Lowden O35

I had a wonderful Martin Custom 15 as my main acoustic guitar for a number of years.  Incredible classic dread tone, expecially with its forward x-bracing.  Over time though, I found that the guitar just wasn’t going where I was going.  In particular, I was finding its 1 11/16″ neck cramping my style, literally.  I also found myself looking for a different tone.  One that rang a little more and had a little less of the dreadnaught thing.

Since the Sobell guitars I lusted after were way out of my league pricewise, I began to cast about for other options.  Being a long time ogler of DreamGuitars, I soon found out about Lowden.  After doing some additional research, and listening to soundclips, I decided to try one or 2.  I found a dealer in the area that had a few in stock, schlepped on over, and spent a few hours with them.  I was very impressed.

Being the thrifty music equipment shopper that I am, I soon found some out of state dealers willing to ship me one for an audition period.  I pulled the trigger on a O23, gorgeoously built, cedar top/walnut sides and back.  It played like a dream, but the top end was way too harsh.  Strike 1!  I sent it back, and called Paul at DreamGuitars.  He then sent me a McIlroy A30, a very nice ax, built in the Lowden tradition.  It had some setup issues, so I had to send it back.  Strike 2!

I spoke with Paul again, and we decided that a Lowden O35 with spruce top/koa sides and back might fill the bill for me.  I decided to try one last mail order round (I get nervous sending expensive guitars through the mail!).  The O35 arrived, and it has not left!  It plays like a dream and sounds like one.