Never owned a Lowden, but have played several models and certainly heard lots. They're very popular in the trad music and singer-songwriter scenes so hanging out at festivals can get one exposed to Lowden guitars a lot. Frankly, I don't think I ever heard one that I didn't like, and all the ones I've played have been very good. Awesome guitars.
I've played quite a few Lowdens and own an F35 in Cuban Mahogany / Adirondack. Exceptional instruments, IME. There are a few eras to be aware of - square label, oval label - and the newest offerings are as good as anything he's ever made.
George at one point licensed Japanese luthiers to build guitars (Lowden Guitar Company). Eventually, George got the company back fully under his control. Avalon was created along the way as a part of the changing companies and moving production back to Northern Ireland, I think. This is also where the various labels come in.
They are now completely separate companies and both make world-class instruments.
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