Lowden F-34 review

A koa and spruce combination for a light and airy tone and a response that will suit a gentle fingerstylist

Lowden F-34
(Image: © Future / Olly Curtis)

Guitar World Verdict

With the F-34, we were surprised by its clarity and sweetness, and found ourselves taking advantage of its airy, refined nature. It made us play to its strengths, pulling out of us some hitherto little visited nuances – and that can only be a good thing.


  • +

    Expertly built.

  • +

    Gentle, sweet tonality with a very promising future.


  • -

    Koa might be untested sonic waters for some.

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Having koa back and sides on your handmade Lowden would have previously meant a price upscale, but now this exotic timber has made it into the catalogue as a standard across the company’s F, S and O body sizes. If you’re at all unfamiliar with koa, we’ll spend a few moments considering the role it plays in the game of providing an acoustic guitar with its singular tone.

George Lowden himself says of the wood: “Koa is a comparatively lighter tonewood, which means if you like to play gently, it’s an excellent choice. It gives you the ability to express yourself and have lots of different nuances of tone. Just touch the guitar and it will respond.” 

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David Mead

With over 30 years’ experience writing for guitar magazines, including at one time occupying the role of editor for Guitarist and Guitar Techniques, David is also the best-selling author of a number of guitar books for Sanctuary Publishing, Music Sales, Mel Bay and Hal Leonard. As a player he has performed with blues sax legend Dick Heckstall-Smith, played rock ’n’ roll in Marty Wilde’s band, duetted with Martin Taylor and taken part in charity gigs backing Gary Moore, Bernie Marsden and Robbie McIntosh, among others. An avid composer of acoustic guitar instrumentals, he has released two acclaimed albums, Nocturnal and Arboretum.