GUITAR SHOWCASE 2022: Taylor Guitars has a long history of introducing compelling new tonewood flavors to the world, and we’re excited to debut a stunning new entry — red ironbark — as the new featured tonewood of our reimagined 500 Series.
Sourced in Southern California through our urban wood initiative, we’re calling the wood Urban Ironbark. After discovering and falling in love with its acoustic properties, master builder Andy Powers has paired ironbark back and sides with a torrefied (specially roasted) spruce top plus a new voicing recipe (which leverages Taylor’s patented V-Class bracing architecture) to bring another uniquely enticing tone profile to the Taylor line. The new 500 Series debuts with two models: the cutaway Grand Auditorium 514ce and cutaway Grand Concert 512ce.
Taylor’s Expanding Urban Wood Initiative
Urban Ironbark marks the second tonewood in the Taylor line that’s sourced in partnership with Southern California-based West Coast Arborists (WCA), a sophisticated tree management operation that provides a wide range of tree services to hundreds of municipalities and public agencies across California.
Think of the public tree populations that form the green canopies across cities and suburbs — such as landscaping in parks and other public spaces, and along neighborhood streets and highways. At some point, these public trees need to be removed, either at the end of their natural life cycle or for safety or other reasons. In an effort to source tonewoods in responsible ways, Taylor launched an innovative collaboration with WCA to source wood from select species with favorable properties for guitar-making.
The first was Shamel ash — comparable to high-grade mahogany — which debuted with Taylor’s Builder’s Edition 324ce. The second wood, Urban Ironbark, proved to have exceptional qualities for musical instruments, prompting Andy Powers to redesign Taylor’s 500 Series to showcase it.
Imagine the sonic depth and richness of Indian rosewood pushed to another level. Red Ironbark’s hardness and density are comparable to ebony, and together with a roasted spruce top, produce a sound that’s loud, muscular and sweet, with piano-like fidelity, complexity, depth and balance across the entire frequency spectrum.
Notes jump out of the guitar, producing a natural amplifying effect that will fill a room with sound. Any player who appreciates the sonic virtues and versatility of our flagship rosewood/spruce 814ce will love the Grand Auditorium 514ce, while the other new 500 Series entry, the Grand Concert 512ce, also produces remarkable volume and dynamic range, blending the responsiveness of a smaller body with bold projection that also makes it an inspiring strummer.
In a nod to the classic heritage of Taylor’s 500 Series, the new appointment package preserves a traditional aesthetic, updated with subtle decorative touches to complement the new wood pairing.
The back and sides feature a stain that deepens ironbark’s natural reddish and golden-brown hues. The body and neck also feature a lightly shaded edgeburst, with a gloss-finish body and satin-finish neck.
Other details include new Aerial inlays in Italian acrylic and faux pearl, faux tortoise shell binding and pickguard, a single-ring abalone rosette with maple and black purfling, and Taylor nickel tuners. Both models feature a Venetian cutaway and onboard ES2 electronics and ship with a Taylor deluxe hardshell case.
Learn more at taylorguitars.com