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This article was originally published in issue #23
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The Tanglewood T3 and T6 acoustic combos caused quite a stir when they dropped into the marketplace a couple of years ago. Way back in issue 6, I had the pleasure of reviewing the T6 version ( http://licklibrary.ceros.com/iguitarmag/iguitarmag-issue-6-michael-angelo-batio/issue6/page/188 ) so I was intrigued when we were told that Tanglewood has just introduced a sub bass unit that extends the combo’s range.
Like its combo siblings, Tanglewood's TXS sub is a compact cube fashioned from tough ply and finished in a shiny black scratch resistant paint. The sub is designed to sit on the floor and serve as a base unit for the combo, which mounts above the sub on a speaker pole. The sub duly includes a 35mm socket for mounting the adjustable speaker pole that fits into a similar recess in the combo’s base.
The powered sub is rated at offers 120 Watts and the rear-mounted control panel includes an IEC mains socket and combi jack that accepts an input from the guitar combo. Two rotary controls govern the subs master volume and adjust the crossover frequency between the sub and its satellite combo, enabling the user to adjust the amount of bass in their mix. There is also a phase switch that acts as a useful anti-feedback countermeasure, inverting the phase between the sub and the combo and helping the user to quickly sidestep an unwelcome rumble of low frequency feedback.
Quick and easy to set up and tear down in a few seconds, the complete rig is essentially a mini full-range PA system, thanks to the combo’s facility to connect a vocal microphone on the dedicated mic/line channel and a guitar in a separate guitar channel. Sound-wise, the sub bass unit adds extra depth and projection whilst also helping to warm up the acoustic tones, which can sometimes sound a trifle thin or sterile when played through the acoustic combo alone.
Whilst taking the sub to a gig naturally doubles the amount of gear that the musician has to pack into the car, it is nevertheless a very compact little box that doesn’t take up too much room. Its footprint is also relatively small and with the combo mounted as a satellite on the speaker pole the whole system feels very neat and fairly unobtrusive; a solo performer will have no problem squeezing it into the corner of a club or pub, for example.
There are definite benefits to using the sub, the frequencies it produces delivers a much warmer, dare we say more ‘mature’ tone compared to the standalone combo and it is especially effective on a vocal, helping to improve projection whilst easing the boxiness that the combo’s single speaker sometimes lends amplified vocals.
Tanglewood has made a convincing addition to its amplifier range in the form of this simple, inexpensive, yet very workable little sub. If you are already a Tanglewood T3 or T6 combo user and have been considering upgrading to a larger amp or even investing in a small PA system for live work, this sub will help you enjoy many of the same benefits at a fraction of the cost.