Exchange Weekly Roundup, Gallery Weekly Roundup

Here's what you missed at TNAG last week...

From vintage classics to innovative modern builds, we featured the full spectrum this week in our Presents series, as well as in demos and new additions to our Just Arrived sections this week.

Presents: Episode 42. Martin 1940 D-28

Jordan waxes philosophical in our 42nd episode of Presents, digging into that "je ne sais quoi" that old pre-war Martins often seem to have. We may not know the full backstory on this 1940 Martin D-28, but one strum of this 81-year-old Brazilian rosewood and Adirondack spruce dread reveals a voice with plenty of experience and played-in tone.

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Presents: Episode 41. Wilborn Arum

Not content to just build traditional-style guitars (which he does very well), Ben Wilborn also explores modern innovations and acoustically re-engineers the guitar design with models in his Comma Series, like this Arum. Nick explores our latest showroom addition from the Nevada-based luthier in our 41st episode of Presents.

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Featured Exchange Demo: Taran DS5 "The Taran"

To celebrate his 12 years of building guitars, Scottish luthier Rory Dowling has crafted a series of very special instruments, utilizing his most coveted tonewoods and build materials. The fifth in that series, this Dowling Signature 5, or DS5 Taran, was completed in May 2019. The Taran model is Rory's slightly scaled down OM design. The smallest in his range, its easy responsiveness, comfortable curvature, and balanced voice will delight any fingerstylist. Featuring a richly figured set of Macassar ebony for the back and sides, paired with master-grade Swiss moon spruce, the tone of this particular Taran is as clear and articulate as could be, with a strong midrange, tight yet warm bass, crisp trebles, and a clean sustain. A slight arm bevel adds a bit more playability and comfort. The artistic touches on this guitar are outstanding, and perfectly accent its tone. Touches of burl elm and Scottish sycamore are seen on the purfling and asymmetrical rosette, and fine line fret markers are as functional as they are attractive.

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Featured Gallery Demo: Santa Cruz OM Ancient Kauri

This very special ancient Kauri OM from Santa Cruz Guitar Company has two fascinating stories to tell. The first is that of the wood itself, the ancient Kauri, "which was unearthed in the beginning of the new millennium and radiocarbon dated at 45,000 years old. Buried immediately during the historic cataclysm and, being starved of oxygen, the anaerobic environment kept this wonder of nature free from decay, capturing it in a place without time…until today." These mighty trees were once similar in stature to the sequoias of North America. As he often does, Richard Hoover has paired this extraordinary wood with another old-growth wood, in this case German spruce. It's part of his commitment to using sustainable resources in his guitars.


The rich color and figuring of the Kauri is highlighted by a striking orange sunburst on the top and an irregular "negative" rope purfling. The tone is something all its own. It is lush like a rosewood guitar, but much stronger in the midrange, with warmth for days. A solid bass is matched with clean, clear highs, making for an exquisite soloist's instrument (hear Lance show off its potential in the video below). We couldn't be more thrilled to share this incredible offering from Santa Cruz Guitars.

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