Choosing between 2 Dowina

Dowina produce incredible hand crafted acoustic guitars. Using the best tone woods these guitars are wonderful to play and beautiful to look at.

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BrunoC
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Choosing between 2 Dowina

Unread post by BrunoC » Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:38 am

Hello,

I am glad to see a forum where some people knows about Dowina Guitar.

I have such a dilemma. I need to choose without being able to test the guitars between :
1) A Cabernet GAC with cedar top : so a grand auditorium with cutaway and cedar top
2) A Chardonnay D with Dolomites spruce top : so a dreadnought without cutaway and spruce top !

Prices are almost the same. I know Cabernet is over Chardonnay in Dowina's range, but is there really a difference in quality feelings ?

I want the most versatile guitar, and knowing that I use at the moment a mahogany dreadnought.
No stage, just at home and for recording.
I also really like the GA cutaway shape but I am afraid to loose some bass/power.

I also wonder how "dark" is Cabernet's cedar ? I don't want a Takamine sound.

Thanks for your advises
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Saul
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Re: Choosing between 2 Dowina

Unread post by Saul » Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:16 am

Hi Bruno and welcome to the forums...and the Dowina section :)

Always difficult to choose between different models in the Dowina lineup. They are all superb guitars.

The first part of your decision is do you want a dreadnaught or a grand auditorium shape? Which would suit the style of music you play?

I have both here at the moment but my favourite is the Dowina Chardonnay GAC DS. This has a solid dolomite spruce top with solid American walnut back and sides, ebony fretboard and bridge, bone nut and saddle, grover tuners and is topped off by a really beautiful flame maple binding. Finish is open pore. It is an exquisite guitar and one I would never part with :)

I also have the Cabernet DC with solid Canadian cedar top, solid rosewood back and sides, mahogany neck, ebony fingerboard and bridge, bone nut and saddle, gold Grover tuners and that wonderful flame maple binding.

Out of the two I always gravitate to the Chardonnay. It has such a sweet sound and incredible playability. I also think the GAC body shape is the most versatile. It projects really well but always under control with each note ringing clear.

You will be surprised at the bass end on Dowina guitars. I was when I first picked one up. It is rich, deep and controlled and suits my own play style really well as I nearly always drop the E down to D for that drone effect. The warmth of the bass end really helps here :)

Cedar tends to darken over time but Cabernet D has pretty much retained the same colour as it had when new. It is a beautiful guitar to look at :)

I can safely say none of the Dowina range sound anything like a Takamine!

So there you have it, personally I would go with the Chardonnay GAC but you may want to stay with the dreadnaught as that is the style of guitar you have at the moment.

I can talk Dowina guitars all day long so do get back to me if you need more info (Y)
Saul
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Dowina Acoustic Guitars: Dowina Cabernet DC
Dowina Chardonnay GAC DS - Dowina Rustica GAC - Dowina Marus - Dowina Puella

CASIO PX-S1000/Vintage VE2000GG Gordon Giltrap/Ibanez AE245/Arturia Keylab 61 MKII/Arturia Analog Lab 3/Arturia Piano V2/Pianoteq 6 Pro/Apple iMac 27"/Logic Pro X/Ableton Live 10/Behringer QX1202USB Mixer/Presonus Eris 4.5 Active Monitors. Minelab Equinox, Golden Mask One 15 kHz.
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BrunoC
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Re: Choosing between 2 Dowina

Unread post by BrunoC » Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:08 am

Thanks a lot Saul for your precious informations.

I understand that for you, a Chardonnay GAC with Dolomites spruce would be the best : and I think I would definitely buy this one if available !
It also means you did not perceive significant differences in quality between Chardonnay and Cabernet.

The Cabernet GAC Cedar has a great shape, and as a solist, I would like the cutaway...
But the Chardonnay D has a Dolomites table that I think I would prefer over the cedar. Then I do not know how having a rosewood or maple sides and back impact the sound of the table.

Then what is the most important... the shape or the sound 8O even if I am not sure that I will frequently go to these high notes thanks to the cutaway...

I play different styles : picking, finger, strumming... as main instrument or for instrumental electric guitar accompaniment.
that's why I want something versatile.
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Saul
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Re: Choosing between 2 Dowina

Unread post by Saul » Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:30 pm

Did you know that you can talk to Dowina and configure your own guitar? They will have a configurator on the dowina.com website soon and I think that will open up a lot of options.

I find that a dolomite spruce top combined with rosewood back and sides makes for a beautifully rich sounding guitar. These two woods complete each other very well indeed.

I do think, from what you have said, that the GAC would be ideal for you. It is definitely the most versatile of guitar designs...or it is for me :)
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Dowina Acoustic Guitars: Dowina Cabernet DC
Dowina Chardonnay GAC DS - Dowina Rustica GAC - Dowina Marus - Dowina Puella

CASIO PX-S1000/Vintage VE2000GG Gordon Giltrap/Ibanez AE245/Arturia Keylab 61 MKII/Arturia Analog Lab 3/Arturia Piano V2/Pianoteq 6 Pro/Apple iMac 27"/Logic Pro X/Ableton Live 10/Behringer QX1202USB Mixer/Presonus Eris 4.5 Active Monitors. Minelab Equinox, Golden Mask One 15 kHz.
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Re: Choosing between 2 Dowina

Unread post by BrunoC » Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:47 pm

Thanks again Saul.

Overall, what do you think about differences between Sauvignon/Chardonnay/Cabernet ?
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Re: Choosing between 2 Dowina

Unread post by Saul » Wed Jul 10, 2019 4:04 pm

BrunoC wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:47 pm
Thanks again Saul.

Overall, what do you think about differences between Sauvignon/Chardonnay/Cabernet ?
Well the Sauvignon is being dropped from the lineup and there will be a replacement soon, not sure what it is but no doubt it will be even better :) But If I were choosing between them right now it would kind of depend on what sort of sound I was looking for.

The Sauvignon as you know comes with either a Solid Canadian Cedar/Solid Dolomite Spruce/Solid Sitka Spruce top and Sapele back and sides...they sometimes call it mahogany but they are two different tone woods, although they do exhibit much of the same tonal properties. I guess people are not so familiar with Sapele so they throw the word "mahogany" in there to give an indication of how it might sound.

A Sauvignon with the Solid Cedar Top would be closer in tone to the mahogany guitar you are using at the moment..which guitar is that?

The Chardonnay for me will always be the GAC with solid dolomite spruce top and American walnut back & sides. It has a magical sound and easy playing feel to it which is hard to put into words.

The Cabernet is quite different because of the use of Rosewood for the back and sides. This gives it a very harmonically rich sound.

They are very individual guitars though. Each with its own distinct sound and personality.

The problem when choosing a Dowina guitar is you usually end up with several of them. They are infectious like that ;)
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Dowina Acoustic Guitars: Dowina Cabernet DC
Dowina Chardonnay GAC DS - Dowina Rustica GAC - Dowina Marus - Dowina Puella

CASIO PX-S1000/Vintage VE2000GG Gordon Giltrap/Ibanez AE245/Arturia Keylab 61 MKII/Arturia Analog Lab 3/Arturia Piano V2/Pianoteq 6 Pro/Apple iMac 27"/Logic Pro X/Ableton Live 10/Behringer QX1202USB Mixer/Presonus Eris 4.5 Active Monitors. Minelab Equinox, Golden Mask One 15 kHz.
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BrunoC
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Re: Choosing between 2 Dowina

Unread post by BrunoC » Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:20 pm

Thank you Saul.

My actual guitar is a Marris DM, so laminated mahogany everywhere (however the best guitar for 150€ ! bought in Poland !). Great for bluesy music, but I would like a more versatile sound.

I focused my search on GAC shape because it's a really nice shape :) (compared to a Dread) and I am sure I will be happy with the cutaway for solos...
LR Baggs StageElement Pro would be a good bonus (for having a tuner and to record myself easily without mic to compose songs before the final record).

So... I just bought eventually -after haaaard thinkings- online a Sauvignon GACE DS for approx. 700€ which seems to be a very good price (the Cabernet GACE DS was 1200€, a significant difference that I could not well justify). I could have the Cabernet GAC with Cedar top, but I took the decision for a Spruce top after hours of researches... ! I was afraid that Cedar/Rosewood would be too dark...
And impossible to buy quickly a Chardonnay GAC(E) DS...that would have been more expensive too.

I hope the Dolomites spruce table with Sapele back & sides will be a good compromise for the price I paid...

The bridge pins are in plastic on Sauvignon, that's the only real drawback for a wood lover, but maybe I will be able to change them with the ones from Chardonnay/Cabernet ?

I will keep you in touch !
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BrunoC
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Re: Choosing between 2 Dowina

Unread post by BrunoC » Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:20 am

Hello,

Some feedback from my purchase !
So, I received a Sauvignon GACE ds, very very well adjusted (perfect action).

I am in heaven ! The sound is amazing ! Very dynamic thanks to the Dolomites spruce (big range of possibilities in volume), exceptional harmony between the strings. You feel like you are a better player and, as a songwriter, ideas are coming endlessly.

But the sound...what a sound ! :shock: :clap:
Beautifully made guitar, the neck is so easy to play, and not too thick. And I think I did the right choice for the cutaway and electro-acoustic possibilities : the body is smaller than the dreadnought I've owned but the sound is far superior.
So, for people who hesitate, be sure the Sauvignon does not feel like the cheap "vintage serie".
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Re: Choosing between 2 Dowina

Unread post by Saul » Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:44 pm

Thanks for the updated Bruno. So glad to hear you are happy with your Dowina Sauvignon (Y)

Can you post some photos when you have time?

If you are on FaceBook do drop by the Dowina UK page and give a like? You will also see some interesting new models on there :)
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Dowina Acoustic Guitars: Dowina Cabernet DC
Dowina Chardonnay GAC DS - Dowina Rustica GAC - Dowina Marus - Dowina Puella

CASIO PX-S1000/Vintage VE2000GG Gordon Giltrap/Ibanez AE245/Arturia Keylab 61 MKII/Arturia Analog Lab 3/Arturia Piano V2/Pianoteq 6 Pro/Apple iMac 27"/Logic Pro X/Ableton Live 10/Behringer QX1202USB Mixer/Presonus Eris 4.5 Active Monitors. Minelab Equinox, Golden Mask One 15 kHz.
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