About the Guitar:
The Tanglewood TW55NSB is part of the Tanglewood Sundance collection of Grand Auditorium, Super Jumbo, Super Folk, Parlour and Dreadnought style guitars that all feature solid Spruce tops and solid Rosewood or Mahogany back and sides. Tanglewood have a reputation for using quality materials on all their instruments and the Sundance series is no exception.
The TW55 NSB falls into the Super Jumbo category, being large of body at a full 16 1/2″ (42 cm) at the lower bout, 12″ (30 cm across the shoulder and 4 1/2″ (11.5 cm) deep. The B-band A3T pre-amp and control panel is situated on the upper bout just above the waist, which is handy if you’re fiddling with the (very small) control knobs but places the display for the on-board tuner at a hard-to-see angle, looking down vertically from a playing position you can just about see the green light which indicates the ‘in-tune’ status.
The TW55NSB features a solid Spruce top with solid Mahogany back and sides and a Mahogany neck. The impressively close-grained Spruce is stained a vintage-style yellowish matt finish – in fact, there are no glossy bits at all on this guitar – and the two-piece back, separated by a herringbone-style inlay, is an attractive vintage brown which matches the neck colour. The bound Rosewood fingerboard has ’snowflake’ inlays while the Rosewood bridge has a compensated bone nut which always works well to improve intonation. The squared-off headstock looks a little brutal to me, but if you examine pictures of guitars made before the turn of the 20th century, they nearly all have the exact same feature, which is supposedly Tanglewood’s nod to the acoustic guitar’s history. A handy cutaway allows access to the upper frets although with such a deep body, some players may experience difficulty in this area, however, such a large guitar is bound to produce a large sound, and although the TW55NSB holds its own acoustically, plugging in brings this instrument to life.
The B-band system is impressive. It’s very quiet, and the controls – which include Volume, Treble, Middle, Bass and Presence – offer the player quite a variety of possible tone colours. I usually find notching out the middle frequencies and boosting the bass and treble – or in this case the presence, as it sounds better - cleans up the sound and eliminates the ‘boxiness’ that can render electro-acoustics unpleasant to listen to. Adding a touch of chorus and reverb on the amp – if you’re fortunate to own an acoustic amplifier with these features on board – will add all the sheen that’s needed to turn the TW55NSB into a fine sounding guitar in any live situation. The tuner is accurate and the sealed, chrome Grover style machine heads are smooth and of good quality.
The Tanglewood TW55NSB plays easily enough and will stand up to all but the heaviest of strummers, although changing the strings to a set of mediums would probably sort them out. Conclusion: good sounding electro and another winner from Tanglewood.
From the dv magazine: http://magazine.dv247.com/2011/05/12/tanglewood-tw55nsb-review/
This guitar has been played and signed by Arthur Brown.