GUITAR SHOWCASE 2022: Hawaiian koa’s seductive charms are legendary. With the new all-koa 700 Series, Taylor master designer Andy Powers has embraced koa’s natural beauty and sonic virtues in a fresh way that reveals a distinctive musical personality compared to Taylor’s luxurious Koa Series.
Where the Koa Series showcases an ultra-refined look and sound, featuring figured koa, rich appointments, gloss finish and a smooth voice, the new 700 Series channels more of koa’s natural character in look, feel and sound. New Select-grade koa boasts rich color variegation and straight grain structure.
A new back bracing pattern, together with ultra-thin matte finish, coaxes a livelier, punchier, more direct response from the guitar, making it exceptionally player-reflective. The thin finish also creates a warm and inviting tactile sensation with the natural wood texture, making players feel even more connected to the guitar.
A new suite of appointments for the series complements koa’s rich colors in a natural way, featuring mother-of-pearl Fountain fretboard and peghead inlays, Indian rosewood binding, maple/rosewood top edge trim, a paua/rosewood rosette, a dark-stained maple pickguard and Taylor polished bronze tuners.
Model offerings include the Grand Auditorium 724ce and Grand Concert 722ce. Both feature Taylor’s onboard ES2 electronics and include a Taylor hardshell case.
Koa Forest Stewardship in Hawaii
The new 700 Series guitars directly reflect Taylor’s innovative forest stewardship work with koa in Hawaii together with longtime supply partner Pacific Rim Tonewoods (PRT).
In 2015, Taylor and PRT formed a joint venture with the goal of restoring native Hawaiian forests and growing koa in Hawaii. As part of the project-based stewardship agreements made with private landowners in Hawaii, Taylor and PRT are permitted to cut a select number of designated koa trees, and in exchange, invest dollar for dollar in a host of forest improvement projects.
Through that direct arrangement, Taylor and PRT have discovered more varieties of koa wood, showcasing a richer palette of colors and visual character than previously encountered in dealing with suppliers.
Andy Powers was especially excited by the new opportunities this koa presented, which inspired the redesign of the 700 Series to showcase the virtues of this koa.
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