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REVIEWED


Tanglewood TF8 Nashville III


TANGLEWOOD TF8 Nashville III


Looking for a great sounding pure acoustic guitar that won’t break the bank? This attractive Orchestra model from Tanglewood might fit the bill. It even includes a fitted hard case…


Words: Dan Jones


Sometimes you just can’t beat a pure, honest-to-goodness acoustic guitar. This finely crafted, light-weight TF8 Orchestra model is one of new four guitars in the Tanglewood’s new Nashville III Folk range. This four-strong series includes a pair of traditional and electro- acoustic dreadnought models, an electro-acoustic ‘super folk’ cutaway and the all-acoustic TF8 featured in this review.


In common with its sisters in the Nashville III series the TF8 is constructed using a solid spruce top and laminated mahogany back and sides. The one-piece mahogany neck is topped off with a faux-ivory edge-bound rosewood fingerboard inlaid with white dot markers while the rosewood bridge uses traditional white ABS pins to fix the strings firmly in place.


TANGLEWOOD TF8 Nashville III


SRP £229.95


All prices include VAT CONT


ACT


Tanglewood UK T:


01937 841122 W: tanglewoodguitars.co.uk Sounds


Unlike some of Tanglewood’s more ostentatiously appointed models, the TF8 is devoid of any obvious flamboyant styling. Instead this is a very clean and simple guitar that shows no signs of sloppy craftsmanship. Spotless lines and a neat natural satin finish mirror its traditional construction proving that sometimes simplicity deserves to take precedence over pure flash. When the singer/songwriter boom first burst onto the Greenwich Village scene in the early 60s, the cafes and hubs where artists like Bob Dylan performed were bustling hives of activity, usually filled with smoke and buzzing the chit chat of bohemian urchins discussing Ginsberg and Kerouac! To cut through this hubbub, folk


guitars require a mix of stridency and delicacy of tone necessary to allow powerful rhythmic strumming and delicate finger picking to resonate above the background noise of the venue and audience. Ironically the first orchestral acoustic guitars of the early 20th century were so-named because they were developed to replace the banjo as the lead instrument in dance bands and consequently this style lends it self well to situations where the guitar needs to be heard loud and clear. The tone of this particular model is


relatively mellow but it still chimes with the supple and velvety tone you would hope from a folk guitar. The


22 3 www.playmusicpickup.co.uk


comfortable neck feels neither too chunky nor too slim; it is great for either simple chord work and more complex fingerpicking. The well-dressed frets also deserve praise for heading a well-prepped set up. At only £229.95 this is an


incredibly affordable price for such an inviting and well-made guitar, especially when you factor-in the rather dapper looking hard case. The other appealing element about the TF8’s price tag is that this guitar would suit a relatively seasoned player just as much as a raw beginner, and even if you would rather opt for the electro-acoustic


cutaway version the TF8 CE model will still only set you back £279.95. If you require more volume and power there is always the dreadnought option but while you’ll no doubt appreciate the dreadnought’s deeper tones, in all honesty, folk models benefit from a sweeter and slightly more refined voice. Whether you’re looking for a guitar to kick-off your song-writing career or you’re already well immersed in song-writing as a hobby or a living, the TF8 will soundtrack your tales with an appropriate amount of flowing intimacy and earthy tones. PM


SHOULD I BUY ONE?


Although the TF8 doesn’t exactly feel like an expensive guitar, neither does it feel or sound ‘cheap’. It’s comfortable and secure to play, sounds lively and resonant and with a pukka hard case included in the deal it’s hard to fault. The TF8 seems to prove that Tanglewood is continuing to make something of an art form out of challenging the common perception that an inexpensive acoustic guitar always demands a compromise, either in terms of build quality, sound or, sadly in some cases, both. We sometimes wonder how far Tanglewood can continue to push the envelope; surely no one can continue to build a guitar this good for this low price? As it stands, so long as Tanglewood continues to maintain these high standards, we can’t foresee anyone complaining.


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