Tanglewood Evolution Exotic Electro Acoustic Guitar reviewed by Guitarbitz

As an extension of the popular entry level Evolution Range, Tanglewood have gone all Exotic on us, releasing a new line of attractively finished electro acoustic guitars with Spalted or Flamed Maple bodies and solid Spruce, or even Sitka Spruce, tops.

And the top specs don't end there, they all come with the latest Fishman ISYS pickup, which has a built in digital tuner, Rosewood fingerboard and bridge, fabulous tones and gorgeous looks.

We have 4 available in the range, 2 from the SPL Exotic Spalt Maple range, a round shouldered dreadnought and the smaller folk guitar, but without cutaway body shapes, and 2 from the XFM Exotic Flame Maple range, a cutaway dreadnought and cutaway super folk guitar.

All 4 models have gloss flame or spalt Maple veneer to the front of the headstock, with Tanglewoods logo in gold. Multi ply binding along with Mahogany binding runs around the front of the headstock.

Cutaway Super Folk
The back of the headstocks are plain satin Maple, with 2 rows of Chrome die-cast machine heads in the Grover style.

The necks are Maple, finished in satin, and they are quite slim, a shallow D profile. The rosewood fingerboards are bound in Mahogany, the XFM range have no position markers on the board, whilst the SPL range have white dots.

Cutaway Electro Dreadnaught
The back and side of all 4 models are Maple, either a swirly flame Maple on the SPL, or Spalt Maple on the XFM, which has a bit more of a random, more interesting, wood grain.

The tops are all solid Spruce, with the SPL range having superior Sitka Spruce with a simple Mahogany soundhole rosette, this is sparkling Abalone on the XFM range.

They all feature the latest Fishman ISYS pickup, which has phase and contour to shape your tone, a master volume, and built in digital tuner.

They all play very nicely, necks and fingerboards are well finished, the solid tops giving good sound projection, clear notes and plenty of sustain. All are great value as well, with the SPL's coming in at under £300, excellent specs, great visuals and good quality sounds.

The biggest problem though is which one to go for? Here is a summary of the features.

Round Shoulder Dreadnought

A sloped shoulder dreadnought shaped acoustic guitar, no cutaway, solid Sitka Spruce top, Spalted Maple back and sides, gloss finish to body, Maple binding, 1 piece Maple neck with satin finish, bone nut and saddle, Fishman ISYS pickup with built in tuner.

Folk Guitar (non cutaway)
Features the same specifications as the dreadnought (above), but has a smaller, more rounded body shape.

Cutaway Dreadnought
A cutaway dreadnought shaped acoustic guitar, solid Spruce top, Flame Maple back and sides, gloss finish to body, Maple binding, 1 piece Maple neck with satin finish, bone nut and saddle, Fishman ISYS pickup with built in tuner.

Super Folk Cutaway
Specs are the same as the cutaway dreadnought, except the body is Tanglewoods ever popular Super Folk shape, smaller, more curvy and great for ladies, younger players and everyone else!

Top - solid Spruce (Sitka on SPL range)

Body - Spalt/Flame Maple
Binding - Maple/Mahogany all round
Neck - Maple
Fingerboard - Rosewood, white dot markers on SPL only
Machines - Chrome die cast
Bridge - Rosewood, bone saddle
Pickup - Fishman ISYS
Controls - contour, phase, Volume, tuner


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