West Coast Arborists (WCA) is a large, California and Arizona-based tree services company that - among a number of other services - helps cities remove trees and recycle the wood from them when the trees have been damaged by weather or begun to ail.
WCA recently invited Taylor to take a look at its inventory of urban wood species, and see if any of them would make the cut as instrument tonewoods. Though Taylor built prototypes with a number of woods that didn't quite work, there was one, shamel ash, that hit the sweet spot.
“This ash species happens to be a great mix of the right weight, density, dimensional stability and drying attributes, and responds well to sawing, sanding and finishing,” Andy Powers, Taylor's master guitar designer, said. “In almost every physical way I can measure it, it’s reminiscent of really good Honduran mahogany.”
Re-dubbed Urban Ash, the wood graces the the back and sides of the new Builder's Edition 324ce, which is also built with a mahogany top.
Elsewhere, the guitar features a chambered body and fretboard edges, a beveled armrest and cutaway, V-Class bracing and a Curve Wing bridge.
ES2 electronics, Compass inlays in faux pearl and Italian acrylic, and Gotoh 510 tuners also come standard.
The Taylor Builder's Edition 324ce acoustic guitar is available now - with a deluxe hardshell case - for $2,999.
For more info on the guitar, stop by taylorguitars.com.
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Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com and GuitarPlayer.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.