Lowden WL-25 & S-23 12-Frets review

It’s the age of the smaller-bodied acoustic – but being petite doesn’t mean you won’t stand out in a crowd, as these two new 12-fretters from the Lowden workshops set out to prove

Lowden WL-25
(Image: © Future / Olly Curtis)

Guitar World Verdict

Those looking to downsize from a boutique-build dread' will find a lot to like in these small-bodied and tonally exceptional acoustic guitars. The finish is typically flawless, and Lowden offer plenty of options for custom builds.


  • +

    The WL-25 is small-bodied, tonally satisfying.

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    And it has bags of charm and sophistication.

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    The S-23 has petite good looks.

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    Plus an excellent airy voice and tone in spades.


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    After more boom in your bass? Look further up the range from the WL-25.

You can trust Guitar World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing guitar products so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

You’re probably tired of us telling you that small is the new large as far as acoustic guitars are concerned. In recent months we’ve seen a few tiny tots pass through these pages and have been consistently in awe of how much sound it’s possible to get from a smaller frame. 

And if you add a 12-frets-to-the-body configuration into the equation, things can become even more compact. Where’s it all going to end, we wonder? 

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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.