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MAKING A LOWDEN GUITAR...

“The journey began in earnest in 1974 when I began the design and building of the first Lowden guitars in my workshop in Bangor County Down, Northern Ireland. From the very beginning I was determined to develop unique designs and not just copy well known makes.”

The Lowden guitar is the result of unique design, workmanship and assembly techniques along with our choice of woods.

Design: “ Curvy, smooth soundbox shapes combined with carefully voiced internal bracing and soundbox profiles, and use of natural wood decorations with our unique hand rubbed satin finish all combine to make the Lowden guitar what it is today”

Workmanship: “ Introducing unplanned for stress into any musical instrument deadens the tonal response. Our assembly techniques involve the use of hand tools to improve the quality of all joints and enable the “Dolphin Profile” voicing of the soundboard bracing. This and much much more ensures that sustain, volume and balance are not hindered in any way. No short cuts are possible, just great workmanship and attention to detail!”

Wood: We still hand split our bracing stock, re-grade soundboard wood and scour the world for the best (and often most decorative) tonewoods. These are the real ‘stars’ of our guitars, and not man made.

It is this combination of many details which determines how our guitars sound, feel, and play. Today more than ever, I am constantly evaluating our guitars and striving to further adjust the voicing, the feel and the playability.  To make Lowden guitars we need a team of individuals with “talent for focus and an eye for detail” plus a passionate commitment to no compromise. 

So far I have resisted the temptation to invest in ‘lean manufacturing’ techniques (which include extensive use of computer controlled machines) and have instead, built a team of real craftsmen who build Lowden guitars by hand using Japanese chisels, planes, knives and spokeshaves. It would have been much more economical to make our guitars with assembly workers and machines, but our choice is to build skills and understanding of wood, and in so doing the guitars feel and sound like individual ‘works of art’".

Guitar Making Gallery

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