We here at Heartbreaker Guitars are the Number 1 Dealer of Custom Lowden Guitars in the world. We currently have 25 models on sale at our website, which can be found here. George Lowden guitars have been a force in the guitar world since 1977, and we are very happy to be partners with them, as it has been quite the journey to get to this point.
The Early Years
1961, Groomsport, County Down, Ireland. A 10 year old George Lowden and his friend, Allen French, decided to build two guitars. Allen’s father was a boat builder, and assisted the boys who succeeded in building two “guitars”. George describes the guitars as having fishing lines for strings and bent over nails for frets. The soundbox was square shaped.
Despite the humble first attempt, a curiosity was planted into George, and 7 years later, in 1969 , an 18 year old George made another attempt at guitar building. He described it like this, “I had another go and made an electric guitar. More recognizable as a guitar, but barely so! I fancied myself as Ireland’s answer to Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix….”
In 1974, George came to a decision that would change his life and the world of acoustic guitars. In his words, “After a bit of prayer (I needed all the help I could get) I decided to start making guitars professionally. Armed with some wood, basic woodworking tools, and an excellent booklet by English Luthier John Bailley, I began the journey.”
And a journey it was as he would spend the next few years experimenting with all manners of techniques, bracing, and woods, meeting various levels of success. Yet, after a few years of this, he eventually, as he describes, “Emerged from the ‘hard school’ of self-taught guitar making.”
Then, in 1976, George Lowden really came into his own as an innovator, with several major breakthroughs, most notably “Dolphin” strutted bracing, and A-frame bracing. These, as well as other ideas, and a commitment to the highest possible level of construction, culminated in the arrival of the first O25.
The Big Break
A year later, a friend of George’s, Alastair Burke, was in Paris with his Lowden O38. While in the main acoustic guitar shop in the city, the Folk Quincampoix, he had an opportunity to show it to the operators of the store. They were instantly in love and swiftly called George and all of the sudden they were ordering six with a reoccurring monthly order for later months.
Over the next twenty years, the market switched from acoustics to electrics, which created challenges for the company. Still, George refused to lower Lowden’s standards, even as the company struggled.
Then, in 1998, the company began to re-surge again, with the large community of Lowden enthusiasts driving the resurgence, as the market for acoustic guitars once again swelled. Since then, Lowden has worked to provide high-end custom guitars, and continues to innovate.
The Heartbreaker Take
Through that journey, George Lowden has combined a lot of lessons he has learned to produce some of the finest guitars in the world. We here at Heartbreaker are the number 1 distributor of Custom Lowdens, and we love helping people get these amazing guitars!
We enjoy our relationship with Lowden Guitars immensely, and our owner and operator Brendan Smyth had this to say about his friendship with George Lowden, “I’ve known George for 7 years and he is the nicest, most humble man I’ve ever met. As a dealer, it’s so important to have a positive relationship with our luthiers. George makes that so easy because he’s such a likable guy. Now he also happens to be an incredibly talented luthier, of course he’ll never be the one to tell you that. George’s eye for design is unsurpassed. He also understands tone and the building techniques that effect it. He is a student of wood species and understands very well how wood effects tone. His bracing patterns create a clarity and articulation that simply cannot be duplicated. George is a gentleman and a true artist.”
We are very proud to sport a broad selection of Lowden guitars! We currently have 30 Lowdens listed on our website, and which you can browse here! Some of our highlights are here: