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Taylor T5z Classic - Tropical Mahogany Reviews

4.5 stars based on 32 customer reviews
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Questions about the Taylor T5z Classic - Tropical Mahogany?

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  • from Christiana Delaware March 13, 2017Music Background:
    Professional song writer, performer and producer

    Versatility, Quality & Great Feel

    I play electric and acoustic guitars both equally 50/50 pretty much. The first thing I noticed about the T5z was it's simplistic beauty. The second was the smooth and effortless playability up and down the neck. Both acoustic and electric sounds work nicely through either an electric guitar amp (I use Orange amps) and/or acoustic guitar amps (I use Fishman). The acoustic records nicely plugged in directly but only if you like the sound. You can't turn it into something that it's not. There's no piezo quack. The acoustic sound from the body is true. The electric humbucker sounds are quite usable but again it's the sound of a hollow(not semi hollow) body which I prefer anyway.
    If you're a purest looking for vintage tones this isn't ideal. It's perfect for me. I like to be different. I use my looper and track my fingerpicking style with the acoustic setting then kick in some overdrive and the humbuckers on this mahogany body are quite ballsy.
    It's a beautiful thinline hollow body and the tones are true to what it is. I've heard it doesn't handle "high gain" well...no hollow body guitar does. If you try to make it be something that it isn't then you shouldn't have gotten it. It's true and perfect and I love it.

  • from Texas January 26, 2017Music Background:
    Not a musician play for myself & family

    Taylor T5z Classic

    I own and play 5 other guitars. The T5z is a joy to play. I love the jumbo frets. I am 70 years old and have a few joint problems. With the T5z I can easily make certain chords that were previously a little difficult to perform on some of my other guitars. Also the tones that can be produced from the T5z are wonderful. I have a Peavey Classic with two twelves and a Fender TV 12 bass amp that an acoustic guitar sounds great thru. My guitar room stays a little on the humid side, around 50% most of the time. Once the T5z acclimated to the room it stays in tune nicely.
    I bought the Boss AC-3 acoustic simulator just to see how my solid body guitars would sound thru it. I am pleasantly surprised. By changing the body & top settings many different sounds can be produced. Also the reverb adds a lot of color when I play thru my Fender TV 12 that does not have reverb.
    In closing I would like to say the service I have received from Sweetwater is great.

  • from Forney, TX October 24, 2016Music Background:

    Taylor T5z

    I have owned this guitar for 8 months now, and am continually amazed with it's playability and tonal quality. I have been playing over 50 years, acoustic and electric, but am having difficulty with strength in my left thumb. This is making it difficult to play my acoustics. The T5z is the perfect solution. It is very credible in electric sounds, but is just awesome through an acoustic amp in the #1 setting. I can go both ways with this amazing guitar, thought I still play my PRS Custom 22 for some rock. I am coming to the conclusion that I might not actually need it. Warnings: as a true hollow body it will feed back mightily if you aren't careful, particularly with heave distortion and louder volume. Also, super light strings rattle really bad. It really likes the Elixir's that come with it. Some things I love: it is wonderful on blues, finger style and up-the-neck leads. A little stiffer than the PRS, little more work to bend, but not bad. Incredible on acoustic finger picking. I have the mahogany - a real bargain compared to the other models. I play everything from folk to blues to rock to praise & worship. If you can only have one guitar, this it it.

  • from Madison, WI October 9, 2016

    Great Acoustic Option

    I started out in garage bands in the 70s and have working as a folk/acoustic performer for decades and played all kinds of guitars from Martin dreadnoughts to a Larrivee 12 string to a Voyage Air folding guitar. When I came across a guitar that felt a little like my old Les Paul and had an plugged in acoustic sound better than many full bodied acoustics I fell in love. Currently, I either run the T5z though a Zoom A3 and/or into a Fishman Loudbox Mini. Take an XLR out of the Mini or simply mic it and you have a great small venue set up or an on stage monitor that shows exactly what you're putting into the mix at larger venues. Have been toying with adding a Fishman internal mic... Definitely use Zebra Strings (hybrid acoustic/electric) that will allow you to get the most of the transducer and the magnetic pickups. The guitar sounds like a small bodied Gibson even without being plugged in.

  • from Southern New Jersey September 12, 2016Music Background:
    Amateur classical/rock guitar nerd

    Exceeded my expectatoins

    Purchased the T5z for an unplugged project me and some band mates were working on. This guitar is so versatile, great sounding and a pleasure to play. I brought the T5z to our unplugged gig and for the first 3 sets played mostly with acoustic pickup setting thru my electric amp (H&K TubeMeister). As the night went on and the crowd got a little looser, I switched to the bridge humbucker position, added in some overdrive and was able to play some great sounding solo's that would not have been possible with just any acoustic/electric guitar.

    High quality build, sounds and plays fantastic. I highly highly recommend this guitar.

  • from Roatan, Honduras June 28, 2016Music Background:
    performing and recording for 4 decades

    beautiful instrument

    This is the first guitar I ever bought sight unseen and I was blown away when I plugged it into my Boss ME-25 and gave it a test run. Then that night I played a gig with it. Wow! It plays like an electric but with some fine tuning I'm getting great acoustic sounds as well. When you step on the gas it has massive sustain with the right pedal settings. The 55 point check persuaded me to go for it before playing it so thanks Sweetwater.

  • from Sunny Cleveland Ohio. April 30, 2016Music Background:

    Beautiful Hybrid.

    As a lot of reviews here have mentioned, Taylor hit it out of the park with this guitar.
    The quality of this guitar is without compromise, no popped frets, string height or neck issues.
    The neck is a little wide but in a good way and the electronics are to die for, very responsive and tailored perfectly for this guitar.
    My only gripe is no truss rod wrench, I have to assume Taylor could not sell this guitar at the price with the added fluff. Sarc off.
    I have to thank my sales rep Forrest Powell for his complete customer service and dedication to keeping Sweetwater the place to trust and purchase from.

  • from PENNSYLVANIA April 1, 2016

    Musical Magic T5z

    I purchased the perfect combination of Taylor T5z guitar and Fishman Loudbox Artist amplifier. These give you a universe of fabulous acoustic and electric sounds. The guitar has a sleek, comfortable and resonant body that is a joy to hear and play. The amplifier completes the rapture with accolades of technology and fabulous sound quality. This T5z and Amp purchase ends my search for the perfect sound. You will be amazed !

  • from St. Joseph, MO March 18, 2016Music Background:
    I sang mostly. Then, in my mid forties, I decided to start playing guitar

    More guitar than you'd expect

    I bought this guitar mainly for the acoustic sound plugged direct into my church's PA. Also, I'm finding as I get older (I'm 54), some barre chords are more difficult then they used to be. This guitar is definitely easier to play than my 2006 Taylor 410E LTD (walnut back and sides, sitka top). The sound is great. I must say that this T5z has a little more mellow sound than my 410. I would say it's more mellow because this T5z classic has a mahogany top. You can get a LOT of different electric guitar sounds.That, I must admit, at this time, I haven't even come close to discovering all the sounds you can get from this baby. I'm very happy that I bought the T5z Classic.

  • from Costa Rica March 3, 2016

    Incredible Guitar

    I come form a lot of years paying Taylor and Martin acoustic electric guitars. The T5z is truly a great blend of both worlds. It will never screech like a Strat or wail like a Les Paul but it can keep up with them in the mix. It's a pleasure to play and having both electric and acoustic sounds at your finger tips is great. It needed a action adjustment but the local Taylor people set me up. I great guitar for a great price.

  • from Pacific January 28, 2016Music Background:
    I have been playing for forty five years.

    Taylor T5z

    This guitar melted right in my hands the moment I fist picked it up it is absolutely great. The guitar is amazing you can do so much with it from sounding like a straight acoustic to a high powered electric guitar. I can't begin to tell you how much I like this guitar I can't put it down.

  • from Costa Rica August 27, 2015Music Background:
    Gigging professional


    Buy it, you will be blown away with its sounds, fit and finish. This is a beautiful guitar with no flash or trash. You can't hear abalone but you can hear a very fine musical instrument and it's understated beauty is testament to the Taylor line.

  • from August 20, 2015

    Love for the t5z!!

    This is my first foray into hybrid guitars, and I am incredibly impressed!! This is also the first Taylor I have owned, and certainly not the last! I am now eyeing up a 614ce! Like others have said, the playability of this guitar is staggering! I can play for hours and not get the slightest bit tired. Fit and finish are top notch. I prefer the mahogany top as it makes the overall look more understated. The unplugged sound is sweet! I am looking forward to years of sweet sounds from this guitar!!!

  • from New York August 3, 2015Music Background:
    Played for over 25 years mostly for my personal enjoyment and play with others


    Well I can say is wow couldn't be happier this guitar sound is outstanding and in the beauty and light weight

  • from Troy, NY October 26, 2014Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Tone Monster

    As they say, it's not a Strat or Les Paul, right! It's a T5z and they don't sound like a Taylor either. This is a very musician guitar, you just need to set it up to your style and the different tones you can get with it are endless. The neck feels like a Gibson but slightly faster believe it or not. The T5z really should be strung with a set of 11's and will play like a Strat with 9's of a Les Paul with 10's. Very capo and effects friendly, really likes compression and a BB pre amp. I have a Strat that has been my go to guitar and a Les Paul that I love and maybe 13 other guitars, love them all. The T5z Classic, Tropical Mahogany gets that sweet singing sustain when driven to that sultry jazz tone to that in your face country pickin' that would make Brad Paisley smile. Great for Blues, Rock, Country or any style you throw at it. A must own guitar folks.

  • from Canton,Ga. October 25, 2014Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Fabulous guitar

    Great sound,great feel,action,looks,beautiful.Reslly gives you a great accoustic sound tnrough tne amp.Also provides great crunchy electric sound.Fit and finish is perfect.

  • from August 7, 2014

    Amazing versatility

    Can't say enough about this guitar!! Now my favorite axe.
    The sound versatility is so broad and at every setting sounds so clean and clear. Well made and beautiful looking, a must for any collector. On stage, this is the only guitar you'll need. You can go from nice, deep, beautiful acoustic tones at one setting to face melting screaming solos at another. No need to change your gear anymore.
    The jumbo frets make playing this a pure joy.

  • from Burlington Ct June 26, 2014Music Background:
    Pro musician

    Liked so much I bought both sizes!

    For me this is the best gigging (solo duo, etc...) guitar out there. My review won't do it justice so please check out pro video reviews. The playability is flawless, set up adjustments are easy, neck is a work of art- I sometimes play 2-3 times daily adding up to 8-10 hours playing with no hand fatigue...& this is where to buy it, if you can't get one in person, Sweetwater is so easy to work with & their check system so thorough your instrument will show up ready to gig

  • from Allentown, PA April 16, 2014Music Background:
    Retired EE, now a Pro Musician

    Delivers as Promised

    Well made, plays like an electric, nice acoustic tone for private practice, lightweight, and comfortable. Plugged-in: a convincing amplified acoustic guitar and very good electric guitar. Compared to the Acoustasonic Telecaster and the A6 Ultra, the bridge magnetic electric pickup gives it much more versatility. It does not quite sound like any existing electric guitar, but it covers all the necessary bases and no doubt would have been a classic had it been first produced in the 1950s...

  • from Butler, PA February 3, 2016

    Top Notch from Taylor

    This may be my smartest purchase ever. As always, Taylor knocks it out of the park with build quality, feel, and playability. It definitely feels more like an electric than the T5. The T5 always feels like an acoustic that you can coax electric sounds out of. This feels a little more like a semi hollow electric. In fact that is the one area that is odd. When you pick it up for the first time you will probably be confused. I do not know if it's the look or feel,that throws off your brain. You will not be sure how it feels. But playing is where it grabs you. Once you start strumming and playing unplugged you realize the first big plus. You can sit in front of the TV late at night and play this and not wake anyone. And you can still hear it fine. Even an true acoustic will wake people at night. This won't. That has been huge for me. But the fun starts when it is plugged in. You probably need to watch a few videos. There are tons of great electric tones to be coaxed out of this but it needs tweaking. There are different ways to set your volume, bass, and treble that will totally change each position and help you. It sounds fantastic but there is a learning curve. The acoustic side sounds very good in a live setting and is great for Worship leaders who normally switch between acoustic and electric. No need. This will cover you. I knocked it down half a point for ease of use. Do not get me wrong, there is nothing difficult, but there is a learning curve here. It is tryout a great guitar but you need to spend time on the settings to get the most out of it. For me, this was perhaps my best purchase in ages. It gives me a late night practice tool that is quality, and it allows me to use one guitar instead of switching back and forth . And did mention that once you get past that initial odd feeling it is a total joy to play? Thanks again to Sweetwater for meeting my needs and to my sales rep Andy Rice

  • from August 13, 2015Music Background:
    Bedroom strummer, hobbyist

    My favorite guitar

    I was very hesitant to drop a grand and a half on this instrument, but after playing the Custom Koa version in GC, I was very impressed by the fit and finish, the playability and the versatility of the guitar. The Koa version was out of my budget, so I went with the mahogany and it is a beautifully understated guitar. I have owned a half dozen guitars and this is the first one that I actually play for hours at a time - literally hours. It's so lightweight, so comfortable, the neck and the action are perfect, the acoustic tone is warm, and the options with it plugged in are endless. I have been able to replicate tones for everything from Sublime to Nirvana to Counting Crows...grungy rock, to smooth jazzy tones to acoustic ballad strumming. Just a supremely well-made, enjoyable guitar to play. If I only had one guitar it would be this one. It really delivers the versatility and comfort of an electric with the simplicity and warmth of an acoustic and it does it all so well. Expensive, but I look at it as an investment in enjoyment. I've started taking lessons to extract as much out of this guitar as possible. Play as many guitars as you can and buy the one that speaks to you.

    I did.

  • from Chicago July 28, 2015Music Background:
    Studio musician.

    True Classic

    Great Guitar Acoustic to Strat to 335 sounds. The pickups range from clean to a little growl with max volume I forgot they are humbuckers and if you need feedback it's available. A true hybrid nothing else like itm

  • from Chicago July 28, 2015Music Background:
    Studio musician.

    To Classic

    Great Guitar Acoustic to Strat to 335 sounds. The pickups range from clean to a little growl with max volume I forgot they are humbuckers and if you need feedback it's available. A true hybrid nothing else like itm

  • from Seaside OR May 5, 2015

    Review Update

    Now that I have experminted with it for almost a year, I still enjoy the overall tone, playability, comfort,and of course looks. The only thing I haven't liked about it, is if you forget to pull the guitar chord out it will drain the battery. It takes a while to drain,so just make sure you have a good battery in prior to starting if you leave it on standby, OR remember to unplug it from the guitar before starting again.

  • from Troy, NH January 8, 2015Music Background:
    Semi-pro player since 1969

    Very NIce Guitar

    The Taylor T5z is physically beautiful to look at, in a simple way without being garrish. It is light-weight but well-balanced with a strap over the shoulder. It handles easily -- the action is smooth and with just the right amount of resistance to play with either a light touch or dig in as you please. It has substantial frets, very good intonation, and lends itself well to linear playing up and down the neck, nice chord work, as well as open-position finger or flat-picking. The guitar sounds very nice unplugged -- nice for practicing, although you will want to play it out amplified. It comes strung with 11-49s by Elixir -- a good gauge for this ax, but a brand of string I didn't think I'd like. But I do kind of like them on this guitar. I'll try my usual D'Addarios next time just to compare. The five-position switch selects combinations of the bridge pickup and the neck pickup (both humbucking -- very nice electric guitar tones, smooth and bluesy to crunchy and bright) and the third pickup, a "body sensor" (which, coupled with one of the humbuckings, gives you the acoustic sound that is not my Taylor 812ce, but is still very nice). Note, the acoustic sound is a very "live body" sound, one that will pick up your cuff buttons tacking away -- but for which it's easy to make personal adjustments. The other four settings are all humbucking combinations, and make no noise except for the music you are playing. The switch set-up is intuitive and simple to use while you play, as are the two tone controls and volume. The only other criticism I am thinking of is the tuners could be a little better grade. But they work fine, and that modest compromise is not a deal breaker -- especially for the cost of the guitar, and I can always replace them. I broke the guitar in with two back-to-back New Years Eve gigs, first a mellow duo gig with my wife on piano at a small restaurant, and the second gig, rocking out through midnight in a town hall with a couple other guys sitting in -- neither occasion making me miss my usual tradeoff between my acoustic and my Tele. If you are trying to keep your gigging equipment to a minimum, the T5z cuts it as both an acoustic and electric guitar -- either straight through the PA, or through an amp -- and I guess you could do both with an A/B. I also got the Taylor case made for the T5z. Good quality and fits like a glove. Over the past few years, sales Rep Zach Bailey has responded to all of my instrument and equipment needs in a timely and friendly manner.

  • from Seaside OR September 27, 2014Music Background:

    Fun to play

    Previous to purchasing, I picked one up at a guitar shop,but didn't have enough time to really use it, so when it arrived, I immediately played it for a few hours. Since then I have played it a few hours every day. First it looks nice, second it's light weight, and third it's easy on the fingers.
    I am still tweaking it for different sounds, but since I got it, I haven't picked up my acoustic. It has a sound of it own a little acoustic a little electric.
    Sounds good with chorus and a little reverb on my amp. It sounded like a full blown electric through the I-Rig. Anyone want to buy a nice acoustic? Would have been 5 stars with a hardshell case :)

  • from Jacksonville, FL September 26, 2014


    It met every expectation I had and more. After researching reviews and seeing all of the product demos I am still impressed. Has that great Taylor fretboard and dependable quality they always deliver.

  • from San Francisco Bay Area, CA August 31, 2014Music Background:

    Excellent service, support and product

    On-line service was easy and fast. Follow up calls were courteous and brief, yet helpful. Guitar was everything it was advertised to be.

  • from Los Angeles January 14, 2016

    Will Take Some Getting Used to

    After having played a Taylor 614 CE acoustic for a few years I decided to expand into playing electric. The hope was that going to a T5z would maintain some of the same general playing feel while making the big switch. To a some extent, a Taylor neck is a Taylor neck, so there seems to be a built in familiarity. The electronics are similar to those in the acoustic, and I really like the additional pickup settings. To top it off, the guitar is simply beautiful!

    I guess the main thing that surprised me was how light the guitar is compared to other electrics, and that this lightness seems to contribute to a thinner overall sound than is the case with some solid body electrics I tried. Still, I like the feel and playability/versatility of the ax, so I'm determined to use EQ/modeling to make up for the perceived thinness to the degree possible. Depending on how that goes, I may need to eventually add another electric for some types of playing.

  • from Kentucky November 3, 2014Music Background:
    44 years and still learning.

    Taylors the way to go

    I love the guitar, and the people at Sweetwater. I highly recommend them.

  • from Arizona December 16, 2016Music Background:

    Taylor T5z

    I have had my T5z for about a month now and thought I would write a review. I really like the way it plays and it is light as a feather. Looks good also. The sounds are okay. Does not sound as good as my 414ce or my tele and strat. But the sounds are passable. What I don't like on the acoustic setting is the fact you can hear your shirt sleeve or whatever picked up by the mics. Another thing is the feedback. Took me awhile to figure out how to tame that, but you have to be careful. I play mine at church through a fishman amp so the feedback system on that amp helps with that. Another niggle to me was no pickguard. I did find one on internet and put it on. I was having trouble with mine staying in tune and intonation and as I live in Arizona, figured out I need to humidify the guitar and this helped with that problem. I initially thought it would not need to be humidified, but I was wrong. I highly recommend you get the hard case for this as mine came with gig bag and I got a hard case--makes it easier to humidify the guitar. So my take on this guitar is it won't replace your favorite acoustic or electric guitar, but it is usable and the sounds are good for what they are. It is well made and fun to play.

  • from Lowell, MA April 18, 2016Music Background:
    35 years production

    Almost Ran

    Although most people get this because they hope it will do a good job of doing both acoustic and electric guitar sounds, it does them both, but neither very well.
    What you do get, is a guitar that's very well made, beautifully crafted, great feel, fast neck, and comfortable light weight.
    The electric sounds are mediocre, with neither the growl or bite that you want for punchy rhythms, nor the sustain or singing you need for leads.
    The acoustic sounds are also mediocre, with realism, but not enough clarity.
    The major flaw with this guitar is the Feedback issue. It's really uncontrollable. If you use compression on the signal to the amp, you get feedback instantly. It's intrusive and makes it impossible to use it live. And in my case, Ireturned it because of this.
    It's definitely closer to achieving the goal than something like the Godin A6. But at half the price of the T5, the Epiphone Ultra III does much better electric sounds, and almost as good acoustic; it just weighs a ton.

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