Price paid: £ 615
Purchased from: musicstation
Sound — 9
Lovely rich and mellow sound, quite deep and boomy, I was initially looking for a dreadnought until I played this guitar. The mahogany really comes through in the sound and is just fantastic for my style of play which is mainly strumming/flat picking and some fingerpicking numbers. Comparing it to my Taylor 214CE its chalk and cheese, this has the rich sound I was looking for compared to the thin trebly Taylor. It doesn't have the the zing or harmonics of the Taylor though and you do not hear the finer nuances as with the 214. I haven't used the Fishman a great deal but it seems to be pretty good and does a decent job.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall I think this is one of the best value for money guitars on the market. It's all solid wood so it's only going to get better, it looks great and sounds amazing in my opinion. I've been playing guitar for many years and this is the sixth acoustic (+ a bunch of Strats and LP's) I've owned over that time and it's definitely my favourite of the bunch. I'd replace it a heartbeat if it was stolen. Don't be put off with it being made in China they make some amazing guitars these days and if someone put a made in America sticker on it you wouldn't know the difference. The value is amazing, a MIA Taylor or Martin etc of this specification would cost upwards of 1500 and I truly believe you wouldn't be getting that much more guitar.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I'll never play it live but can't see why it couldn't be. Everything is rock solid on this guitar and I think it will last a lifetime with care. The gloss finish seems nice and tough and durable and just feels quality. As said the gold hardware will start to wear fairly quickly but that's something I can live with as I don't intend to Baby this guitar which is unusual for me. As I'm mostly comparing it to my 214CE I would say its not quite in that guitars league in terms of overall reliability and construction but there's not a great deal between the two and the Tanglewood cost over 200 hundred pounds less.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The guitar was set up perfectly for me, very low action almost on the verge of getting string buzz but not quite.The guitar comes with a string tag detailing what string heights that Tanglewood has set at the factory. The body itself was perfect as were the frets and board, most of the binding was immaculate but there was a few scuff marks on the fretboard binding and a bit of a chip on the binding right at the very end of it near the body. The tuners were perfect when I had it but are the gold is starting to wear on them already and will eventually discolour quite badly I think.For a Chinese made guitar the QC is really very good.
Features — 10
I think it's a 2012 model and I'm pretty sure its made in china. Super folk size with solid mahogany construction throughout, rosewood fretboard and bridge and a bone nut and saddle. One piece mahogany neck and 20 frets which can mostly be got at due to the cutaway shape. It has beautiful tortoise shell and black and white binding and a tortoise shell pickguard with a nice gloss finish, the tuners are gold grover style. Being the E model it comes with a Fishman Presys+ system onboard and is supplied with Elixir Nanoweb Lights.