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Old 12-11-2013, 11:54 AM
Bluedog Guitars Bluedog Guitars is offline
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Default The Wee Lowden & 40th Anniversary Lowden Guitars

Thought I'd share the news from George Lowden:

George Lowden Celebrates 40 Years of Heart & Soul - 1974-2014

2014 will be a significant year for George Lowden as he celebrates 40 years of guitar making and designing. Following his secluded ‘Design Retreat' overlooking the Giants Causeway in Bushmills, (but not actually in the famous distillery!) Lowden are marking this significant milestone with a very special limited edition which George says “has come straight from the heart".

It takes the form of a unique 40th Anniversary Limited Edition Option which offers owners a wonderful opportunity to become part of the Lowden story.

The 40th Anniversary Option will be available as an upgrade on any guitar in the Lowden range, but is limited to 40 guitars in total. George Lowden Guitars is a company of luthiers founded and led by a working luthier, and on these 40 guitars, George Lowden and his son Aaron will personally choose all woods and bracing sets, voice and hand-carve the dolphin profile and close the soundbox. Plus, with his son Daniel, George will personally oversee the final set up. Each of these 40th Anniversary guitars will have a specially designed label and inlay, and come with a serial number- specific, souvenir photographic record book of it being built, with all of the craftsmen involved in building the guitar signing a special edition of the Lowden Provenance document.

Introducing Two New Lowden Models

Pierre Bensusan is also celebrating his 40th anniversary this year which gives a great excuse for some joint celebrations! The long association between the French player and the Irish maker is being marked by the opportunity for all Bensusan admirers to own his famous original Lowden - aka "The Old Lady" (now retired). Fans will know the story of how George carried out major adjustments in 1989 to Pierre's O22 (known as an S22 back then - ‘S’ referring to swetenia ). At Pierre’s request he transformed it into a cutaway body and widened the neck to specific finger style proportions. A case of wood off - wood on! This guitar, with all its individual quirks internally and externally, will be faithfully reproduced by the Lowden craftsmen, and join the Lowden 2014 range as an additional new Pierre Bensusan Signature Model.

Lowden are also looking to the future with the birth of a completely new model which George has spent most of 2013 designing - the “Wee Lowden” - the smallest Lowden yet. If you ever visit the North of Ireland you will hear the adjective “wee” being applied to almost anything - regardless of its size! - but it is really a term of endearment for anything small. We are really excited about getting one of these models for ourselves! The Wee Lowden will have a scale length of 610mm.

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Old 12-11-2013, 02:51 PM
royd royd is offline
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I'm excited to see, play, and hear these new models at NAMM in about a month...
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Old 12-11-2013, 04:09 PM
Berf Berf is offline
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Goodness, a "wee lowden" sounds like a mighty fine idea. I'm really looking forward to seeing and hearing this new model... particularly as it has the 24" scale (if my google converter is correct). Thanks for posting the info. Cheers, berf
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Old 12-11-2013, 06:10 PM
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RoseAdi RoseAdi is offline
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It's great to hear of a new design coming from George! And while he's expanding his model range, it looks like he has just secured a loan to expand his business. Here's an article detailing same. You can also catch George talking about it on you tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_cMFTU0njs

Published on Nov 6, 2013
LOAN HITS THE RIGHT NOTE WITH GUITAR MANUFACTURER
A Co Down company which makes hand-crafted acoustic guitars for export across the world has secured a significant loan from the Growth Loan Fund to finance its expansion plans. Lowden Guitars, a Downpatrick-based firm that produces high-quality instruments used by some of the world's most famous artists, including Eric Clapton, Foy Vance and Paul Brady, plans to use the money to double its production space and invest in new specialist manufacturing equipment.
Finance for the £50m Growth Loan Fund -- which provides mezzanine finance to established Northern Ireland SMEs seeking to access growth finance -- has been provided by Invest Northern Ireland and private investor, Northern Ireland Local Government Officers' Superannuation Committee (NILGOSC).
The deal will support the creation of three new jobs, as well as assisting with Lowden Guitar's working capital requirements. Founded by George Lowden in 1974, the firm now employs 17 highly skilled workers in a facility that produces hand-crafted products that are in demand in Europe, North America and the Far East.
George Lowden, owner of Lowden Guitars, welcomed the deal: "When I started out, I had no formal training in the manufacture of guitars. In a way, that gave me the confidence to take some risks, innovate and eventually produce an instrument that has a completely unique voicing.
"There are perhaps half a dozen companies in the world that can produce guitars of this quality. We handcraft a product that offers a totally unique tone. The support of WhiteRock Capital Partners has been crucial in helping us to expand and reach an even wider audience.
"There is significant room for growth in all of our markets from the Far East, through to Europe and America. Scaling up our output by approximately 50 per cent over the next three years is an important part of delivering that. The majority of our processes are not automated and this financing has helped us to bring on board equipment that complements the traditional skills of our staff."
To date the Growth Loan Fund has approved loans of over £12m to 50 indigenous SMEs across Northern Ireland.
David McCurley, Senior Investment Manager at WhiteRock Capital Partners LLP, said: "Lowden Guitars is an excellent example of the kind of firm that the Growth Loan Fund is looking to support, with its strategic plan for growth and focus on innovation and export."
"This is fundamentally a story about local talent -- a company from Northern Ireland supporting skilled employment and creating a product that is recognised and respected around the world. We're proud to be working with the business to enhance its international standing."
"It demonstrates once again that with the right approach, local SMEs can target international market niches and gain recognition."
WhiteRock Capital Partners LLP has been established to respond to enquiries to the Fund by the consortium of three partners -- Strathtay Ventures Limited, NEL Fund Managers and Clarendon Fund Managers, all of which are authorised and regulated by the FCA.
Companies seeking funding from the Growth Loan Fund must be based in Northern Ireland, demonstrating growth potential and generally be in the manufacturing, engineering or tradable services sectors. Loans will be typically unsecured and personal guarantees will not be sought. The loans provided are expected to be complementary to existing sources of finance, including banks, trade finance sources and equity investors. Loans are provided on a fully commercial basis, with monthly loan repayments required over typically a five-year term.
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