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Go Ahead and Ask: Bob Taylor of Taylor Guitars

Go Ahead and Ask: Bob Taylor of Taylor Guitars

5. I had to reset the neck on my 2003 314-CE-L1—I believe the luthier took .015 off the shim—even though I control the climate in my home and have always kept the guitar in its case when not playing. Is it normal to have the neck reset after such a short amount of time?

No, I would not say it’s normal. But that doesn’t automatically mean something is wrong. Our ability to adjust the NT neck comes in handy when a guitar moves just a bit more than normal. Once reset, it’s usually good for a long, long time. The beauty is it’s so easy to reset the neck that we don’t have to try to figure out why, unless it moves again. If something turns out to be wrong, of course, you know where to find us. But I wouldn’t worry about it if I were you.

6. I was looking forward to ordering an 8-String Baritone via your Build to Order program but was disappointed to see the jumbo body style was not available. I have seen other manufacturers offer jumbo baritones and I was wondering what your reasons were for not offering that option?

Curiously, I’m probably asked why we don’t do something more often than I’m asked why we do do something. Honestly, the reasons we don’t offer the baritone in a jumbo are boring—not exciting at all. It just has to do with what we were excited about, and that was crafting the 8-String with a Grand Symphony body. It’s our most current design, it makes a good baritone, its shape has “Taylor” written all over it, etc. One might call that marketing, but we’re just more excited about that guitar. You might still want to inquire about having an 8-String Baritone made with a jumbo body through our Build to Order program; you’d be the first to ask, and we might say yes.

7. I see summer humidity levels of more than 75% drop to 30% and worse in the winter, and it’s nearly impossible to manage the climate in my entire house. I keep the guitar in its case, use an in-case humidifier in winter, etc., but I was wondering if you could suggest any special strategies or products for dealing with those vast seasonal differences?

Humidipak by Planet Waves! Don’t forget that name. Buy them. They will absorb moisture in the summer and humidify in the winter. They work both ways. Many of you may know of the early recall of Humdipaks while some manufacturing issues were solved. They’re back, and I can’t imagine being without them. Oh, and by the way, thanks for storing your guitar in its case. You are miles ahead of people who want to display them on their walls. Guitars are not furniture, nor are they artwork. They’re instruments and need to be kept in the case when not played.

8. Having the ability to create, play and own any guitar you could possibly imagine, what would your dream guitar be? Please include details such as woods, body style, bracing, etc.

Oh man, don’t make me, please don’t make me. Well, it would include Brazilian rosewood and Adirondack spruce. It would be a Grand Symphony shape and would have ebony binding and an armrest, and a Brazilian back strap behind the peghead. And I’m not copping out when I say I’d be just as happy if that same guitar were made from Indian rosewood and Sitka spruce. That’s the truth. Or I’d have Bill Collings build me a mahogany dreadnought with tortoise binding, and then there is this 000 Martin, made in the ’20s, that a friend of mine owns. That guitar is really good. See, I can’t do it!

9. A few years ago, I was watching a Taylor video and I saw a Taylor amp. What is the story behind those, and will they ever make it to the public market?

Well, the story is we’re always tinkering and working on designs. This was made as a cute little thing that works well with our Expression System. It sounds great and has one knob: Volume. Yeah, it will make it to the public market sometime, but it’s too hard to say when.

10. What types of woods will Taylor be experimenting with in the near future—and what sorts of sounds would those produce?

I think we’re experimenting with the future woods now. For instance, ovangkol and sapele are future woods. There’s some neat South American rosewood species that are available in very small quantities, so some of those might find their way into a guitar here and there. We’re still working on Tasmanian blackwood, knowing it sounds great; now the problem is getting it. Also, we’re looking at some different species to replace ebony if the day comes when that might be needed. There’s mesquite too. It sounds like rosewood, more or less, and is pretty and stable. Yet there’s no real method of obtaining it. I think the major woods are defined now, with lots of “wood du jour” guitars that will be made along the way.

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