Livin' in anyones shadow ... naaa, we don't think that way, after all we were the ones making Lowdens from the late 1980's onwards until a couple of years ago.
You'll have the satin steel-wooled finish that we use on the Legacy models, we prefer it that the gloss.
The top is more than likely Alpine. Just for a bit of clarity, Sitka, Alpine, Englemann Spruce can all be fantastic or bland depending on the quality of the cut and stiffness, same goes for cedar, if it doesn't meet the grade then it doesn't get used as a top.
All our struts are hand-carved and made from Alaskan Sitka, this really helps.
And finally ... welcome Jimbo to the forums, glad to have you on board