Lowden offers a wide range of models, many of which are made with exotic-sounding woods or are signature models. While those are great guitars, their 5, 6, or 7 thousand dollar price tags (or more) tend to make Lowdens seem out of reach, which is unfortunate because the same crew in Ireland makes guitars that are every bit as good that are quite affordable. Virtually all the signature Lowden details, such as the 5-piece neck, pinless split-saddle bridge, and wood binding are on these models as well. This O-22 is a prime example, and the workmanship and detailing is every bit as stunning as on a Pierre Bensusan signature model that costs $4,000 more. Best of all, this O-22 combines a red cedar top with tropical South American mahogany back and sides to deliver that iconic "big Lowden" tone and volume. This remarkable tone is no accident, the O is essentially the original Lowden "jumbo," a little bigger than a Grand Auditorium size, with sides 5 inches deep. George Lowden's secret has always been his ability to keep these large guitars from sounding muddy or thumpy, the cedar/mahogany combo keeps the trebles clear and ringing so it never sounds bass-heavy. The 25.5" scale makes it an excellent guitar for open tunings, try this one in DADGAD, for instance.