Lowden S-23J review

Lowden isn’t known for its nylon-string models, but the long-running Jazz Collection houses some fine ‘crossover’ instruments in its typical high-class style

Lowden S-23J
(Image: © Future)

Guitar World Verdict

Quite beautiful in construction and sound, it’s a guitar presented in simple style that’s effortlessly playable with a balanced acoustic voice and a pickup system that not only accurately captures that, it enhances it, too.


  • +

    Superbly detailed build.

  • +

    Excellent hybrid stage-aimed design.

  • +

    Simplistic style and world-class voicing, both plugged in and acoustically.


  • -

    It’s a serious investment, but it’s a very serious guitar.

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The Lowden nylon-string Jazz first appeared in 1996, based on the small- body ‘S’. It was revoiced around 2003, benefitting from George Lowden’s continuing research into classical guitar construction that had begun in earnest in the late 80s. 

But despite being quite rare birds, for 2022 the Jazz Collection has been expanded to include this red cedar/walnut model, as well as the S-34J (Alpine spruce/koa) and the S-35J (Alpine spruce/ Guatemalan rosewood).

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Dave Burrluck
Gear Reviews Editor, Guitarist

Dave Burrluck is one of the world’s most experienced guitar journalists, who started writing back in the '80s for International Musician and Recording World, co-founded The Guitar Magazine and has been the Gear Reviews Editor of Guitarist magazine for the past two decades. Along the way, Dave has been the sole author of The PRS Guitar Book and The Player's Guide to Guitar Maintenance as well as contributing to numerous other books on the electric guitar. Dave is an active gigging and recording musician and still finds time to make, repair and mod guitars, not least for Guitarist’s The Mod Squad.