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Loudon guitars (Lowden)

GUEST,Allan Dennehy 28 Apr 02 - 10:10 AM
Midchuck 28 Apr 02 - 10:26 AM
GUEST,jonesey 28 Apr 02 - 11:11 AM
GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser) 28 Apr 02 - 03:19 PM
GUEST,Ian HP 28 Apr 02 - 03:34 PM
GUEST,Mike of Northumbria (at home) 28 Apr 02 - 03:53 PM
catspaw49 28 Apr 02 - 04:30 PM
GUEST,jonesey 28 Apr 02 - 07:59 PM
michaelr 29 Apr 02 - 02:01 AM
GUEST,Strollin' Johnny 29 Apr 02 - 10:36 AM
C-flat 29 Apr 02 - 11:31 AM
GUEST,jonesey 29 Apr 02 - 11:33 AM
C-flat 29 Apr 02 - 11:57 AM
GUEST,Strollin' Johnny 29 Apr 02 - 12:06 PM
GUEST,Strollin' Johnny 29 Apr 02 - 12:09 PM
GUEST,jonesey 29 Apr 02 - 12:37 PM
UB Ed 29 Apr 02 - 06:47 PM
GUEST 30 Apr 02 - 10:30 AM
Midchuck 30 Apr 02 - 10:40 AM
GUEST,Strollin' Johnny 30 Apr 02 - 12:32 PM
JohnL 30 Apr 02 - 04:23 PM
GUEST,GuestSpot 30 Apr 02 - 05:55 PM
53 30 Apr 02 - 09:40 PM
GUEST,jonesey 01 May 02 - 07:53 AM
GUEST,Allan Dennehy 02 May 02 - 02:22 PM
GUEST,Allan Dennehy 14 May 02 - 12:25 AM
michaelr 14 May 02 - 12:45 AM
GUEST,Garydon 14 May 02 - 01:49 PM
GUEST,Allan Dennehy 14 May 02 - 03:58 PM
C-flat 15 May 02 - 02:48 PM
Steve in Idaho 15 May 02 - 03:24 PM
English Jon 09 May 05 - 01:06 PM
Lowden Jameswright 10 May 05 - 12:32 PM
PoppaGator 10 May 05 - 01:25 PM
Wesley S 10 May 05 - 02:06 PM
Strollin' Johnny 11 May 05 - 08:27 AM
michaelr 11 May 05 - 09:35 PM
Once Famous 11 May 05 - 10:06 PM
GUEST,Greycap 12 May 05 - 03:03 AM
PoppaGator 12 May 05 - 02:32 PM
Once Famous 12 May 05 - 02:51 PM
GUEST,Wesley S 12 May 05 - 05:55 PM
Once Famous 12 May 05 - 08:58 PM
mooman 13 May 05 - 03:15 AM
English Jon 13 May 05 - 10:37 AM
Lowden Jameswright 13 May 05 - 10:56 AM
GUEST,mastodon 13 May 05 - 02:16 PM
GUEST,Wesley S 13 May 05 - 02:21 PM
M.Ted 13 May 05 - 04:20 PM
Lowden Jameswright 17 May 05 - 12:29 PM
Grab 17 May 05 - 02:20 PM
GUEST,Mike 17 May 05 - 02:27 PM
Spot 17 May 05 - 02:34 PM
Lowden Jameswright 18 May 05 - 11:31 AM
M.Ted 18 May 05 - 06:27 PM
GUEST,Blackford John 19 May 05 - 07:03 AM
Strollin' Johnny 19 May 05 - 01:03 PM
GUEST,Pete Moss 22 Oct 05 - 02:07 PM
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Subject: Loudon guitars
From: GUEST,Allan Dennehy
Date: 28 Apr 02 - 10:10 AM

Have I got the name right? I couldnt find any web sites. I want a guitar with a really big sound for unplugged rhytmic work. Or are there any other suggestions? Is it true that a black guitar will have a thinner sound than one in natural wood?


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars
From: Midchuck
Date: 28 Apr 02 - 10:26 AM

Have I got the name right?

I assume you were thinking of Lowden

I couldnt find any web sites.

If it is Lowden you want, it's here.

I want a guitar with a really big sound for unplugged rhytmic work. Or are there any other suggestions?

The ultimate "really big sound for uplugged rhythmic work" would, IMO, be a 12-fret slothead Martin Dread. D-18VS, HD-28VS (probably the ultimate ultimate), or maybe the new D-15S, if you don't want to blow the kind of bucks you need for the others.

Is it true that a black guitar will have a thinner sound than one in natural wood?

Never tried one, but there's no logical reason why it should - unless they use inferior wood for the ones they're going to color because the dye will hide the defects....

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars
From: GUEST,jonesey
Date: 28 Apr 02 - 11:11 AM

Hi Allan, MidChuck's right about the 12-fret slot-head guitars. They have a better balance of sound than the 14-fret dreadnaughts. I've been partial to them for years. Originally, the Ditson Company from New York built the prototypes for Martin in 1928. They were called the D1 and D2, respectively. The D1 was made of mahoghany, the D2 of rosewood. They became the D18 and D28. The luthier's from Ditson decided the 12 fret model had better tone, but Martin decided to release a 14 fret model as orchestral players of the day complained about needing to have easier access to the C scale at the 12-14th frets. The 'slotheads' were introduced in '33 with the 14 fretter's in '34. Ok, back to your question...sorry. What I've done to get a 'big' acoustic guitar sound is this: Get the best condenser mics available and use at least three. One near the upper bout, one near the lower and one about 8-10 feet away. Record on 3 separate channels. When mixing pan them like this: upper bout/wide left, lower bout/wide right, room mic/dead ctr. Tweak the bass response on the room mic until it overloads slightly then roll off a little. Can't overstress the importance of the room mic. You will get a real big sound. That coupled with a big dreadnaught should do the trick. The guitars I've used, woodwise are made of walnut and red cedar. Lowden makes several. Rosewood has tons of overtones and is a little tricky to mic and mahoghany can be a little on the 'thin' side, but is cleaner. Walnut w/12 frets and a cedar top is what I prefer. Oh yeah, if possible a little compression can be good if available and a touch of reverb. Ok, hope that's helpful.


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)
Date: 28 Apr 02 - 03:19 PM

Nice one Jonesy!


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars
From: GUEST,Ian HP
Date: 28 Apr 02 - 03:34 PM

I play two Lowdens - an 025 and an 010. As far as I'm concerned they're the best guitars in the world. Big sound that can also be delicate and beautiful, depending on how you play. They're *very* sensitive to your style. Lots of big sounding guitars lose clarity, but Lowdens are clear as a bell. Buy one!


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars
From: GUEST,Mike of Northumbria (at home)
Date: 28 Apr 02 - 03:53 PM

Alan,

I can only endorse what Ian HP just said. I've owned three cedar-topped Lowdens at various times, and each of them, in its own way, was/is superb. A mahogany one - bright, crisp and clear when flat-picked loudly, but with a lot of subtlety when fingerpicked. A rosewood one - dark, rich & mysterious sound when played quietly, but cuting through whith great authority when driven hard. A walnut one - now my regular gigging guitar - with a tone midway between the other two which will do everything I ask, and has never let me down.

All the Lowdens I've seen and/or played have been first class in materials and workmanship. They are clearly made by people who know what they're doing, and love what they do.

Buy one!

Wassil!


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars
From: catspaw49
Date: 28 Apr 02 - 04:30 PM

What Midchuck said. Lowdens are nice and if you get the right one it will fit rhe bill, but it's hard to beat slothead Martin 12 fretters. I would play a lot first with someone else along to listen and play too so you can get an honest evaluation. Beware too of special rooms for trying them out, the acoustics of the place can fool you.

The finish business is hooey.......Shiny black doesn't interfere any more with sound production than satin finish natural. Don't let anyone tell you differently.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars
From: GUEST,jonesey
Date: 28 Apr 02 - 07:59 PM

Thanks Chris! Hi again Allan, I forgot to mention in my earlier post that the best soumding 14-fret guitars 'I've' ever heard are Lowdens. I think it may have to do with the shape and the fact they use scalloped bracing. Twice when in Wales I borrowed guitars while at an 'open stage/session' and was startled by the sound. They were both Lowdens and I've a good friend here in the States who has one and it kills. All three were made of walnut/red cedar. I'm sure there are some pre-'67 Martins around that kick butt, too. But since CSN&Y Martin had to thicken the bracing to maintain the lifetime guarantee and sacrificed some resonance. There's a guy in Michigan named Jan Burda who builds great guitars for not a lot of money(compared to 'name' luthiers)and will scallop the bracing if you want. Ounce for ounce you can't beat a Lowden, though. And if you're in the UK they're your best bet. IMHO...Good Luck and let us know what you decide.


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars
From: michaelr
Date: 29 Apr 02 - 02:01 AM

Got to chime in here: I've played a Lowden 010 for about four years now. It's got a red cedar top, mahogany back and sides, and I LOVE IT!! No disrespect to Martins, but if you're looking for something slightly different in both looks and sound, Lowden is it.

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars
From: GUEST,Strollin' Johnny
Date: 29 Apr 02 - 10:36 AM

Amen to what Mike of Northumbria and Michaelr had to say. I started with a Lowden O10 (Mahogany/Cedar) and soundwise it was a monster in both tone and volume. Moved on to an O25 now (Rosewood/Cedar) for the tighter sound. They are second to none in build quality - all are truly hand-built (about 20 a week, not 20 an hour as seems to be the case with some other more expensive and better-known guitars) and they look wonderful. They sound fantastic whether strummed (which I hardly ever do) or finger-picked (which I do most of the time) and are great plugged or or unplugged.

Cheap they ain't. Wonderful they are.

SJ


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars
From: C-flat
Date: 29 Apr 02 - 11:31 AM

I wouldn't want to get into a Lowden/Martin argument, they're both great sounding guitars. If Guest-Allan Dennehy is in the market for a big-bucks instrument like either of these brands he should know what he wants when he hears it. Allan, I hope you've got deep pockets! For your information, there are other big sounding guitars out there that don't cost so much but they're harder to pick out amongst the masses of production line stock. I have a Manuel Rodriguez M1 Dreadnought, which is out of production now, that looks and sounds like a Lowden. I saw one recently in Leeds going for £300. I almost bought it but my wife was giving me THAT look! As I said earlier if you're in the market for something special trust your ears, but try Martin, Lowden, Collings, Taylor, just try everything.....I wish I was going with you...I do enjoy a bit of retail therapy....especially with someone elses money! GOOD LUCK.


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars
From: GUEST,jonesey
Date: 29 Apr 02 - 11:33 AM

Would all you Lowden guys be so kind as to give us poor Yank cousins an idea of the prices? I just came back from a visit to the Lowden website. Seems the 'O' series is the 'beast' of choice. Didn't even bother to look at the 'D' series as the ones I mentioned before were all O's. Read the bio and Mr. Lowden developed an 'A' bracing pattern for his design. How does this differ from the X pattern developed by Martin? There was a builder years ago named Michael Gurien who used a 'fan' bracing pattern(ala classical guitars) to great success(I owned 2 of them). It's unfortunate his factory burned down as his guitars sounded great, though were a little difficult to play. They are highly prized here in the States, however and their owners are fiercely loyal.


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars
From: C-flat
Date: 29 Apr 02 - 11:57 AM

Just looking in a magazine I have to hand; Lowden 010/012/023/025/032 models look to be around the £1300 mark. Also an 035 priced at £1925.


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars
From: GUEST,Strollin' Johnny
Date: 29 Apr 02 - 12:06 PM

Paid £1k for my O10 two years back. The O25 was £1595 from a local dealer, no special deals, but I know they're out there for less if you care to drive two or three hours each way.

Cheaper than Taylors/Martins of equivalent quality (no import duty??)

SJ


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars
From: GUEST,Strollin' Johnny
Date: 29 Apr 02 - 12:09 PM

Sorry, should have said that the dealer put an active Fishman transducer in my O25 for free, so I guess that was a special deal after all! SJ


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars
From: GUEST,jonesey
Date: 29 Apr 02 - 12:37 PM

Ok, thank you C-flat. My model of choice would be the O23 as it's the walnut/red cedar version. So, 1300/UK would translate to around 2000/US? Ouch! Well, I 'did' ask! lol


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars
From: UB Ed
Date: 29 Apr 02 - 06:47 PM

After months of agonizing and playing lots of guitars, I bought an O23 last year and have been loving it. I was a loyal Martin fan (and still am for the old ones) but my '76 D18 couldn't hold a candle to it. IMO Lowden is far superior to current Martin offerings for the money.

Ed


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Apr 02 - 10:30 AM

Jonesy,

Don't forget it's t'other way round for us in the UK. Prices of US makes are loaded with shipping costs and import taxes, so we say 'ouch' to the price of Martins/Taylors etc.

And of course the C.O.L. in the UK is higher than in the USA, prices are generally higher.

SJ


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars
From: Midchuck
Date: 30 Apr 02 - 10:40 AM

Boy, that's the truth!

When I was in the UK last fall, I noticed that even though the British Pound is supposed to be worth $1.40 or $1.50 US, everything seemed to cost the same in Pounds there as it does in Dollars here.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars
From: GUEST,Strollin' Johnny
Date: 30 Apr 02 - 12:32 PM

Yep, I noticed that when I was in Houston earlier this year.

Decent spec Martins/Taylors are £2k+ in the UK - that's US$3k or more. Horrific.

SJ


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars
From: JohnL
Date: 30 Apr 02 - 04:23 PM

I have a Lowden O35 Cedar/Koa which I paid £1625 ($2275) for last year in the UK. If you are buying from outside the ECC I think you should be able to get 17.5% VAT tax off. I tried Martins (which I was convinced I was going to buy before I went into the shop) and Taylors, but when I listened to the assistant play them all in a "blind" test the Lowdens won every time. I went for the sound and I still don't regret my choice nearly a year later.


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars
From: GUEST,GuestSpot
Date: 30 Apr 02 - 05:55 PM

Just tuned in after a week or so of mega techno probs...! Lowdens are simply the best. I have an 032 and wouldn't swap for anything! Iknow I.H-P.- his playing is the only thing better than his Lowdens!! Never picked up a martin that did anything for me... (Sorry!) Regards SPOT


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars
From: 53
Date: 30 Apr 02 - 09:40 PM

I haven't tried them but I believe that they are good guitars. I think that you'll find them in the Ederly Catalogue.


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars
From: GUEST,jonesey
Date: 01 May 02 - 07:53 AM

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.


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars
From: GUEST,Allan Dennehy
Date: 02 May 02 - 02:22 PM

Its the first time Ive used the Mudcat message board. Thanks a million for all the help guys and galls.


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Subject: Lowden guitars, again!
From: GUEST,Allan Dennehy
Date: 14 May 02 - 12:25 AM

To all the guys who helped me with info a couple of weeks ago. Just to say that I bought a new 010 over here in Copenhagen last week. Ithink Im in love........................................!


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Subject: RE: Lowden guitars, again!
From: michaelr
Date: 14 May 02 - 12:45 AM

Good man Allan! I've been in love since I got my O10 four years ago. Lowdens rule!

How is charming Kóbenhavn? I havnt been there in 20 years, but I vividly remember the church with the spiral staircase on the outside of the steeple, and of course Christiania. Is that still there, and functioning as the alternative community it was supposed to be?

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: Lowden guitars, again!
From: GUEST,Garydon
Date: 14 May 02 - 01:49 PM

Congrats on your new baby

Gary®


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Subject: RE: Lowden guitars, again!
From: GUEST,Allan Dennehy
Date: 14 May 02 - 03:58 PM

Copenhagen has become a lot more fun, Michael, now that it has a few good Irish Pubs. Im the house musician in a place called Kennedys. And its always been a great town for the women and the crack!


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Subject: RE: Lowden guitars, again!
From: C-flat
Date: 15 May 02 - 02:48 PM

There's nothing quite like the "honeymoon" period of owning a new guitar. I hope you grow old together!


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Subject: RE: Lowden guitars, again!
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 15 May 02 - 03:24 PM

Just got me a "New to me" guitar - Love at first fret - Superb for you!!!!

Steve


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars (Lowden)
From: English Jon
Date: 09 May 05 - 01:06 PM

I just bought an S32 - anyone know anything about these? I'm crap on guitar lore.

EJ


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars (Lowden)
From: Lowden Jameswright
Date: 10 May 05 - 12:32 PM

How on earth anyone can start talking about Martin guitars when someone has asked about big sound acoustics, and actually states he's interested in a Lowden is beyond comprehension (well - almost).
Take no notice of those Martin-huggers.

To anyone buying a guitar - just get your hands on an O10 (Jumbo) - or for that matter, any of the Lowden range, and then have a chuckle to yourself as you pick up a Martin and make the comparison.

Believe me - I went to buy a Martin 20 years ago and tried several. I wanted a Martin; everybody told me I wanted a Martin; there were no other guitars worth considering; I'd never heard of any other brand - then I played, listened, played again; then I got wise.


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars (Lowden)
From: PoppaGator
Date: 10 May 05 - 01:25 PM

I'm the proud and happy owner of a 1969 D18 Martin. When my guitar (my only guitar) was at luthier's for some long-overdue maintenance work a few months ago, I began frequenting guitar stores as a way to keep in practice by playing as many different acoustic guitars as possible.

The only new guitar I picked up that impressed me was a Lowden ~ a really exceptional instrument, very beautiful, and it sounded even better than it looked. None of the other axes I tried (including quite a few new Martins) could hold a candle to my vintage D-18, all seemed quite ordinary, except for that one superfine Lowden.

I probably wouldn't swap my one-and-only for any guitar ~ sentimental value, you know ~ but that Lowden is probably the only swap-out I'd ever consider as an improvement over the guitar I've already got.


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars (Lowden)
From: Wesley S
Date: 10 May 05 - 02:06 PM

PG - I have a 67 D-18. Those are wonderful guitars. I wish Martin made them like they used to. Sometimes they do. Often they don't. They are trying - in my opinion - to be all things to all people and failing at it. My last two new guitars were Collings. And I hope to have a Collings mandolin in my future too.

My Lowden is a 80's 12 string. Ovenkol and cedar. It has a huge sound.


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars (Lowden)
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 11 May 05 - 08:27 AM

Well I've got both (nyah nyah nyah nyah-nyaaaaaah!), a Lowden O25 and a Martin J-40, and IMHO neither is 'better' than the other. 'Different' they definitely are, but 'better'?? What set parameters are there for judging the quality of a guitar's sound that would satisfy everyone's taste? None - it's a personal thang, I can't tell you what to like and you can't tell me.

I tend to use the Lowden for open/low tunings where the big, raw, woody bottom-end can shout out, and the Martin for standard tunings or where I want a sweeter, smoother sound. They're both great guitars from great builders, and there isn't half a thou between them.

I would say though that in terms of build quality the Lowden looks and feels more 'solid', but they look so different it doesn't really matter.
S:0)


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars (Lowden)
From: michaelr
Date: 11 May 05 - 09:35 PM

George Lowden is now making guitars under the Lowden name again. Acoustic Guitar magazine pictures one in their latest issue; looks like a cedar-top slope-shouldered jumbo.

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars (Lowden)
From: Once Famous
Date: 11 May 05 - 10:06 PM

Martins and Gibsons.

Buy American. The choice of the copuntry and bluegrass pros.

No Loud Ons for me.


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars (Lowden)
From: GUEST,Greycap
Date: 12 May 05 - 03:03 AM

The trio I work with has an armoury of 2 Lowdens and 3 Martins. They are both great, no regrets from us at buying either brand of instrument. Happy new guitar!!


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars (Lowden)
From: PoppaGator
Date: 12 May 05 - 02:32 PM

MG: Ever gotten up-close-and-personal with a Louden? They're pretty rare on this side of the ocean, so I'd guess you haven't.

If you have indeed actually played one, the only explanation for your easy dismissal of them would be blind prejudice.


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars (Lowden)
From: Once Famous
Date: 12 May 05 - 02:51 PM

Blind prejudice?

How about the whole Nashville and bluegrass community?

Blind prejudice is certainly not the same as zero interest.

Ever look at Vintage Guitar magazine? You will see more guitars advertised by dealers in North America than anywhere else. Dealers who advertise to professionals players and discriminating collectors. No one sells or advertises any Loudon guitars because there is no demand for them. Or better yet, no interest.

Yes, I am prejudiced for top American guitars with tradition and legacy. However, cars are a different story.


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars (Lowden)
From: GUEST,Wesley S
Date: 12 May 05 - 05:55 PM

Martin and Gibson used to make really great guitars. Most - but not all - of their new guitars can't hold a candle to what they used to make. A modern Lowden will outplay most new Martins and Gibsons any day of the week. I wish it wasn't true but it's a fact. And in my opinion your average Collings is better than most of the Lowdens I've played. But of course Collings are made right here in the hill country of Texas.

As they say - if you want an old Martin - buy a new Collings.


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars (Lowden)
From: Once Famous
Date: 12 May 05 - 08:58 PM

I'd rather buy an old Martin. Collings are nice guitars but vintage vibe is where it's at.

On the financial end of it, an old Martin will continue to appreciate in value while most new guitars depreciate.

As far as today's guitars go, Gibson and Martin are probably making as good as guitars as ever. George Gruhn thinks so and that's good enough for me. Competition is much higher and reputations of brands could never have more at stake than they do now.


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars (Lowden)
From: mooman
Date: 13 May 05 - 03:15 AM

Played a Lowden every day for 13 years. A brilliant guitar in every way.

But my custom Lakewood M-18 is better still!

Peace

moo (ducking and running for cover)


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars (Lowden)
From: English Jon
Date: 13 May 05 - 10:37 AM

"lowdens are rubbish" "no, martins are rubbish" "oh no they're not" "they are too" etc etc

Well, if it comes to that, Nick Benjamin in the UK makes instruments that sound better than martins, lowdens etc but I can't afford one of his. But no one has answered my original question on refreshing this thread - Anyone know anything about the Lowden S32 model? I don't give a monkeys about which guitar is better, I just want to know something about the one I just bought - Maybe I should start a thread debating the relative merits/demerits of pajot and pimpard hurdy gurdies? "of course, your 'gurdy is shit compared to my 1923 Nigout" "bollocks. no one's made a decent hurdy gurdy since Colson of Mirecourt" "yeah, but colson's are so damn ugly" "what about claude boudet?" "nah, get a kerboef" etc

Lowden S32 - anybody?

Thank you.
Jon


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars (Lowden)
From: Lowden Jameswright
Date: 13 May 05 - 10:56 AM

Martin G - didn't you read this post?:

You're never ever gonna accept the truth, because it's obviously very painful for you, but life's not as black & white as you seem to believe


"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."


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars (Lowden)
From: GUEST,mastodon
Date: 13 May 05 - 02:16 PM

To add to this mix -- I went to Dublin intent on buying a Lowden. Visited the shop around the corner and came home with a McIlroy instead. All the good qualities of a Lowden, plus a little something extra, IMO.


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars (Lowden)
From: GUEST,Wesley S
Date: 13 May 05 - 02:21 PM

This is from the www.georgelowden.com website. It's what he has to say about the "S" body shape :

   
Nick Webb of Acoustic Alchemy approached me in the early 90's and asked me to design a small guitar. This is the result. It is not quite a parlour guitar, it is about the same size as a classic guitar. I designed the soundbox profiles to accentuate the bass in an attempt to keep the bass loose and free and hopefully reasonably deep! When I finished the proto type in my own workshop, I immediately took it to the house and sat down to play it. I didn't want to let it go!


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars (Lowden)
From: M.Ted
Date: 13 May 05 - 04:20 PM

Figured I'd step in and give Martin a hand, here, as he is surrounded by barbarians;-)--

never cared much for the Lowden--play it side-by-side with any number of high end American guitars, both new and vintage, and you'll find that you just don't get as much out of it--even the so called "Bad 70's Martin"s allow you do a lot more--

The Lowden is boomy and raw, which is not a compliment--


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars (Lowden)
From: Lowden Jameswright
Date: 17 May 05 - 12:29 PM

Yeh Yeh - Chinny chin chin - tell that to Barbarians such as Richard Thompson and Pierre Bensusan. Like your humour tho M Ted!


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars (Lowden)
From: Grab
Date: 17 May 05 - 02:20 PM

Striking out for sanity...

Jon, the key to Lowden naming is the letter and number. The letter gives the body shape, the number gives the wood type.

Letters:-

O: Largest body, "standard" Lowden. Very rich and loud sound, but large body is harder for small people to play.

F: Small body, with almost the same sound but less depth and volume.

S: Similar size to F, but set up for jazz with nylon strings.

D: Dreadnaught.

Numbers:-

10: Mahogany back, cedar top

12: Mahogany back, spruce top

23: Walnut back, spruce top

25: Rosewood back, cedar top

32: Rosewood back, spruce top

There are then numbers 35 upwards for rare and expensive woods.

I've got an O32. My experience was that the mahogany and walnut didn't have the same depth as the rosewoods. I A/B'd an O25 and O32 for ages, but the O32 just edged it out. The O25 is effortlessly gorgeous; the O32 takes more time to get used to (you do have to practise regularly), but seems to reward with better sound when you've got the feel of it.

Before I bought my Lowden, I played almost every decent guitar in Denmark Street (London), every decent guitar in Coda Music (Stevenage) and the Acoustic Centre (London), and at least one of every type of decent guitar in Elderly Instruments (Michigan). So Fylde, Collings, Martin, Guild, Gibson, Huss & Dalton, Santa Cruz, Larrivee, Seagull, Taylor, etc, etc... But not one sounded better than the Lowdens. The only one I almost considered was an old Guild in Coda which had a beautiful rich bass but was sadly lacking in any treble presence (the right strings might have revitalised it, but I didn't/don't have the money to risk it).

FWIW, I hit London with a couple of friends, one of whom is a rather good blues guitarist who has lusted after a Martin or Gibson just about all his life. He was amazed to find: that they were none of them as good as he had imagined; that in fact that many were worse than the old Yamaha he plays; and that he liked Lowdens more.

There may well be smaller instrument makers like McIlroy (an ex-student of George Lowden IIRC) who make better instruments, but they're hard to find. I'd considered it, but at the time I wasn't confident in the risk of getting a guitar built for me (and it likely would have cost much more). As production instruments go, a Lowden is about the best you'll find.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars (Lowden)
From: GUEST,Mike
Date: 17 May 05 - 02:27 PM

Pierre Bensusan's guitar sure sounds great but its a very old model. I have tried a few newer Lowdens that don't compare to that guitar. I have owned both Martins and Lowdens. I still have two Martins. It is futile to compare Martins and Lowdens though because the sound characteristic is totally different. If you want that American guitar sound you won't get it from a Lowden and vice versa. But it does make an interesting discussion!


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars (Lowden)
From: Spot
Date: 17 May 05 - 02:34 PM

Hello everybody...
          Have to say I agree totally with all of above post, having played my 032 for 5 years or so.I just love it ...Martins, Gibsons. Larrivees, Froggy B's...done 'em all and more...032sRuleOK!! (With my Yam LL11 a very close 2nd!! - sushi board or otherwise!!)

                   Regards to all....Spot


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars (Lowden)
From: Lowden Jameswright
Date: 18 May 05 - 11:31 AM

I have a W23P - very early serial number; equates to a modern O23, but with Walnut back/sides & Cedar top - predates the split saddle, but being made and signed personally by George Lowden himself makes it a bit special. It even lives in the early prototype Lowden case that Hiscox produced - colour Green. Sound/playability is scrumptious.

There are numerous Martin owners I know who would swap me their guitars in less than a heartbeat.


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars (Lowden)
From: M.Ted
Date: 18 May 05 - 06:27 PM

It *is* a very Richard Thompson sounding instrument--and you can take that like you want.


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars (Lowden)
From: GUEST,Blackford John
Date: 19 May 05 - 07:03 AM

I took my Gibson and Guild for an insurance valuation three years ago. It was an expensive visit as I fell in love with an F32 and could not leave without it. My wife was with me and she reckoned that it was better to have this new love close at hand than have me sneaking off for snatched liaisons in a music shop in Perth.

So, the Lowden and Lorna both share the stage with me at times and it as modern relationships go, it seems to work.

Re the previous comments. It is true that there are guitarists who love their Guilds or Martins and others that will love a Lowden - vive la difference.


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars (Lowden)
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 19 May 05 - 01:03 PM

I love Martins AND Lowdens. And Mrs. Johnny.
S:0)


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Subject: RE: Loudon guitars (Lowden)
From: GUEST,Pete Moss
Date: 22 Oct 05 - 02:07 PM

I paid $2250 for an F10 in San Francisco about 5 years ago. I have a Taylor 440 (koa back and sides) as a back up, but the Lowden is my favorite. I love the precision in tone between the wound vs unwound strings resulting from the split bridge. I play the guitars for friends and they always prefer the sound of the Lowden.

Of course everyone knows Richard Thompson is a Lowden player, but I'd just like to note that Justin from New Model Army also plays a Lowden. :)


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