Tanglewood's All Solid Spruce and Rosewood Dreadnought
Credit: http://www.goldenringmusic.com/acoustic.html

Tanglewood Guitars

When you are me, and you are an acoustic guitar snob who's been a lover of the instruments for about 30 years, you're always pleasantly surprised to find out about new makes of fine guitars.  Tanglewood guitars are just that, a new manufacturer of guitars and other stringed instruments.  Founded in London in 1988, Tanglewood instruments are extremely young.

There are some facts of life needing mention here, among those facts of life are these: Martin, Gibson, Taylor, Collings, Santa Cruz; and other such companies make exceedingly fine guitars, and they often cost a lot of money.  There are some non-American makes breaking into the business like Blueridge, and Tanglewood, and these guitars, when made from all solid woods, are going to be extremely good guitars.  Truly, when a knowledgeable builder builds a guitar from good solid woods the instrument is going to be what I consider an heirloom quality or professional quality instrument.  Thing is, people who purchase these newer make instruments at much lower prices are forever going to say their guitars are better than the much more expensive ones, and the people who own the very expensive guitars are going to say, "no way."

Of course I'm speaking above in the general sense of things.  I'm all for these Tanglewood guitars, and to be absolutely honest about it, I've never seen or played one.  I do, however, know quite a lot about guitars, and so I'm forever happy to find out about these new instruments.  I want to play one of these, test drive the thing, badly.  Outside of reading pages such as this one on the web, and test driving or "tire kicking" such guitars in music stores, online forums[1] are your friend for finding information.  The point I'm trying to make here is that should you read someone's comment about how their guitar which cost less than $800 sounds far and away superior to his friend's HD-28 which costs three times as much, you shouldn't write that person's comment off entirely, you should, if possible, find out yourself before making further judgement.  Your opinion on the matter of which flat top sounds the best is the only opinion that will ever matter.

We're doing honesty here.  I strive for honesty.  Oh everyone fails at it, but I strive for it just the same.  Tanglewood guitars are not made in the United Kingdom, the company is based out of there, the guitars are made in China[2].This poses no problem to me, but it does to some.  I didn't want to mislead anyone into thinking the Tanglewood company out of the United Kingdom translated into the Tanglewood instruments being manufactured there.

Tanglewood Rosewood All Solid Wood Flat Top

Sunburst Finish Optional

Credit: http://www.brightonguitars.co.uk/new-guitars/new-electro-acoustic-guitars/tanglewood-electro-acoustic-guitars/tanglewood-grand-reserve-electro-acoustic-guitars/tanglewood-tgrd-vs-e

Comparisons And Specifications

This Tanglewood dreadnought of all solid wood with rosewood body and spruce top is going to be extremely comparable to the Blueridge BR-160, and both have very comparable specifications, and also comparable prices.  The Tanglewood instrument is priced higher than the Blueridge on Amazon.com, but this will not always be the case in regards to that site, or other major distributors.  Prices will fluctuate, and were I a betting man, I'd bet they'll also rise.

If you read the amazon.com customer review on the Tanglewood All Solid spruce/Rosewood flat top, you'll see a man named Ken Lawson making the comment the guitar is not made in China.  In a very short review of a musical instrument, it's hard to imagine why that fact would factor into much of anything so much, especially should someone be seeking the very best steel string acoustic dreadnought they can find for the money they do have.  I don't know Mr. Lawson, but from the web research I have done, I don't believe him.  I think if a body needs a great guitar like this, and only has  so much money to spend, then such a thing shouldn't matter so much, as the goal is to make music.  The musician can't exactly set policy for imports, not often they can't.

Finding a good specifications list for this specific guitar has proved to be somewhat impossible for me, the amazon page has little to nothing.  Tanglewood guitars does have a decent and somewhat active looking Facebook page[3] interested parties should peruse though.

Here's what can absolutely be known about this guitar:

  • It's a standard scale copy of a traditional Martin D-28
  • It's all solid wood
  • Solid East Indian Rosewood back/sides
  • Solid sitka spruce top
  • Mahogany neck
  • rosewood bridge and fingerboard
  • The Guitar comes with a bone saddle

Again, with so little information available I suggest playing this instrument before purchasing it, and unless thoroughly impressed and ready to buy that day, comparing it to Blueridge guitars.  It is an all solid wood dreadnought guitar, which in my mind makes it more valuable than any Martin made from laminates.  Thanks for reading.