This is the story of how Fender and the Empress tree got together. A few years ago, I found out that Fender [the guitar manufacturer], was doing a whole new line of guitars. The founder was testing over 30 types of lumbers world-wide. I knew we needed to get my Empress wood in that mix. So, I sent them a bunch of lumber samples.
In the end, it was our Empress wood that was selected as Fender’s #1 choice for the most perfect tonal quality and its light weight. One musician described the tonal quality as “crisp’. We sold that lumber to Fender in spreads for ten dollars a square foot. Fender didn’t anticipate the excitement there would be over the Empress guitar line and sold out every one they made. Unfortunately, it was impossible for us to resupply them with more Empress wood to the scale that Fender wanted. We are still growing our own trees. And there just isn’t that much available in the world at a price that would make sense.