March '09 AoTM: Tacoma EK-36C LE


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GC Shred Off
02-27-2009, 12:18 PM
Hello everyone,

This is the March GoTM review of my Tacoma EK-36C Limited Edition guitar. It is number 46 out of 150 built and I am oh-so proud of it. Let me tell you a bit about it. (Note: A lot of this information comes directly from the certificate of authenticity that was presented to me with the guitar.)

First, some pictures... because that's all anyone really cares about.

The guitar:
http://profile.ultimate-guitar.com/profile_mojo_data/5/2/4/7/524762/pics/_c554038_image_0.jpg


The lovely back:
http://profile.ultimate-guitar.com/profile_mojo_data/5/2/4/7/524762/pics/_c554048_image_0.jpg


A few shots of the pretty grain:
http://profile.ultimate-guitar.com/profile_mojo_data/5/2/4/7/524762/pics/_c554045_image_0.jpg

http://profile.ultimate-guitar.com/profile_mojo_data/5/2/4/7/524762/pics/_c554052_image_0.jpg


And the headstock:
http://profile.ultimate-guitar.com/profile_mojo_data/5/2/4/7/524762/pics/_c554041_image_0.jpg



"What makes and EK-36C truly special is the materials it's built with, and where the materials came from."

Body Style: Little Jumbo (feels like a rounder, thinner 000) with a soft cutaway

Strings: I use D'Addario EXP 80/20 Bronze strings

Top: "...The top on these instruments came from a tree in Washinton's Clearwater-Salmon River area. This tree was salvaged from a swampy flat about ten miles inland from the coast. It had been totally submerged for over six hundred years. We know this because it had a six hundred year old tree growing on top of it. The tree was over two thousand years old when it fell. It had a slight left hand twist in the trunk, which meant it was non-phototropic, grew more slowly, and packed its growth tighly. The tops average 35 rings per inch..."
(if you add it up, the top wood was about 600 years old when Jesus was born.)

Back and Sides: "The tops are paired with premium grade Koa, responsibly harvested from trees growing above 5,000 feet. These trees show the best color and most dramatic figure."

Neck and Fretboard: Mahogany with Ebony

Purfling: A combination of Ebony, Walnut, Cherry, and Maple.

Binding: Fancy tortoise celluloid.


So what can I tell you about it? Well, I'll start with the good stuff.

- The Cost: I know, pretty shocking, but they really aren't as expensive as you might think. I essentially stole mine (legally) for $1800 in slightly used condition. From what I've seen on the Tacoma forum, finding one of these for anything less than $2500 is an absolute bargain. I lucked out hugely, but even for a thousand more dollars, it's rare to find a guitar quite as cool as this.

-The Sound: In two words, stupid good. Just out of this world. Unfortunately, my recording skills are far less than my guitarring skills and thus, I can't get a sound file that does it any hint of justice (just as a heads up, the songs in my profile do not feature this guitar). I'll work on that though and hopefully will get some samples up soon. It's the only relatively new guitar I've ever heard with such a powerful mid-range voice. When you play chords, be they open, barred, or whatever, you can pick out all the individual notes, which is really satisfying.

-The Playability: It has a nice broad neck with a fairly flat radius, so it feels reminiscent of a classical guitar. Whether or not that's good is player preference - I'm impartial to it, but I'm not picky about setups. It also works very well for fingerpicking and the action can be set surprisingly low, if you're into that. It's the only acoustic I've seen that doesn't buzz a bit when tuned to D-standard.

-The Looks: Yeah, I know it's a great looking guitar. That's one of the reasons I got it. I hope you like the pictures. It also has better fit and finish than anything I've seen in the same price range. The neck joint looks like it was fitted by an angel. ( :haha )


And the bad stuff:

-The Looks: It looks so good in fact, that I often feel a little weird playing it in front of people. I find that most want to hear the story about it rather than the instrument itself. That's cool and all, but because of that I generally save this one for intimate settings. That's alright though, because it's a very intimate guitar.

-The Availability: This is a big one. It was a stroke of luck that I found this (especially all the way in CT). There are only 149 left in the world. You can't have mine and I'd imagine many other owners feel the same. If you're really in love with it, I'd recommend getting in contact with Tacoma. I believe they keep a fairly accurate registry of where each EK-36C goes off to. Best of luck to you.

-The Smell: This is a minor one, but still worth noting. Cedar smells a little gross to me. It can't sense it when I play, but when I open the case I often get a big blast of 2600-year old swampy Cedar tree. Yech.

-The Intimidation Factor: I've never had a problem with it, but when I share it, many people get really nervous knowing that they're holding an instrument with so much history. I'd rather be able to just let everyone enjoy it without fear of dings (of which it has many, because I play it very frequently).


But overall, it is a truly a fantastic guitar (I just wish my playing were equally good :haha ). If you have any questions or comments, please share. Thanks for reading!

captivate
02-27-2009, 01:48 PM
I just love the styling! It's very simplistic and beautiful. Less is definitely more.

I also love the fact that it's got the traditional soundhole placement. I'm just not into that above the fretboard soundholes that a lot of Tacomas sport.

jrubakon
02-27-2009, 04:12 PM
A very stunning guitar with an awesome story behind it. The sides on that thing are really sweet looking. Congrats on your find, and take real good care of that gem!

Silverstein14
02-27-2009, 05:13 PM
Beautiful guitar!

Baby Joel
02-27-2009, 05:36 PM
:O
That koa side is fantastic!

avenger86
03-10-2009, 11:37 AM
Woah, it looks fantastic!

HatFullOfRain
03-11-2009, 07:20 PM
Wow, congratulations on an amazing find!

That's a stunning instrument you have there, I've never heard of Tacoma before but I'll be keeping an eye out in the hopes that I'll get to play one someday. I bet it wouldn't be as nice as yours though!

ReChord
03-28-2009, 04:10 PM
Man, I really wanna hear a sound sample :P
But yeah, it is amazingly beautiful....and obviously was crafted very well. It isn't mine, as I already have my soul mate of a guitar...but as with everyone who has found their soul mate....one can't help but look at another man's guitar from time to time :P

GC Shred Off
03-29-2009, 01:51 PM
Man, I really wanna hear a sound sample :P
But yeah, it is amazingly beautiful....and obviously was crafted very well. It isn't mine, as I already have my soul mate of a guitar...but as with everyone who has found their soul mate....one can't help but look at another man's guitar from time to time :P
I know, I've been slacking on the sound samples. I've got a few things I need to record, so keep an eye out. I'll probably upload them to my profile within a week or two.

Also, shame on you. :haha

Natrone
03-29-2009, 10:46 PM
Holy crap dude. I finally looked at this after putting it off for almost the entire month, and I must say, that...is....AWESOME!!!!

guitarwize
04-01-2009, 12:26 PM
Wow that is a great looking guitar. I hope you know how to play it. . . . ha ha ha jk. But if you don't then get *link removed* . :D