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Opinions on Taylor T5?

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by JohnM, Jun 3, 2010.

  1. JohnM

    JohnM Member

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    I'm looking for something different - to add to a group playing acoustic stuff...I am mostly playing mandolin but I want some different textures than the other 2 (standard) acoustics in the group. Just wondered if anyone has gigged much with the T5 and if it's a solid performer...any weird quirks or anything? I know it is a weird animal...and I'm sorta looking for weird - I want that electric playability and the multi-sound options so it looks like the ticket. My main acoustic is a '49 J45 so I already have the straight acoustic thing. T5 Opinions? Likes? Dislikes?
     
  2. DavidE

    DavidE Member

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    It's a solid performer, but doesn't sound anything like a real acoustic or a piezo acoustic to me. I love the way mine looks and plays, but haven't gotten used to the sound at all. To the point where I'm seriously considering adding a bridge piezo and losing one of the strap pins for a second jack. I've heard of others doing this as well.
     
  3. edward

    edward Supporting Member

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    I played with it for maybe a solid hour at a great shop (who was really relaxed and supportive of whatever amps I wanted to try with it). Great guitar, and a decent "hybrid," but definitely an electric at heart than can cop acoustic-like tone. Do not expect it to sound like a real acoustic, but it can get acoustic-y. :)

    The electric tone is solid, versatile, and musical through a good amp ...yeah, tubes is where it's at. Good grind that is single-coil in flavor, but chime and clarity is also there; definitely more "stratty" than "lester."

    The key in getting more realistic acoustic tone is an a/b box that diverts the signal to a good acoustic amp: now you have markedly better acoustic tone.

    Plays great ...no excuses need be made. They are loaded with elixir electric strings, which I do not care for ...you personal choice would likely imrpove things. And I have read of quite a few others who have put on acoustic strings which biases the guitar more toward the acoustic side of things.

    Overall, I like the guitar, but not enough to merit my buying one. Fact is, I love my electrics and acoustics too well to have a 'tweener. But if you have to cover both tones and can only bring one, it's a good choice, IMHO.

    Edward
     
  4. JohnM

    JohnM Member

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    Hmmmm....interesting - I thought it had a piezo bridge...evidently it's just a 'body sensor' pickup. I'm guessing it doesn't sound like an iBeam sort of thing (which I think sounds pretty decent) The fact that it's not a 'real' acoustic no doubt plays into that.

    good info
     
  5. JSeth

    JSeth Member

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    I've had my T-5 for a few years now... I love that guitar! Feels really good, hanging on my shoulders, very light (4.5#'s?)... plays beautifully, up and down the fretboard.

    As has been stated, I am not a fan of the "acoustic" sound of the guitar, either. But the electronics are superb and very sensitive, able to dial in a bunch of different tones... I prefer mine through a solid-state amp as opposed to my Deluxe Reverb; the tone is so pure that, similar to my ES-175, it just sounds better to me through a clean amp...

    One thing to watch for - before buying, be sure that the neck p'up covers the high E and B strings enough for you... when I first got mine, I had to have a different neck swapped in because the neck p'up IS NOT ADJUSTABLE?!?!?! My first one de-emphasized the higher strings - fine for strumming but not acceptable for single note/lead playing, IMHO. I have no idea why they put a pick-up in the neck that can not be adjusted for personal tastes...

    ...but it sure is a fun guitar to play!

    Good luck!

    ps. mine is a maple top standard - I think the spruce tops are a bit more "acoustic-y". It has a nice "voice", unplugged - but not real loud, of course; very balanced, tonally though...
     
  6. JohnM

    JohnM Member

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    That will definitely be the case - for the acoustic side it will go through the usual acoustic signal path. (is that an oxymoron?)
    It's got to sound better than a Parker fly, right?? lol
     
  7. JohnM

    JohnM Member

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  8. kralltime

    kralltime Gold Supporting Member

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    I echo the "plays fantastic, sounds like crap" comments. Have you looked at Anderson's Crowdster?
     
  9. localmotion411

    localmotion411 Gold Supporting Member

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    +1 -- I had a gorgeous koa T5 that I couldn't wait to get rid of.
     
  10. JohnM

    JohnM Member

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    Yes - quite a price jump though.

    The sound thing is what I need to figure out. I'm only a purist when it comes to straight acoustic guitars...as far as plugging them in, I'm of the mentality that I'll do WHATEVER it takes to make them sound good...no qualms here about absolutely raping the signal path if needed. Sounds like that may not help in this case! :(
     
  11. buddaman71

    buddaman71 Student of Life Silver Supporting Member

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    No one loves Taylors more than me, but I've personally never been able to pull a usable tone from any T5 series guitar.
    Gorgeous, impeccably constructed, sounds to me like a $50 Masonite Sears guitar from the 50's. With none of the charming tonal funkiness...
    It's a guitar I've always WANTED to love but just can't.

    FWIW: My friend gets one of the best, fattest live acoustic-electric tones I've ever hear with his inexpensive Godin A6 into a Baggs Paracoustic DI.

    http://www.godinguitars.com/godina6ultrap.htm
     
  12. JohnM

    JohnM Member

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    Since I'm not really looking for an authentic acoustic tone, I'm not too worried if it doesn't do that, but phrases like 'never been able to pull a usable tone' scare me a little...
    If it was nice and responsive across the spectrum, thick & punchy in the single note area, I'd be down with it, but thin, weak, no usable tones....hmmmm I'm seeing a pattern here!
     
  13. JSeth

    JSeth Member

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    John - I wouldn't throw away the T-5 idea without checking it out, thoroughly, first... I find ALL KINDS of "useable" tones on mine... not high-gain rock sounds, though... 5 position switch... I love #2, a very 'board p'up Tele tone that can be fattened or thinned w/ the tone controls... #3, kind of a bridge Tele sound, #4 is a sweet "Gretsch" rhythm sound, and #5 is very close to a rhythm 'bucker tone like I'd get from my 345 Gibson.
    The tone and volume controls are active and VERY sensitive; a little goes a long way!
    Very quiet, as well - interesting that I had to flip my ground switch the opposite way for the T-5.
    They aren't re-selling for a very good price - perfect if you want to pick one up, used. I know a fellow around here who got a "cherry" T-5 Custom for $1300 recently; not bad for a $3500 list instrument!
    Again, I like mine through a solid state "clean" amp as opposed to my SF Deluxe tube amp...

    just sayin', is all...
     
  14. Pietro

    Pietro 2-Voice Guitar Junkie Silver Supporting Member

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    I tried to like the T5, really. It's made very well, it has some good sounds, though I couldn't find any that really suited me, but on a guitar that does electric AND acoustic sounds, the inability to split the sounds so you can do true "two-voice" guitar made it a non-issue. I couldn't use it. I ended up with this Anderson Crowdster Plus 2 (at first it had only one pickup, in March the second was added).

    [​IMG]

    I've had it four years, it's my number one with a bullet, and it blows away the T5 imho. REAL bronze strings means REAL acoustic guitar sound (my favorite I've ever had including real great acoustic guitars!). The pickups are designed to pickup off bronze strings, and they give you REAL electric sound. No shredding here, though, you need to use acoustic strings to make it work right.

    There is one in the emporium right now for a real reasonable price from a good reliable source.

    Also, +1 on Godin, they make FANTASTIC hybrid guitars. I've owned three, only sold the last one because I play this Crowdster so much that I never picked it up.

    If you want an electric that can also do good acoustic sounds, check out the Godin Montreal.
     
  15. googoobaby

    googoobaby Supporting Member

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    For what it's worth, I had the same experience with the T5. Felt great, sounded awful, and the former is good enough that I really tried to make it work. I ended up with a Godin LGXT, which is nowhere near as light as a T5, but has so many great sounds in it from acoustic-ish to full electric. Plus they're so cheap used too.
     
  16. croth

    croth Supporting Member

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    I own a T5. It is designed to accept both electric strings which it is supplied with, or acoustic strings. The guitar is decidely more acoustic sounding with acoustic strings and there is almost no reason not to go that way, especially if you're looking for an acoustic sound. The T5 has a surprisingly loud non-plugged-in acoustic voice and I think its tone rivals any of the Martins I have. I should tell you that I own about 15 guitars, 4 of them acoustics, including 2 vintage Martins and a TJ Thompson Schoenberg. While the Schoenberg is hard to beat, the T5 stands up very well in its own right to any of them.

    I don't care for the 1st (piezo body pickup) position on my guitar, finding that it sort of pings. I almost exclusively use the 2nd position, though I forgot what that is now (I believe it's the under-fretboard humbucker). My T5 is a somewhat older version and the pickup config may have been changed.

    I should qualify that I have not used this guitar in a band setting or in any outside playing occasion so my judgement of it is based on in-home playing only.

    It is a great playing instrument with perfect action and intonation, near-perfect construction, and a warm acoustic tone unplugged. It is hard to see how you can go wrong owning this guitar.
     
  17. JohnM

    JohnM Member

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    That is a strong statement...so strong in fact my first thought is...:huh

    You wanna sell it? ;)
     
  18. NeuroLogic

    NeuroLogic Supporting Member

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    I have a T5 as well as several acoustics including Martins, Larrivees & Taylors. I would never comment that the T5 comes anywhere near these guitars acoustically. It is considerably closer amplified but, there are definite differences. I strongly recommend that you personally play and experience this. I would also listen to others playing them to get an audience perspective. This is the only real way to decide if a T5 is right for you.

    The comment regarding splitting the acoustic and electric signals to matching amplification is right on. However, I do like the mono signal which adds some electric guitar characteristics to the acoustic sound for something different.
     
  19. musicofanatic5

    musicofanatic5 Member

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    "...Martins, Larrivees & Taylors. I would never comment that the T5 comes anywhere near these guitars acoustically."

    "The T5 has a surprisingly loud non-plugged-in acoustic voice and I think its tone rivals any of the Martins I have. I should tell you that I own about 15 guitars, 4 of them acoustics, including 2 vintage Martins and a TJ Thompson Schoenberg. While the Schoenberg is hard to beat, the T5 stands up very well in its own right to any of them."

    Which one of these guys would you buy a used car from?
     
  20. JohnM

    JohnM Member

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    finally got my hands on one of these T5's - interesting...very well made, etc... the neck and action are electric-like in playability. Super light too. The thing that bugged me tone-wise was something in the midrange - especially up around the middle of the neck - there's a rubbery phased sort of thing going on that I couldn't get rid of. The one I played had electric (nickel) strings on it so that likely had something to do with it but man, it was a nasty honky thing going on.

    I'm guessing with some heavier (this one had 10's and reeeaaally low action) bronze string it has to sound better. It really did play nice and you could tell there was a cool sound in there, but it just seems like the electronics aren't quite pulling it out. This was a koa-top model as well - maybe the spruce top sounds better?

    All in all I'm not sold yet but it's so 'almost'.
     

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