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Fall 2014 Limited Editions

A pair of Tasmanian tonewoods, blackheart sassafras and blackwood, plus a trio of all-koa guitars, apply exotic island imprints on our fall 2014 limited editions.

700 Series

Back/Sides: Blackheart Sassafras
Top: Sitka Spruce
Models: 712-e 12-Fret FLTD714-ce FLTD718-e FLTD

The star of this series is rare and wildly beautiful blackheart sassafras selectively sourced from Tasmania. The wood’s “blackheart” name comes from its exotic variegation, specifically the appearance of dark striping caused by fungus that forms in the heartwood of the tree. The fungus typically forms from water that drips down within the tree as a result of branches that break off during storms. Even the sets cut from the same section of a log will differ in appearance, so no two sets from this select batch are visually alike. While sassafras is normally blond in color, the blackheart sets also showcase a kaleidoscopic mix of pink, red and purple hues, accented with bold lines.

A dense, slow-growing hardwood, sassafras’s tonal properties give it a truly unique sonic personality compared to other tonewoods. Players can expect a tone that blends warmth with a clear top end, producing strong focus and projection. Taylor’s Andy Powers describes it this way: “It’s got some of the dry, woody response of walnut or mahogany, with some of the note separation and focus of maple or myrtle, with a more articulated high-end overtone series like rosewood. In other words, it has a certain chime and breathiness up top, while also being really focused, and the low end has a warm dryness to it.”

The sassafras was paired with a Sitka spruce top and is offered in three models, a non-cutaway Grand Concert 12-Fret (712e 12-Fret-FLTD), a cutaway Grand Auditorium (714ce-FLTD), and a non-cutaway Grand Orchestra (718e-FLTD). The guitars feature some of the tone-enhancing refinements first introduced on Taylor’s 800 Series, including Advanced Performance bracing and protein glues, which give each model a rich, dynamic character. Between the unique tone profile of sassafras and Taylor’s other design features, each of these guitars may take on a chameleon-like tonal quality that will be highly reflective of each person’s individual style. “Depending on the player, a person might bring out more of a mahogany sound, or rosewood, maple, walnut or something else,” Andy explains. I think this will be really appealing to players.”

500 Series

Back/Sides: Tasmanian blackwood
Top: Sitka Spruce
Models: 510-e-FLTD512ce-12-Fret FLTD514ce-FLTD516ce-FLTD518e-FLTD

While Tasmanian blackwood doesn’t boast the cachet of well-established tonewood counterparts like rosewood, mahogany, maple or even Hawaiian koa, its natural musical properties make it deserving of a place at the table as a staple wood among guitar enthusiasts. It’s a wood we love to showcase periodically through limited editions, and we’re pleased to offer it as part of a special 500 Series guitar package. Blackwood’s tone profile resembles that of koa or mahogany in its midrange focus — a little dry and clear yet also warm — with an added splash of top-end shimmer and richness found in rosewood. Its musicality also lends itself to a variety of body sizes and musical styles, which is why we’ve produced models in all five Taylor body shapes.

This particular batch features straight-grained sets paired with a Sitka spruce top. A shaded edgeburst body and neck complement blackwood’s rich cinnamon-red hues and conjure a vintage feel, especially together with the ivoroid appointment package borrowed from our standard 500 Series. Each model features a limited edition label inside the guitar, comes equipped with Taylor Expression System® electronics, and ships in a Taylor deluxe hardshell 

300 Series

Back/Sides: Hawaiian Koa
Top: Hawaiian Koa
Models: 324ce-K FLTD326ce-K FLTD

Not all Hawaiian koa boasts the richly shimmering figure required to meet the premium grading standards of our Koa Series. But even when koa’s exotic beauty is understated, its deep color and distinctive tonal character remain distinctively captivating. The good news for customers is that we typically set that wood aside to use for a more affordable koa guitar package. In this case, we’ve used it to craft a pair of all-koa limited edition 300 Series models, featuring our Grand Auditorium and Grand Symphony shapes.

The all-koa bodies feature satin finish and a pickguard-free top, which serve to emphasize the organic beauty of the wood. Tonally, the guitars will sound slightly different than their Koa Series counterparts due to the use of our 300 Series bracing scheme (Standard II) rather than the CV bracing used on the Koa Series. The Standard II will punch up the midrange and favor a powerful strummer. With the addition of our Expression System® 2 pickup, these guitars make a great all-around choice for fronting a band as a rhythm player or a singer-songwriter.

GS Mini-e Koa

Back/Sides: Layered Hawaiian Koa
Top: Solid Hawaiian Koa
Model: GS Mini-e Koa

Taylor’s popular GS Mini enjoys a tonewood refresh with a limited edition all-koa model. The pickguard-free solid koa top is paired with layered koa back and sides, with the addition of Taylor’s ES-T pickup, for instant plug-and-play fun.