The TWJP is visually striking. The amara and spalted mango back produces an apprehending contrast that almost looks like light mahogany and dark cocobolo. And the narrow-grained cedar top has a honey-hued tint that is a beautiful counterpart. The only distinctive disadvantage was a little bit of underspray where the leading meets the mahogany binding. The slotted headstock and open-geared tuners give it a vintage vibe. There are no fret markers on the actual fretboard and the dot markers on the top of the neck are small and hard to see, which can make navigation a little challenging.
The Java has crisp and stylish sounds that react best to a lighter picking attack. This surprised me, given that many cedar-topped guitars I’ve played have a more subtle treble voice. Perhaps this is where the amara-mango mix is available in. A heavy pick-attack sounded a little disconcerting on the light-gauge strings, so I abandoned my thumbpick and played au natural.
As a fingerpicking style of guitar, the TWJP’s neck profile bucked convention. For my hands, the Tanglewood’s 1.69-inch-wide nut felt a little confined. By contrast, the parlor-sized guitars of the last century had broader nuts and big, chunky necks, which is a plus for some and a turn-off for others who may like a slimmer neck, like the Tanglewood.
I attempted some Django-styled strumming and teasing “Minor Swing” and “Oh, Girl Be Good” and found that the sound and simple action supplied a sweet backdrop for this style of playing.
The TWJP didn’t have a big boom or react to a heavy attack, however if your playing leans toward a more delicate touch, you must be able to coax some sweet sounds out of it.
The Winterleaf series is made in China, and the TW2 ASE sports an orchestra-sized body with back, sides, and top all made from solid mahogany. The satin finish and lack of binding add to the TW2’s inconspicuous appearance. Closed-gear tuners are the only somewhat modern touch.
The TW2 is absolutely a gamer’s guitar. The satin-finish neck felt especially silky and smooth on my test guitar. I was able to navigate the fretboard easily as the guitar was set up with low action and light-gauge strings. I strummed my way through some original tunes with Beatles-esque overtones and was pleased with the warmth and mid-treble shimmer. There is a nice, earthy balance between treble and bass that makes this guitar an excellent fit for traditional folk and blues.
I fingerpicked through a few early blues tunes, including Blind Blake’s “Diddie Wah Diddie” and “Chump Male Blues.” The TW2 develops some good grit that makes pre-war blues come alive. Fingerpicking in open D (D A D F# A D) was likewise quite charming. It’s worth mentioning, nevertheless, that similar to the parlor I tested, the narrow 1.69-inch-wide nut and narrow string spacing at the bridge made the TW2 feel a little cramped for fingerpicking.
The TW2 is likewise geared up with B-Band M450T pickup system, with the controls mounted on the side, facing up toward the player. The B-Band has three separate faders for bass, mid, treble, and presence, as well as volume dial and onboard tuner. I plugged the TW2 into a Fishman Loudbox Mini and had the ability to get a good sound with little hassle. The chromatic tuner worked well and appeared a bit more precise than most onboard tuners I have tried.
Tanglewood offers some new and interesting functions, such as spalted mango and amara woods, at cost effective rates. If you’re patronizing a budget plan in mind and searching for a guitar that may really match smaller sized hands, I advise taking an appearance at the TW2 ASE and TWJP.