• 2022 Issue 3 /
  • Ask Bob – Bob versus Andy, how frets and pickguards impact sound, and how acoustic guitar woods ripen with age
photo of Bob Taylor with arms crossed

Ask Bob

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Bob versus Andy, how frets and pickguards impact sound, and how acoustic guitar woods ripen with age

Editor’s Note: With Andy Powers leading new product development as Taylor’s chief guitar designer for more than a decade now, you’ll see Andy responding to more of your questions, especially when they relate to his guitar designs. We encourage you to ask whatever questions you have for either Bob or Andy. Both are happy to share their thoughts.

In our video Q&A with Bob Taylor, Bob talks about our new urban wood initiative and the surprising costs and other challenges associated with developing the sourcing infrastructure.

Bob, what would you say is the biggest difference between the way you’ve approached guitar making and the way Andy has? Read Answer

I always wondered what role fret wire plays in contributing to an acoustic guitar’s sound and overall feel and performance. What material and fret size does Taylor use for its frets and why? I imagine resilience is an important consideration. I’ve heard people mention stainless steel frets from time to time — have you ever used those? Read Answer

I just got a new 324ce Builder’s Edition a few days before my 62nd birthday, and it is a joy to play. I’ve had a 912ce BE for a couple of years now, and it is also an amazing instrument. I have neck and shoulder issues. I am faithful to my stretching and strengthening routines to keep these issues at bay. Both guitars are so comfortable and easy to play. When these guitars were designed, did you have people like me in mind, or was that just a wonderful break for players like me? Also, can you give me any insight on how the ash wood will age sonically over the years? Many thanks for making such stellar guitars! Read Answer

I’ve read that the top/soundboard of the guitar provides the majority of the sound and quality of sound from an acoustic guitar due to the vibration it makes. What has always puzzled me is if that is true, wouldn’t a pickguard and even the bridge subdue the vibration and distort the sound? Yet some of the historically great guitars have huge pickguards and even oversized “mustache” [bridges]. I have even seen some guitars with double pickguards. Was this a consideration to produce the Builder’s Editions without pickguards? Read Answer

Bob, at this point in your career and life, what other things are you interested in learning? Read Answer

Bob, how involved were you in laying out the factory flow at Taylor’s plant in Tecate? Do you have any plans for new developments there, and if so, will you be directly involved? Read Answer

Got a question for Bob Taylor or Andy Powers? Shoot them an email: askbob@taylorguitars.com