Interesting vid on ebony from Taylor

  • I also liked his statement: "I've decide to do this, because I am in the position of deciding"! :)
    I had no idea Taylor was the main wood supplier to instruments manufacturers worldwide 8o

  • I would find a yellow ebony fretboard rather fascinating.

    That said, I'm questioning how this is something amazing. He's basically saying "I'm going to use this countries forests up in a a slower way and sell you a different product so I can continue to make crazy profits" That's what I'm hearing.

    What I wanted to hear, and am NOT hearing is: "that's why we are shepherding future wood stocks by planting trees at a level the guitar manufacturing needs of the future can be sustained by"

    Much like a farmer growing potatoes for french fries. You don't need to conserve potatoes because McDonalds is worldwide.

    This is a good step, but it does ZERO to solving the problem that demand for guitars is creating. NOR does it solve THIS problem because if he doesn't cut down 10 trees to find the black one, the other 25% of the countries supplier that he has no control over MIGHT do just that. He can't control the other supplier or the government's policy.

    Sustainability of Natural Forests: 0
    Continued Corporate Profits: 1

  • Still not enough. Not using VOC's good, alternative woods don't really stop the problem just spread it to another species. They need to FARM the wood for the future.

    I suppose that can't be expected of a corporation and has to be regulated by a government.

    That said, I fully expect my Ebony fretboard 550 Taylor to be worth $1,000,000 when I'm 107 years old. Well, just the ebony.

    It also bring to mind a new untapped market: buy those Craigslist $50-100 upright piano's and take their black keys off, trash the piano and stock the keys for repurposing when there is no longer any Ebony left legally.

  • Ultimately they need to develop products that can be manufactured that have the sonic properties of various woods or else electronically capable of altering a non-wood derived tone into the faux semblance of a wooden tone.

    That is what will happen when wood is too scarce or expensive. Much like Tennis Racquets.

    How many wooden tennis racquets do you see in the stores? They're graphite, fiberglass, etc.

  • I'm questioning how this is something amazing. He's basically saying "I'm going to use this countries forests up in a a slower way and sell you a different product so I can continue to make crazy profits" That's what I'm hearing.

    What Impressed me was:
    "We provide (more or less) 75% of the worldwide ebony demand worldwide. I was not aware that only one tree out of ten was eligible (after cutting) for supplying wood for fretboards. I have decided - because I am in the position of doing that - that we are no longer going to waste 9 trees out of 10 just because the First World wants a peach-black ebony: we are leveraging our position to push the world to use speckled wood for their fretboards, thus giving the world a greater environmental consciousness".
    Not perfect maybe, but due IMO.


  • I think all these points are valid: it's obvious that Taylor are doing something about the issue; it's probably not enough and of course it's mostly probably profit led - sometimes though maybe profit making is a push enough to make companies put positive strategies in place. Of course it's not enough but at least it's something, and maybe more than many other companies?

  • It doesn't seem to be straight profit-related: Taylor is going to pay only for the "delivered" trees, they are not going to save on that. If what he says is true, he wasn't even aware there was 900% of waste...

  • Listen, this isn't "I saved a baby from a burning building" pin a medal on me.

    1. Not one tree is saved by this. The SAME 10 trees are getting cut.
    2. Not one new tree is planted as a result of this. Taylor doesn't own the forest or talk about "reseeding" ebony trees.
    2. Consumers get an "inferior" product.
    3. Taylor's bottom line is still $Cha-Ching$
    4. If demand is the same, the same amount of trees cut and wasted will remain the same. Because the 25% competitor will cut more non-black trees to get MORE black trees to fill the gap produced when Taylor stops producing the same amount and puts out non-black fretboards.
    5. No planning is given for the future. No one is sponsoring a "protected area for future guitar making trees" to insure future stock. 6. When this country runs out, and it will, even of non-black ebony, then the result is the same as wasting 9 trees per black tree. You end up with depletion and stoppage.

    The only good thing Taylor is doing is trying to get consumers to alter what they buy. But ANY alteration is STILL the same problem.

  • Ok @db9091, what this reaction does show is the topic title is appropriate.

    i didnt say say this was an amazingly altruistic, earth saving thing, but it does appear interesting;)
    Also though if we own instruments with these woods in them, then we are creating the demand the companies are supplying…

    in in the other link I posted about sustainability it does actually say:
    'We’ve developed pioneering partnerships with environmental organizations like GreenWood Global, a non-profit organization that empowers indigenous, forest-based communities to support themselves through sustainable forestry practices. Our work with GreenWood in Honduras has led to a successful new paradigm of social forestry, allowing several villages to participate in the sustainable harvesting of mahogany. '

    surely this an example of a company that shows some ecological conscience?

  • I've certainly never though of comparing this to saving a life! At the same time, I'd not fully agree with what you wrote: if the Industry needs to build say 100,000 instruments a month, they need a certain amount (in weight) of wood. It's certainly not the same if you need to cut 100 trees or 10 to get it.
    IOW, since the availability of 10 times more ebony doesn't translate into producing 10 times more instruments per month, it seems to me that we're actually saving wood at the cost of reducing the satisfaction of a tantrum ("I want the black one because it's more elegant").
    PS: I am fully aware that Mr. Taylor is a businessman, and believe me I am not naive nor idealist (well, up to a point :D ).

  • Let's not forget that a lot of this is on us. Remember when your favorite guitarist had his/her ONE guitar? Now we are a bunch of FOMO suffering, self-absorbed gear-sluts under the delusion that the average listener gives a crap what guitar we play or how it sounds. The subtle differences that we obsess over just don't matter in terms of getting the art out. And I'm a bigger A-hole than most. I own 40 guitars (down from 60), since I've slowly been selling them off. And I'm also down to a handful of amps thanks to the Kemper.

    We could probably go 30-40 years without any need for another guitar being built if we all stopped hoarding. By then we'd have some pretty sweet Honduran mahogany and Brazilian rosewood to play with again. But I realize this isn't a realistic idea that would sit well with many folks, especially Bob Taylor ^^ . But in theory it could work... LOL.

    I hate emojis, but I hate being misunderstood more. :)

  • Netheravon,

    You are correct, and I meant nothing personal towards you. Just saying what I'm saying in general not pointed toward anyone in particular.

    But yes, you are correct, in other areas Taylor is going into areas of long term planning. I've even read about their trials into genetics to research various types of flame maple (and found out it's not genetic but environmentally created)

    I'm sure if they found out that a tree unusually knocked about produced such flaming, they would build large mechanical devices to rock-em sock-em robot those trees for 40 years, haha!

    My major point was getting at the fact that these African countries are being exploited and not maintained. And our tax money goes into the military that keeps the routes of travel safe. We are not paying the true cost of this wood through the price of wood. We are subsidizing such adventures (safe oceans, obtaining oil, etc) through massive government taxation, exploiting nations, without a plan for their betterment, but to leave them in the long run depleted and then move on to the next sucker nation. Rant over ;)