Price paid: £ 195
Purchased from: Music shop
Features: This guitar doesn't say where it is made, though it will be korea or similar, the year isn't given eather, though it was purchesed 2009 (and the shop had just recieved it from the manufacturer)
This is a pretty simple 20 fret dreadnought Acoustic, one of the reasons I went for a Tanglewood is that they have good features for their price, solid top, bone nut and saddle, mapel bindings. For a similar price, Yamaha gives you a plastic nut/saddle and plastic bindings.
For this particular model I went for the Cedar top, mahogany sides and neck with a gloss finnish, C starnds for Cedar S stands for solid and G for gloss, you can get the CSN (natural satin finnish) for 10 less, but is wont be as hard wearing. No electronics, simple non brand metal tuners that hold well. There is no picguard, which i was happy about because I think they look ugly and I don't use plectrums much, though the sound suits fingerpicking more. I like the neck, I have short fingers and my hand cramps up really easily, for some reason this neck is nice, its quite slim maybe?
For the price I paid I am very happy with the features. // 10
Sound: I love the sound. I like fingerpicking, so the Cedar top is brilliant. I tried out a Yamaha FG 700 MS and put it down straight away because it sounded so tinny and shrill, this is the opposite, quite complex and warm.
One thing I would say, in the shop I played this and a CSR, with rosewood instead of mahogony, I thought the sound was a bit better, softer (and it was much prettier), though this adds 40-50 to the price and I couldnt afford it. // 10
Action, Fit & Finish: Overall the finish is very good, it seems well built only one tiny glue splodge on the inside, nice binding, lovely mother of pearl inlay at the head and arround the soundhole, gloss finish is very good, very little flaws. The fretboard at the very high end has some disturbance from the frets being installed, though every guitar in this price range has that from what I could tell. I was very disapointed that there was a (very) small chip in the finish on the edge of the soundhole, though I knew it was there when I payed. The wood appears very good, no irregularities in the grain or anything, the Cedar is not as red/dark as most I have seen (including its sister with rosewood sides in the shop) and it looks closer to spruce, I think this is probably the particular batch used for mine though because every other one I have seen is darker. This guitar really looks like it cost more than it did.
The action is fine, set up very good considering I don't think the shop set it up, it could probably be lowered by a good service, but for me its fine. // 9
Reliability & Durability: Well, there is not much to say here, because I have not had it for long. The hardware seems good, I can't imagine anything falling off. Cedar tops are supposed to be softer and easier to dent than spruce, though I can't confirm this yet.
I am never going to do any Live playing or anything so I think this guitar will last me a very long time. I will give it an 8, because I think it wont be a good guitar to gig with or anything like that. // 8
Overall Impression: I really really like this guitar, I got it for 195 (RRP 229), with a Tanglewood SKB hardcase for 40 (my bartering skills came into that considering they cost 100) generally you can get it on the internet for 210 though I was happy that a music store had them for what I payed even if I had to make them order it from the manufacturer.
The things I love about it, firstly the smell when I get it out of the case but mainly the sound and looks, ok nearly everything. I hate the chip it came with.
This is my first Acoustic guitar and I spent along time researching online and I am really glad I shelled out an extra 100 and didn't buy a cheap first guitar, for a little more you can really get something worth having. If it got stolen I would deffinatly buy a Tanglewood again, I would get this one, but if I could afford it I would get the rosewood side version. I did not compare it to the spruce one (the shop didn't have it) though I had played that in a different shop, and I did think this one was better sounding. // 10