Taylor is continuing to forge ahead in the guitar industry by furthering a commitment to sustainable woods with the debut of Urban Ironbark in its new revamped 500 series acoustic guitar models.
“Imagine the sonic depth and richness of Indian rosewood pushed to another level," says Taylor Chief Designer, CEO and President Andy Powers. "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 and depth across the entire frequency spectrum.”
The new 512ce and 514ce electro-acoustic models feature back and sides of solid Urban Ironbark and follows Urban Ash in continuing Taylor's partnership with West Coast Arborists, Inc (WCA) to reuse red ironbark eucalyptus removed from South Californian urban areas.
This wood is either reaching the end of its life cycle or posing a safety risk to the community, and instead of being used for firewood or mulch, Taylor realises its potential as a guitar tonewood.
“Usually, denser woods are hard to dry and prone to distortion, which needs to be carefully controlled to yield a stable guitar part — like ebony,” Andy Powers explains. “With red ironbark, we found that we could dry it consistently well the way we might dry East Indian rosewood.
"This ironbark has similar characteristics in that regard. It’s very stable. On top of all of this, it has one of the smoothest and most uniform textures of any dense wood I’ve ever seen.
It's a new variation on the tried and true rosewood and spruce combination to some extent - favoured by countless players for its projection.
“Urban Ironbark has a tone-shaping quality where it produces the deep, clear sound of rosewood but with just enough of the damping effect of ebony or mahogany that helps smooth out the sharp edges of the sound,” Powers says. “With the ironbark’s density, the guitar sound is what I would describe as muscular and strong.
"The sensation I get when I play it is like the guitar is naturally amplifying everything I do. It’s giving me back more than I put into it — like the notes want to jump out of the guitar. These are guitars I’m really excited to get into people’s hands.”
The 514ce and 512ce include a Taylor Deluxe hardshell case and will be available at authorised Taylor dealers for an RRP of €3,399 (ex VAT). We're seeing street prices on the guitars at around £2,999 each in the UK.
More info at Taylor