Avalon guitars help complete our triumvirate of great UK builders. Located near Belfast in Ireland, their shop is geographically about halfway between the shops of Lowden and Mcilroy. And I think this may work as an apt description of the tone of these guitars: They share some of the sprightly liveliness of the lightly-built Mcilroy, as well as some of the chunky solidity of the heavier Lowden.
Avalon's current batch of luthiers is as good it gets for small shop instruments. The craftsmanship on these guitars is second to none, with great woods (they seem to have an unlimited supply of cool spruce tops), and gorgeous looks in abundance. While these guitars share an obvious Lowden pedigree, I like the direction the Avalon builders are taking, with occasional design flourishes that you don't find on many of their cousins.
Playability on Avalon guitars is superb. The note-to-note ring on all parts of the neck reminds me a bit of our Kinscherffs, while the intonation up the neck rivals even Brook. If you're in the market for a nicer guitar, you should give these guitars a serious look.