GUITAR OF THE MONTH: Lowden BAR-50CFF Baritone Fan Fret
One of the stand out pieces from the 2017 Winter NAMM show in California was this absolutely stunning Lowden BAR-50CFF Baritone Fan Fret.
From Downpatrick, Northern Ireland, Lowden Guitars have a strong reputation for high-end acoustic guitars with a huge following especially among contemporary fingerstyle players. George Lowden and his family-run team of specialist craftspeople are keen innovators bringing together exotic and unusual tonewoods and guitar building techniques to create instruments with truly exceptional voices.
The popularity of fan fret guitars in recent years has led Lowden to offer this option across much of its range. Fan fret, or multi-scale guitars provide a long scale length to the bass strings for greater tension and more defined bass response without compromising the treble side. This works particularly well for down-tuning where a regular scale length can cause the bass strings to become flabby and muted with intonation issues. The fan fret arrangement may feel odd at first but you soon get used to the jaunty angles and may even find it more ergonomic than a regular guitar as it follows the rotation of the wrist up and down the fretboard – particularly noticeable with barre chords.
Baritone guitars have been used in fingerstyle, rock, folk, metal, surf, country, jazz music and more. They are specially designed to accentuate the low frequencies with jumbo bodies and longer scale lengths and produce a satisfyingly deep dark tone. Typical tunings for baritone guitars include a 4th down (B E A D F# B), major 3rd (C F B♭ E♭ G C), and 5th (A D G C E A).
This 50 Series baritone represents the very high high-end of the Lowden range with the finest Master Grade tonewoods available. The combination of high grade redwood top and African blackwood back and sides produces a perfectly balanced and dynamic tone across the entire frequency range. Every detail about this guitar is flawless and expertly crafted from the satin finish, binding and neck profile to the bracing and hardware.
- Top: Redwood
- Back : African Blackwood
- Sides: African Blackwood
- Finish: Natural Satin
- Neck: 5pc Mahogany/Rosewood
- Neck Laminates: Indian Rosewood
- Headplate: Ebony
- Neck Profile: GL Standard
- Fingerboard: Ebony
- Fingerboard Radius: 16″ (406 mm)
- Nut Width: 1 3/4” (45mm)
- Scale Length: 26 3/8″ – 27 15/16″ (670 mm – 710 mm)
- Binding: Tasmanian Blackwood
- Purlfings: Indian Rosewood
- Tuners: Gotoh 510 Gold Tuners w/Ebony Buttons
- Bridge: Bocote
- Hardware: Gold
- Case/Gigbag: Luxury Hiscox Hardshell