When the Lowery was announced in Sept 2012, it was immediately on my lust list. We play a half dozen songs in B standard tuning and the beveled top, adjustable stoptail and 24 frets seemed like an upgrade from my Mushok baritone. I waited patiently, and after 14 months a local dealer (Guitar Center) finally got one in stock for me to go try.
The guitar had been tuned to standard tuning and consequently, the action was terrible and the thicker strings were very tight. I can't imagine anyone trying this guitar like this and liking it. But then, well... sorry to say Guitar Center isn't going to go out of their way to make sure a guitar is playable or tuned as designed. I plugged it into an Egnater Renegade 1x12 combo and spent some time bringing the tuning down to B standard, which is not too far from the tuning in which it is shipped from the factory. The action came back to an acceptable level. There was no buzzing and the strings felt nice, not too loose.
The neck carve felt exactly like my Mushok. Nice and beefy. The guitar was lighter than I was expecting it to be, but I've never played a heavy SE either so I'm not sure why I thought it would weigh more than it did. The finish was very well done, which is important since all-black guitars will show every little imperfection. The carved/beveled top is the upgrade I was expecting it to be over the flat top on the Mushok. It felt very nice and much more natural on my right forearm. The "PRS Designed" bridge was very smooth and high quality, and both looked and felt like something you'd find on a USA model. Some folks have commented how the binding looks strange, but in person it really doesn't stand out at all as being odd.
I was impressed by the tones. My Mushok's maple neck with ebony fretboard help give that guitar a very strong attack like you would look for in heavy metal tones, but the Lowery's mahogany neck and rosewood fretboard brought a more classic tone to the party, more in tune with what my ears have become accustomed to hearing with my CU22 and Mira. The SE HFS and VB pickups were clear and full. I was pretty impressed. The guitar had a push/pull coil tap for split tones which was nice. I really like that bridge-single-coil twangy baritone tone like... well, like an old western movie - that's how I hear it.
There was only one minor thing I did not like about the guitar. The neck finish felt a little sticky in my hands. The guitar was brand new, and I know that with a little love it'll break in a bit, and that stickiness will go away. It's a minor issue that's very far from being a deal breaker.
I blew through some serious coin in Vegas two weeks ago, and Christmas is coming, so I didn't buy the guitar, even though I wanted to. I am hoping in January or February I can pick one up.
This is about as thorough a review as I could ever do without taking the guitar home and hearing it with the rest of the band. The pic I took of the guitar by itself turned out bigfoot/Sergio blurry, so here's one of part of the guitar and my ugly mug.