Pierre Bensusan signature guitar model by George Lowden
“The first guitar I made for Pierre was back in 1978 and that ‘old lady’ battered and bruised but much loved and played still sings so beautifully today. Over the years since then Pierre and I have worked very closely together and he has made many recordings with that first Lowden guitar.
I also remember adding a cutaway to his first Lowden and making the neck wider during my stay in France in 1999. Therefore, designing and building a new guitar for Pierre in 2009 was a project which I approached with special expectation and hope.
My challenge was to design a new guitar with many of the attributes of the old one (sound-wise) but with more comfort to allow Pierre to play and compose for many hours each day. Pierre asked me to include a soundbox “bevel” and I knew apart from the structural implications the most important thing would be to design and voice the new soundboard to make sure the bevel did not compromise tone in any way. For this I chose to change the geometry of the guitar back profile (to reduce it’s natural pitch) and at the same time to shorten the ‘dolphin profile’ bracing carving of the soundboard struts at the bevel side.
To make sure the new guitar had plenty of brilliance and warmth at the same time, I chose Honduras rosewood and Adirondack spruce. Honduras rosewood is the nearest wood I can get these days to good quality Brazilian rosewood – it has the same texture, density, hardness – and most of all – tap tone. I have come to love Adirondack spruce for its clarity and warmth and rather ‘three dimensional’ tonal quality.
I’m delighted how the guitar has turned out and of course it will only get better with age – and an awful lot of playing – and we can be sure Pierre will do just that !!
Specs of the Pierre Bensusan Signature guitar Model by George Lowden
* Back and sides: Honduras rosewood
* Top: Adirondack Spruce
* Neck: Fingerstyle low profile 45 mm / 60 mm
* Back of the neck, Flamed Canadian Maple
* String width at bridge: 60 mm
* Soundbox: F size cutaway, with * soundbox bevel faced in mottled ebony
* Soundbox voicing: Bracing – bass bias ‘dolphin profile’ bracing with soundbox geometry also bass bias
* Soundbox depth: 130 mm at tail block
* Bridge: Madagascar rosewood
* Split two piece saddle for accurate tuning
* Fingerboard: Madagascar ebony bound with ebony and maple
* Headfacing: Bookmatched front and back with ebony
* Bevel: 25 mm wide at widest point faced with mottled ebony with bracing voicing compensation
* Machineheads: Gotoh 510 series gold / ebony
* Case: Hiscox Deluxe Liteflite