Review: Taylor T5 Guitar
Here’s my Taylor T5 review, and I’ve decided on a new format for doing a brief reviews of the various bits of great that I use – I call it the “I” Test: 7 categories that are a bit different from the standard review that reads like it’s lifted from a guitar magazine. My “I Test” takes into account not just the performance characteristics (as normal reviews do) but also addresses the real reason we buy stuff: the 7 “I”s – what’s the Item, Inspiration (why did I get it), Image (what’s it look like), Investment (bargain or just lust), Intrinsic qualities (what does it do), Intangibles (sometimes the reason you got it doesn’t fall into any other category!), and If not this then… (did I look at alternatives).
Time for first cab off the rank…
Item: Taylor T5-X Classic
Inspiration: I really wanted a good way of recording an acoustic guitar and I stumbled across a review of the T5. I found ne in a shop and tested it out. Its ability to do a simple acoustic was great, but I was also grabbed by the versatility to create some many other tones.
Image: My Taylor T5 is made from ovangkol – I really like the rich colour of it, very muh like the walnut cap I used on the bass I made myself. I also love the overall shape of it and just how comfortable it is to play. The neck has a really silky finish, which I love on all my guitars (sometimes I’ve had to buff necks back with steel wool to achieve it, but this one was perfect out of the box). The product page for the guitar on the Taylor site is here.
Investment: I bought mine of a bloke on eBay for about two-thirds the new price ($2250 I think is the going rate). It was brand new – he’d bought two Taylor T5 guitars back from the US and decided to keep the other. On that basis it was a bargain – but now I love it so much I reckon I’d pay full price without hesitation.
Intrinsic Qualities: As I said in “Inspiration”, the versatility of this guitar as a recording instrument is fantastic. It’s pretty much become my go to guitar when I first start mucking around with an idea.
Intangibles: Cool story here – not long after I got it I was walking through Bondi Junction with the kids on the way to their music lessons. A couple of guys call me over to where they are having coffee, having spotted the Taylor gig bag I was carrying, and asks what model it was. Seemed a weird thing but after a bit of a chat it turned out they were from Taylor and out here on a business trip. In fact, it was the very guys who developed the guitar! Here’s a video of the two of them talking about it:
If not this then: On the acoustic side of things I still lust after a Taylor GS8 acoustic but at about $5k it was never really in my budget. For the recording versatility I did look at a Variax, which is great for the electric tones but not so hot on the acoustic side. I did eventually get one though so between the two of them I have almost all my guitar tones covered.
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