Lowden | F-24 | 1993 | SN:unknown
- Builder: Glenvale Ind Est workshops Newtownads, Co Down N.Ireland, Lowden Guitar Company under liscence of George Lowden.
- Model: F-24
- Year: 1993s
- Serial #: Unknown (Maple No. 3 in factory logs)
- Back/Sides Wood: Maple
- Top Wood: Cedar
- Neck Wood: Maple, 5 piece
- Headplate: Rosewood with ‘Lowden’ inlay
- Fingerboard: Ebony
- Frets to body: 14
- Top Trim: Wood purfling
- Rosette: Woodpurfling
- Case: Lowden Hardshell
- Body Length: 19 1/2″
- Upper Bout: 11 1/4″
- Lower Bout: 15 3/4″
- Body Depth @Neck Heel: 3 7/8″
- Body Depth @Tail Block: 4 3/4″
- Scale Length: 25.5″
This is awonderful cedar/maple Lowden with a rare oil finish from the Newtonards period when the guitars were built under liscence from George Lowden. George remained very involved and this guitar was the result of some experimentation between himself and the workshop . The owner, J.Dunning has this to say:
“The F24 was the result of some experimentation by George Lowden and the Lowden Guitar Company workshop in the early 90s. This particular guitar was completed in January 1993 and is reported in the shop records only as “Maple No. 3”. The F24 designation was not created until after this instrument was completed and registered, although the F24 model number is shown on the instrument’s label. The “experimental” batch also included instruments that would end up with the Koa/Cedar F34 designation.
Two of the most unique features about this particular guitar is the european maple / cedar combination (which did not end up part of the eventual F24 specification, substituting american maple and a spruce top for the cedar), and an oil finish on the back, sides and neck as opposed to the standard satin lacquer typically applied to Lowden guitars.
Quoting George Lowden – “Firstly, fiddleback maple was rarely used in steel string guitar making, but was used largely in classical violin making before that. The main difference in tone terms is the fact that this type of maple tends to be a little brighter than, say, quilted maple from the states. Myrtle tends to give similar results.”
“The oil finish was an idea from Mickey Uchida (who had come from Japan to work with me in 1986). I liked the idea and liked the result, but it is true you have to be careful in handing the guitar a little more than with a lacquer finish. The cosmetic appeal is very pleasing, gentle, soft and un-‘plastic’…”
The F24 series was eventually discontinued in 1999 after only a couple dozen examples were built. According to the factory, various factors contributed to the decision, including the fact that all of the maple specimens that the factory was receiving were of such quality that they should only be used on “35” style premier range instruments, which were still produced until the closing of production at the Newtownards facility..”
Pictures ©2009 J.Dunning.
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