Guitar repair: Another set-up, this time a Tanglewood!

Tanglewood is a UK guitar company and some of their models (I have seen some in my hometown) are available here in India. The more I see of Tanglewood guitars, the more solid that belief becomes: I think I like Tanglewood guitars!

This one came to me for just a set-up, some months ago.

And though you probably can’t read the label, it reads Roadster II and in smaller capital letters, ‘HANDCRAFTED’. Of course, the label also says that it was designed in the UK and ‘Made in China’. Now, I’m willing to believe that it was designed in the UK and made in China, but what I won’t believe is that it was made in China but is ‘HANDCRAFTED’!!! There, I said it!

But whatever it was, it was a pretty instrument. Its simplicity is what was most appealing. No frills, nothing fancy, a simple, well-built instrument, and a 3/4th one at that (if I remember correctly).

And that rosette…simply different!

And it came with its own EQ

That is as far as the good points went.

I noticed that the fretboard and bridge were sadly dry, the fretwires were certainly sullied and the saddle and bridge material were suspect.

But as I went about pulling out the bridgepins, this happened

Ah, well!

But a bigger shock awaited me when I pulled out the nut and saddle.

Pure Mother of Toilet Seat!

After all that ‘HANDCRAFTED’ s@#*t, hollow plastic for a nut! The saddle was a few shades better and may have been Corian or something. I chucked them both!

Now that I had the strings off, I cleaned up the fretboard, the bridge, and oiled them up. The fretwires I gave a good rub-down.

With the new bone saddle and nut, a fresh set of strings on a clean fretboard, and nice low action dialled in, this baby sounded like a whole new instrument.

And like most times, I got so happy playing the instrument that I forgot to take a final photograph!

Amit Newton

An experienced guitar tech with over 10 years of experience working on acoustic Gibsons and Martins in the Gulf region. There is nothing that cannot be repaired; the only consideration is the price at which it comes. And yet, if there is sentiment attached, no price is too high! WhatsApp/Call me: 7080475556 email me:

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