An All-Koa Ukulele and Guitar Combo Usher in the Return of Taylor’s Builder’s Reserve Program
Riding a wave of creativity and fresh innovations, Taylor Guitars is readying the release of a very special pairing through the company’s Builder’s Reserve program: an all-koa tenor ukulele and full-sized matching Grand Symphony guitar. The acoustic coupling offer players an exclusive tandem of instrumental voices that celebrate the musical heritage of the Hawaiian Islands.
Designed by senior luthier Andy Powers, who has designed ukuleles for the likes of Elvis Costello, Taylor Swift and many more, Powers has taken a classic, hand-crafted approach to sharing his love of the ukulele with others. The biggest fan of the uke may be Bob Taylor, who calls it a “guitar player’s uke. Anyone who plays guitar can just have fun instantly with this.”
With a limited production of 30, each ukulele was hand-built by Powers and features a body length of just over 12 inches and a scale length of 17.25 inches. With its small size, equally diminutive appointments were needed to complement the ukulele. The Taylor team took a page of inspiration from the redesigned Koa series and has included a plumeria flower/island vine fretboard and peghead inlay crafted from blackwood and maple, and accented with a flamey maple rosette. The ukulele comes tuned GCEA for tenor voicing but can accommodate baritone strings and voicing.
The matching guitar in this Builder’s Reserve special set is an all-koa cutaway Grand Symphony, which features identical appointments to its smaller counterpart but with one special tone enhancement: solid lining and side braces instead of traditional kerfing on the interior of the guitar. While decidedly more difficult to exact, the result is a guitar that is more responsive and dynamic. The guitar comes equipped with Taylor’s Expression System® acoustic electronics.
The company’s Builder’s Reserve program was started in 2008 to utilize unique, ultra-limited wood sets, which the company has been accumulating in its private reserves over its nearly 40-year history. Each of the all-koa ukulele and guitar sets will come with a full-gloss finish and in their respective cases. The pair will be available at select Taylor dealers as a matched set beginning in late January at a suggested retail price of $8,998.
To experience the koa ukulele and Grand Symphony set during the NAMM show, please visit us at the Taylor Showcase in room 213ABC of the Anaheim Convention Center.
For news from NAMM, please visit: www.taylorguitars.com/events/namm-2012