TW28 ST USA review by Tanglewood

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 6
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 6
  • Features: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 7.4 Good
  • Users' score: 8.9 (21 votes)
Tanglewood: TW28 ST USA

Price paid: $ 219.6

Sound — 9
I really love the sound of this guitar for play chords. It is very warm, rich and deep and I have failed to find another acoustic that matches up to it in this department. However, if you're into doing a lot of finger picking or looking for a sort of twangy sounding acoustic you should probably look elsewhere. Though this guitar is adequate in this area, I have played other acoustics that are far better for it.

Overall Impression — 6
Having a bit more experience with guitar than I did when I bought this guitar, I kind of wish that I had bought an electro-acoustic. However, I wouldn't want it to compromise the tone of this guitar. If I ever end up buying an acoustic amplifier I think I might just buy a new electro-acoustic and keep this guitar for those warm sounds I have been harping on about. If this guitar were stolen I think I wouldn't particularly go out of my way to find another one and would probably go for a different brand which is an electro-acoustic, not because I don't like this guitar but just for a little bit of a change.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I have played Live with this guitar and, as it's a plain acoustic, you don't have to worry about any electronics going wrong so I would definitely play it without a backup. The one strap button is solid and I don't think would come loose under any foreseeable circumstance so I wouldn't worry about your guitar falling off mid-gig. I've had this guitar for a while now and nothing has fallen off yet or indeed looks like it is ever going to fall off. It is very sturdily built.

Action, Fit & Finish — 6
The general finish of this guitar is, in all honesty, not the best in the world. However, there is no particular aspect I am really disappointed by. Additionally, the action isn't the best either. In fact, I struggle to bend a whole tone up anywhere on this guitar. However, due to its warm sound, this guitar reacts very well to lower tunings. Most commonly, I tune every string 2 whole tones down from standard tuning (influenced by QOTSA/Kyuss). This tuning works really well on this guitar and just highlights how well it plays the warm, deep stuff.

Features — 6
This guitar a solid top (which I highly recommend as opposed to a laminated top in any acoustic, not just this one). There are 20 frets but realistically you only have use of about 15 as the guitar isn't a cutaway. The guitar is not an electro acoustic so is ideal if you don't want to shell out for an acoustic amplifier. However, internal pickups can be added later if you get desperate. There is just the one strap button at the bottom of the guitar so the other end of your strap must be tied to the headstock (as is common amongst acoustics). The tuning pegs on this guitar are very good indeed (though their shape is much to be desired). I find that it is not uncommon for acoustics in this price range to not be able to hold their tuning very well as the pegs cannot cope with the high amount of tension in an acoustic. However, this guitar stays in tune for what feels like forever so I have not complaints with that whatsoever.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    "Er... Higher action = greater distance to the fretboard = ...." Yes, true. Brain dead moment on my part. The higher action guitar would need a string pushed down further in order to actually fret it. So not only is it harder to play fretted notes (The OP does not mention this, but it must be so.), but once a note is fretted, it's also harder to stretch the string even more, ie: to bend a note.
    "Additionally, the action isn't the best either. In fact, I struggle to bend a whole tone up anywhere on this guitar." Silly comment. Action has nothing to do with how far you can bend a tone. Action describes the height of the strings above the fretboard.Typically action is measured from the top of the 12th metal fret to the bottom of the string. Usually, acoustic guitars have thicker strings than an electric, so bending a string up a whole tone on any acoustic guitar is much harder than on an electric. "if you're into doing a lot of finger picking or looking for a sort of twangy sounding acoustic you should probably look elsewhere." What? The only thing that MIGHT keep you from finger picking on this guitar is if the strings were close together, and you had really thick fingers. This guitar has an average nut width (That is, the strings are about average distance apart.) so there is no issue finger picking this guitar. And if you want a "twangy" sounding acoustic, pick the strings near the bridge! Or buy an electric guitar.
    Er... Higher action = greater distance to the fretboard = more tension on fretted strings = harder to bend.