Luthier George Lowden discusses the design of his latest model.
by Teja Gerken
June 27, 2016
Lowden’s parlor-size Wee Lowden is the company’s latest model. Using a reduced version of Lowden’s S model, the guitar has a short 610-mm. (slightly longer than 24-inch) scale, and is available in various models using different wood combinations and appointment packages. In this video, which was shot at Palo Alto, California’s Gryphon Stringed Instruments, company founder George Lowden discusses the choices he made in creating the instrument.
“My concern in designing this guitar was how to get the balance to be even between bass and treble, because the smaller body was going to emphasize the trebles, and the shorter scale-length would as well,” he said. “First of all, I reduced the tension of the back. Normally, on most acoustics, and certainly on mine, there is quite a noticeable longitudinal arch on the back, and that creates some tension, which is good on a larger-body guitar, because you want to tighten up the sound; you don’t want it to be too loose, you don’t want it to vibrate too much. But on a small guitar, you want to reduce the tension, so the first thing I did was flatten out the curvature on the back. Then one of the other things I did was that I chose the height of the bracing in such a way that it encouraged the whole soundboard as one piece, which is also going to increase bass response.”
The guitar in the video is a Wee Lowden WL-35x, built with a cedar top and Indian rosewood back and sides. You can also see Peghead Nation’s Teja Gerken and Scott Nygaard demonstrate the instrument here. Lowdenguitars.com
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