Posts Tagged ‘Guitar’

Taylor Guitars Introduces the Baritone 8-String Guitar

Posted by Carl on 13th January 2010 in Music Industry

ANAHEIM, Calif. – January 14, 2010 – Born from a love of tone and a passion for innovation, Taylor Guitars has expanded the possibilities of guitar voicing in its new model, the Baritone 8-String. With a bold, fresh sound, the Baritone 8-String  broadens the tonal spectrum, giving players a rich musical palette that promises to uncork new inspiration of musical harmony.
Featuring a Grand Symphony body with a richly hued back and sides of Indian rosewood topped with Sitka spruce, the Baritone 8-String embodies the spirit of a traditional baritone guitar paired with Taylor’s quality craftsmanship and product innovation. The model features a longer-scaled 27-inch neck and Taylor-designed baritone bracing. The guitar is tuned from B to B and features additional octave strings paired along with the third and fourth (D and A) strings. This feature gives players an extended range of sounds, without compromising tonal integrity or playability.
The Baritone 8-String came to be as Taylor’s product development team was deep in the throes of designing several series of 35th Anniversary guitars, including a 6-string baritone (XXXV-B) and a 9-string guitar (XXXV-9). The team decided to experiment by creating a hybrid of the two, as Bob Taylor explains. “We loved the traditional baritone, but missed having some of that upper register. We thought, what if we turned it into a 9-string baritone? So, we made one. But after deciding it was a little too jangly, we pulled off the [doubled second] string, leaving the third and fourth octave strings. It sounded awesome.”
Adding the two octave strings, Taylor says, transformed the baritone. “It’s a whole new ballgame. It’s really, really cool because you can either accentuate those octaves or stay away from them. The beauty of this guitar is that it goes low and those two strings brighten it up, but they don’t sound too ‘octave-y’. It doesn’t give you that 12-string effect as much as it really just extends the range because, as a baritone, the octaves aren’t really high. It fills the guitar out and gives it a nice (tonal) spread.”
The Baritone 8-String is tuned a fourth below standard guitar tuning, allowing the player to play songs in a lower register. In terms of the playing experience, Taylor’s David Hosler, a member of the product development team, compares the tonal properties of the 8-string baritone to a blend of three different instruments. “When I hear it, I feel like I’m hearing a 6-string, a bass, and a bit of 12-string all in one guitar,” he says. “In giving it a good listen, it sounds like standard and alternate tuning at the same time.”

The product development team at Taylor isn’t the only group excited about the new model. Taylor-strumming dealers, from metal players to singer-songwriters, are lining up to play and share the experience with their customers. Matt Clancy, from Craig’s Music in Weatherford, Texas sampled the 8-string during a fall Taylor Road Show event. As a heavy metal musician, he was blown away with the “bigness of the tone.” In fact, he says his favorite thing about the guitar is the tonal fullness he gets from a single strum. “When you’re playing regular chords on the 8-string, there’s so much more body, especially with octave strings,” he elaborates. “It opens up the way minor chords sound, and they sound huge on it. It’s a great guitar for guys who do metal and some acoustic rock, as it’s perfect for power chords, and for some jazz too, especially if they like playing in low B. It’s a guitar that’s filled with big, tonal goodness. It adds a depth that you can’t get from any other guitar on the market right now.”  
Evan Carmen, a Taylor dealer from Morgan Music in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, had the chance to play an 8-string prototype during a recent visit to the Taylor factory. As an acoustic singer-songwriter, Carmen is sure this guitar will be an addition to his collection. “There is practical application in nearly every style and genre I can think of,” he says. “It’s only a matter of time before it starts changing music forever. I can’t wait to see how people react to it right out of the gate. No doubt, we’ll be hearing it used frequently after people catch wind of what it’s capable of. I can’t wait to have one of my own.”

As enchanting as the guitar is to play and listen to, it’s equally attractive visually. The model’s appointments include a mother-of-pearl peghead inlay and delicate diamond-shaped fretboard inlays, a three-ring abalone rosette, and abalone-dotted bridge pins. Premium features include Indian rosewood binding, a bone nut and saddle, and an all-gloss finish. Amplified with the Taylor Expression System® pickup and strung with ELIXIR® Baritone strings, the model is also offered in a standard 6-string version.
Available at authorized domestic and international Taylor dealers in mid-winter, the Baritone 8-String will be offered at a suggested retail price of $3,998 and the Baritone 6-String at $3,798. Players looking to keep their baritone guitar equipped with ELIXIR strings® can purchase them through TaylorWare, the company’s online store of Taylor-branded clothing, accessories and gear.
To experience the company’s new guitars, artist performances, or to learn more about Taylor Guitars, please visit the Taylor Guitars booth on the second floor of the Anaheim Convention Center, Room 213.

For additional information about the Baritone guitars, please visit  


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Serj Tankian to Unveil New Signature Model Guitar, Hold Question and Answer Session with Fans at NAMM

Posted by Samuel Eiferman on 13th January 2010 in Entertainment, Music Industry


by Sam Eiferman


At the annual National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) trade show in Anaheim, California, Taylor Guitars co-founder Bob Taylor will be joined on stage by Serj Tankian, accomplished solo artist and creative frontman for the Grammy award-winning rock band, System of a Down. Tankian, who garnered critical acclaim with his debut solo album, Elect the Dead, has played Taylor acoustic guitars for several years, and has spent the past two years touring with a Taylor T5.

Tankian will join Taylor to chat about guitars, his career and new projects, and to debut his latest endeavor, the Serj Tankian Signature Model T5 guitar. Following the conversation, fans in attendance will be able to ask Tankian their questions.  

DATE:            Thursday, January 14
TIME:             2:00 PM
LOCATION:    Taylor Guitars Room 213 ABC at the Anaheim Convention Center

To experience the company’s new guitars, artist performances, or to learn more about Taylor Guitars, please visit the Taylor Guitars booth on the second floor of the Anaheim Convention Center, Room 213


About Taylor Guitars 
Founded in 1974, Taylor Guitars has evolved into one of the world’s leading manufacturers of premium acoustic and electric guitars. Renowned for blending an innovative use of modern technology with a master craftsman’s attention to detail, Taylor guitars are widely considered the best sounding and easiest to play in the world. Many of today’s leading musicians make Taylor their guitar of choice, including Dave Matthews, Prince, Jason Mraz, Serj Tankian, Taylor Swift, the Goo Goo Dolls, Sarah McLachlan and more

Kay Vintage Reissue Thin Twin

Posted by Samuel Eiferman on 1st November 2009 in Music Industry

by Sam Eiferman

Kool Kay Klassics of the ’50s and ’60s

The Kay Vintage Reissue Thin Twin electric guitar and electric Pro Bass guitar are authentic reproductions of instruments that evoke the vintage look and smoky–bluesy–gutsy sound of Kay electrics of the ’50s and ’60s. This was the golden era of Kay electrics, when players ranging from the great bluesmen Howlin’ Wolf and Jimmy Reed to jazz god Barney Kessel hit the stages with the latest creations from Kay. I first spied a Thin Twin played by T–Bone Burnett accompanying Robert Plant and Allison Krauss on the Grammy Awards show. The reissue Thin Twin and its Pro Bass sibling are distinctive, fun, and inspirational instruments that are also hard workers—capable of some rough–and–tumble working–class blues and rock sounds.

Thin Twin electric guitar

It won’t take much of a search on the Internet to find pictures of Jimmy Reed holding his Kay Thin Twin. A heavy influence on blues disciples like the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, and Mike Bloomfield, Reed recorded most of his hits on a Kay Thin Twin. Opening the case of the sample Thin Twin guitar revealed a seductively curved blonde beauty with tiger–stripe pickguard and checkerboard binding that oozed the ambience of a downtown blues club.

The Thin Twin gets its name from the two single–coil “blade” pickups that, in conjunction with its semi–hollowbody construction, give it a very resonant, round tone topped with a bright, crisp edge. With the Thin Twin plugged into my pre–CBS Princeton Reverb, the bridge pickup gave me a distinctive sound that was clean and sharp. I also found that the EQ from the tone controls was more responsive and interactive than I had anticipated. In fact, the bridge pickup with its tone control wide open is quite crisp and clear with a bright, raw edge that doesn’t become brittle or ice–picky—great for cutting through the mix. Rolling back the treble just a bit, I launched into a couple of late ’50s/early–’60s instrumentals including “Harlem Nocturne” and “Guitar Boogie Shuffle.” The 26″–scale neck with 12″ fretboard radius allowed smooth, sure–fingered riffing. In Jimmy’s honor, I played a couple of his hits, “Big Boss Man” and “Bright Lights, Big City.” The neck pickup produced a classic blues tone with clean, natural distortion that provided the foundation for my re–creation of the loping, low–end cut–boogie shuffle—Jimmy’s trademark sound. You could almost smell the smoke–and–beer ambience in my imaginary jook joint.

Pro Bass

The Beatles and Rolling Stones were the original roots–rock revivalists. The Kay Vintage Reissue Pro Bass is similar to the bass favored by Stones bassist Bill Wyman in the early ’60s and the similar Kay Jazz Special played by Paul McCartney. Just as it did when first introduced in the early ’50s, the Pro Bass, with its semi–hollow body and medium 31–1/16″ scale, plays easily without sacrificing any tone. Like the Thin Twin guitar I tested, the Pro Bass had head–turning looks with a blonde finish and tiger–striped pickguard. Also available in honey sunburst and black, the Pro Bass has a maple body and maple neck complemented by a rosewood fretboard. I tried out the Pro Bass’ thump by playing along to early Stones R&B covers such as the insistent I–V–bVII–IV vamp that propels “Everybody Needs Somebody To Love” and the insistent pattern that drives the instrumental “2120 South Michigan Avenue.” The Pro Bass’ unique high–frequency cut switch helped me reproduce that Chicago–style upright bass punch. With the tone controls wide open, I switched to using a pick and the Pro Bass nailed that classic electric bass sound I’ve heard on so many great records of the ’60s. Overall, the Pro Bass gave me a range of tones and playability I hadn’t expected and in a vintage package I really dug.

Kay Vintage Reissue Thin Twin Electric Guitar and Pro Bass

The return of the kool

On all Kay Vintage Reissues the fun begins with the cool, two–tone hardshell case. Brown and crème with a Kay chevron screened on top, it has heavy–duty latches, a leather handle, and is lined with plush, lipstick–red velvet. A cool cosmetic addition that convinced me Kay set the Wayback Machine to the right era is the legendary headstock “Kel–von–a–tor” chevron in all its Lucite glory. Also on the headstock, the truss rod cover bears the name of Roger Fritz, the legendary luthier who has been crafting clones of the Kay Pro Bass for a bunch of years now. He was recruited by Kay along with other collectors and historians to help re–create vintage parts and update designs (as in the aforementioned truss rod—the originals didn’t even have one). To reproduce the parts authentically, molds were reverse–engineered from the original pickguards, knobs, and tailpieces. The repro pickups have that hand–wound sound.


The Kay Vintage Reissue Thin Twin and Pro Bass let you drink from the cauldron of R&B, blues, and down–home country sounds that form the basis of rock–and–roll. You’ll be well–served using these instruments to reproduce that hearty brew and create your own special recipe for a funky, rootsy, sonic stew.

Country Pop Star Taylor Swift and Taylor Guitars

Posted by Carl on 20th October 2009 in Entertainment, Music Industry

Once a talented, aspiring preteen with a Taylor guitar and big musical dreams, country pop superstar Taylor Swift has made her mark on the music industry. After spending much of 2009 on her first headlining tour and celebrating the milestone success of 10 million total albums sold and over 20 million paid downloads, Swift is now adding to her repertoire as a singer, songwriter and actress with her very own signature guitar. In collaboration, Taylor Guitars and Taylor Swift announce the arrival of the Taylor Swift Baby Taylor guitar (TSBT), a model that is sure to inspire players of all skill levels with its compact size, full-voiced tone and a top that features Swift’s design touches.

Based on the best-selling Baby Taylor guitar, the TSBT is ideal for both promising players and accomplished pickers. At three-quarters the size of a standard dreadnought, with a slim 1 11/16-inch neck and a comfortably compact shape, the guitar is just right for both the littlest player’s hands and anyone who likes to pick up and play on the go. With the new model, Swift hopes to inspire others to express themselves through music. “I wanted to share my passion for playing guitar with my fans,” she says. “For a beginner, finding the right guitar can be intimidating, but this guitar, it’s the perfect size. Even if you’ve been playing for years, it’s a great size to travel with.”

The TSBT is crafted from a resilient sapele laminate body with a solid Sitka spruce top. Swift’s design, which encircles the guitar’s soundhole, features her well-known expression “Love, Love, Love” among delicate vines. The design also commemorates the songwriting spirit and success of her latest album, Fearless, whose title is inscribed above the bridge along with her signature.

Swift, who shares a close relationship with Taylor Guitars and regularly uses a variety of Taylor guitars when both performing and recording, fondly remembers her own Baby Taylor as a go-to guitar during her early days of touring. “I used to sit in the back seat of the rental car while I was on my radio tour at 16, writing songs on my Baby Taylor guitar,” she reflects. “I love the sound, and I love those memories.”

It’s not just Swift who is excited about this guitar. Taylor dealers everywhere are also eagerly anticipating its arrival, like Bryan Rankins from Fazio’s Frets and Friends in St. Louis, Missouri. “It’s not often that I get excited about another ‘signature’ guitar, but when I heard about the Taylor Swift Baby Taylor, my reaction was much different,” Rankins says. “Here you have an incredibly gifted young woman who is inspiring young people through her words and music. When I first saw a picture of the guitar, I knew right away that it would help spawn a whole new breed of young musicians and give them something positive that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.”

In addition to Taylor’s global network of dealers, the Taylor Swift Baby Taylor is available now for pre-orders at “We’re thrilled to work with Taylor Guitars to make the new Taylor Swift Baby Taylor available to our customers,” said Noah Herschman, director of Home Electronics and Musical Instruments for “Taylor Swift is one of the hottest stars in country and pop music, and her collaboration with Taylor Guitars has resulted in a product that we think our customers will love. Now they can pre-order it and ensure they’ll get it in time for the holidays.”

Introduced in 1996, the Baby Taylor was designed to be the ultimate musical travel companion and set the standard for how good a small guitar could sound. Delivering impressive volume and tone for its compact dimensions, the Baby Taylor quickly became the favorite “road guitar” for many professional musicians, including rock legends Bono (U2) and Joe Elliott (Def Leppard), pop artist Katy Perry, and country music hit makers Clint Black and Tim McGraw.

The TSBT will be offered at a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $398 and comes ready to rock in a cushioned Taylor Guitars gig bag. The Taylor Swift Baby Taylor guitar is available for purchase at authorized Taylor Guitars dealers, and soon, at

12-Fret and Parlor Guitars

Posted by Carl on 8th October 2009 in Music Industry

To celebrate the company’s 35th Anniversary, Taylor Guitars is honoring requests from players around the globe with the release of two very exclusive editions. Affectionately called the “you asked for it” guitars and constructed in limited quantities, the 12-fret, the XXXV-TF, and the parlor, the XXXV-P, pair vintage acoustic concepts from yesteryear with signature Taylor craftsmanship, delivering results that exquisitely expand Taylor’s palette of acoustic voices.

With a warm, vintage voice, the XXXV-TF, a guitar named so for its 12 frets from the nut to the edge of the body, features a back and sides of spectacular AA-grade koa, an Engelmann spruce top, and a slotted headstock crowned with ebony. The geometry of the neck, body and bridge design in relation to each other translates into modern yet vintage tones. Bob Taylor shares, “It’s probably the warmest Taylor guitar I’ve ever heard. The mid-tones are beautiful, and it’s also loud. The whole experience of playing it is mesmerizing.” Premium appointments include a bone nut and saddle, green heart abalone top trim, a single abalone rosette and a koa peghead backstrap. To honor the anniversary, the 18-fret mahogany neck features the “35” inlay between the 11th and 12th frets, and is amplified with the Expression System®.

Not to be outdone, is the XXXV-P, a parlor guitar that’s compact in size but rich with tone. The XXXV-P features a parlor body shape designed by Taylor’s Larry Breedlove, with a back and sides of Madagascar rosewood and a top of wide grain Sitka spruce. Like the XXXV-TF, the mahogany neck joins the body at the 12-fret, while an ebony-topped slotted peghead is complemented by a bone nut and saddle. The bridge design, which draws from the Taylor Nylon Series bridge, features shortened ends and scalloped contouring for extra flexibility to enhance top movement and tone. A three-ring green heart abalone rosette and abalone dotted ebony bridge pins highlight the beautiful details of this all-gloss, small-bodied model, while parlor bracing and Taylor’s proprietary Expression System® pickup provide clear articulation with each strum.

The XXXV-TF will be offered at a suggested retail price of $6,998 and the XXXV-P at $5,998. All 35th Anniversary models will come with a certificate of authenticity signed by Taylor co-founders Bob Taylor and Kurt Listug. To date, the company has announced 35th Anniversary models in the T3 (XXXV-T3-K, XXXV-T3-C), the T3/B (XXXV-T3/B-K, XXXV-T3/B-C), the SolidBody (XXXV-SB-MP, XXXV-SB-K), the “Armrest Series” (XXXV-GS-C XXXV-GS-M, XXXV-GS-MP, XXXV-GS-W), and has introduced a 9-string (XXXV-9) model. The 35th Anniversary guitars are expected to be available in North America in early fall and internationally in late winter.