I have always been a big fan of Tanglewood guitars and so was particularly happy to hear about their recently released ‘Winterleaf Collection’ which includes Parlour, Auditorium and Dreadnaught guitars plus a rather wonderful Acoustic Bass (TW8AB) in the lineup. Here though we are going to take a closer look at the Dreadnought Cutaway TW10.
Out of the collection of guitars I have at the moment the Tanglewood TW10 stands out for two reasons. It’s the only dreadnaught in the bunch and it’s a beautiful looking guitar. With it’s Solid Cedar top, Mahogany back and sides and Maple binding it looks like the sort of guitar you just want to pick up and play.
As mentioned the TW10 has a Solid Cedar Top and Mahogany back and sides (laminate). The neck is Mahogany with Rosewood fingerboard and bridge. The nut and compensated Saddle are both ‘NuBone’ which is a derivative of Graph Tech’s highly resonant TUSQ material, manufactured to very close tolerances under high heat and pressure and which produces..according to Graph Tech “clear highs, a nice low end with overall fullness and a balanced sound that has increased harmonics and volume” and having played the TW10 quite extensively I can’t argue with that. I do prefer Tusq to real bone as it also aids in tuning stability and I have found NuBone to do the same thing. Strings are D’Adarrio and machine heads are Grovers.
There are 20 well finished frets and the neck joins the body at the 14th fret. Of course as this is a cutaway model you have full access right up to the 20th fret. Scale length is 25.5″ (64.8 cm) and nut width is 43mm. This particular TW10 came very well set up out of the box with action at the first fret just slightly over 2mm and approx 3.5mm at the 12th fret. There is not even a hint of fret buzz no matter where you are on the fretboard and this makes the TW10 a real pleasure to play. Bar chords are not a chore on this guitar!
The TW10 also has a beautiful natural finish which is something I have always preferred as I think it lets the guitar breath. A gloss finish on a guitar looks nice but I often think this can sometimes be at the expense of a certain airiness to the sound.
The TW10 produces wonderfully rich harmonics and a sweetness of tone that lends itself very well to finger style playing. Cedar often lacks clarity at volume but I didn’t notice that with the TW10. It is probably not as “bright” as a Spruce top guitar but I found it equally at home played softly or driven hard with a pick.
As for electronics The TW10 is fitted with the Custom M-450T B-Band EQ System which is a Fishman designed unit that also appears on several other makes including Godin. It features a 4-band EQ which includes slider controls for bass, mid, treble and presence, along with a separate volume control knob and the convenience of an onboard digital chromatic tuner which I found to work amazingly well.
To sum up I can say I have definitely enjoyed my time with the TW10. It’s a great all rounder and if your in the market for a great value for money dreadnaught that doesn’t compromise on quality the TW10 should be on your short list. Unfortunately Tanglewood want this one back and I will be very sorry to see it go.
Tanglewood Winterleaf TW10 average street price £349.00/$471/€391
For more info visit Tanglewood Guitars