Differences Between the Taylor T5z Classic and T5Z Pro?
The main difference between the T5z Classic and T5z Pro is the tonewood material. For the top pieces, the Pro uses Big Leaf Maple and the Classic uses Mahogany. The body of the Pro is Ash while the Classic uses Sapele. While it's not explicitly stated in the product description, we'd also assume that the wood in the Pro version is a higher grade. For what it's worth, we'd argue the T5z Classic is the better value, since it's much cheaper, in spite of it being hard to quantify the differences between the two guitars.
|Feature||Taylor T5z Pro||Taylor T5z Classic|
|Number of Strings||6||6|
|Body Type||Modern Hollowbody||Hollowbody Thinline|
|Body Shape||T5z||T5z Thinline|
|Top Material||Big Leaf Maple||Mahogany|
|Color||Grape Vine||Classic Mahogany stain with Shaded Edgeburst|
|Neck Material||Neo-Tropical Mahogany||Sapele|
|Number of Frets||21||21, Jumbo|
|Scale Length||24.875 inches||24.875 inches|
|Tuners||Taylor||Taylor Nickel tuners|
|Neck Pickup||Concealed neck humbucker||Concealed Neck Humbucker|
|Middle Pickup||Acoustic body sensor system||Acoustic body sensor|
|Bridge Pickup||Visible bridge humbucker||Bridge Humbucker|
|Controls||Volume, bass, treble, 5-way pickup selector||1 x volume, 2 x tone, 5-way blade pickup switch|
|Strings||D'Addario XS Nickel-plated Steel, .011-.049||D'Addario XS Nickel-plated Steel, .011-.049|
|Case/Gig Bag||Hardshell Case||Softshell Case|
Taylor T5z Classic and T5Z Pro Price Comparison
Prices updated Fri, December 08th, 2023.
Why is the pricing so different between the T5z Classic and Pro?
The significant price difference between the Taylor T5z Pro and the T5z Classic can be attributed to several factors, including the materials used and overall craftsmanship. The top and body tonewood, in particular, is contributing a lot to the cost difference. Here are some of the main differences.
- Tonewoods and Build Quality: The T5z Pro features a Bigleaf Maple Top, Urban Ash back and sides, and a neo-tropical Mahogany neck. These tonewoods are likely a higher grade than the Mahogany top and Sapele back and sides of the T5z Classic.
- Finish and Aesthetics: The Pro version has a more intricate (exclusive) finish, such as the gloss Grape Vine finish with is available only at Sweetwater. Premium finishes and aesthetics can add to the overall cost, and they're fairly noticeable if you compare pictures of both guitars (see the photo above from Loud and Clear Music).
- Craftsmanship and Attention to Detail: Differences in craftsmanship, attention to detail, and quality control measures can contribute to variations in price. Higher-end models often undergo more meticulous construction and quality checks, with more hands-on attention.
- Market Positioning: The pricing strategy may also be influenced by the manufacturer's positioning of the models in the market. In this case, the Pro version may be positioned as a higher-tier or premium offering. Another possibility is that the supply of the Pro is being kept intentionally low, which makes it more rare, thus driving up the price.
What would I go with?
The problem with the Pro version is that it's far more expensive (over $1000 when we published this comparison), and doesn't really give you a lot of tangible improvements over the Classic.
To be sure, Taylor has put more work and better materials into the Pro, and it's likely worth what they're asking for it.
But does that make a lot of difference for you, practically?
It's up to you to make the call, but we'd argue that the T5z Classic is already an incredibly nice guitar that gives you top-tier quality, without asking you to spend an extra thousand bucks. If you have questions or there's something we missed in our comparison, leave it in the comments section below. We'll see you there.
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