Ed Sheeran has once again teamed up with Northern Ireland-based luthier George Lowden to produce the latest limited-edition acoustic guitar under the Sheeran by Lowden banner, the Autumn Variations model.
Released to celebrate the success of Sheeran’s latest album of the same name, this particular six-string continues the pair’s precedent of producing limited-edition models to accompany the arrival of a studio album, as previously seen with the “=”-edition signature guitar.
But, according to Sheeran himself, the Autumn Variations version of the W-sized template is altogether its own beast, and apparently “unlike any guitar we’ve released before”.
“Wanted to mark the release of Autumn Variations with a guitar release, this is only available for this autumn and it’s unlike any guitar we’ve released before with @sheeranguitars,” he wrote on social media. “It’s a limited run for a limited time, hope you guys love it as much as I do.”
What is it that sets this guitar part from previous Sheeran by Lowden models, you ask? Well, its build: this example differentiates from its predecessors by sharing more similarities with high-end Lowden guitars.
“It’s basically made out of Californian redwood,” Sheeran said in an Instagram post, “which is usually only ever used on the more expensive Lowden guitars, so this is like the first time we’ve done it on the Sheeran by Lowden guitars.”
As for its core specs, the guitar boasts figured five-piece walnut back and sides, that premium sinker redwood top and, as a nod to the Autumnal theme, an acorn bridge inlay and Autumn Leaves Spanish cedar fingerboard inlay design.
Elsewhere, a soundbox bevel is added for player comfort and to help the guitar become playable “for extended periods of time”, with an LR Baggs pickup also making the cut.
Of the new instrument, Lowden himself reflected, “We were delighted to hear about Ed’s plans to release Autumn Variations and were proud to work in partnership with him once again to develop a guitar to honour his latest piece of work.”
Owing to Sheeran and Lowden’s joint efforts, the pair have become one of the most potent partnerships in the acoustic singer-songwriter sphere. After gaining fame with a Martin LX-1E, Sheeran swapped allegiances to Lowden in 2013, upon receiving a custom Lowden as a gift from Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody.
Six years later, the partnership was formalized under the Sheeran by Lowden banner, resulting in a range of well-received guitars that were recently made available in the US through Amazon for the first time.
This isn’t the only piece of signature gear that has been linked to Sheeran in recent months. If reports are believed, the chart-smashing songwriter is also eyeing up a line of his own looper pedals.
“Ed is always looking at ways to give back and inspire other musicians,” a source close to Sheeran was reported as saying by The Sun. “Bringing out his own range of loop pedals, which is a niche of his, is a clever idea and they’d sell like hot cakes.”
Sheeran's new Autumn Variations limited-edition acoustic is available now for $1,232/£995. To find out more, head over to Sheeran Guitars.