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Ed Sheeran’s New Guitar | Speaking With Master Luthier George Lowden

Adam Leaver: May 3, 2023
Full transcript below!

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World-renowned luthier George Lowden gives us the low-down on all things Lowden and Ed Sheeran as he discusses the development and construction of Ed’s signature guitars.

Full Transcript

so this is ed sheeran’s guitar yeah and you make this one personally yes myself and my two sons and a couple of my really great craftsmen helped me as well um and you know this is one that ed uh ordered a couple of years ago and and i just decided we better we better really really push the boat out and get it made so so it’s it’s um it’s our new master series guitar so this one has alpine spruce and this is a step above the 50 series isn’t it yeah this is i mean yeah yes and and we’re only going to make probably 20 or 25 a year something like that so this this one has alpine spruce top it has a larry robinson uh miniature butterfly inlay that we do ourselves in the workshop and this is my own logo that i’ve been using for years yeah i saw that earlier that’s yeah that’s great so that’s the uh yeah that’s right and this is in this case this is the master series brazilian rose which is almost impossible uh to get that thing so this is very rare then in terms of the wood specks very very the level of craftsmanship as well exactly exactly this is the top end output for

and you know you can’t um you can’t make even a hundred guitars a year at this sort of level it’s it’s way too time consuming and you know the detail that goes into it is yeah how many hours do you think it would take you know once so it used to it used to take me personally um in the order of 50 to 60 hours yeah so it’s a good amount of time pro guitar yeah which is not not sustainable for making production guitars no no no not at all not at all even even the 50 series you know takes us about 40 hours per guitar oh yeah so much inlay work well yes and and making sure the wood is is really master grade and all that so in the factory you have um i assume wood piles where you have different series with plants yes exactly so the more you spend the better examples you get yes yes yeah generally speaking and i mean uh you always have to remember that every guitar whether it’s a master series or whether it’s a 50 or a 35 or an original series um it takes time you know to to really develop and the more you play it the better it’ll get so the same thing goes for whether it’s the very top end of what we do or or the the entry level and you did recently i would say recently it’s been a few years now the united student brought out the sharing series yes yes i mean ed came to see me um oh about six years ago down to the factory and that was the beginning of a kind of relationship with him and then i i you know he came back to me about three years ago and asked me would i consider putting together a new facility to make um acoustic guitars that were more affordable for for young people and uh and they’ve been very popular yes we’re doing very well with them um of course now that he’s starting touring again next year it’ll it’ll make them even more popular often happens yeah i mean normally guitars of that price you know between sort of 600 and a thousand and normally they’re made in china or mexico perhaps yes and you make them in ireland but make them in ireland and that’s a real challenge yeah i can imagine yeah but it’s it’s in the same facility so it means that i myself and my sons and others our supervisors that we know very well are able to look after it so you can fully control the quality that’s coming out exactly and make sure you can put your stamp on it yeah yeah you’ve got to then get something from the far east exactly and then check that well that’s that’s the issue that i mean the easy way to do it would be to go to the far east or go to mexico or spain or somewhere and get it made for us and then bring them in check them over and send them out but um you know the reality is the quality would just would not be the same yeah you know yeah we we’ve had the shearing series in here and they’ve been brilliant oh good so i’m glad to hear that yeah they are great guitars and uh very popular oh good oh good that’s great well i mean i think that they’re going to get more popular so uh we’ll have to tell derek yeah yeah yeah exactly exactly this has been a real pleasure it’s a great looking guitar brilliant thank you so much going to be happy it’s been a pleasure for me too to come here and see your your shop i i didn’t know what to expect i really thought in my mind it would be some big industrial sort of hanger that was full of guitars but acted so it’s so nice it reminds me of another shop in washington that has the same thing lots of rooms with individual guitars it’s fantastic the thing with the old building is you can’t just go like with an industrial state here’s our warehouse it’s too small we’ll extend on it or we’ll release another one that’s bigger as the company built so we have to work within this and just i think it’s perfect the way it is it has the right kind of atmosphere so yeah thank you very much very good thank you very much yeah that was absolutely brilliant okay very much appreciate that no problem


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