Category Archives for Electric Acoustic Guitars

The Ultimate Taylor T5Z Classic Acoustic Electric Guitar Review from an Expert

The Ultimate Taylor T5Z Classic Acoustic Electric Guitar Review from an Expert

Taylor Guitars has a reputation for building instruments that are simple, but maintaining a certain elegance and beauty to them; the

Taylor T5Z certainly does fall into this description, as at first glance of the guitar truly does speak a certain amount of timeless elegance.

As for the physical makeup of the Taylor T5Z Classic, this guitar has a mahogany top with a Sapele heel and neck; the sides and back of this instrument all come in a stunning satin finish.

The headstock over lay, bridge pins, and fretboard all have comprised from Ebony while featuring a simplistic diamond inlay pattern.

The top of this guitar also features two sound holes that are shaped into a leaf-like pattern, which really helps to provide the instrument with an amazing natural resonance.

One of my favorite parts about the Taylor T5Z Classic guitar is the neck, as it’s thin enough to be comfortable enough to play for people who have more experience playing electric guitars.

However, if you are someone who spends a lot of time playing acoustic guitar, you may find that the thinness of the T5Z neck may take some time to get used to, as it looks and feels a lot thinner than any typical acoustic guitar neck.

The Taylor T5Z has a 21-fret fret board with a 24.87-inch scale that allows musicians to attain a perfect balance between the comfort that an electric guitar provides and the tension that is needed for the production of clean acoustic tones.

Another great perk that Taylor added with the T5Z is the Venetian cutaway, which allows guitar players to have an easier time playing on the top frets on the fret board.

As with any Taylor guitar, this instrument has an incredible build quality and has the look (and feel) that it’s made to last decades of playing.

This guitar was built to be played while being plugged in, as the T5Z gives musicians a wide range of tones all with the flick of the five-way switch that is mounted on the side of the guitar.

The first position uses the humbucker in the neck as well as the bony-senor system, which will you give you a natural acoustic sound.

When I tried out the first position, my biggest complaint about the position was that when I had the instrument turned up too loud, there was an extreme amount of feedback. As for the second and third positions, these two really future the neck and bridge humbuckers.

Position four provides musicians with a clear tone, as both buckers are being used in a parallel mode; Position five puts the humbuckers in a series, which will deliver you with a heavier, meatier sound.

All of these positions can be adjusted to your own personal tastes by adjusting the bass, treble, and volume control knobs that are located on the guitar.

Even when I switched the T5Z over to amps that were made to be used by acoustic guitars, the tone of the instrument did an amazing job of translating really well; I also used this guitar on a PA system and tried using to do direct recordings.

I didn’t have any problems with the translation of the tone downgrading quality. I also really enjoyed playing the T5Z on several different effects pedals.

If you’ve ever played the Taylor T5 guitar, be prepared for the T5Z to feel and sound extremely different. The original T5 is a larger sized guitar that has a solid spruce top; the T5Z has flamed maple top.

I also found that when switching between the T5 and the T5Z that even though the T5Z is more lightweight than the original T5,

the T5Z has a heavier neck and is a little off balanced; the neck weight of the T5 was evenly distributed and I didn’t have any problems with the feeling of an unbalanced guitar.

I also found that when comparing the original to the T5Z on amps, that the T5Z was more resistant to feedback, which I thought was great. As the sound quality of

the T5Z, the T5Z does feel and sound does make this guitar seem to be electric, but the guitar produces just enough wooden tonality (as well as a shorter sustain) that gives this guitar a hybrid sound.

Core features of the Taylor T5Z Classic Acoustic Electric Guitar

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  • S-curve cutouts
  • Slender hollow body
  • Venetian cutaway
  • Sitka spruce top
  • Sapele sides and back
  • Polyester gloss finish that has been UV cured
  • Sapele heel and neck that have been supported with Taylor’s T-Lock neck joint
  • Nickel Taylor tuning pegs
  • Ebony fret board
  • Slimline humbucking pickup (located near the bridge)
  • Slimline humbucker pickup (concealed under the top, located near the neck)
  • Acoustic body-sensor pickup (located under the top)
  • Has a very similar feel to the Gibson Les Paul
  • 11 1/16 inch nut width
  • 12-inch fretboard radius
  • 24.87-inch scale
  • Jumbo sized frets
  • Five-way selector switch
  • Limited life time warranty
  • Comes with a Taylor T5Z hard shell case
  • Comes strung with Elixir Nanoweb electric guitar strings (.011-.049)

What are the genres of music the best to play on the T5Z?

The T5Z produces a strong, yet clear tone, that really highlight frequencies that are in the midrange. If you are looking for a guitar that has a heavy bass sound, the Taylor T5Z Classic Acoustic Electric is not the guitar for you.

When playing chords on this guitar, I noticed that all of the chords that I played had a warm ring to them with a slow decay, which was really pleasant to listen to.

I also tried finger style playing on the T5 and found that each melody line that I played really sung out nicely, without being
too overpowering.

When unplugged, this acoustic electric doesn’t have a whole ton of volume. While this guitar will be great to apply in genres that feature acoustic guitars, such as country,

I would not say that this guitar is great to use if you’re planning on doing a lot of unplugging acoustic sessions.

If you are looking for a guitar to use when practicing, recording, or writing songs with, the T5Z will suit you perfectly.

Since this is an acoustic electric guitar, I find that this would work perfectly with a lot of genres and would work the best with any recording that you’re looking to do in a studio.

I would not recommend that you purchase this guitar if you are looking to play the following genres:

  • Heavy metal/metal
  • Hard rock

These were the only two genres that I feel like the T5Z would not play with very well. Everything else, I know that T5Z will fit perfectly with!

Pros and Cons of the Taylor T5Z Acoustic Electric Guitar

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Pros:

  • -Comes with a left handed option
  • -Can be strung for left or right handed, at no extra charge
  • -100% made in the United States
  • -Cosmetically appealing
  • -Great for all genres, especially since this is an acoustic electric guitar
  • -Has a reduced size compare to the 2005 T5 release; the downsizing of the body gives this guitar a grand auditorium outline
  • -Comes with the ability to customize the appearance of your guitar. You can choose from: custom, which has a flamed Koa top with gold hardware, Pro Special Edition that has a two tone quilted maple top, Classic which comes with your standard mahogany top and a satin finish, and Pro, which has a curly maple top.
  • -Is pricey, with a $3,000 list price; however, it does have a $2,299 street value (For the latest prices and discounts, check here)

Cons:

  • Is pricey, with a $3,000 list price; however, it does have a $2,299 street value
  • A lot of people have the mindset that the T5Z is an acoustic guitar first and an electric guitar second, when in fact, it’s the other way around.

Other Guitars to Alternatives to Consider

Fender CD-60 Dreadnought Acoustic Electric Guitar

The Fender CD-60 Dreadnought Acoustic Electric sports a laminated mahogany top, back, and sides, which provides the tonality of the guitar with a warm and rich voice.

This guitar also has a rosewood fingerboard, vintage-style open-gear tuners, Fender’s advanced scalloped bracing, and a maple neck.

The Scalloped X Bracing helps to increase the resonance of the CD-60, as well as to expand the reach of its volume and tone.By using laminated mahogany provides the guitar with a professional look, as well as a bold and rich sound.

Using laminated wood instead of real mahogany ensures that the guitar is light weight for beginners to feel comfortable playing, as well as being in a price range that’s comfortable for all levels of users to afford.

Conclusion

While the Taylor T5Z Classic Acoustic Electric guitar has the appearance of an acoustic guitar, this instrument was created to be a high performing hybrid of both acoustic and
electric guitars.

The only thing that I have to say about this guitar is that if you are considering investing into this instrument, I would highly recommend that you invest in two separate electric and acoustic rigs, in order to get the most of this guitar’s capabilities.

The Full Martin DX1AE Acoustic Electric Guitar Review

The Full Martin DX1AE Acoustic Electric Guitar Review

If you’re looking to purchase yourself a quality Martin guitar without having to pay the Martin price tag, the Martin DX1AE is an acoustic electric guitar you’re going to want to check out.

For just under $600, you can purchase yourself an instrument that will provide you with an amazing sound quality and high-quality sound projection. The tone that the Martin DX1AE delivers a loud and bright tone that has the ability to blend in with basically any music genre.

Especially considering the price tag, the materials that Martin used to comprise this guitar are absolutely beautiful and have incredible quality. The DX1AE has a dreadnought body, which helps to ensure that this guitar produces the maximum amount of volume that it can. It also has an A frame X-1 top bracing with solid Sitka spruce top braces.

Also, the satin finish has been completed by hand, which really adds a nice touch of authenticity to the guitar.

The back and sides have a high-pressure laminate that has a textured finish, that really helps to balance out the sound of the instrument. The nut width of the DX1AE is 1 and 11/16 inches and is comprised of white Corian.

Why I Love the Martin DX1AE

Personally, I love the sound quality of the Martin DX1AE; it’s my favorite part of the entire guitar. The spruce top of the DX1AE is a bit thicker than most other guitars and having this extra thickness really allows the guitar to produce a loud and bass sound.

Martin also made sure to install quality tuners, which helps to ensure that the strings stay in tune for long periods of time, without having the need of constant re-tuning. The tuning pegs are chrome and are enclosed with small buttons.

There are some complaints about the overall build quality of this guitar, but in my personal experience, I have found that it withstands against a decent amount of abuse. By the decent amount of abuse, I mean that I accidentally hit my guitar against a music stand or against a wall.

I have heard a few of my friends talk about how they have dropped their guitar and how there was a lot of damage left on the instrument. Just make sure that you’re careful with your instrument, no matter what you buy!

DX1AE has twenty frets in total, with fourteen that are clear for use. The width of the fingerboard is 2 1/8th inches, which really helps to make playing to be comfortable; having this extra width also makes playing tricky maneuvers and progressions to be easier, since you have extra room to work with.

The bridge is made from Black Rich Lite, which is what the fretboard is also made from.

The bridge and end pins are white with black dots, but you also have an option to pick a tortoise color. As for the electronics placed in this acoustic electric, Martin installed Fishman electronics, which really helps to add a decent amount of versatility to the guitar, making it great to use for a variety of gigs.

Core features of the Martin DX1AE

The Martin DX1AE is a part of the Martin X Series of Guitars; each and every guitar manufacturer has their own unique naming system for their guitars. Martin tends to name their guitars after their size and body style. Here is a breakdown of the DX1AE title:

D – Dreadnought body style

X- X series from Martin guitars; there are fifteen other models in the X series

1 – This basically means that this is a basic acoustic electric that doesn’t come with any frills and has a basic A-frame.

AE- Acoustic Electric

What are the best genres to play the Martin DX1AE with?

Since the sound that the DX1AE produces is bright, loud, and warm, there is no one specific genre that wouldn’t pair well with this guitar. There are an unlimited amount of genres that would pair really well with the DX1AE; however, I wouldn’t go and say that you play thrasher metal on this acoustic-electric (that would just sound silly).

Does the Martin work as advertised?

Yes, the Martin DX1AE does work as advertised. This is an affordable guitar that produces a professional sound and doesn’t require a lot of skill in order to make the instrument sound amazing.

Pros of the Martin DX1AE:

  • Very light weight
  • Easy to transport
  • Has a balanced sound
  • Provides amazing resonance
  • Produces large, clear sound
  • Built to withstand abuse and doesn’t show a lot of signs of wear and tear
  • Affordable
  • High-quality sound

Cons of the Martin DX1AE:

  • The bottom strap is shallow, which sometimes makes playing uncomfortable
  • I hated having to remove all of the strings in order just to access the battery of the guitar

Some other alternative acoustic-electric guitars to consider:

Seagull S6 Original Acoustic Guitar

The Seagull S6 original acoustic guitar is a cheaper option compared to the Martin DX1AE but is only an acoustic guitar. However, while this only is an acoustic guitar, it produces a very similar bright and warm sound compared to the Martin DX1AE. This is slightly cheaper, mainly because it doesn’t have the Martin name attached to it.

Yamaha FG800 Solid Top Acoustic Guitar

If you’re looking to spend the least you possibly can, the Yamaha FG800 is an acoustic guitar you should look at. This is also an acoustic guitar, without any electronics attached to it. While this guitar does have a warm and bright sound, it does sometimes have some intonation problems, which is why this instrument is aimed towards beginners.

Conclusion

For the price tag on this instrument, I would highly suggest that you purchase this guitar. You can have yourself a name brand instrument that comes with amazing craftsmanship and even better sound for under $600.

Not to mention that the Martin DX1AE stands up very well against humidity, temperature fluctuations, and changes in climate.

Overall, I would recommend this instrument to players of all levels; I highly recommend that beginning guitarists give this instrument a checkout, but I also believe that intermediate players and advanced musicians give the DX1AE a chance without passing judgment.