Seems from the postings we've opened a bit of a can of worms on this thread and Allan hasn't even posted again! lol Would just like to say I've owned several different types of acoustics over the years which I will list:
1957 Martin D18, '68 Martin D12-35, '76 Martin D35S, '67 Martin D18, '64 Martin D18S(stolen), '69 Martin D18S, Guild D35, Gibson J45E, Gurien S3M(stolen), Gurien S2M, Alvarez-Yairi D37, '81 Dove D35S-WC(handmade in Evanston, IL by Jan Burda)
So, I feel I can speak with some authority when stating have never heard a 14 fret production jumbo/dreadnaught guitar in the class of the Lowdens. I'm sure the pre-war(WW2)Martins(saw a 1941 D41 advertised for 140,000/US!)were/are great, but when you compare the new ones to the Lowdens...not even close. The combination of the wood quality, bracing, production rate, body cavity design all contribute to some degree. Santa Cruz and Collings owners would certainly differ, but I've played them both a number of times and still prefer the Lowdens.