Fans of Hawaiian koa and walnut guitars can rejoice: Taylor Guitars is bringing back its Koa and Walnut Series, both of which are absent from the current Taylor catalog.
Bob Taylor expained the decision, "We interrupted our production of those guitars last year because the koa we were seeing varied too much in quality, appearance, and style. It's hard to maintain the standards we and our customers demand of a premium Taylor model if the quality of the tonewood can't be repeated over and over with regularity. As for the Walnut Series, while the grafted walnut on hand was gorgeous, we didn't have an endless supply of it, so we temporarily took it and koa out of the production mix.
We were pleasantly surprised to discover that, even after we removed koa and walnut from the lineup of standard models, people continued to order them through our Custom Shop, and usually they'd take the opportunity to upgrade, at some expense, to the best-possible grain figure. That sent us a loud, clear message that people really love the Koa and Walnut Series.
We've developed a new koa source and the wood we've been seeing is beautiful. And even we missed seeing the stunning coloration and exotic flair of grafted walnut pass through our hands. Nothing is 'forever' when it comes to sourcing rare and valuable woods, so we'll re-issue these two series for 2005 and then re-assess our supply in 2006."
The biggest visible change on the 2005 koa and walnut models is the addition of abalone trim, which the 2003 models did not have. The majority of these guitars will have three-piece backs. Grafted walnut will be used only for the backs and sides of the Walnut Series.