Taylor's redesigned 500 Series, featuring Urban Ironbark, a brand-new tonewood that debuts as the back and sides of its 514ce and 512ce models.
The tonewood joins Urban Ash as the second tonewood in Taylor’s product line to come from Taylor’s urban sourcing initiative in collaboration with WestCoast Arborists, Inc. (WCA). The reimagined 500 Series models feature Taylor’s revolutionary, award-winning V-Class bracing system as well as a torrefied spruce top, yielding a sound that’s robust, muscular, and sweet.
Urban Ironbark, otherwise known as red ironbark eucalyptus (Eucalyptus sideroxylon), is one of more than 700 eucalyptus species found around the world. Taylor’s partnership with West Coast Arborists allows access to select urban trees from Southern California — part of a municipality’s managed public tree population — that are designated for removal after reaching the end of their life cycle or posing a safety risk to the community. Typically, these end-of-life trees are converted into firewood or mulch. However, Taylor’s innovative partnership with WCA allows the trees to live on as beautiful acoustic guitars.
The new urban tonewood has a physical density comparable to ebony while also delivering the sonic depth and richness of Indian rosewood, but pushed to another level. The voicing recipe for the new guitars include a torrefied (roasted) Sitka spruce top paired with Taylor's V-Class bracing. The result can be described as a fresh variation on the classic spruce/rosewood sound with the help of Taylor’s modern acoustic engineering, and with the guitar’s enhanced volume and projection immediately evident, even with a lighter playing touch.
The appointments on the new 500 Series offer a nod to the classic heritage of Taylor’s 500 Series, which were previously mahogany guitars. The back and sides feature a stain that deepens ironbark’s natural reddish and golden-brown hues, along with a lightly shaded edge burst on the body and neck. Other details include new Aerialinlays in Italian acrylic, faux tortoise shell binding and pickguard, and a single-ring abalone rosette with maple and black purfling. Both models include onboard ES2 electronics and a mahogany neck with Taylor nickel tuners.
The 514ce and 512ce include a Taylor Deluxe Hardshell Case and can be found for $3299 at authorized Taylor dealers worldwide. For more information about the new models and the entire Taylor lineup, please visit taylorguitars.com.
Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi and Epiphone partner on a new version of his beloved SG.
The Epiphone Tony Iommi SG Special features a two-piece mahogany body, a bound one-piece mahogany neck with a rounded profile, an Indian laurel fretboard with 22 frets, a Graph Tech nut, Grover Rotomatic tuners with contemporary style buttons and chrome-covered Epiphone PRO P-90 pickups that are wired to CTS potentiometers and Orange Drop capacitors. A static cling reproduction of Tony’s “Monkey” sticker is in the included hardshell case. The new Epiphone Tony Iommi SG Special is available in both left and right-handed versions.
Tony Iommi's riffs, heavy tones, and influential albums helped creat the blueprint for heavy metal and many other genres to follow. After an early accident that almost ended his career as a guitarist, Tony persevered to become universally revered. And while Tony’s innovative tuning and playing styles have always been a major part of his monstrous tones, his original, heavily--modified 1964 Gibson SG Special, nick-named "Monkey" was at the center of it all.
Tony Iommi is synonymous with heavy rock, his innovative, de-tuned, dark riffs are considered to be the blueprint for hundreds of bands that followed. Born on February 19, 1948, in Birmingham, England, left-handed Tony picked up the guitar after being inspired by the likes of Hank Marvin & the Shadows as a teenager. Iommi’s musical career was nearly derailed prematurely as he suffered a horrible accident at a sheet metal factory, when a machine sliced off the tips of the fingers on his right hand. Figuring that his guitar playing days were behind him, a friend turned him onto guitarist Django Reinhardt (who lost use of two fingers in a gypsy caravan campfire accident), inspiring Tony to give the six-string another go, with soft plastic tips attached to the ends of his fingers. By 1967, he had played with several blues-based rock bands one of which evolved into Polka Tulk (later titled Earth and then Black Sabbath), with bassist Terry “Geezer” Butler, drummer Bill Ward , and singer John “Ozzy” Osbourne.
Epiphone Tony Iommi SG Special
$999.00 USD. More info at epiphone.com.