This past weekend, I played Collings, Huss & Dalton, Bourgeois , Santa Cruz....

guitarlix

Member
Messages
1,852
....and many of the other usual suspects. And the guitars that just blew me away were.....




Phew! Absolutely amazing guitars and I tried 5 different ones and the consistency was spot on. Beautiful harmonic depth and very even response across the fretboard from string to string and also along the length of the neck.

The touch sensitivity was beautiful....I would play soft and it would give me beautiful gentle tones.....and when I dug in, it would just absolutely bark and growl back. Incredible headroom with volume response going up and up and up the more you dug in. I love guitars that have the ability to be very loud and aggressive when needed and these could do that without compromising the other end.

All said - fantastic guitars! For my needs, they're perfect. I've ignored these in the past because of the way they looked....no more! (plus, for some reason I thought that they were really low end guitars so never got around to trying the 1-2 I came across before).

This time around, I still didn't know much about them....but I tried the first one and I was like....WOW! The rest were the same...

For the more traditional, dry, woody tone....my favorites, by far, were the Huss & Daltons. I tried several other Martin copies (Collings, Santa Cruz, Bourgeois etc.) and none came close. These were the most consistent (even across stores) and the most responsive. In terms of construction, the Collings seemed to be the best made but they didn't go anything special for me otherwise. Still, nice guitars and very beautiful looking....probably with time, as the soundboard opens up, will get better tonally.

All in all, a fun weekend!
 

Ogre

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4,650
I have had a O25 since 1998. No problems with the bridge. It is a great guitar.
 

mannish

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9,495
My friend has a Lowden and for ME it is not anywhere close to my Collings but we all have our preferences. I didn't much care for his at all.
 

Songman

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1,851
Never played a Lowden...Don't have much desire as I think they are bit ugly. Yes I'm shallow like that when it comes to looks.
 

pedalcr8z

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3,440
and NOTHING floats my boat like my 0-23. I've owned over 1 dozen acoustics including Martins, Taylors and Collings but Lowden's have a unique soundprint from grand piano like basses to balanced mids and sweet trebles all simultaneously sustaining for what seems forever.





 

riffmeister

Member
Messages
16,604
Different strokes.........I've played several Lowdens and had two in on approval. Nice instruments, but my taste runs more traditional, I guess. I opted for two Collings. I've also owned and sold two Goodalls. All that said,though, there was this one sitka/maple Lowden that I really GASsed for, it had the most beautiful, pure voice for fingerstyle......shoulda acquired it.........
 

Bananafist

Member
Messages
201
Horses for courses, I guess. To me they sound more celtic, whereas Martins, H&D, etc., and my Collings sound American, (which I prefer.)
The only Martin I've played that comes close to challenging my 0002H was a Norman Blake 12 fret with an adi top, now that was a Martin.
 

TravisE

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,511
I've also been very underwhelmed by Lowden guitars. Everyone has their own thing but, for me, they're far to bright/thin sounding. I'm not someone who plays only bluegrass but I do prefer a more traditional sounding guitar.
 
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8,095
I've also been very underwhelmed by Lowden guitars. Everyone has their own thing but, for me, they're far to bright/thin sounding. I'm not someone who plays only bluegrass but I do prefer a more traditional sounding guitar.
That would be my experience. I used to retail them and they were very popular with my customers that did not buy Martins. Aesthetics matter to me too (ask me about Heritages! Wait; no, don't!).
 

TravisE

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,511
Interesting. For me, I think it is was a matter of learning how to approach Lowdens. Just as I don't approach classical, gypsy jazz, acoustic archtop, or dreadnought guitars in the same way, I found that I needed to learn different ways to approach my Lowden. In my experience, it rewarded that effort, but I understand that these guitars aren't for everyone (just as classical, gypsy jazz, acoustic archtop, or dreadnought guitars aren't for everyone).
Well, I'm not going to approach an archtop in the same way that I would a flat top but I'm not a player that tries to cop tons of different styles either. I like big guitars, I like small guitars, I like archtop guitars...etc. I want to hear what they do when I play them like I play them. Lowden guitars don't sound right for me...neither do Taylors, McPherson, and a lot of other modern styled guitars. They're just not my thing. Just because I don't care for them doesn't mean that I don't know how to "approch" them.
 

ceyuh

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
1,142
I love, love, LOVE my Lowden O25c. Different strokes, for sure, but I searched long and hard, playing everything I could get my hands before I tried the Lowden. For me, it was love at first note, and nothing else mattered.
 

Ogre

Member
Messages
4,650
"Bright & thin" does not apply to the many Lowdens I have played. I have played some other brands that fit that description. I bought mine back in 1998 on recommendation from Monte Montgomery. He knows a thing or two about guitars.
 

pedalcr8z

Member
Messages
3,440
I've also been very underwhelmed by Lowden guitars. Everyone has their own thing but, for me, they're far to bright/thin sounding. I'm not someone who plays only bluegrass but I do prefer a more traditional sounding guitar.

The Lowden pictured above is anything BUT "bright/thin" It has grand piano like basses that sustain forever and it's a freaking canon. Now "bright/thin" would certainly apply to the half dozen Taylors I've owned and to the Collings 000-2h I owned also. In the end it's whatever works for you. I've owned "traditional" acoustics for 45 years but I stepped outside of the box with my Lowden as it was refreshing to hear something with it's own unique voice as well as something so large that could be played fingerstyle and still produce all the nuances that normally a require something more along the lines of a 000 sized guitar. Interesting how we change as players as our ears progress. Many years ago I owned a 000-28VS Martin and thought I loved it until I heard a Collings 000-2h. The Collings had a clarity that the the Martin lacked. After owning the Collings for a couple years I then discovered that I missed the bass that the Martin had so I went back to another 000-28VS. From the moment I picked up a Lowden and played it it seemed like a meld between the Collings and the Martin as it had balls like I never heard before but unlike a dreadnaught the extra wallop did not interfere with the mids or treble strings. It's highs are unlike the zippy zingy highs of a Taylor or Collings as they are much more bell like. Somebody in this thread described it as a Celtic sound. Call it what you may but what I hear is the most balanced guitar I've ever played as each strings amplitude and time of sustain is the same which is truly a feat of design engineering.
 




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