TSE 505 Review

manufacturer: Tanglewood date: 04/13/2011 category: Electric Guitars
Tanglewood: TSE 505
This electric guitar is a faithful copy of a 1960s Les Paul Standard Classic and replicates all the adornments which made that model highly sought after, including a carved top, green keys, gold plated hardware, perloid inlay on fingerboard, traditional cream trim and scratchplate.
 Sound: 7
 Overall Impression: 8
 Reliability & Durability: 7.7
 Action, Fit & Finish: 6
 Features: 8.3
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (3) pictures (3) 2 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.8
TSE 505 Reviewed by: unregistered, on april 11, 2005
5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 366

Purchased from: Westside Music

Features: I bought this guitar because it's a Les Paul Copy and I couldn't afford the real thing. I already play with a '59 Gibson ES330, and I wanted a low cost guitar with humbuckers. It was made in China with maple neck and rosewood frets. Tun-O-Matic bridge, 3-way selector, two volume and two tone controls finished in black with gold fittings. It also came with a gig bag. // 8

Sound: I was really impressed with the sound, I use Fender Super Bullets 9-40 strings which give a nice bright tone. I play all types of music so the Les Paul type guitar can handle anything. I run it through a Korg 1500 Multi Effect and it sounds great, stacks of rich full sustain. Having owned Gibsons (ES330's) I can say that value for money if you are just starting out then this is a serious first guitar. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: The setup was almost perfect but I put that down to Westside Music as they set their guitars before selling then. Anyone who knows about China knows that quality has improved beyond reconition over the last few years, and this guitar proves it. Excellent finish all round, no flaws at all. Low action and super neck. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I had two minor problems which were sort by Westside, a loose tuner which was replaced under warrenty and a loose jack plug connector which I sorted myself, so I cannot say if it would withstand live playing without a backup. The finish in black is good, but to honest most guitars are these days, good strong strap buttons and should last for many years. // 8

Overall Impression: If this was stolen I would purchase another. I Have been playing for 40 years including Strats, Gretch, Gibsons and Jackson. This is a value guitar and far better value for money than any of the above. I always pick up the Tanglewood before the Gibson because I love the feel and look. // 10

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overall: 8.8
TSE 505 Reviewed by: hedworx, on march 25, 2005
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 366

Purchased from: Sounds Good

Features: - Classic USA styled single cutaway - Set-in hard rock maple neck - Basswood body mahogany stained with arched flamed maple top - Bound body and neck - Rosewood fingerboard - Two Entwistle Humbucker pickups - Three way selector Switch - 2 volume and 2 tone controls - Gold plated hardware - Six saddle Tun-O-Matic bridge - Stop tail bridge piece - Three a side Die Cast machine heads - Black gloss finish. // 10

Sound: The entwhistle humbuckers add an uncharacteristically rich sound to guitar playing, which surprisingly sounds excellent when playing heavier stuff, mainly thrash. It can recreate an amazing thrash sound through Kustom amp that I'm using without effects! Just Switch on the Drive. With a Zoom 606 FX pedal it empties the guitar of its ability to kick you in the balls. I'd advise you to use the treble setting for most of the time as the rhythm setting is very hard to hear, it becomes too distorted. Using both humbuckers with the tone turned down low on the neck humbucker sounds beautiful. The variety is mind boggling, from a very defined rich sound usign the treble option and a high tonage, to the low grunt of the rhythm setting is grogeous. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitars manufacturing was next to none, nothing has fallen off yet. The machine head for the d string is, I have to say, sketchy, it jumps when tuning the guitar back up but this was probably just a one off, as the rest are perfect. The bridge humbuckers tone control is slightly loose but not much wrong with that. Like any other guitar it has some flaws but it all ads to its character. // 6

Reliability & Durability: This guitar is excellent for everything, although for its size, it is very heavy, I need to pad my strap to wear the thing. I've had the guitar for a year now, and with constant playing everyday, its gloss finsh is still in impecible condition, all is needed is just a wipe down after playing as it becomes smudged and stuff. There are a few marks were it has been scraped with a plectrum but these can hardly be seen. // 10

Overall Impression: I usualy play thrash metal, and the tone coming from the guitar is beautiful, and with the option of the two humbuckers the range of tones are great. The only problem is the weight, but it is nothing major, a bit of endurance should fix that. I just love this guitar, it's my third, I've also got and Ibanez S470DX and a Vintage VR4000BTB and I choose the Tanglewood over the others, it feels better to play, it makes you feel like youve accomplished something when your done. // 10

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overall: 4.6
TSE 505 Reviewed by: unregistered, on april 13, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 140

Purchased from: Ebay

Features: I presume this is Chinese made. Standard Les Paul job, set neck, two humbuckers etc. Supposedly some type of mahogany body (its light on the shoulder) with a maple neck and rosewood fretboard. Maple top? More likely a photo finish under the lacquer. It came with a Standard fitted hard case. // 7

Sound: Reasonable sound until you turn the volume down on the guitar and it hums. Looked at the electrics and can't spot anything obvious so it may be the pickups? It has the usual Les Paul tones covered in a fashion, nothing amazing. Bought specifically for an REM band were Buck used a Les Paul on certain songs, did'nt want to spend a lot to start with but it looks like I might regret that, read on... // 5

Action, Fit & Finish: Bare in mind I got this in great condition second hand so the following issues cannot be blamed on the previous owner. Came with high action so I started to set it up. First issue: the Bridge is trash. The posts are a poor fit in the mounting cups and the saddles have no springs so the whole thing rattles and moves. I secured the posts by using PTFE tape (plumbers teflon tape) on the thread which has helped but it basically needs upgrading. Second issue: high frets. Choke out on string bends and dead spots in random places. Tried all the usual procedures; truss adjustment, compromising the height of the string action, etc. Little joy. So I put a steel engineers ruler on the frets and yes there are some high frets. I have set lots of guitars up, built a few even (from parts) but never attempted a fret level so this is the part that has pissed me off. I can live with changing a bridge, a pickup or a pot but I don't expect it to need a fret level. Seriously bad quality control here from Tanglewood, very disappointed. The guitar has potential so why these few corners have been cut is beyond me, or maybe I just got a lemon? // 2

Reliability & Durability: Once the issues are sorted out I think it will hold up okay, after all its a Les Paul clone. // 5

Overall Impression: I play all different styles and use Fender or old Japanese stuff like Yamaha or Ibanez. In hindsight I should have spent more on something like an old Greco or Tokai but I took a gamble on this. Bought specifically for the Monster era REM stuff, it looks the part. I think it will get me started, its not like I need to be all over the fretboard for REM, good job LOL. Been playing 20 years, owned a lot of stuff, wont look at Tanglewood again. Its a shame, it looks the part and could be a good guitar. // 4

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