Taylor’s special celebration of amplified acoustic tone continues with another boutique-level Builder’s Reserve guitar/amp pairing. For this small-batch release, Bob Taylor personally secured a cache of European maple and chose to pair it with European spruce tops. European maple is lighter in color and density than the more prevalent Big Leaf maple that we typically use. As a result, it produces a slightly more complex tone, adding a splash of extra warmth to the clear, focused tone associated with maple. Similarly, the European spruce yields a distinctive sonic profile relative to other spruce species, blending the power and headroom of Adirondack spruce with a touch of cedar’s warmth. The unique tonewood combination is paired with our Grand Auditorium body style, making for a guitar that will match well with sophisticated chords and fingerstyle arrangements, strummers with a firm attack, and any player looking for a fast, clear response.
Inspired by the shared European heritage of the woods, Taylor guitar designer Andy Powers revisited an earlier era of guitar-making and conjured an Art Deco aesthetic reminiscent of European design in the 1920s and ’30s. Figured Hawaiian koa provides a dramatic visual counterpoint to the blond hues of maple and spruce, appearing as a back mini wedge, backstrap, armrest and binding. The fretboard and headstock inlays also feature a contrasting mix of maple and koa, arranged in a geometric Art Deco design that blends diamonds, triangles and circles in a symmetrical descent down the neck. Geometric elements also appear within the alternating koa and maple rings of the rosette.
The retro, wood-rich aesthetic carries over to the beautiful hand-built cabinet for our Expression System® acoustic amplifier. The cabinet is crafted from figured Big Leaf maple and embellished with an Art Deco “cloud lift” that extends out from each side. A contrasting speaker baffle of figured koa, adorned with three maple “fins,” helps transport the amp to another era, evoking the elegant look of a vintage radio cabinet.
The Builder’s Reserve V guitar and amplifier are sold as a pair, and only 50 sets have been made.