Need advice on a Thorn

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by Daren Anderson, Jun 10, 2005.


  1. Daren Anderson

    Daren Anderson Member

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    I am close to ordering my first Thorn and I would greatly appreciate some advice. I am considering two options.
    1. An all mahagony body and neck w/ dark brazilian rosewood fretboard
    Or
    2. Same as the above but with a quilted maple top. Very similar to #68 on the Thorn gallery. Per Ron’s sage advise, if I go this route I will add ¼’’ to the thickness of the body to retain some of the low end.

    I am looking for a guitar that takes high gain well- I want the thick Black Sabbath tone.
    I’ve heard people describe the all mahagony or korina bodied guitars as tone machines. Would the maple top detract from the tone I am shooting for? Ron’s maple tops are so profoundly beautiful it is difficult not to want one, but I want this guitar to be all about the tone.
    I am thinking of putting a Fillmore in the bridge, a Goodwood in the neck and some single coil in the middle for additional tonal options.
    I emailed Ron twice and received a lot of good advice and guidance towards the right guitar for me. Any additional advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks.
     
  2. dirk nixon

    dirk nixon Member

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    Of course no one knows Thorn guitars better than Ron himself. Give him a phone call and also talk it over with Jim Wagner.

    What amps are you using?
     
  3. John Hurtt

    John Hurtt Supporting Member

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    My Thorn (091) has the mahogany/maple combo with an ebony board on the mahogany neck. I have WCR Goodwoods in it and it just smokes for rock. But, if high gain was my goal I would go with a hotter bridge pickup. The Fillmore is hotter than the Goodwood, but maybe a Herc in the bridge would be best. Ron has finished several guitars now with WCR's so he would have good thoughts on this.

    Any yes, I have the thicker body (but I chambered it). I'm in Northern California, if you live in the area you're more than welcome to come check it out.
     
  4. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

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    I'd call Jim at WCR, perhaps a Shredder or Herc would power you; if heavy stuff is your goal.

    The Fillmore is a fantastic "hot rod PAF" pickup; the Goodwood is PHAT with the best mids I have ever heard; I am utterly hypnotized by the Goodwood Bridge, I can't lie.
     
  5. eric102673

    eric102673 Member

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    If it was me, I'd go solid lightweight mahogany body that has a good ring to it and a mahogany neck, BRW board and possibly with a WCR Herc or two in there as mentioned by others. If you have the wood all worked out and then talk to Jim, he may be able to better recommend pickups for it.

    If tone is your only goal, and it's to capture the dark chugging Sabbath tone, that's where I'd head.

    If you want the glitz of the maple, you'd want to make sure the pickups compensate for the top. Another alternative might be a Koa top. I understand that it has tonal properties similar to that of mahogany. Of course the first thing I'd do is run through it all with Ron because he's not gonna steer you wrong. I'm sure he'll suggest whatever he thinks will get you where you want to be.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes!
    -e.
     
  6. Daren Anderson

    Daren Anderson Member

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    Thanks for the advice. It is a tremendous help.

    I am playing through a Two Rock Jade (proto 001). I adore the amp. My Les Paul sounds excellent through the Jade when I use the bridge pick up. The neck and middle positions lose too much definition and clarity with the gain up. I am hoping the Thorn will sound even better in all pick up settings.

    I phoned Ron and he was extremely helpful. What a cool guy- exceptionally skilled at his craft and equally friendly- a rare combination.

    Ian, thanks for the offer. I live in San Jose, CA and I would love to check out your Thorn. Do you mind if I email you?
     
  7. wpod

    wpod Member

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    pretty far out there...
    I've played #68 and it is fabulous- both to play and from a tone perspective. In fact it is so sweet that I decline Kevin's tempting offers as much as possible ;-)
     
  8. PUMAMAN

    PUMAMAN Member

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    Hey Daren, First let me say, congrats on your choice of ordering a Thorn. You will not be disappointed. As others have said here, Ron is the man when you have questions about different woods and p/u's. I have not talked to Jim at WCR but I have heard nothing but good things about his input.
    I can't coment on other WCR p/u's but I can tell you this. #68 with the Fillmores is a MONSTER! I can't say enough about the Punch with clarity of them. Single note definition even with high gain is unbelievable. Add to that the excellent split coil sounds and you have one versatile Rock&Roll machine. Note: I had that 1/4" added to #68 mostly to offset the extra weight of the rosewood neck. I hate a guitar thats even a little bit neck heavy. In fact I just prefer some beef in the bum, ala Les Pauls. The result was perfect, balanced just how I like it. And I'm sure a little low end added to the tone. Now on the tone: The rosewood neck has a lot of ring to it that adds a slighty "woody" openess to the tone. This may be adding some to that incredible clarity of the Fillmores. Going with a mahogany neck might be even more to your liking. Perhaps a bit less "in your face". Hope this helps some.

    BTW Glad you like #68. I kinda like it too.
    :D

    Honestly, It is everything and more than I could ever want from a guitar. I can't say enough about Ron and the whole experience in achieving that one guitar that screams pumaman!

    Enjoy the ride.

    Kevin
     
  9. John Hurtt

    John Hurtt Supporting Member

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    Not a problem at all. :cool:
     
  10. big mike

    big mike Fixed Bias Moderator Staff Member

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    Hey Darren, I'm late to the party, but you've got excellent info already. Ron is a stellar guy to work with. I was in LA this weekend and spent some more time with him, and he really can steer you where you want to go.

    I'm in concord with a Korina Thorn, but mine's got P90's, so I'm not much help there. Sorry!
     
  11. joel

    joel Member

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    I've got Thorn #006 in Santa Cruz. It's not that much like what you're after, but if you need another data point, you're welcome to give it a try. /jd
     
  12. graydane

    graydane Member

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    Joel, man good to hear you. I was wondering how #006 the sister wood from my #003 was doing. Beautiful stuff.!

    Dane
     
  13. oscar100

    oscar100 Supporting Member

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    go for korina - its lighter and i think gives a better all round tone

    thats what ive done with my first thorn and you cant go wrong with WCR!

    just call jim or speak to Ron and youll get what you need

    :)
     
  14. GuitarNorton

    GuitarNorton Member

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    Talk to Ron and see if he will throw in one of his special quitar stands, or at least let you try one out. :D
     
  15. MOJO

    MOJO Member

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    i think you mean a Driskill guitar stand;)
     
  16. GuitarNorton

    GuitarNorton Member

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    Ah thats right, sorry my bad!
     
  17. NickVig

    NickVig Member

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    I have #19, it's got a SD Custom Custom in the bridge and a Pearly Gates in the neck. It can get pretty heavy sounding. I don't know if it will nail the sabbath tone verbatim, but I'm sure I can get pretty close. Korina back/neck with a quilted maple top, slightly oversize body.
     
  18. Daren Anderson

    Daren Anderson Member

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    Thanks again to everyone for the advice and help. The people on this forum are so intelligent and friendly. It is the best.

    I am getting closer, but I am trying hard to be patient and wait until I am sure I order the Thorn with all the features I really want.


    I don't have the coolest gear, but what I do have I would like to offer up to any GP members to come try out if it would be of any help to them. Feel free to send me an email.

    2004 Les Paul Standard (burstbuckers)
    1994 Fender Strat (Fralins)
    Two Rock Jade proto 001
    Fender Pro Reverb
    Music Man 65RP112
     
  19. rjmmusic

    rjmmusic Member

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    My advice is: listen to Ron! If you're really after tone first, make sure you go with his recommendations over what you might think you want (maple top, etc.)

    I've got an all-mahogany Thorn with African Blackwood fretboard on the way, but it's still got some time before it's done. When it is done (a couple months maybe?) you're certainly welcome to try it if you're ever in the San Diego area.
     
  20. graydane

    graydane Member

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    Daren, where you located at? Curious. Ron can build you the guitar to match the tone you are looking for. Then you just have to accept all those attention to details that come with it, that are hard pressed to find else where. There are some great builders out there, but IMO you can't match the build quality for the price he still offers them at.
     

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