SMG Review: The Tanglewood TVC Koa S Acoustic-Electric Guitar

The Tanglewood TVC Koa S offers style, quality and tone at an affordable price.

Tanglewood Guitars was established in London in 1988 and has primarily served Great Britain and Ireland. Self described as “the best selling brand of acoustic guitars in the UK”, they have broadened their reach to the United States and Canada. The TVC Koa S represents one of a number of models in their Evolution Exotic series.


Upon first picking up the Tanglewood TVC Koa S  I was immediately impressed with the high level of quality in which the guitar was made. The Koa wood makes up the guitar’s back and sides and looks great. As I continued to inspect the guitar’s appearance,  I noticed the dark binding that outlines the front and back of the guitar as well as the detailing on the top of the guitar near the binding, which gives it a cool look. I also noticed that the guitar features a plain Spruce top with a flashy abalone sound-hole rosette and gold tuners. The guitar has a single cutaway to reach those higher frets and a Fishman Presys preamp for going electric. The Fishman also includes a built in tuner for precise tuning on the fly.

As I played the TVC Koa S, I heard well balanced tone; not a tinny or thin sounding guitar by any means. That being said, it is not a dramatically loud guitar either. The setup on the guitar is excellent. It has low action, which did not require any adjustments. Incidentally, the TVC Koa S comes equipped with D’Addario EXP 11 strings, which reflects in the overall quality of this model guitar from the inside to the outside. I proceeded to plug the TVC Koa S into a small tube amplifier and test the electronics. The sound was full booming and bright acoustic tone, that can be easily tweaked to your liking with the Fishman 3-band EQ. The Fishman also includes a phase button that may be enabled in order to help cut out interfering signals for situations such as live performances, another nice touch.


  • SHAPE: Venetian Cutaway Auditorium
  • TOP: AAA Spruce
  • BACK: Koa
  • SIDES: Koa
  • NECK: Mahogany
  • FINGERBOARD: Rosewood
  • BRIDGE: Rosewood
  • BINDING: Rosewood
  • SADDLE: Bone, Compensating
  • NUT (WIDTH): Bone (43mm)
  • SCALE LENGTH: 650mm
  • BRIDGE PINS: Black ABS with Abalone Dots
  • MACHINE HEADS: Gold Waverly Style Geared
  • FINISH: Natural Gloss
  • EQ: Fishman PRESYS


Tanglewood has put together a high-end style acoustic-electric guitar at a mid-level price. The guitar is designed in the United Kingdom with all the flair and quality that you would expect to have from a British company. After playing the Tanglewood TVC Koa S for some time, both acoustically and amplified, I began to really like this guitar. It has all the bells and whistles you might need to gig with, and because it is so reasonably priced, you CAN take it to the gig! My only gripe was the lack of a pick-guard. Add a pick guard to this axe and it would have that extra oomph, but that is a minor issue that can be easily rectified for a few bucks and some adhesive material. I would recommend the Tanglewood TVC S acoustic-electric guitar to anyone in the market for a mid-priced acoustic guitar. Try one and compare it to the others in the same price range and you just might be going home with a new Tanglewood.


Pros: Great tone, Superb action, Well balanced, Koa back and sides, Fishman Preamp, Built-in tuner.

Cons: No pick guard, made in China.

Manufactures website:

Price range- $550 – $650 USD


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