The Fabulous Lowden History
What do Ed Sheeran and Thomas Leeb have in common? They all play Lowden instruments, they are all part of a new generation of acoustic guitarists who are looking for instruments that sound fresh, percussive and new. As one of the few established steelstring manufacturers on the market, George Lowden does not use traditional construction concepts and bodyshapes but his very own vision.
When George was ten years old, in the summer of 1961, he took the first step on the road to what would become a lifelong endeavor: To build guitars that would delight players with their sound, look and feel. George was intrigued by the idea of creating guitars that were perfectly tailored to the needs of players, and so he set to work.
In the years that followed, Lowden taught himself how to use woodworking tools and learned his craft, mostly through trial and error. He thought about body shapes, internal bracing, side profiles, lacquering techniques and construction options to stabilize the acoustic guitar while still allowing it to breathe. He founded George Lowden Guitars in 1974 at the age of 22 and soon completed the Lowden No. 1 guitar series.
He employed four guitar makers in training at his first Irish studio and licensed the manufacture of his guitars to a small group of master guitar makers in Japan beginning in 1980.
In the 1980s, Lowden licensed the manufacture of his guitars to a small group of master guitar makers in Japan, but as interest in electronic instruments in music increased in 1985, sales of acoustic instruments plummeted worldwide, and the owners of the Japanese factory decided to close it. Lowden was concerned about this development and decided to build a new factory in Ireland.
The market for acoustic guitars began to flourish again in the 1990s, but the company was unable to realize its potential because it was severely hampered by insufficient investment. In November 1988, George Lowden formed a new holding company to acquire a controlling interest in the Lowden Guitar Company, with the goal that the company would become as good as the guitars themselves.
In November 1998, a visitor brought the very first Lowden guitar back to the factory. This inspired Lowden to design a limited edition model to celebrate its 25th anniversary.
The community of Lowden enthusiasts has grown considerably since then. Players were delighted with the sound, the quality and the fact that they were not mass produced. As a result, George Lowden designed the Millennium Twins to meet the demand for Lowden custom guitars. These were pairs of guitars in various models built from matching sets of figured walnut with soundboards made from adjacent sets of redwood sourced from naturally fallen trees.
Since 2004, Lowden guitars have been built by family-owned George Lowden Guitars Ltd. under George's direct supervision. The integrity and passion that was once called "Olympic guitar making" is still in every Lowden guitar today, and as strong as ever as a team. The story continues...
Set in the specialist workshop
All Lowden guitars are fully adjusted in our professional workshop before safe shipment. The neck curvature is adjusted, the nut notches and bridge inlay are adjusted. We make sure that the instruments are very playable. We are happy to take your preferences into account when adjusting your Martin acoustic guitar. For this you can contact us after your order.
The Lowden Acoustic Guitar Series
The Original Series was the very first Lowden series from 1976 and the Model "O" George's original Lowden body design. By combining different tonewoods that are not man-made, we owe the multi-faceted sounds.
The Model 22, for example, was first introduced in 1976-1977. The jumbo guitar sounds deep and resonant thanks to the mahogany back and sides. Great for strumming and picking alike. Few other woods are as popular for building guitars as mahogany. Its delivered tone is sustain-rich, warm and balanced, and the overtones are subtle and singing.
For the Model 23, walnut was used for the back and sides. The wood has an eye-catching grain and delivers a very balanced tone, with subtle basses, pressing mids and flattering highs.
The Lowden 35 is made for the discerning player who wants to discover a whole new world of tone color and dynamic range. George Lowden said, "The longer I play it, the more I love it, for its understated beauty, its subtle use of grained and beautiful wood, and its superb sound definition and separation."
The 35 Series features an abalone rosette, hand-finished rib and back joints, and an ebony fingerboard with wood binding. The excellent Gotoh 510 gold/ebony tuners are another plus for this series.
There is a wide selection of different grained tonewoods for the back and sides. Honduras mahogany, for example, is particularly popular for its classic "woody" tonality and excellent grain. Combined with a cedar top, this model has exceptional clarity and resonance - perfect for fingerpicking and fingerstyle.
The F-35 version of the model features an Adirondack spruce that boasts sensational volume and a bass-strong tonal spectrum.
Or Tasmanian Blackwood, it is known and appreciated worldwide for its special sound. The guitar made of these precious tonewoods sounds warm and responds quickly. Whether combined with Cedar for more clarity or Californian Redwood for even more warmth, the guitar is a real gem.
The 50 series can be described as the Lowden Custom Shop. This series is ideal for anyone who wants a custom guitar. Any combination of woods and body size can be selected. In addition, there are tonewoods to choose from that are not available in the 35 series, for example African Blackwood or Brazilian Rosewood. In addition, all the woods used are Master Grade tonewoods; that is, the best of the best tonewoods, selected for their exceptional tonal and visual characteristics.
However, the 50 Series not only impresses with its high-quality selected woods, but also scores points in the specifications, such as the Fanfret system. The 50 series really leaves nothing to be desired for the demanding fingerstylist.
The Fanfret system
The Fanfret system opens up to a newcomer to multiscale instruments after only a short familiarization period in a self-evident ergonomic logic, as if there had never been any other fretting system.
The principle of fan fretting ensures that each string gets the optimal scale length (free vibrating string length) for it. The lower a string should sound, the more space it needs - and the higher the string should sound, the shorter it may be.
In practice, this results in an instrument with different string lengths for each string - what is called a multiscale in New German. The consequence of the different string lengths is the individual distribution of the frets over the entire vibrating string - resulting in the characteristic fan shape.
The fanned fingerboard makes it possible to select the string tension over the entire width of the fingerboard in such a way that a pleasant playing feel and an even response of the notes over the entire length of the fingerboard is created. This results in an open sound with very clean intonation and eliminates false-sounding harmonics. Open or alternate tunings can be implemented with better tonal results, leading to an increased tonal range.
The 38 is indisputably one of the best models designed by George Lowden. This has been proven by the great reputation it has enjoyed since its introduction to the market in 1977. Over the years, many renowned musicians have played this model and praised it, including Eric Clapton, Paul Brady and many more.
The 38 has been instrumental in shaping the music world. For this reason, to celebrate 45 years, a special limited edition series of this model "Batch 45" was released. These guitars are a tribute to the original version and a real collector's item for music fans.
The collection consists of three guitars with new custom wood combinations, paired with traditional 38 gauge appointments. Only 45 guitars will be available worldwide.
Each set includes an F-38 guitar with Indian rosewood and Lutz spruce, an O-38 guitar with bubinga and red cedar, and an F-38 guitar with Brazilian rosewood and Sitka spruce.
The 38 trim package includes a leaf inlay pattern on the ebony fingerboard, abalone inlays in the top, a rosewood headstock and maple bindings. In addition, each guitar's unique internal label is individually numbered and hand-signed by George Lowden. These special features give the instruments a unique character.