A Craftsman-Inspired Guitar/Amp Pairing
The first of several series of Builder’s Reserve acoustic guitar/amp pairings, a guitar and custom wood cabinet for the amp were designed together, bonded by matching wood and aesthetic elements. The limited-release Taylor ES acoustic amplifier is a 40-watt acoustic amp designed to provide a natural extension of our Expression System pickup and preamp. The ES Amp™ is optimized for ES-equipped guitars, which makes it remarkably transparent and simple to use since you shape your tone using the ES controls on the guitar (the only control on the amp is a volume knob).
The guitar is a cutaway GS featuring a back and sides of beautiful flatsawn flamed mahogany, a European spruce top, a flamed mahogany neck, and our first-ever flamed maple armrest and binding. The European spruce, which is difficult to procure, sounds wonderful paired with a mahogany GS body. “It has an Adirondack-like attack,” explains Taylor guitar designer Andy Powers. “It’s got huge, punchy volume with good headroom, but also with thick, rich overtones. It’s like a cross between Engelmann and Adirondack spruce.”
Andy designed custom fretboard and headstock inlays, drawing inspiration from the residential architecture of the Greene brothers, whose early 20th century bungalow-style houses in Southern California, including Pasadena’s famed Gamble House, stand out as iconic expressions within the American Craftsman-style movement. The “Pasadena Torch” inlay design, in flamed maple and bubinga, was also incorporated into the amp cabinet, and the decorative design also was guided by the Greene Arts and Crafts aesthetic of furniture design.
The cabinet is made of solid, flamed maple — which relates to the maple binding around the guitar — with inset side panels of flamed mahogany laminate to match the guitar’s back, sides and neck. The panels incorporate the Pasadena Torch inlay motif to match the guitar’s fretboard. The guitar and amp are offered together as an acoustic package, and only 30 have been made. Together, they make an inspiring acoustic partnership that any player, collector, or wood craftsman will savor.