Tanglewood TW28 CSN review

  • £229
  • $379
The TW28 certainly brings the noise…

MusicRadar Verdict

Like keeping an elephant for a pet, the TW28 is kind of cumbersome and inconvenient, but once you hear it sing you'll make space for it in your life.


  • +

    Gorgeous cedar tones.


  • -

    If you want a small instrument, it's definitely not for you.

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Yeah we know. In the Bible David takes out Goliath. But this is real life, and the Tanglewood TW28 gets busy throwing its not-so-insignificant weight around from the start.

In the dreadnought tradition, it's huge in every direction with the soundboard clocking 400mm, the rim depth circa 120mm and the round shoulder contours blotting out the sun.

"This solid cedar top is an arresting proposition that brings a real richness and response to light fingerpicking."

That's not to say this is a brutish instrument. To us, cedar is not only a tonal curveball, it also looks more sultry than spruce, and Tanglewood has made a tidy job of lashing the satin finished solid top to the laminate body, topped off with a soundhole rosette that's among the classiest we've seen.

It's a shame, then, that the end of the fingerboard is a bit mangled. Structurally, though, it's sound.

To state the bleeding obvious, the Tanglewood does feel like a whopper on the lap and this long-scale mahogany item feels pretty chunky. Potentially, this alone might smoke out smaller players but, for anyone who can handle the girth, this acoustic guitar is ultimately rewarding.

Really, it all boils down to tone. As you'd hope from a dreadnought, the TW28 can belt it out in terms of raw volume, but it really shines when you analyse the more subtle qualities of the sound.

This solid cedar top is an arresting proposition that brings a real richness and response to light fingerpicking, and teams up with the mahogany for a gorgeously warm overall tone will knock you off your seat when you dig in with a plectrum.

It seems a tad adolescent to conclude that 'big is best', but in this case there's no getting around the quality on display.