Incoming Taran Tirga Mhor Model Heading To TNAG Nashville

We are excited to announce the first bespoke build for The North American Guitar Nashville which we have specced out with none other than Rory Dowling of Taran Guitars. After an overwhelming success within days of receiving our first two guitars from Taran and falling in love with the instruments, we couldn't resist ordering a bespoke guitar for the TNAG Nashville Showroom.

Model: Tirga Mhor DS7


  • Back & Sides - Master Grade Tasmanian Black back and sides
  • Double Side construction with Scottish Larch and Black interior
  • Taran Guitars Compression Braces on back
  • Soundboard - Master grade Adirondack Spruce.
  • Rosette - Hot Sand fade Scottish Walnut with Scottish Sycamore.
  • Bindings - Ebano & Double Scottish Sycamore purfling.
  • Front Purfling - Opposite Hot sand fade Scottish Walnut & Scottish Sycamore.
  • Bevel - Hot Sand fade Scottish Walnut.
  • Neck - Negative taper Padauk with 2 way truss rod and carbon fibre reinforcements.
  • Fret Board - Fan Fret Ebony bound with Ebano.
  • Fret Markers - Gold Circles with Red and Gold Circles at 12th fret.
  • Frets - Evo Gold wire with Semi-hemispherical fret ends.
  • Headstock - Hot Sand fade Scottish Walnut front and back.
  • Tuners in Gold with black button Gotoh 510 21:1.
  • Hand Carved Solid Ebony Bridge with Ebony Pins.
  • t. Hand cut in Gold.
  • Case - Calton Hard case in Orange and Black
  • Scales - 645mm to 660mm
  • Frets to body - 12 also perpendicular fret
  • Body Length - 510mm
  • Max Body Width - 402mm
  • Depth - 124mm
  • Width at nut - 45mm
  • Spacing at saddle - 59mm
  • String Weight - 12-56

This model is the Tirga Mhor which was developed in collaboration with Martin Simpson and uses the same materials as the final instrument which Martin bought.

The Tirga Mhor is a 12 fret 000. The bridge position combined with the Fanfret of 660mm (25.9 inches) to 645mm (25.3 inches) allows the instrument to sing in all tunings.

The Back and Sides are MasterGrade Tasmanian Blackwood which are not only stunning to the eye but tonally produce a direct and woody but beautifully rich warmth.
To further heighten the life and voice of the instrument, compression braces will be used -
"I’ve recently made a development with the way in which I brace the back of my guitars- which I’ve named “compression braces”.
The principle of the compression braces is to maintain the cylindrical back profile as with all Taran instruments, but allow it to vibrate while giving a reflective surface for sound waves.
Benefits are 3 fold:
  • Comfort-
    People always say to me that my guitars are particularly comfortable because of the cylindrical back profile. This characteristic allows you to play a large instrument and it not feel too big. It feels deceptively smaller bodied as the widest part of the lower bout is also the narrowest in depth. As opposed to rib rest that cuts the edge off, the cylindrical back profile hugs the player and also brings the playing position into a closer and to a more natural posture.

  • Projection-
    We could go into the complexities of the vibrations of a guitar here however, if you imagine sound as a tennis ball for a moment. If you throw that ball against a bed sheet on a washing line it will disappear into the sheet and then fall to the ground. If you throw the same ball against a brick wall, it will come back and hit you in the face! In guitar terms, the reflection of sound off of this solid surface is vital in order to hear the guitar, as both a player and audience. The cylindrical profile of the back makes an extremely reflective surface that throws the vibrations off of the sound board, out of the sound hole, into the ears of the player and far beyond.

  • Colour of sound-
    Every piece of wood has its own tonal quality and influences the instruments sound differently. This is where the compression braces really start to work their magic. The nature of the compression brace is to have minimal mass on the back of the guitar. This allows the back to vibrate as freely as possible across its entire area. This resonance influences the sound of the guitar, allowing the character of each variety of wood used to be maximised; be it rich, earthy, bright or dry."

-Rory Dowling speaking about compression braces. You can read more about these here:

The Neck is Padauk which is lighter than Mahogany but equally, if not more, stiff. The density of Padauk is key to opening out all of the tonal characteristics of the MasterGrade Tasmanian Blackwood and Adirondack Spruce.

The Adirondack Spruce Soundboard has been selected to add an incredible power to the instrument, with separation and dynamic being at the forefront of the build.

Here you can see the incredibly clean and precise neck joint which Rory uses on his guitars. This method allows him to create an entirely glueless neck joint, further demonstrating his innovative and forward-thinking approach to lutherie.
"In the past I’ve used 3 different types of neck joints-
1. Slipper heel neck joint- derived from the classical way of building nylon strung guitars, but I did it so that it was slotted and the neck went on after the body was built up
2. Bolt on- smaller instruments
3. Dove tailed- the way most of my instruments have been made

All these joints are successful, very strong and have great transfer of energy. However, I’m always looking to develop on things, so I wanted to revisit the Bolt-on neck. I feel for longevity there is an added benefit of having a neck which is totally removable and has a glue-less joint. Because there is a lot of tension in the neck of a guitar, this can create a lot of problems in terms of neck angles changing over time or the belling of the top making the once correct neck angle wrong. If the neck is removable then these things can be addressed easily. For me this was only a small benefit when thinking about neck joints. Without talking about neck material, very important consideration when designing any instrument. The most important thing is energy transfer between the neck and highly responsive body. If the neck absorbs vibrations you lose sound quality and if the joint isn’t solid or its to small the same thing happens.

Q - I wanted the joint to be bigger, I also wanted the heel to be much thinner

A - Put the heel inside the body.

Using the wonders of a dovetail joint and a mortise and tenon this can be achieved. It is now glue-less, 2 bolts will take the neck off, but I have made it so that there is a greater amount/area of wood joining the neck to the body. In theory and principle, the energy transfer is better as there is more physical contact between the woods. The mass of the joint is greater and the heel can be thinned.

In terms of making- it is much harder to make than the dove tail because the joint is twofold. There is an extension which runs out underneath the end of the fretboard, past the 12th and 14th fret, down to the 18th fret. That is the critical point of the glue-less joint. It’s easy to bolt the neck onto the heel but it is difficult to tie the fretboard extension down without any glue. This area must be tied to the body as over time the joint would rise upwards under the string tension. Bolts could be used but why when the dovetail will do it as well?

So, the major benefits to this joint,

  • solidity

  • removability

  • Slimmer Heel for access to high frets

  • Increased wood contact from a standard Dovetail therefore increased energy transfer

  • Longevity of instruments life being increased

  • I get to machine a beautiful joint and it makes me very happy!"

And the woodwork is finished...
This guitar is ready to go into finishing now and should be ready before Christmas!
For more information on Taran Guitars or this gorgeous incoming Tirga Mhor please email us here or call us on 0207 835 5597.
Have a lovely weekend!


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