of its 500 series (check out our demos of the 512ce and 514ce). Sourced from urban trees that are removed by park services or city maintenance crews, these woods have tonal qualities comparable to more traditional tonewoods. 

I took a trip to Taylor’s headquarters in El Cajon, California, this past November to learn more about the company’s use of urban woods. While there, I had a chance to interview Taylor’s Andy Powers, whose responsibilities as chief designer and luthier were recently augmented by also taking on the roles of CEO and President. This video is the first part of our conversation in which we talk about how the urban wood process works, what the materials sound like, how they affect the design of a guitar, and much more. 

Taylorguitars.com

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    ● Courses
    ● Live Workshops
    ● Instructors
    ● Sample Lessons
    ● Notation Guide
    ● For Beginners
 
 
    ● Vintage Vault
    ● New Gear
    ● Fine Lutherie
 
 
    ● Workshops
    ● Advice
    ● Repertoire
 
 
    ● Recordings
    ● Events
    ● Breaking News
 
 
    ● In The Studio
    ● Live Onstage
    ● Backroom
 
 
    ● New Products
    ● Inside Look
    ● Performances
    ● Partner Pages
 
 
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