Jon got to know George and his craftsmen when Wilma, his beloved 032C, needed major surgery – a new fingerboard after countless refrets. The whole Lowden crew went to Jon’s show in Belfast, and so the mutual respect between master luthier and master musician was formed.
When George approached Jon about a signature model, Jon was delighted: “It’s the greatest honour I have received in my career.”
The signature model is a jumbo ‘O’ size, cutaway, with the unique spruce/cedar Hybrid Top, black cherry back and sides, maple 5-piece neck and ebony fingerboard. It’s geared towards two things: Playability and Tone.
The Hybrid Top
The challenge was to build a stronger top to withstand the rigours of modern guitar techniques, but without sacrificing sonic quality.
Jon had the idea to use two thin sheets of wood, perfectly laminated together, but with the grains of the two sheets offset at an angle to hugely increase the strength of the top.
Jon suggested that George try using a layer of spruce on the outside, and cedar inside? The reason being that we could achieve the durability and projection of spruce, but with the warmth and soul of cedar.
“It has strong, deep bass and the projection is insane. I’m completely blown away.”
Body: O Cutaway
Back and Sides: Figured American Black Cherry
Soundboard: Hybrid Sitka Spruce Top plus Red Cedar
Neck: 5 Piece Maple
Fingerboard: Ebony with Ebony Binding
Neck Profile: GL 45/47
Scale Length: 650 mm
Binding: Figured Walnut
Purflings: Rosewood, Mahogany, Maple
Tuners: Gotoh 381 Gold with Ebony buttons
Strings: Elixir Nanoweb Phosphor Bronze 12-53
“My Hybrid Top signature model is the most epic sounding guitar I’ve ever heard. Melodies are breathtakingly clear, the bass is huge and it all just fires out of the guitar like a rocket. The spine-tingling harmonics and rich warm midrange are gorgeous. Holding this guitar, the potential musical power feels literally awe inspiring, I feel like King Arthur holding Excalibur for the first time. We did it!”
– Jon Gomm