Tag Archives: Hawaiian koa

GEAR 516 • Koa as a Tonewood

Today we explore the use of Hawaiian koa as a tonewood, also discussing the wood’s origins in mauka forests in Hawai’i, its historical uses in native Hawaiian culture to modern day usage, and forestry stewardship.  Koa is a bright, relatively dry tonewood with punchy low-mids; clear, sparkly highs; and sweet chiming overtones.  Not only is koa a good sounding wood with a strong heritage, but it is also a beautiful wood that can exhibit stunning figuring.  Koa guitars are excellent for jazz, folk and rootsy fingerstyle, and slack key among other applications.

Recorded with a Taylor K22ce (solid koa grand concert with Elixir Nanoweb Phosphor Bronze HD gauge set) and a Neumann TLM 102 microphone.

GEAR 515 • Taylor Koa Series Guitars (feat Taylor K22ce)

This video provides an overview on Taylor’s Koa Series guitars, featuring a Taylor K22ce with solid koa top, back, & sides.  Though Taylor uses koa on various models throughout its line, the Koa Series is Taylor’s dedicated koa line and features solid koa back & sides on all models in the series.  In recent years, Taylor has moved to a more organic look with solid wood appointments and earthy edge burst finishes.  The guitars are bright, but in a good way – the note separation is great for complex chords, making it a good fit for jazz; the punchy low-mids are good for folk and rootsy fingerstyle; and the sweet overtones make the guitar perfect for slack key among other applications.   

Recorded with a Taylor K22ce (solid koa grand concert with Elixir Nanoweb Phosphor Bronze HD gauge set) and a Neumann TLM 102 microphone.