The Best Tanglewood Guitars In 2024: Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

best Tanglewood Acoustic Guitar Review
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As an avid guitarist, few acoustic brands have impressed me like Tanglewood Guitars. This UK-based company has carved out a stellar reputation for budget and mid-range acoustics with good tone, playability and build quality that punch above their weight class.

From the first time I cradled a Tanglewood dreadnought and strummed those rich, resonant tones, I was hooked. While they may lack the marketing muscle of bigger names, Tanglewood has become the UK’s bestselling acoustic guitar brand by delivering exceptional value without skimping on craftsmanship.

In this review, I’ll break down the best Tanglewood guitar models across various styles and price points. Whatever your playing level and experience, you’re bound to find a stellar Tanglewood option that hits all the right notes.

Tanglewood Guitar Series Overview

Tanglewood offers a diverse range of guitar series, each catering to different playing styles, skill levels, and budgets. As per my experience, I can confidently say that Tanglewood delivers exceptional quality and value across the board.

Tanglewood Guitars Review
Image: oscarguitars.se

The Sundance Performance Pro series is designed for the discerning player who demands professional-level tone and playability. These guitars feature solid tops, premium tonewoods, and advanced electronics, making them ideal for stage and studio use.

For those who appreciate traditional styling with a modern twist, the Sundance Historic series is a standout choice. These guitars boast understated elegance and a warm, vintage-inspired sound that’s perfect for fingerstyle and folk music.

The Java series, which evolved from Tanglewood’s popular ukulele line, offers compact parlor and folk guitars with unique tonewoods. These guitars are perfect for smaller-handed players or those who prefer a more intimate playing experience.

The Winterleaf series is a solid-top acoustic line that delivers exceptional value for money. With a focus on quality materials and craftsmanship, these guitars are suitable for beginners and intermediate players looking to upgrade their instruments.

For those seeking the style and sound of 1930s America, the Crossroads series is a must-consider. These guitars feature vintage-inspired designs and a warm, resonant tone that’s perfect for blues, folk, and country music.

The Discovery series features solid tonewoods and a sleek, modern design, making it a popular choice for gigging musicians and singer-songwriters.

No matter which Tanglewood series you choose, you can expect a guitar that’s well-crafted, tonally versatile, and built to inspire your creativity. With a wide range of models and price points, there’s a Tanglewood guitar for every player.

Best Tanglewood Guitar for Beginners

After trying out several models across their affordable and mid-range lineup, I’ve picked five budget-friendly Tanglewood acoustics that are ideal options for new and intermediate-level players.

Let’s dive into detailed reviews to see why these particular guitars make such great choices:

1. Crossroads TWCRO Acoustic Guitar

Tanglewood Crossroads TWCRO Acoustic Guitar

  • Impressive beginner guitar
  • Frame made of real mahogany wood
  • Burst Satin Finish
  • Chrome die cast machine heads

The Tanglewood Crossroads TWCRO is an outstanding entry-level acoustic guitar that punches well above its weight in the budget category. This all-laminate guitar features a laminated mahogany back and sides paired with a laminated spruce top.

The build quality is excellent for the price point, with clean construction, smooth satin finish, and tidy fretwork.

The TWCRO delivers a rich, resonant tone with impressive projection and sustain. The mahogany back and sides produce a warm low-end response, while the spruce top provides clarity in the mids and highs.

The ABS nut and saddle allow the upper registers to ring out nicely. The bolt-on mahogany neck has a comfortable, familiar playing feel that’s perfect for beginners or experienced strummers.

Some minor setup is recommended to optimize playability. But overall, the Crossroads offers exceptional value with its premium sound, easy playability, and attentive construction details rare in this price range.

It’s an excellent choice for students, casual players, or anyone seeking a pure acoustic guitar on a tight budget. For under $200, the TWCRO is simply an amazing bang for your buck.

2. Discovery DBT SFCE BW Electro Acoustic Guitar


Discovery Super Folk Guitar Black with Free Case: Acoustic Guitar

The Tanglewood Discovery DBT SFCE BW is a stunning electro-acoustic guitar that delivers impressive tone, playability and value for money.

This Super Folk-shaped guitar features a spruce top, black walnut back and sides, and a mahogany neck, providing a balanced tone with clarity and warmth.

The rosewood fingerboard and bridge enhance playability and add warmth to the tone, while the genuine maple binding adds a touch of elegance. The Tanglewood TEQ-3BT preamp system allows for further shaping of your sound, making it suitable for various genres and playing styles.

The guitar’s comfortable playing experience, thanks to its Super Folk shape and 25.5 inches scale length, makes it perfect for fingerstyle and light strumming.

The satin finish enhances the natural wood grain, giving it a classy look, and Tanglewood’s attention to detail is evident in the guitar’s excellent build quality.

Some players may want lower action out of the box, but a basic setup can easily optimize the playability. Its ability to produce a natural sound even when amplified, as well as its stylish design, make it a great value proposition.

Overall, the Tanglewood Discovery DBT SFCE BW is a solid choice for those seeking an affordable electro-acoustic guitar with quality construction and versatile sound.

3. Blackbird TWBBOE Electro-Acoustic Guitar

Tanglewood Blackbird TWBBOE Electro Acoustic Guitar

  • All Mahogany tonewoods
  • Comes with a Tanglewood Premium Plus EQ system
  • Smokestack Black finish
  • Lightweight and comfortable

The Tanglewood TWBBOE is a wonderfully versatile and distinct electro-acoustic guitar from the company’s Blackbird series.

This orchestra-sized body shape provides a slightly smaller footprint than a dreadnought while still delivering balanced projection and articulate tone.

Built with an all-mahogany construction, the TWBBOE produces a warm, resonant voice with excellent midrange emphasis and sustain.

The set mahogany neck and Techwood fingerboard offer a smooth, comfortable playing feel. While compact, the 25.6″ scale length doesn’t feel cramped.

A key highlight is the onboard preamp system with 4-band EQ and volume control for easy amplified performance. The undersaddle pickup captures the guitar’s rich acoustics nicely. The lack of a pickup selector is a minor con for some.

Overall build quality is excellent, featuring Tanglewood’s typical attention to detail at an affordable price point. The smart Smokestack Black finish looks sharp too.

While the non-cutaway body limits upper fret access some, the TWBBOE’s cozy orchestra size makes it a great choice for up-close fingerstyle playing. Its warm, articulate tone suits countless styles from folk to blues to light rock.

An excellent affordable all-arounder.

4. Winterleaf TW4 E VC KOA Electro Acoustic Guitar

Tanglewood TW4 E VC KOA Electro Acoustic Guitar

  • Made with solid Koa top
  • Mahogany neck and Techwood fingerboard
  • Equipped with chrome Grover tuning heads
  • Natural gloss finish for stylish look

The Tanglewood TW4 E VC KOA is a mid-range offering in the company’s Winterleaf Exotic series tailor-made for discerning players.

This grand auditorium cutaway is a true beauty inside and out, featuring exotic AAA-grade koa wood for the solid top as well as the back and sides. Koa’s striking figure gives this guitar an undeniably elegant visual presence.

But the visual sophistication is matched by equally refined sound. The Koa top delivers sparkling clarity and articulation, complemented by the rich low-midrange resonance from the Koa back and sides. The Venetian cutaway allows full fingerboard access for uninhibited lead work up the mahogany neck.

Tanglewood equipped this model with their Premium Plus preamp system for versatile amplified performance. The built-in tuner, EQ with sweepable mids, and anti-feedback controls ensure great plugged-in tone shaping.

Other premium appointments like the Eboncore fingerboard and bridge rightly match the exotic tonewoods.

While not as expensive as some high-end models, the TW4 E VC KOA offers exceptional value with its premium construction and professional-grade features in a mid-range acoustic-electric guitar.

If you covet an exotic instrument with both visual sophistication and sublime amplified tone, this Koa masterpiece deserves a close look.

5. Sundance Historic TW40-O-AN-E Guitar

Tanglewood TW40-O-AN-E Historic Orchestra Guitar

  • Orchestra body style
  • Made with solid spruce top
  • Fishman Presys EQ system
  • Suitable for a wide range of musical styles

The TW40-O-AN-E stands out as a meticulously crafted orchestra model within Tanglewood’s renowned Sundance Historic series. This beautiful guitar features a solid spruce top paired with mahogany back and sides – a tonewood combination prized for its rich, punchy sound.

The TW40 impresses with its vintage-inspired aesthetics, including elegant binding, rosette, and nickel Waverly tuners, evoking a classic vibe. But it also boasts modern features like Fishman Presys preamp system for natural amplified tone.

Unplugged, the orchestra body provides a surprising degree of articulation and volume for its compact size. The spruce top supplies vibrant bell-like trebles, while the mahogany back and sides contribute a warm, smooth midrange fondness.

A few minor cons include some thick finish areas here and there, and the non-cutaway body makes upper frets a stretch for smaller hands. But overall build quality is impeccable.

For discerning fingerstyle players, recording guitarists, or those craving a premium small-body acoustic-electric bursting with vintage character, the TW40 O AN E merits serious consideration.

Its blend of old-world craftsmanship and modern versatility is downright impressive for the price.

Why Should You Buy a Tanglewood Acoustic Guitar?

There are so many reasons why you should buy a Tanglewood acoustic guitar. Here are some of the key points for you to consider.

Tanglewood Electro Acoustic Guitar Review
Image: oscarguitars.se

Tone Woods: More than anything, Tanglewood is known for its superb tonewood selection. The company knows the tone each tonewood produces, and that knowledge allows it to create the perfect acoustics for each guitar. You can only expect top-tier sound quality from this guitar manufacturer.

Shape and Size: They offer a wide range of guitar models that come in all shapes and sizes. But regardless of their sizes, Tanglewood remains comfortably playable for everyone. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, you’ll surely find the right guitar to match your needs.

Durability: For decades, Tanglewood remained on top of its game, thanks to its premium guitar construction. The brand only uses the finest material to ensure that each one is built to last for a long time and provide a good experience at the same time.

Price Range: While Tanglewood doesn’t offer the most affordable guitars in the market, all of its guitars retail at reasonable prices. Their instruments are not overpriced like some premium brands like Gibson or Martin Guitars.

Aesthetics: And finally, we can’t deny the eye-catching aesthetics of Tanglewood instruments. Whether you prefer a natural look or one with vintage vibes, there’s no denying that these guitars are quite stylish.

Alternative Guitars of Tanglewood (for Beginners)

While Tanglewood offers excellent affordable options, a couple of other brands are also worth considering for beginners on a tight budget. Yamaha’s FG800 series and Ibanez’s AW acoustic line both provide quality starter guitars at very reasonable prices.

Yamaha’s FG830 is a beloved dreadnought loaded with features rarely seen in this price range – a solid Sitka spruce top, rosewood fingerboard, die-cast tuners, and more. Its warm, balanced tone punches far above its weight.

The smaller Yamaha FS800 concert model is also a smart choice for younger students or travel.

From Ibanez, the AW54OPN dreadnought offers impressive value with an open pore natural finish, spruce top, and mahogany back/sides. While laminate, the tonewoods deliver a suitably rich, resonant voice ideal for learners.

Ibanez’s reputation for easy playability extends even to their affordable acoustics.

These respected brands reliably produce quality entry-level acoustics that won’t hamper a beginner’s progress while they develop proper technique.

With basic setup, the above-mentioned models provide inspiring instruments students can grow with before ultimately upgrading to higher-end models.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Tanglewood guitars good?

Yes. Tanglewood Guitars are as good as their price point. It delivers excellent sound quality at reasonable prices and is mostly known for being durable and highly playable. Their wide range of offerings easily makes them Britain’s best-selling guitar brand.

Where are Tanglewood guitars made?

Tanglewood design its instruments in the United Kingdom, which are then manufactured in China. Nevertheless, the company follows strict quality control, so you can expect top-notch quality guitars from this house.

Final Thoughts

Tanglewood has proven itself as a manufacturer that delivers satisfactory quality and tone across its diverse range of acoustic and acoustic-electric guitars. From budget-friendly beginner models to exotic high-end instruments, Tanglewood offers compelling options worth exploring.

Their relentless pursuit of value makes these UK-made guitars a smart choice for players of all levels and styles. I highly recommend putting some Tanglewood models through their paces – you may just find your forever guitar at a price that can’t be beaten.

Featured Image Credit: jtm_1892

About the Author

Guitarist | + posts

Fabian, a Brazilian guitarist now based in Dublin, Ireland, has passionately played the electric guitar since 2003. As a luthier and product specialist, he boasts nearly two decades of collaboration with top musical instrument brands. Fabian is a sought-after expert, sharing his extensive knowledge with fellow guitar enthusiasts.

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