Sponsored By
 
Lowden O-35
 
A gorgeous, powerful jumbo built with Madagascar rosewood and red cedar.
October 16, 2018

Lowden’s O-size guitars feature the original body shape that luthier George Lowden used on his first instruments in the 1970s. With a width of 16½ inches at the lower bout and a depth of 4¾ inches, these jumbo bodies continue to be the basis of many Lowden models. We recently had a chance to check out a beautiful O-35 built with Madagascar rosewood back and sides and a red cedar top, courtesy of Gryphon Stringed Instruments, in Palo Alto, California.

From the moment I opened its case, there was no question this O-35 was a special guitar. Though it has the understated appointments Lowden is known for, the guitar has the kind of elegance that can only come from extremely high quality woods working in harmony with first-rate craftsmanship. The guitar’s red cedar top has even coloring and tight, straight grain, while the Madagascar rosewood is dark and rich—the sides in particular displayed a beautiful, almost landscape-like grain pattern. The guitar includes Lowden’s typical five-piece neck and pinless bridge with split saddle (one short saddle for the first and second strings, a longer saddle for the third through sixthstrings), which Lowden feels offers improved intonation. The guitar also has the beautiful semi-satin finish Lowdens are known for.

This O-35 is an incredibly powerful guitar. Like most Lowden O models, it is very well-suited to playing fingerstyle, offering a quick response, even with a light touch, and excellent balance. But even when strumming the guitar with a pick, it appeared not to have volume limitations—the harder I played, the louder it became. These qualities have made O-size Lowdens a favorite among players of the seemingly disparate disciplines of fingerstyle and Irish-style backup, and this particular guitar did its job with a generous helping of tonal richness and complexity.

Overall, this O-35 is one of the best O-size Lowdens I’ve had a chance to play (I own a mahogany/cedar O-10 and have played dozens of others). Players looking for a powerful guitar for acoustic, unamplified settings will love the guitar’s power and volume, and anyone who loves beautiful woods will also appreciate the instrument.

SPECS: O-size body. Red cedar top. Madagascar rosewood back and sides. Five-piece mahogany and rosewood neck. Ebony fingerboard. Rosewood bridge with split saddles. 25.59-inch scale. 45-mm. nut width. Gotoh 510 tuning machines. Made in Northern Ireland. $6,639 list/$5,967 street. Lowdenguitars.com

 

Related Fine Lutherie Posts
 

1993 Lowden O-25c

San Francisco Bay Area songwriter/guitarist Kyle Alden demonstrates the Lowden that’s been his main guitar for more than 20 years.

Read More

 

The Guitars of “Duets”

Teja Gerken and Doug Young discuss the guitars used on their recent album of fingerstyle duets.

Read More

 

Lowden F-35

Mid-size steel-string built with Guatemalan rosewood and Alpine spruce

Read More

 

Lowden Alex de Grassi Signature Model

The fingerstyle guitar legend demonstrates his primary six-string.

Read More

 

Lowden O-35 Custom

Slack-key guitarist Stephen Inglis demonstrates his fanned-fret Lowden.

Read More

 

Lowden S-35C 12-Fret

A powerful small-body built with Sitka spruce and Indian rosewood.

Read More

 

Lowden Baritone 50 Fan Fret

A multi-scale baritone guitar built from African blackwood and sinker redwood.

Read More

 

Lowden Richard Thompson Signature Model

A spectacular mid-size Lowden with a cedar top and ziricote back and sides.

Read More

 

Preston Thompson 000-12MA Cutaway Custom

A cutaway 12-fret that combines vintage tone and contemporary playability.

Read More

 

Froggy Bottom SJ

A custom slope-shoulder dreadnought built with premium koa and Adirondack spruce.

Read More

 
Sponsored By
 
 
 
Peghead Partners
 
Vintage Martin Repairs | Elderly Instruments
Joe Konkoly discusses repairs on four great vintage Martins.
 
 
 
 
 
  Follow Us:  
 
  About Us       Shop         Support         Contact Us         Email Sign up         Advertise         Sitemap         FAQ         Privacy         Terms         Subscribe   Sign In  
 
    ● Courses
    ● Live Workshops
    ● Instructors
    ● Sample Lessons
    ● Notation Guide
    ● For Beginners
 
    ● Workshops
    ● Advice
    ● Repertoire
 
    ● Vintage Vault
    ● New Gear
    ● Fine Lutherie
 
    ● Recordings
    ● Events
    ● Breaking News
 
    ● In The Studio
    ● Live Onstage
    ● Backroom
 
    ● New Products
    ● Inside Look
    ● Performances
    ● Partner Pages
 
 
© Copyright 2020 PegheadNation.com
 
 
    ● Courses
    ● Live Workshops
    ● Instructors
    ● Sample Lessons
    ● Notation Guide
    ● For Beginners
 
 
    ● Vintage Vault
    ● New Gear
    ● Fine Lutherie
 
 
    ● Workshops
    ● Advice
    ● Repertoire
 
 
    ● Recordings
    ● Events
    ● Breaking News
 
 
    ● In The Studio
    ● Live Onstage
    ● Backroom
 
 
    ● New Products
    ● Inside Look
    ● Performances
    ● Partner Pages
 
 
© Copyright 2020 PegheadNation.com