Price paid: £ 220
Purchased from: Rimmers, Blackburn
Sound — 9
Acoustically, this guitar can cover a lot of bases and is very sensitive to the picking hand in terms of tone. A very warm and sweet, jazzy, bell-like tone when picking further up towards the neck, more ringing and sparkly tone over the sound hole and a tighter, jangly tone toward the bridge. All sound excellent and chords ring out richly with a great clarity. Single notes higher up on the fretboard can seem a tiny bit underwhelming in terms of volume but still sound and sustain well and the intonation is spot on all all the way up. Generally this guitar is quite bright however to offset this I play mostly in Eb which balances the sound nicely. I find the pickup system a bit clacky whenever I have tested it into my computer so I don't think you could directly record. I have not got an Acoustic amp but from playing through one in the shop, I think it could be more than passable live.
Overall Impression — 8
I have been playing for about 6-7 years and have had this guitar for about 1 year. I love it and can't see myself outgrowing it any time soon. If it were stolen, I can't imagine finding a used deal as good again so would look around at other guitars as the new price is quite high. Overall, a versatile and VERY nice sounding guitar that plays nicely. Definitely consider a Tanglewood if you're in the market for a new medium priced acoustic.
Reliability & Durability — 7
I can't vouch for the build quality of other guitars of this model because of some slight finish flaws and because it was made in china, however the one I own in a gem in terms of sound and playability so I predict it is built fairly solidly. The LED on the eq doesn't light up like it should but it still functions. The strap button that there is does seem solid and I would be comfortable performing with it live if not moving about a lot. I wouldn't take a back-up. The finish seems durable.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
I bought the guitar second hand so can't comment for factory set-up. The action was originally quite high (I suspected because the neck was too bowed) so I restrung it and adjusted the truss-rod and now the action is very comfortable with virtually no fret-buzz. The intonation is very good. Tuners are reliable, smooth and accurate. Finish is satisfactory and looks good if you don't inspect it. If you do, however, you'd find a few glue marks and flaws on the binding in particular and gaps in the inlaying.
Features — 8
While looking for a new steel stringed acoustic, I stumbled upon this guitar 2nd hand and it was noticeably better than the previous guitars I had tried away (some Fenders, Ibanez etc). The features are as follows: - Grand Concert shape - 20 medium frets - solid spruce top, solid mahogany back, laminate mahogany sides. - solid mahogany neck - rosewood fingerboard - rosewood bridge - B Band AT3 pickup and eq system - non locking tuners (but very reliable) This guitar has all that I need out of an Acoustic at the moment. The pickup system seems to work well and came with a padded gig bag. The absence of a 2nd strap button is a bit annoying but can be solved with a bit of string.