High Street Music
Having been established in 2009, High Street Music in Preston have carved out a niche for themselves through offering a range of quality products and services, but also through their relationship with Cole Clark.
As one of the leading guitar manufacturers in Australia, Cole Clark have been leading design innovation in the world of acoustic guitars since 2001. The Melbourne based company has been working for several years towards ensuring that their products are made with sustainably sourced materials.
In a statement on their website, Cole Clark explain that many of the types of timber traditionally used in guitar making, and still favoured by manufacturers in North America and Europe, have become endangered. These include Indian Rosewood, Spruce, North American Maple, and most varieties of Mahogany.
From their early days, the company was determined not to be a part of the problem, and began to investigate similar, as well as unique, woods that could be sourced locally.
Cole Clark report that as of October last year 86 percent of their finger boards were made of Rosewood and eight percent of Ebony, while 14 percent of their back and sides were also made of Rosewood, and only three percent of their tops were made of Spruce. All other timbers used for guitar manufacturing did not appear on the IUCN Red List of endangered species.
Even though the amount of trees used in guitar making is miniscule compared to other industries such as furniture production, Cole Clark are determined to not exacerbate their negative environmental impact. Wherever possible the company sources timber from private farms or fallen trees - the majority of their tops are made of Bunya from plantations in Queensland, with another 16 percent being made of Californian Redwood grown in Australia and salvaged from fallen trees. They also use some Huon Pine, which was salvaged from a lake flooding in Tasmania in 1972.
All of the brand’s guitar necks are made from sustainable Queensland Maple, with the exception of some of their Mahogany models. However, their efforts to find an adequate replacement for the feel and playability of Rosewood fingerboards have proved more of a challenge.
Having discovered a sustainable timber from Queensland called Blackbean in mid-2015, the company has moved to integrating the wood into their designs. Blackbean is currently being used in six percent of Cole Clark guitars, meaning that they’re now made of 100 percent sustainable timber.
Currently a total of 85 percent of all Cole Clark guitars are completely made with sustainable timbers, something for which they should be highly commended.
By Alex Watts
High Street Music are the biggest stockists of Cole Clark guitars in Victoria and one of the largest in Australia. Head to 442 High St, Preston or online at http://www.highstreetmusic.net.au/ to view their range.