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When a Tree Falls in the Forest

Over at Smithsonian magazine, Ellen Ruppel Shell waxes eloquently about The Tree—a 500-year-old, 100-foot-tall mahogany salvaged from a remote forest in Belize some 40 years ago. Several luthiers have built guitars out of its timber, and those instruments start at around $30,000.

Is it worth it? Some people seem to think so:

Saul “Slash” Hudson, best known as lead guitarist of Guns N’ Roses, owns more than 230 guitars, including priceless vintage models. Still, when he first tried a guitar made from The Tree, he was floored—the sound surpassed anything he’d heard before. “When I picked it up, I was completely humbled,” Slash told a reporter in 2016, and confirmed recently through a personal email. “It was a shock-and-awe moment. It changed everything I’d ever thought about acoustic guitars.”

I’ve got a birthday coming up next month, so y’all know what to do.



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