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Tonal Evaluation

Wildwoodians, if you've been reading these pieces I've been writing about our Lowden Guitars, you'll notice a few common threads. It goes like this: Trevor stays late to write after the shop closes, Trevor picks up a Lowden, Trevor falls in love with the Lowden after a couple strums, then Trevor looks up and realizes he's been at the shop for hours and it's dark and he's hungry. This time, the same story unfolded with this delightful Original Series S-32.

Frankly, I'm not upset, because this guitar is a revelation of contradictions. It I played it for about an hour, and it sounded so lush and full and open that it evoked images of verdant green pastoral scenes as I played, yet it's still woody and earthy enough to call to mind thick, densely-wooded forests. And it's so clear! Imagine the clearest spring sky you've ever seen, and that will give you a rough idea of pure this Lowden sounds despite its rich resonance.

I have to reach into the natural world for metaphors to describe this guitar, because you rarely find such elegant, simple perfection in man-made things. When I first picked this guitar up and did a little fingerpicking, my coworker walked over wearing a look of amazement.

"That guitar sounds...mystical," he said.

And he's right! There's no other way to describe it. How else can you explain a guitar with warm, piano-like bass underneath earthy, broad midrange and airy, glassy trebles? That sounds like a recipe for a muddy sound--too rich! So, I threw every strange, dissonant jazzy chord I knew at it, and it replicated them all with exceptional fidelity and precision.

Unsatisfied, I tuned it to Open G and did a bunch of even weirder chords, and it still sounded clear even when tuned low. This was an especial delight for me, because I love to play harmonically crunchy things with droning open strings in these sorts of tunings, and the Sitka spruce soundboard captured every little detail of each passing tone.

Truly, this is a guitar with world-beating string-to-string balance and note separation. It has the resonance of a big-bodied guitar and the clarity of a concert body. This might seem like a contradiction, but mystical guitars defy logic. Like Walt Whitman said "Do I contradict myself? Very well, then. I contradict myself." If you seek a guitar that contains multitudes, you will find a lifetime of joy in this Lowden.


Brand Lowden Guitars
ModelOriginal Series S-32
Top WoodSitka Spruce
Back & Sides WoodIndian Rosewood
Lower Bout14.7"
Body Depth4.1"
Neck Wood5 Piece - Mahogany/Rosewood
Neck Measurements.790 1st - .870 9th
Scale Length25.5"
Width at Nut1-3/4"
Nut MaterialBone
RosetteRosewood, Sycamore, Walnut, Mahogany
PurflingMahogany, Walnut, Sycamore, Rosewood
TunersGotoh SG381 Gold w/ Ebony Buttons
CaseLowden Branded Hiscox

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Serial Number: 22531

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