FST32 review by Tanglewood

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  • Sound: 5
  • Overall Impression: 4
  • Reliability & Durability: 3
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 6
  • Features: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 4.8 Poor
  • Users' score: 8.3 (4 votes)
Tanglewood: FST32

Price paid: £ 100

Sound — 5
My interests vary and I play a range of songs from Metallica, Racer X, Etc through to Interpol, Q.O.T.S.A, R.H.C.P, and oldies like ACDC and the Scorpions. I don't have any effects and play it through a Peavey Backstage amp. The neck pickup offers a very warm sound when played clean and this is the one area where the guitar seems to work very well, the neck pickup sounds very distorted through the amp on full overdrive but whenever I play it, its just a noise and it carries no real definition. I never use the middle pickup but the bridge pickup is a real bitch. It does give a classic rock sound but the background noise is intolerable, be it clean or through high gain. It does sound loud and clear when not plugged in, which means its good to practice with when I can't be arsed to use the amp. I did borrow a Zoom effects pedal from a friend which did help the sound feel more professional, but this just means that you have to buy effects pedals just to get rid of the background noise alone, before you concentrate on actually playing something.

Overall Impression — 4
Only good as a first guitar, buy it and it will last well for a couple of years at most. I would rather get a Yamaha pacifica which is pretty much the same but comes with a humbucker in the bridge position and will probably last longer. This is all from my own experience of this guitar, unless mine was in a bad batch or I am just unlucky that everything is slowly failing at the same time I can only say that you (unless you are a complete novice Who has never even held a guitar before) avoid this like the plague.

Reliability & Durability — 3
The finish looks durable and that's it. I had to replace the bridge a couple of months ago as it started lifting out the body, now this one is starting to do it! The original bridge fell apart when the thread wore down on the screws holding it together, despite the fact that I had never loosened or tightened them. Now on my second bridge, the bridge itself is slowly peeling out of the body as the screws holding it in are getting pulled out by the string tension. When I try to screw them back in, it's like screwing into balsa wood rather than a hard, resistant wood. The tuners are pretty bad to, they keep coming loose and when I play hard they buzz with their loose components. Between the bridge and the tuners the guitar de-tunes very quickly, especially after using the whammy, pretend o be Van Halen hit a high note with plenty of whammy then spend ten minutes re tuning the guitar for completing the song. I would never use this guitar Live, it probably wouldn't survive been transported, let alone being used Live.

Action, Fit & Finish — 6
When I bought the guitar my friend had it set up for use but overtime it feels like it's worn out. The finish of the body is very high but this is let down by the poor quality pickups and hardware. There is a hell of a lot of fret buzz that has recently got worse and this isn't helped but the temperamental tuners that work when they feel like it. I replaced the faceplate, pickup covers and knobs etc about six months ago from White to Black so the guitar body is now all black, shame is doesn't sound or feel as good as it looks.

Features — 6
Bought it from a friend about two years ago as my first guitar, its served me well but time has taken it toll on this guitar. I'm unsure where it was made but the website says The bodies are hand finished from solid highly resonant tone wood. The neck is handcrafted rock hard Maple with either a rosewood or maple fingerboard. All finished with vintage nickel plated hardware. It comes with three Entwistle XS65 pickups, 21 Frets and the typical controls for volume and tone. But overall it does feel like a beginners guitar.

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