Played a Lowden for the first time today...

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by Jazzydave, Apr 6, 2012.

  1. royd

    royd Member

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    :aok He is an amazing player. I love his use of the banjo tuners... I just wish he could do the same thing with heavier strings...


    And it is another Lowden that has been beaten to hell
     
  2. NeuroLogic

    NeuroLogic Supporting Member

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    There is now a limited run with Sequoia redwood top, Ancient Cuban Mahogany back & sides. I'd love to hear one! Should stack up to old growth Brazillain rosewood, maybe better.
     
  3. Jazzydave

    Jazzydave Seeker Gold Supporting Member

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    Interesting! I'll keep that in mind. I've considered steel frets as well...haven't had the opportunity to play a guitar with them yet.

    Now that I'm looking, I'm finding a few Lowdens slipping through the cracks for decent prices. I'll have some cash freed up next week if anyone's looking to let theirs go...

    I'll post a WTB ad in the Emporium this weekend...
     
  4. buddaman71

    buddaman71 Student of Life Silver Supporting Member

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    I played a couple Lowdens at Rudy's in NYC last summer and instantly bonded with it and loved it. I just couldn't bond with the $4800 price at the time though and sadly had to leave it behind...
     
  5. Jazzydave

    Jazzydave Seeker Gold Supporting Member

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    Agreed! Again, I realize they're hand built...but I do wonder if some of that cost has to deal with them being imported from Ireland.
     
  6. Ogre

    Ogre Supporting Member

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    In this case, you get what you pay for. Find the right Lowden, and you will never let it go.
     
  7. royd

    royd Member

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    I think there are a number of issues affecting the prices of Lowdens. One may be the exchange rate. A second may be that Lowden does not use any CNC machines and human labor costs more in the long run. Third, we hve gotten accustomed to the prices of factory produced guitars like Martins & Taylors who clearly have lowered our expectation of price and raised the quality/price ratio for modern guitars. Fourth, and this is an interesting one... when I saw George at NAMM last January he remarked that the largest percentage of orders are for their custom guitars - 35's, 50's - and signature models. A smaller percentage of their production is the "Standard" line which are their lowest priced instruments so you're less likely to see an O25 or F22 than you are an O50, an F35, or a Pierre Bensusan at a shop.

    Clearly the "standard" line are not inexpensive guitars, with cutaways going north of $4K... but the 35's and 50's often push that price up by another $2K or more for more exotic woods and fancy details. I think that is pressuring all of the prices upwards.

    Finally, I'm not sure how Lowden prices compare to other small shop guitars - Collings, SCGC, Huss & Dalton, etc. A quick look around the web puts the Lowdens a little higher than those three, but still roughly the same or less than McPhersons...
     
  8. reentune

    reentune Supporting Member

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    In my case, I got about 10 times what I paid for.
    And I'll never let it go.
     
  9. Jazzydave

    Jazzydave Seeker Gold Supporting Member

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    So...I punished myself this morning and went back to Guitar Rez here in Austin and played that O-32c...been playing several guitars around town for the last few weeks as I anticipate my upcoming freed up cash and that one is still, by far, the best sounding guitar I've had my hands on. It's all I can do to hand it back to them!

    But alas, even though that one has a minor "finish flaw" and is discounted, it's still a ways away from my max spending ceiling...
     
  10. royd

    royd Member

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    I hope you're either able to work this one out somehow... or find another one for a lower price that is equally inspiring
     
  11. soulohio

    soulohio Member

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    you should try recording yourself singing while playing the guitar to see how that part fits. Lowdens could step all over the vocals....
     
  12. Jazzydave

    Jazzydave Seeker Gold Supporting Member

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    Thanks royd, I hope so, too! I found an O-32 that had it's headstock repaired by Lowden a few years back. The price is obviously much less than other used models I've found so we'll see what the seller has to say about it...eagerly awaiting that email!
     
  13. Jazzydave

    Jazzydave Seeker Gold Supporting Member

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    That's a great point and definitely one I've considered. I may have already mentioned this...but I also played a Taylor 816ce that I was impressed with. It was quite different than the Lowden obviously, and I've been into Martins (or at least Martinesque guitars) for awhile now, but it had this nice open sound and retained some depth.
     
  14. royd

    royd Member

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    I've never found the Lowden difficult to sing with...

    here are three videos of me performing...

    first with my daughter about 13 years ago on the L25C that was stolen



    and here's me last Christmas on the S10P. The preamp I was using was set with a bit more treble than I would have liked and my playing was a bit sloppy but it still gives a sense of the Lowden with a voice.



    and one with the O25C, sitting in with Jill Knight and Bobby Santa Cruz.



    I do think it is tricky to use a Lowden in a dense mix as there is so much going on with the guitar, it can get muddy.
     
  15. Jazzydave

    Jazzydave Seeker Gold Supporting Member

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    Thank you for sharing! I mostly perform solo acoustic...and I sang a bit with the O-32c today and it felt fine. I did think about how it would fit into a mix but that's something I'll deal with when it happens.

    What I'm after is a guitar that will take this next album I'm about to record further. My old Gibson has ran it's course for now and I'm looking for that guitar to inspire new sounds. The music is written, now it's time to make it come alive.
     
  16. soulohio

    soulohio Member

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    have you thought about renting a superfine vintage guitar just for the recording? I am sure you could find one in Austin...not trying to dissuade you from purchasing a Lowden...they are wonderful guitars.
     
  17. Jazzydave

    Jazzydave Seeker Gold Supporting Member

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    Nah...I'm all much too emotionally connected to the sound to bring in a great guitar and then not have it to perform live with. Some artists can do that - use quite different instruments in the studio than live or at home. I'm not one of those...

    I was thinking about this recently when I saw some vids of David Gray recording his recent album and he's using his Martin signature model. Damien Rice has been beating his Lowden for years both in the studio and on stage!
     
  18. AnthonyL

    AnthonyL Silver Supporting Member

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    PM sent
     
  19. Ogre

    Ogre Supporting Member

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    It was cool meeting
    you yesterday at Guitar Rez. You are on the right track, checking out Lowdens. Those are guitars for a lifetime.
     
  20. yesfan

    yesfan Member

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    [​IMG]


    My first photo uploaded on a forum. This is my Lowden O23c serial 3972. I believe I bought it around 20 years ago. Anybody can help with the age by serial number would be appreciated. It has a small ding in the very soft cedar top. Not as bad as Jon Gomm. LOL. I was going to post that same video but it was already on here. That guy is amazing. Anybody know the best way to cover up a nick in a cedar top? Anyway to the OP I love this guitar. Dont play it much because I play my Parker mostly now. I go through phases. I thought this guitar had the best sound. I had it set up by a Luthier named John Mello in Berkely Ca. He added a Fishman to it. I cant imagine you not being happy with one. Look on ebay I have seen them go pretty reasonable.
     

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