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Tell me about your experience with the Taylor T5z

HerrRentz

Member
Messages
2,497
Before I buy one of these I'd like to hear some real world experience, good and bad, if any using this guitar.

I've seen all of the glowing YouTube videos and i haven't heard a bad word about this guitar. I'll be using it for acoustic fingerpicking and chording, as well as some lighter rock, country rock and pop.

From what I've heard, this guitar is even more versatile than my old Turner Model 1.
 

Pietro

2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy
Messages
16,441
I've had some interaction with a few T5s.

It's a GREAT guitar. It can do a very limited set of electric sounds very nicely, and then switch to acoustic and be very convincing with the right processing. What made me ultimately not buy one was that you have to switch your processing from one to the other. In other words, it's not stereo output, and you can't do both at once. I couldn't live with that limitation and went with 2-voice guitars.

That said, it plays and sounds and looks wonderful. Very well made guitar. I think I'd rather have a T3 and add a powerbridge and stereo output, but that's me.
 
Messages
2,603
I have a T5z, and absolutely love it. Mine is the 2015 Limited Pro Model with the quilted natural top. It's stunning to look at. I have wanted one since they first came out (the smaller "z" version) and I saw one at a Taylor Road Show. It took me a couple of years to find one I could trade for and get a good deal. I've had it for a few months now.

I am more of an electric player than an acoustic player, so the first thing I had to do was adjust the truss rod and shim the neck to get the action lowered in the upper register. The neck is awesome, and the fretwork is as perfect as it gets. The guitar plays as good as a Les Paul. I've got it strung with 11s, and the strings bend easily. Very comfortable and light guitar. You can play it all night, even if you have a weak back like I do. It's the perfect couch guitar, because of the size, and the unplugged acoustic volume.

I don't have an acoustic amp, which would be better if you really wanted to produce tones that resembled an acoustic guitar. But it sounds really nice played clean through a clean tube guitar amp. I use my Mesa Blue Angel. But if you are an acoustic purist, and want it to sound like your favorite Martin, you're going to be disappointed. This is a great guitar, that needs to be taken for what it is. It's extremely versatile. I can get nice clean acoustic-like tones, as well as ES-330 type jazz and blues sounds. It will do a pretty good Telecaster impersonation, and get close to Strat quack sounds. If you want to rock, you can push it through a good dirt pedal and morph it into SG-type goodness. It's only limited by your willingness to experiment. Most of these sounds are not 100% authentic, and I haven't sold all my other guitars. But I will say that the T5z is one of the nicest guitars I've ever played, and certainly has more range than most people will ever need.

Was is expensive? Yes it was. Do I have regrets? Not any. I'm so happy I finally got my T5z. I've been playing for over 50 years, and can't remember ever having more fun with a single guitar. I've owned other Taylors. I still have a 414kce, and had a Solidbody electric for a while. So I know the kind of quality that Taylor puts into their guitars. But I have to say that the T5z is the best I've played, and it almost seems like they designed this guitar just for me. It's comfortable, beautiful, plays great, and makes a huge variety of different guitar sounds. If you haven't tried one, you should. But don't make the mistake of comparing it to your favorite electric or acoustic guitar. It's different in a good way. And it will inspire you if you let it. My T5z is the best guitar purchase I've ever made, and I've owned hundreds of guitars since the 60s.

By the way, I play pretty much everything, including blues, country, classic rock, surf, southern rock, praise, and occasionally metal. Did I say I like variety? My other main guitars are an ES-335, a Rick 360, a Jaguar, a PRS CE-24, and a Strat.
 
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HerrRentz

Member
Messages
2,497
Gentlemen, thank you for your opinions. That's all I needed to hear.

I don't expect it to take my LP's place, but to use it for what it is as you mentioned. My back and shoulders are not what they used to be when I was 30, so this guitar is going to be quite a relief.

I am excited at the prospect of experimentation with this guitar to see what I can get out of it.

I'll be ordering next month or sooner.
 

MartinC

Member
Messages
3,063
Tried a T5Z Classic yesterday. Through an Orange Rockerverb and then a Vox AC30.

I was wondering if I could consolidate a few guitars (an acoustic and probably two electrics) into one. So clearly the replacement would need to be a great all rounder.

My thoughts:
  • Impeccable build quality
  • Very easy guitar to play
  • LOVE the light weight and dimensions of the guitar
  • All around, sounds were markedly better with the AC30
  • Pretty much all of the clean sounds were really, really nice. They all sound acoustic in nature to my ear. Playability was liberating in this mode ... literally like getting acoustic sounds with typical electric guitar playability.
  • Overdriven tones ... not for me. I thought lightly overdriven would be OK, but, I suppose not surprisingly in hindsight, even the HB only settings produce a tone that has a kind of brassiness that I would normally associate with an electro-acoustic guitar when plugged into an electric guitar amp
Sadly not for me ... I really wanted to like it.

If I played only clean acoustic stuff, and wanted a very high quality, VERY easy to play instrument for amplified use, this would be a no-brainer.

But I really want great electric tones as well ... and I already have a good quality acoustic with a pickup, so I would be paying quite a lot of money just to get those tones with electric type playability, which for my needs, I couldn't justify.

On the upside, I have just saved some money and gotten rid of my T5Z GAS
 

Steve Hotra

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
9,104
I own a 2005 T5 koa custom.
I bought one when they first came out.
It is very easy on your back and easy to play.
I put a wound G string to get more of an acoustic guitar tone in position 1.
However this is not a "plug in and play" guitar.
The active pickups take time to adjust to, based upon what amp you are using.
I go back and forth between keeping or selling it.
The T5 series has a very unique sound in postions 4 and 5.
In the middle position 3, you can get Telecaster tones with ease.
Final comment: it will not sound like a true acoustic, or like a true Tele.
Its a hybrid ... unique in its tones.
 
Messages
2,603
Concerning the T5z and overdriven sounds, an EQ pedal helps tremendously in this respect. If you want Tele type OD sounds, the T5z will deliver. If you want more "Gibson humbucker" type OD sounds, use an EQ pedal in front of your OD pedal. You can fatten up the sound and get convincing rock tone. It's not going to take the place of your best Les Paul, but in a band mix the audience won't know the difference. Trying to demo a T5z in a guitar shop, you will never hear all of it's capability. You need lots of experimentation with your own rig to really find out what all this guitar can pull off. If you take the time, and ignore your preconceptions, the T5z will ultimately amaze you with it's potential. Is it a compromise? Of course! But no other single guitar can offer this range of versatility in such a high quality configuration. As guitarists, we always like to justify owning more guitars, because each has a unique voice. But if for some reason I was only allowed to own and play one guitar, it would be my T5z for sure.

 

MartinC

Member
Messages
3,063
Concerning the T5z and overdriven sounds, an EQ pedal helps tremendously in this respect. If you want Tele type OD sounds, the T5z will deliver. If you want more "Gibson humbucker" type OD sounds, use an EQ pedal in front of your OD pedal. You can fatten up the sound and get convincing rock tone. It's not going to take the place of your best Les Paul, but in a band mix the audience won't know the difference. Trying to demo a T5z in a guitar shop, you will never hear all of it's capability. You need lots of experimentation with your own rig to really find out what all this guitar can pull off. If you take the time, and ignore your preconceptions, the T5z will ultimately amaze you with it's potential. Is it a compromise? Of course! But no other single guitar can offer this range of versatility in such a high quality configuration. As guitarists, we always like to justify owning more guitars, because each has a unique voice. But if for some reason I was only allowed to own and play one guitar, it would be my T5z for sure.

That's great insight. I'm sure I could get better tones with some time and a familiar amp. And maybe an EQ pedal. But too much of a risk for me. I tend to buy gear that instantly serves up something special ... then I know there's longevity in it and I don't need to spend more money to get things where they need to be.

Just me.
 




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