Instruments & Gear: Fine Lutherie

Lowden Alex de Grassi Signature Model

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The fingerstyle guitar legend demonstrates his primary six-string.

by Teja Gerken
September 08, 2016

Fingerstyle guitarist Alex de Grassi recently visited the Peghead Nation studio to talk about his signature model Lowden guitar. Alex began playing guitars by the Northern Irish company in the 1980s, and his signature model was conceived when Alex visited the Lowden shop prior to performing at the Belfast International Arts Festival several years ago. “I played every guitar they had in the shop,” Alex says. “The last guitar they brought me was a maple F model, and after playing it for about 30 seconds, I said, ‘That’s it; I want a maple guitar!’ That evening, I played probably half the concert on this F maple that they had, along with my older Lowden, and everybody came up after the show, saying, ‘That maple guitar sounded incredible!’”

George Lowden suggested that his company create an Alex de Grassi signature model based on the mid-size maple F-model that Alex had played. The guitar Alex is playing in this video, which he has toured and recorded with for several years, has highly quilted maple back and sides and a Sitka spruce top, along with Lowden’s five-piece neck, which has a 46-mm.-wide nut (slightly wider nut than Lowden’s standard nut width), jumbo frets, and a flatter fingerboard radius. “It makes it a lot easier to do the intricate left-hand work I like to do,” Alex says.

“One of the things I like about the signature models is that they project beautifully,” Alex says. “It really goes out into the room, and it’s exceptionally well-balanced. “There’s also something about maple that’s like a clean slate, where I can add color in, or back off and a get a more neutral sound.” Alex demonstrates his signature model’s sound in this video by playing sections of his composition “Blue Trout.”

SPECS:Lowden F body. Solid AAAA Sitka spruce top. Solid AAAA quilted maple back and sides. Five-piece mahogany/maple/walnut neck. Ebony fingerboard and bridge. 25 ¹⁹/₃₂-inch scale. 46-mm. nut width. Gotoh tuning machines. Made in Northern Ireland. $7,965 list.



Category: Instruments & Gear

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