Meet The Builder: George Lowden von Lowden Guitars

Was haben Jon Gomm, Ed Sheeran und Thomas Leeb gemeinsam? Sie spielen alle Instrumente von Lowden, sie alle sind Teil einer neuen Generation akustischer Gitarristen die Instrumente suchen die frisch, perkussiv und neu klingen. Als einer der wenigen etablierten Steelstring Hersteller auf dem Markt bedient sich George Lowden nicht den traditionellen Konstruktionskonzepten und Bodyshapes sondern seiner ganz eigenen Vision. Grund genug der Gitarrenbaulegende aus Irland ein paar Fragen zu stellen.

In unserer Reihe „Meet the Builder“ stellen wir die Menschen hinter der Marke vor, reden über Musik und
Gitarren und stellen fragen zu heiß diskutierten Themen.

What made you want to become a luthier?
I read a story about Eric Clapton having guitars made by a luthier in England and realized for the first time that great guitars can be built by an individual – doesn’t have to be a company – so I wondered could I learn to do it to that level? My curiosity was piqued!

If you think back to the early days, what was the moment you thought „I can actually do this for a living!“?
Even at the very beginning when I was naive and knew very little I believed if I worked hard and prayed hard I would eventually become good enough to make a living from it.

How many people work at your shop now?
There are around 75 in the company now of which around 65 are in the workshops

What was the most uncommon custom request you got?
The most uncommon was the request to make a harp guitar for Pierre Bensusan ! I didn’t actually get around to doing it!

What’s your take and experience on the thermal treatment of woods?
So this is a difficult question because I believe there are still unanswered questions regarding the long term effect of the thermal pre-treatment of soundboard wood. I am sure though that it depends on the way the heat treatment is applied. If it is applied carefully and at an appropriate temperature then there is reason to believe the volume gains you can hear when the guitar is new, should still be there as the guitar gets older. My only question which will take years to answer is regarding the sustain and tone character. – ie; will the sustain start to become shorter with age and will the natural “woodiness” of the tone reduce in time, making the tone a little thinner? Time will tell.

 Tell us about your favorite personal guitar, what brand and model is it and what makes it so special?
My favorite electric as a teenager was the old Gibson 335. My favourite acoustics are The Lowden S-35 / S-50 Koa/Alpine spruce and the Lowden F-50 African Blackwood / cedar or sinker redwood.

What music do you listen to right now?
Old Dire Straits albums, Jack Johnson, Martyn Joseph and more recently beginning to listen to some Jazz from various artists – particularly Hot Club de Paris!

 

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