Hey folks,

I've been looking into a guitar on the internet for what I can only define as a 'frankenstein'-type of project, and what I've found is a second-hand advertised as a Tanglewood, but with a model name (SJ...X series) that is only made by Cort. The photo's do seem legitimate, there are actual pictures of the serial number, but the color (blue burst) isn't produced by either Tanglewood or Cort. The fretboard has diamond cross inlays and also extends over the soundhole, which I can find on no current model by either manufacturer.

To be frank, the model, or brand does not matter to me at all. As I've said, I intend to alter (read: cannibalize) the guitar a bit, but I am curious if anyone is more familiar with the history of Cort and Tanglewood in general. As since they're both steel-string brands for the most part and nylon is by far more my field of expertise, I don't come across instruments like these in general. From what I've found there is apparently some history between the brands, but I can't quite find what and would at least like to know what I'm getting into.

Wise Man Says: The guitar is obviously female, she's got hips, breasts... and a hole.
UG's Flamenco Club
It could well be that the Tanglewood guitar was made in the Cort factories. Tanglewood is a UK company that designs and markets guitars but uses Far East manufacturers.
The wood/materials used for this guitar means, even to rebuild one with upgraded hardware, you'd still be no better off.
The wood is cheap, the guitars aren't that great.
I've owned 2 Tanglewoods from new.
If you want to upgrade a cheap guitar, buy a used/broken guitar of a higher build quality and breathe new life into it.

It's your money, but these things aren't as bad as firewood, but, it's not far off.

It's the first level of guitar that's not a horrid joke, but nothing to depend on for a live show or record when compared to other guitars costing more.
The tones of the wood suck, so even with high end bridges, machines heads and replacing the nut with one built out of a better quality material, you're still going to have a tone muffled by the woods used.

If you want to upgrade a Tanglewood, change the body, the neck, and the hardware; Like the guy who had the same broom for 50 years, it had 20 new broom sticks and 30 new broom heads, but still calling it the same broom. So get a new guitar neck, get a new body, and upgrade the hardware. (And if you've got an electric guitar, upgrade all the electronics too)..

I must have had a bunch of cheap guitars rebuilt with high end stuff before I realised the error of my ways and how good they 'could have been' if they had better wood as a starting off point.
Cort and Tanglewood aren't the worst guitars you can buy, but not worth spending money on trying to upgrade either. I say keep it, play it, gift if maybe, but don't bother upgrading one. Had it have been a guitar cheaper in build quality than this level, I wouldn't even suggest playing it, if it weren't a Tanglewood or Cort but still cheap, I'd say; Burn it (fire wood) and or maybe use it for art materials or whatever.
Last edited by treborillusion at Dec 31, 2016,

Thank you, I appreciate the warnings on quality, I'm not very surprised but I welcome the insights nonetheless. The goal for this instrument is actually none of what you may expect though. It's more a 'preparation' type of instrument that I intend to alter in various ways (changing strings to nylon, thus changing the bridge, neck, sanding down the top to a decent nylon thickness, maybe even go as far as using it as a layout for building this type of instrument for nylon strings properly).

I have rather long limbs, but am by profession largely a nylon player. I constantly find myself in trouble with small instruments, hence this try-out. Any trick, playing style, footstool or other positioning-aid you can think of I've tried. Jumbo size instruments seem to fit me much better, but there are no - and by no I mean absolutely none-at-all - halfway decent nylon-stringed guitars. There are some steel string brands that produce them, but all of them are disturbingly bad, as none of those companies have any idea what to do and how to work properly with nylon.

Which is why this is my alternative method, see if I can get a decently playable instrument by altering it myself. Before taking the financial plunge of having one made. Playability is the only goal here, tone is something I can worry about later. I'm not willing to take the chisel to a virgin, so I wanted a second-hand.
Wise Man Says: The guitar is obviously female, she's got hips, breasts... and a hole.
UG's Flamenco Club
Last edited by FretboardToAsh at Dec 31, 2016,
Will the narrow neck be OK for you? If you plan on thinning the top, it might be a good idea to make sure it is solid, not laminate. Something with a solid cedar top might be good for that kind of conversion, and I personally would choose a dread over a jumbo, hopefully for a "simpler" kind of tone.
Tony Done

A dread would be too small, unfortunately. Good call on the laminate, I'll find a solution for that, since I expect this might be.
Wise Man Says: The guitar is obviously female, she's got hips, breasts... and a hole.
UG's Flamenco Club
My most- played guitar is a cheapie all- laminate Dred fitted with nylon strings. Go for it.