I am not sure where I saw this first ( i hope not here) I think anyone interested in guitars is somewhat interested in their construction. Also IMHO truly ethical businessmen are few and far between. I am very impressed.
Very impressive indeed. Thanks for sharing this.
The video speaks volumes about the integrity of Bob Taylor's company. Impressive indeed!
I think this is quite important - and just want to add that Seagull has the Natural Elements line (which use responsible wood - or at least a stock of "found" wood) - http://www.seagullguitars.com/seagull_naturalelement_series.html - and Walden has the Madera line - http://www.waldenguitars.com/steel_madera.html - with responsibly managed and harvested woods.
It looks like only the Artist series Peppino, Studio and Cameo use ebony finger boards and bridges. Both my Maritime and NE use Rosewood. I never thought of this before and I wonder if there is a tone difference? HMMM homework!!
Another case of the Seagull website being contradictory - on the "specs" page, it is stated that "all Seagulls have rosewood fingerboards and bridges", but the specific specs of the guitars you mention (with their pics) indicate ebony...alas...
If you are looking at conservation, Seagull appears to be doing a much better job than Taylor. We tend to look very shallow at conservation. A good example is the use of reusable grocery sacks that have boom across the country for $0.99. Yet, we a neglecting that oil used in production, transportation from China to USA, and the factories they are manufactured, that has very few environmental regulations. You would be much better off, reusing paper sacks manufactured in North America or using the slightly more expensive hemp or cotton bags, again made in North America.
Seagull uses Canadian tone woods, which are harvested in country and spend less time traveling. "Locally" grown is always better. But the best way is through the use of reclaimed logs! That is why I bought a Natural Elements and when I got the second for being #1 built. I wanted to support a company doing something right. For those who do not know what reclaimed logs are, they are often trees cut to make a road in a deforesting operation, log inventories left due low wood prices, abandoned reserves, ect.
I worked two years in a state park so conservation is something I take to heart.
First I must say, I have never seen (that I know of), or played a carbon fiber guitar. I am only going to comment pertaining to the sustainability.
There are to many questions about carbon fiber, and then about the specific carbon fiber used in the production. What fibers are used? Aluminum, nylon, kevlar, vinyl, each has its own environmental impact and impact in production or mining. Again, oil is used in production. What epoxy are used, again chemicals. How long will carbon fiber last? Issues have arisen in the use in automobiles and aviation.
To sum it up give me wood, it is natural. I have not read a ton about the economic impact of sustainability on carbon fiber, but my guess it won't be good.
I'd really like to try a carbon fiber guitar. If the hype about them is close to being accurate, I'd be tempted to buy one. Wooden guitars are like wooden boats, beautiful to look and fun to operate, but not as practical as aluminum. Does anyone sell aluminum guitars? They probably sound awful but with my playing I'm not likely to notice.
My most troublesome boat was aluminum, rivets kept popping and causing leaks all the time.
Easy to fix with a rivet gun though.
My old fiberglass covered wood boat never had an issue with the body, but it weighed a ton and cost a fortune to keep in fuel.
Now we've downsized from powerboats, and the kayaks are made of rotomold plastic.
Yes, metal guitars are made, look up "steel dobro guitar" or metalcaster guitar (telecaster made of steel) Don't think I could hold one of them up for very long !
Also never heard a carbon fiber guitar played but did listen go a carbon fiber violin, sounded OK but seemed sterile (that may have been my imagination).
The price of the CF instruments to me seem to be out of this world.
I would also add Walden and Martin have used a great route of going FSC Certified. You can read the forest management plan here: FSC Forest Management Standard
One issue that has not been brought up is the of land reclamation. The discussion indicates Cameroon as the last ebony frontier. Has the business purchased by Taylor work on land reclamation for the future century to be able to harvest ebony? Countries like Madagascar, Cameroon, Tanzania, ect use their natural resources to brink to fund their countries. Our love of cellphones has placed a hug demand for mining in Madagascar. Forest area is being devastated at an alarming rate, that ebony will not be there and is more than likely being sold.
To me big business ethics seem to be taken straight out of the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition.
If anything they do has a positive spin, it is most likely an accident, that will be used to further profits.
I may be an old cynic, but the business world sure seems to have become one very nasty place