Lowden Guitars WL-35J Wee Lowden Jazz
Ten Pounds of Tone in a Five-Pound BagAnybody remember Mugsy Bogues? He was a five-foot three point guard who managed excel for over a decade in the NBA, where he frequently made players a foot and a half taller than him look foolish with his incredible skill and quickness. Why do I bring up the shortest player ever to play pro basketball on the page of the Lowden Wee? Well, the parallels are obvious: both this Wee Lowden Jazz and 'ol Mugsy may be small, but they are both capable of humbling their larger brethren with their inspiring play. So much so, in fact, that you could call this Irish-built guitar a regular Mugsy Brogues.
Let's forget that I ever made that that awful pun and shift our focus fully to the myriad delights of the Lowden WL-35J. The story of the Wee Lowden begins with a simple gift between friends. Gary Lightbody, lead singer of Irish/Scottish band Snow Patrol, knew that his buddy Ed Sheeran loved small-bodied guitars, and he wanted to do something really nice for his pal. Because he's a really good friend, Lightbody reached out to George Lowden to see if he'd make Ed a custom short-scale guitar with a smaller body.
A Coastal RetreatNow, most luthiers would have probably built Ed a guitar and called it a day, but George Lowden is not most luthiers. Rather than take the easy way out and slap together a shrunken-down version of an existing model, the illustrious Mr. Lowden locked himself away in solitude on the Irish coast for four days with intentions of designing a brand new Lowden that would be able to stand toe-to-toe with any of his other fabulous acoustics.
Olympic Tone in a Tiny PackageGeorge's goal was to craft a small guitar with an even, smooth voice that projected like a big guitar without sounding too boxy. He obsessed over ever detail of the design. What tonewoods to use? How should the bracing be voiced? How could the geometry of the soundbox be tweaked? Where to position the bridge? After traveling down the rabbit hole for al ong weekend, one thing became abundantly clear: this guitar wouldn't be a one-off. It would become a member of the Lowden family.
The point is, George Lowden tore his hair out when obsessing over the design of the Wee Lowden. This is not some shrunken-down S-Series guitar. On the contrary, it is an excellent example of the magic imparted by George's Olympic Method of guitar building. You can hear the passion, joy, care, and dedication that went into the Wee Lowden with every strum.
All That JazzAfter the runaway success of the original Wee Lowdens, the wizard-like luthiers of Ireland decided to turn their attention to a new challenge: a nylon-stringed variant. The resulting WL-35J is one of the coolest things to sport nylon strings we've ever had in the shop!
So, how does the Olympic method sound when applied on a smaller scale to a nylon-stringed instrument? Positively glorious, and thank you for asking. Its Alpine Spruce top forms a beautiful marriage with its Guatemalan rosewood back and sides. Alpine spruce has a rounder attack, produces a strong fundamental, sounds righteous and smooth, and is quite focused. Guatemalan rosewood comes close to reproducing the bold, complex, rich tones of Brazilian rosewood. So, this guitar sounds quite pure and focused initially, but you can hear glorious rich revererbance as the note sustains and the back and sides do their thing!
A Powerful PickupAnd you can use these wonderful sounds easily in a live setting, because the WL-35J comes standard with an LR Baggs Session VTC pickup. Frankly, the Session VTC is an amazing pickup. Its sensor mirrors the top's movement as you play, so it captures every nuance of your playing while eliminating the harsh, biting attack that can sometimes come when you plug your acoustic in. The folks at LR Baggs also wanted the Session VTC to impart a bit of tape-esque saturation, which leads to pleasing warmth and roundness (not to mention, it works great with nylon strings' timbre). All in all, it makes for a truly incredible playing experience when you plug in.
In fact, it was so incredible that a coworker caught me making some stupid-looking jazz faces while playing through an AER amp. Fair warning: the Wee Lowden is so much fun to play that it may cause you to look a little bit dorky, but I sincerely doubt you’ll care because you’ll be enjoying yourself too much.
It's Got the SauceThe point is that the WL-35J has plenty of the secret sauce that makes Lowden guitars special. The magic of a Lowden lies in its ability to take you places, to transport you far away from wherever you are and lose yourself in the music you're making. The Wee Lowden may have a smaller body, but it has as much magic hiding in the soundhole as any guitar out there. It compels you to get into the zone and make funny faces and close your eyes and get inspired. The Wildwood team is proud to showcase such an inspiring instrument for our exceptional customers, and we can't wait to see what amazing places it takes you on your acoustic adventures!
|Model||Wee Lowden Jazz WL-35J|
|Top Wood||Alpine Spruce|
|Back & Sides Wood||Guatemalan Rosewood|
|Neck Wood||5 Piece - Mahogany/Rosewood|
|Neck Measurements||.820 1st - .850 9th|
|Scale Length||24 1/64"|
|Width at Nut||1 3/4"|
|Tuners||Gotoh SG381 Gold w/ Ebony Buttons|
|Pickguard||Clear, In Case Pocket|
|Case||Lowden Branded Hiscox|
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