Taylor Liberty Tree T5
Taylor Guitars Releases Liberty Tree T5 At Summer NAMM 2008
The Liberty Tree T5 is crowned with a solid cream-and-chocolate top of tulip poplar milled from the wood of the Annapolis Liberty Tree, the last survivor in a group of majestic trees once chosen to designate clandestine meeting sites for Colonists plotting the American Revolution. This living symbol of freedom and independence grew on the St. John's college grounds in Annapolis, Maryland, until severe damage from Hurricane Floyd in 1999 caused experts to declare it a safety hazard for students and order it felled. Company president Bob Taylor, an avid history buff, subsequently purchased approximately 80,000 pounds of the historically significant wood, and in 2002 released a limited edition run of 400 Liberty Tree Grand Concert acoustic guitars as a playable tribute to those who struggled for freedom during the birth of our nation. Taylor also built a batch of Baby Liberty 3/4-size guitars with Liberty Tree veneer, using smaller, leftover pieces of the wood.
The Liberty Tree T5 retains some key design elements from the original Liberty Tree Guitar: a stylized, hand-inlaid Revolutionary period battle banner drapes the guitar's shoulder, just above the T5 tone controls, and a post-Revolution American flag is unfurled on the peghead. Eleven mother-of-pearl stars decorate the fretboard, and there are two more stars in the banner, for a grand total of thirteen. Binding on the body, neck and headstock is brilliant figured maple, accented by red, white and blue purfling, and the same purfling outlines a lovely backstrap of Liberty Tree wood. The body's back cover panel is satin-finish maple with a laser-cut inlaid Liberty Tree shape crafted in the tree's wood and with the word "Liberty" etched in elegant lasered script just beneath it. All hardware, including the vintage Gotoh tuners, sports an antique gold finish.
Fifty Liberty Tree T5s will be made in all. Each one will be individually identified by the name of a state and accompanied by a numeral designating the order in which the state entered the Union. The guitars will also come with a special custom case. A gallery of Liberty Tree T5 images is now posted at taylorelectricguitars.com, along with a list of select Taylor dealerships that will have one of these amazing instruments.
The first Builder's Reserve guitars were a small batch of Bastogne walnut SolidBody guitars released in January 2008. Each Builder's Reserve guitar comes with a custom photo book signed by Bob Taylor that documents the build process, history and origin of the special woods used for that particular guitar.
The Liberty Tree T5 is scheduled to arrive in stores in mid-summer.
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