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Eucalyptus fretboards, Micarta saddles, case humidification, and can Bob still build a guitar?

With this edition of Ask Bob, you’ll find an extra helping of questions, plus some additional content we hope you’ll enjoy. For starters, now that we’ve also launched a digital edition of Wood&Steel, Bob answers a couple of questions via video, which allows him to illustrate some of the topics he discusses. (If you missed Bob’s video on bearclaw spruce from our last edition, be sure to check it out.)

Also, in July, Bob joined our weekly Taylor Primetime livestream show (episode 10), hosted on Taylor’s YouTube channel, for a rapid-fire Ask Bob Q&A based on submissions from Taylor fans. As always, Bob shares his insights in an engaging and forthcoming way. Now onto the latest batch of questions for Bob…

I’m quite excited about the new American Dream guitars. I’ve never heard of using eucalyptus for a fretboard! How and why did you decide to go that route, and what “regular” fretboard would it be considered similar to in hardness and feel? Read Answer

I once heard that a certain guitar maker turned CEO went on the factory floor and made a guitar. When the quality checks were done, they trashed it because it didn’t meet their standards. Could you go onto the floor, make a (Bob Taylor) guitar, and have it pass the quality checks these days? Read Answer

With the retirement announcement from Chris Martin IV and with fellow luthiers Jean Larrivée, Richard Hoover, Ren Ferguson and yourself, not to forget Bill Collings (RIP), looking to pass the baton to the new crop of master luthiers, what do you think your generation’s legacy will be? Read Answer

Why do some think the fretboard wood type makes a tonal difference, when the string vibration is from metal to plastic or bone? You don’t seem to hear a difference when the fretting finger moves over the fret markers. Read Answer

Why did Taylor switch to Micarta saddles over Tusq? Read Answer

In addition to my other Taylor guitars, I proudly own a 712ce 12-Fret WSB, which I purchased nearly three years ago. I love them all. However, I have a problem with the case that came with my 712. It does not hold the humidity in the case. I use D’Addario Humidipaks, which need replacing every month. No matter the time of the year or the location of my guitars around the house, the packs in the 712 dry out quickly. The other guitars are OK. The case I got has six latches. I saw some cases in the store that have only 4. Please explain. By the way, this 712 has brought romance back to my guitar playing. These 80-year-old hands feel young again! Read Answer

You recently redesigned the Grand Symphony in the 800 and Koa Series. Are there any plans to extend that redesign to other lines? I’d really love to have a 500 Series Grand Symphony, and I’m worried I’ve missed my chance other than ordering a custom guitar. Read Answer

Have your neck profiles changed in the last couple of decades? I’ve got a 2000 312ce and find the new necks don’t feel the same…. I think the shape of the older neck is pretty splendid. Read Answer

Bonus Video

We often receive questions about the different degrees of coloration found in ebony, so Bob gathered an array of ebony fretboard blanks to show some examples of its color range.

Bob shows off the wide spectrum of coloration in the ebony used for fingerboards.

Got a question for Bob Taylor? 

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If you have a specific repair or service concern, please call our Customer Service department at (800) 943-6782, and we’ll take care of you.