A fair toned acoustic sound and an excellent, clear-sounding powered palette. Jerry Uwins reviews Tanglewood’s TRSF-CE Rosewood Reserve.
You might assume that the ‘super folk’ tag implies an auditorium-size instrument writ larger, but the TRSF-CE electro is actually a relatively compact guitar with a lower-bout span under 15". The rims, however, are quite deep for the breed, being 100mm down by the baseblock. Rather than adopt Martin-like 000 styling, the curvily rounded, cutaway body profile is much more akin to a scaled-down mini-jumbo… not dissimilar, perhaps, to Faith’s Venus electro.
As on the jumbo, vintage sunburst is a finish option, but this is the gloss natural version… a finish which serves to highlight what a good-looking spruce top our sample has. It’s very clean in appearance, with even, medium graining and a good amount of cross-silking. It also provides an excellent contrast for the herringbone purfling and a wood rosette, and the whole thing looks really rather elegant. Trim and hardware throughout are identical to the jumbo and all the Rosewood Reserves.
Save for a millimetre less depth along the crown, the neck’s profile is pretty much a ringer for the jumbo’s and plays equally well. Again we find an action tipped up towards the treble side, so our previous thoughts regarding bridge design remain applicable. Like all Rosewood Reserve electros, the TRSF is powered by B-Band’s A3 system, whose preamp presents the familiar, simple five-on-a-dice pattern of rotaries for volume and centre-detented four-band EQ.
This guitar is obviously not going to have the jumbo’s acoustic clout but it responds well for its size, with a balanced, sunny, airy tone and a fluid, willing sustain. Save for a slightly dominant low E output on our sample that’s mildly irritating, the plugged-in performance is very capable. Packing plenty of gain, the A3 is an enjoyably natural-sounding system, with plenty of smoothly graduated EQ versatility whether you’re looking for sparkly highs, warm lows, well-tempered mids or any variations thereof.
We've no reserve about giving these keenly-priced Tanglewoods a stamp of approval, action concerns aside. The jumbo delivers hearty strummage while the TRSF-CE is an excellent electro and a likeable unplugged companion.