The Lowden "Hybrid Top" Jon Gomm Signature Model
Jon got to know George Lowden and his craftsmen when Wilma needed major surgery - a new fingerboard after countless refrets. The whole Lowden crew went to Jon’s show in Belfast, and so the mutual respect between master luthier and master musician was formed.
When George approached Jon about a signature model, Jon was delighted: “It’s the greatest honour I have received in my career.”
Having seen the man’s innovative approach to playing, George, himself a true innovator as a guitar designer, suspected Jon might have some inventive ideas. And he wasn’t disappointed.
The Hybrid Top
Jon had the idea to use two thin sheets of wood, perfectly laminated together, but with the grains of the two sheets offset at an angle (George’s precise angle is top secret!) to hugely increase the strength of the top.
And just because it was possible, Jon suggested: Why not use a layer of spruce on the outside, and cedar inside? Would we get the durability and projection of spruce, with the warmth and soul of cedar?
George set to work on two guitars: One with this groundbreaking ‘hybrid top’, and one with a solid spruce top.
On blind testing, the difference was clear. Not only did the hybrid top guitar sound as good, it was even better in some ways. Jon certainly preferred it. “Both guitars were beautiful sounding but the Hybrid Top was actually louder and sustained longer. It had a stronger, deeper bass and the projection was insane. I was completely blown away.”
So here it is, the world’s first spruce/cedar Hybrid Top guitar. A stronger and incredibly resonant instrument, with no change to George Lowden’s legendary bracing pattern.