WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH KOA?

Why is Everyone Kookoo for Koa?!  

What is koa? Found on the big island of Hawaii and made from the Hawaiian acacia koa tree, this tropical hardwood blends the midrange of mahogany with the top end of maple. Due to its density, a new koa guitar often starts out sounding bright – but the more it is played, the more the sound opens up with a beautifully rich, resonant tone.

A Little Background on Koa:

Koa trees are very large – known to grow as tall as 82ft with a spread of up to 39ft wide (even larger if growing in deep volcanic ash). Koa trees were used by ancient Hawaiians to build canoes and surfboards and are sometimes still used to build furniture. Because koa is a 'tonewood,' it is used to make ukuleles, acoustic guitars, and Weissenborn-style Hawaiian steel guitars. In Hawaiian, the word koa itself means brave, bold, fearless or warrior.

The Hawaiian music fad of the 1900s-1920s brought farther reaching awareness to this unique and beautiful wood. In 1916, CF Martin created six models of all-koa wood guitars for their largest dealer at the time, Southern California Music Company in Los Angeles. After WWII, koa instruments started popping up all over the world. Taylor Guitars now makes an extensive line of koa guitars: the Taylor Acoustic Koa Series. 

So Why Are Koa Guitars So Popular?

While many believe that the Holy Grail of tonewoods is Brazilian rosewood, Hawaiian Koa just might be in the running. Koa is lightweight and has a wonderfully compressed dynamic range. It combines clarity with warm, thick tone and produces incredible separation for individual notes. Koa wood is diverse and complex with an incomparable appearance. The color spectrum and swirling grain pattern is as wide as it is breathtaking—from varying reds to cinnamon browns and bold charcoal streaks. So the sound quality and the look makes koa guitars highly sought-after instruments.

Another factor is the scarcity of the wood and the fact that koa guitars will always be in limited supply. Koa forests have been depleted over the years, making the procurement of koa wood more difficult and very expensive. This is why the Taylor GS Mini-e Solid Koa Top Lefty w/ES-B is one of the most noteworthy items we have in stock right now. GS Minis are already a popular Taylor model, so at $799, this GS Mini which features all-solid koa top, back and sides is an incredible value.

Chicago Music Exchange has an impressive selection of koa guitars in-store and online. Shop Koa guitars now!

SHOP ACOUSTIC GUITARS

Taylor 326ce Grand Symphony Mahogany Shaded Edgeburst ES2 Acoustic Guitars / Jumbo
Taylor 326ce Grand Symphony Mahogany Shaded Edgeburst ES2 Acoustic Guitars / Jumbo
Taylor 326ce Grand Symphony Mahogany Shaded Edgeburst ES2 Acoustic Guitars / Jumbo
Taylor 326ce Grand Symphony Mahogany Shaded Edgeburst ES2 Acoustic Guitars / Jumbo
Taylor 326ce Grand Symphony Mahogany Shaded Edgeburst ES2 Acoustic Guitars / Jumbo
Taylor 326ce Grand Symphony Mahogany Shaded Edgeburst ES2 Acoustic Guitars / Jumbo
Taylor 326ce Grand Symphony Mahogany Shaded Edgeburst ES2 Acoustic Guitars / Jumbo
Taylor 326ce Grand Symphony Mahogany Shaded Edgeburst ES2 Acoustic Guitars / Jumbo
Taylor 326ce Grand Symphony Mahogany Shaded Edgeburst ES2 Acoustic Guitars / Jumbo
Taylor 326ce Grand Symphony Mahogany Shaded Edgeburst ES2 Acoustic Guitars / Jumbo
Taylor 326ce Grand Symphony Mahogany Shaded Edgeburst ES2 Acoustic Guitars / Jumbo

Taylor 326ce Grand Symphony Mahogany Shaded Edgeburst ES2

$2,499.00
Seagull S6 Original Burnt Umber QIT Acoustic Guitars / Dreadnought
Seagull S6 Original Burnt Umber QIT Acoustic Guitars / Dreadnought
Seagull S6 Original Burnt Umber QIT Acoustic Guitars / Dreadnought
Seagull S6 Original Burnt Umber QIT Acoustic Guitars / Dreadnought
Seagull S6 Original Burnt Umber QIT Acoustic Guitars / Dreadnought
Seagull S6 Original Burnt Umber QIT Acoustic Guitars / Dreadnought
Seagull S6 Original Burnt Umber QIT Acoustic Guitars / Dreadnought
Seagull S6 Original Burnt Umber QIT Acoustic Guitars / Dreadnought

Seagull S6 Original Burnt Umber QIT

$650.00
Taylor 324e Grand Auditorium Mahogany Shaded Edgeburst ES2 Acoustic Guitars / OM and Auditorium
Taylor 324e Grand Auditorium Mahogany Shaded Edgeburst ES2 Acoustic Guitars / OM and Auditorium
Taylor 324e Grand Auditorium Mahogany Shaded Edgeburst ES2 Acoustic Guitars / OM and Auditorium
Taylor 324e Grand Auditorium Mahogany Shaded Edgeburst ES2 Acoustic Guitars / OM and Auditorium
Taylor 324e Grand Auditorium Mahogany Shaded Edgeburst ES2 Acoustic Guitars / OM and Auditorium
Taylor 324e Grand Auditorium Mahogany Shaded Edgeburst ES2 Acoustic Guitars / OM and Auditorium
Taylor 324e Grand Auditorium Mahogany Shaded Edgeburst ES2 Acoustic Guitars / OM and Auditorium
Taylor 324e Grand Auditorium Mahogany Shaded Edgeburst ES2 Acoustic Guitars / OM and Auditorium
Taylor 324e Grand Auditorium Mahogany Shaded Edgeburst ES2 Acoustic Guitars / OM and Auditorium
Taylor 324e Grand Auditorium Mahogany Shaded Edgeburst ES2 Acoustic Guitars / OM and Auditorium
Taylor 324e Grand Auditorium Mahogany Shaded Edgeburst ES2 Acoustic Guitars / OM and Auditorium

Taylor 324e Grand Auditorium Mahogany Shaded Edgeburst ES2

$2,299.00
Martin OM-28 Modern Deluxe Acoustic Guitars / OM and Auditorium
Martin OM-28 Modern Deluxe Acoustic Guitars / OM and Auditorium
Martin OM-28 Modern Deluxe Acoustic Guitars / OM and Auditorium
Martin OM-28 Modern Deluxe Acoustic Guitars / OM and Auditorium
Martin OM-28 Modern Deluxe Acoustic Guitars / OM and Auditorium
Martin OM-28 Modern Deluxe Acoustic Guitars / OM and Auditorium
Martin OM-28 Modern Deluxe Acoustic Guitars / OM and Auditorium
Martin OM-28 Modern Deluxe Acoustic Guitars / OM and Auditorium
Martin OM-28 Modern Deluxe Acoustic Guitars / OM and Auditorium
Martin OM-28 Modern Deluxe Acoustic Guitars / OM and Auditorium

Martin OM-28 Modern Deluxe

$3,990.00
Collings D1 Jet Black Top w/Ivoroid Binding & 1 3/4
Collings D1 Jet Black Top w/Ivoroid Binding & 1 3/4
Collings D1 Jet Black Top w/Ivoroid Binding & 1 3/4
Collings D1 Jet Black Top w/Ivoroid Binding & 1 3/4
Collings D1 Jet Black Top w/Ivoroid Binding & 1 3/4
Collings D1 Jet Black Top w/Ivoroid Binding & 1 3/4
Collings D1 Jet Black Top w/Ivoroid Binding & 1 3/4
Collings D1 Jet Black Top w/Ivoroid Binding & 1 3/4
Collings D1 Jet Black Top w/Ivoroid Binding & 1 3/4
Collings D1 Jet Black Top w/Ivoroid Binding & 1 3/4

Collings D1 Jet Black Top w/Ivoroid Binding & 1 3/4" Nut

$5,450.00
Martin D-18S Natural 1968 Acoustic Guitars / Dreadnought
Martin D-18S Natural 1968 Acoustic Guitars / Dreadnought
Martin D-18S Natural 1968 Acoustic Guitars / Dreadnought
Martin D-18S Natural 1968 Acoustic Guitars / Dreadnought
Martin D-18S Natural 1968 Acoustic Guitars / Dreadnought
Martin D-18S Natural 1968 Acoustic Guitars / Dreadnought
Martin D-18S Natural 1968 Acoustic Guitars / Dreadnought
Martin D-18S Natural 1968 Acoustic Guitars / Dreadnought
Martin D-18S Natural 1968 Acoustic Guitars / Dreadnought
Martin D-18S Natural 1968 Acoustic Guitars / Dreadnought
Martin D-18S Natural 1968 Acoustic Guitars / Dreadnought
Martin D-18S Natural 1968 Acoustic Guitars / Dreadnought
Martin D-18S Natural 1968 Acoustic Guitars / Dreadnought
Martin D-18S Natural 1968 Acoustic Guitars / Dreadnought

Martin D-18S Natural 1968

$4,295.00
Martin Standard Series 000-18 Natural 2022 Acoustic Guitars / OM and Auditorium
Martin Standard Series 000-18 Natural 2022 Acoustic Guitars / OM and Auditorium
Martin Standard Series 000-18 Natural 2022 Acoustic Guitars / OM and Auditorium
Martin Standard Series 000-18 Natural 2022 Acoustic Guitars / OM and Auditorium
Martin Standard Series 000-18 Natural 2022 Acoustic Guitars / OM and Auditorium
Martin Standard Series 000-18 Natural 2022 Acoustic Guitars / OM and Auditorium
Martin Standard Series 000-18 Natural 2022 Acoustic Guitars / OM and Auditorium
Martin Standard Series 000-18 Natural 2022 Acoustic Guitars / OM and Auditorium
Martin Standard Series 000-18 Natural 2022 Acoustic Guitars / OM and Auditorium
Martin Standard Series 000-18 Natural 2022 Acoustic Guitars / OM and Auditorium
Martin Standard Series 000-18 Natural 2022 Acoustic Guitars / OM and Auditorium
Martin Standard Series 000-18 Natural 2022 Acoustic Guitars / OM and Auditorium

Martin Standard Series 000-18 Natural 2022

$2,295.00
Gibson Parlor Rosewood M Avant Garde Rosewood Burst 2018 Acoustic Guitars / Parlor
Gibson Parlor Rosewood M Avant Garde Rosewood Burst 2018 Acoustic Guitars / Parlor
Gibson Parlor Rosewood M Avant Garde Rosewood Burst 2018 Acoustic Guitars / Parlor
Gibson Parlor Rosewood M Avant Garde Rosewood Burst 2018 Acoustic Guitars / Parlor
Gibson Parlor Rosewood M Avant Garde Rosewood Burst 2018 Acoustic Guitars / Parlor
Gibson Parlor Rosewood M Avant Garde Rosewood Burst 2018 Acoustic Guitars / Parlor
Gibson Parlor Rosewood M Avant Garde Rosewood Burst 2018 Acoustic Guitars / Parlor
Gibson Parlor Rosewood M Avant Garde Rosewood Burst 2018 Acoustic Guitars / Parlor
Gibson Parlor Rosewood M Avant Garde Rosewood Burst 2018 Acoustic Guitars / Parlor
Gibson Parlor Rosewood M Avant Garde Rosewood Burst 2018 Acoustic Guitars / Parlor
Gibson Parlor Rosewood M Avant Garde Rosewood Burst 2018 Acoustic Guitars / Parlor
Gibson Parlor Rosewood M Avant Garde Rosewood Burst 2018 Acoustic Guitars / Parlor

Gibson Parlor Rosewood M Avant Garde Rosewood Burst 2018

$1,795.00

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