There are few tonewoods out there today that capture the same sweetness of Hawaiian koa. A lesser-seen tonewood from Taylor Guitar history, a koa guitar is a special sight. The combination of unique aesthetic and refined sound makes each Taylor koa guitar a beauty.
With the release of Taylor's newest Koa 700 Series acoustic guitars, that beauty comes alive in all new ways.
A Hawaiian Treasure
The sourcing of Hawaiian koa is a practice with a legacy spanning generations. Before its use in musical instruments, the native Hawaiian koa wood, Acacia koa, was used in canoes, surfboards, and paddles. The sourcing of Hawaiian koa for musical instruments became more common with the rise of interest in Hawaiian music and culture in the early twentieth century. As Hawaiian culture peaked and faded as a national fascination by the 1930s, Hawaiian koa phased out of acoustic instrument production in favor for more traditional tonewoods such as mahogany and rosewood.
Close to forty years had passed before young luthiers reintroduced Hawaiian koa back to production – among them Bob Taylor. With the first Taylor koa guitar produced in 1980 and the Taylor Koa Series launched in 1983, the sweet tropical tonewood came to life once again.
The Taylor Guitars Koa 700 Series
Today's Taylor Guitars Koa 700 Series presents a true celebration of the tonewood. Each body is constructed fully from Select Grade Hawaiian Koa. The unique grain patterns of the Koa 700 Series make them one of a kind treasures all their own. An expertly applied matte finish gives the Koa 700 Series a distinct feel in hand. This matte finish is deliberately formulated to complement the glimmering tones Hawaiian koa creates without stifling its voice. Indian Rosewood body binding, Mother-of-Pearl Fountain fret inlays and Taylor Polished Bronze tuners contribute to the aesthetic presentation and playing experience for a guitar that sounds as good as it feels.
A Bright Future for Koa
With decades passed of Hawaiian koa cycling in and out of circulation among guitar builders, Taylor Guitars has since embarked on initiatives to preserve the future of the tonewood. 2015 brought a partnership between Taylor Guitars and their supply partner, Pacific Rim Tonewoods, in an effort to push toward conservation of koa. The partnership, Siglo Tonewoods, dedicates effort to restoring native Hawaiian forests and growing koa in Hawaii. Siglo Tonewoods seeks to ensure a sustainable future for Hawaiian koa through forest improvement projects.
Taylor's works with Hawaiian koa culminate in a beautiful series of guitars. Wholly, Hawaiian koa is given a royal treatment for players to enjoy.