Acoustic takes a look at an exciting addition to the formidable Lowden acoustic guitar range: the Wee Lowden
There have been plans to make a small-bodied Lowden guitar for some time. But whereas other manufacturers have released reduced size versions of their guitars and aimed them squarely at the sub £500 travel guitar market, George Lowden decided that his “Mini Me” model was going to fit uncompromisingly into his range of high quality instruments. He also decided that whereas the body dimensions might be small, the guitar’s voice would be anything but: “The final design focused on voicing the bracing and soundbox geometry so that the voice was even and smooth, without the boxiness sometimes overly evident in small guitars.”
The Wee Lowden is available in three versions at present: the standard WL-25, a more expensive WL-35 with a redwood top and the flagship of the range, the 40th Anniversary model, which has specially selected woods and the benefit of a lot of hands-on from George himself during the construction of each instrument.
The beginning of the Wee Lowden story took place 20 months ago when Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody contacted the company and asked if they could make a small-bodied guitar as a present for Ed Sheeran. Having had the idea of making something in that vein to add to the range for a while anyway, the request kick-started the process that has led to the release of the guitars you see pictured here. But it wasn’t just a question of shrinking an established model in the range; on the contrary, it was a painstaking process which saw George Lowden lock himself away at a retreat on the Irish coast for four days while he drew designs for the body shape and pondered over the bracing, woods, bridge position and many of the other variables available to him before building the first prototypes. The full story of the development of the Wee Lowden follows in our interview with George Lowden, and then we review these mighty titans in detail…