Props to Ron Thorn from a Vintage Guitar Geek

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by Dana Olsen, Jan 24, 2006.


  1. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    Ron left his personal Thorn guitar at the Fuchs booth on Friday. I stopped by and played it through Andy Fuchs' simply AWESOME Triple Overdive 100W head.

    Those of you who know me know that I'm a real-deal Vintage guitar slut. I own all or part of a '56 LP JR, a '60 LP JR, a '59 Dot Neck ES-335, a '56 Tele, a '66 Tele, and I have access (it's good to have friends in high places) to literally more than a hundred vintage insturments. I've played a lot of truly fine guitars.

    There are so many great builders nowadays who have learned from the rich tradition of electric and acoustic luthiers - solving 'problems' that many of the treasured vintage insturments have, getting the building 'process' dialed in so as to eliminate the 'dogs'. I do not say what I am about to say to the exclusion of ANY builder, anywhere - I have played and heard so many wonderful custom guitars from a ton of builders.

    Caveats finished. Having said all this, Ron Thorn's personal guitar w/ 2 P-90's and Ron's tremelo may be the very best guitar I've ever played. In my life.

    It plays like buttah throughout the entire fretboard. All the notes respond so evenly, with such a unified, rich sonority that it's hard to discribe in words. And it's not just built well, the set-up is perfection, and every time I went for a sound, the guitar went there easily and predictably. The trem bar shimmers with the best Strats, and stays in tune playing double stops, and comes back perfectly in tune, every time, even when I dive-bombed it.

    It's also beautiful to look at.

    I very fortunate to have some wonderful insturments. I have always thought of my '59 dot neck ES-335 as my 'desert island' guitar - if I could only have one ....

    But now, I know that if I had Ron Thorn's personal guitar on that island, I wouldn't pine (get it? Pine ...)for anything else.

    Standing Ovation for Ron Thorn from me!

    Dana
     
  2. Fuchsaudio

    Fuchsaudio Member

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    Ron is truly an artisan. I've loved each an every Thorn I have had the pleasure to play. It really speaks volumes about any luthier who would personally bring his own personal guitar for use at a trade show. Ron, I hope we can do it again in the future. I hope Steve K will post a few pics of his "Thorn Rose" hollowbody archtop.

    One of my favorite guitars has always been my PRS hollowbody, and I've made no secret of my lust for a guitar like this with a built-in hi-grade trem. Ron's done this, and then some. His significant (almost 2-year) backlog is proof Dana and I are not alone in our love for Ron and his work.

    I hope to post NAMM 2006 pictures on our website shortly. Not sure, but I'm afraid we may not have clear pics of the guitar. If anyone took any pics of it at the show, forward them to me, and I will post them and copy Ron.
     
  3. eric102673

    eric102673 Member

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    Here are a couple shots of Steve K. using it to kick booty at Ron's post NAMM Thorn Gathering on Sunday. Chiba (Wes) Rocking on another of Ron's creations.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Plenty more where those came from!

    What can I say, the man throws a great party!
    I've been on here for years talking up the guitars Ron has built for me. FWIW the guitar in question was based round my own and it has been my #1 guitar for the last several years. I too have owned and still own way more than my share of great guitars but I'd give em all away if I had to just to keep #10. It's musical perfection as far as I'm concerned.

    -e.
     
  4. John Hurtt

    John Hurtt Supporting Member

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    Ron's guitar is super sweet sounding, but every guitar that comes out of his shop gets the same attention that he gave his own.
     
  5. Chiba

    Chiba Gold Supporting Member

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    I spent a good chunk of time playing both of Ron's personal Thorns - the one Steve K is playing above is the one that was in Andy's booth, it's #136 IIRC. Simply an amazing guitar, sheer perfection in execution and tone. The other one is a whitewashed Jr-style guitar that again - perfection. Ron's lucky neither of them 'found their way home' with me :)

    --chiba
     
  6. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

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    As owner of #47 and future owner of SC#12; I understand and concur. Special instruments.
     
  7. graydane

    graydane Member

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    I would also concur as owner of Thorn #003, and #033 simply the best!
     
  8. Shreve

    Shreve Katzenjammer Kid Gold Supporting Member

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    YES!

    If somebody would just buy my other guitars, I'd be on the phone with Ron in an instant for another. His work is otherworldly.

    PS - I also used to be a hardcore vintage guy. 50s & 60s Teles, Strats, Firebirds etc. Now I'm just a Thorn guy!
     
  9. daveS

    daveS lefty dude on hiatus Gold Supporting Member

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    Yes, yes . . As owner of Thorn #016, I cannot say enough great things about Thorn Custom Guitars. The finest.

    -Dave
     
  10. 1radicalron

    1radicalron Member

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    That is a Swett Guitar. I Played her and She sounded Very Very Nice. Here is another Pic.
    [​IMG]
     
  11. DWB1960

    DWB1960 Senior Member

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    I got to play this guitar unplugged for a bit during a recent visit to Ron's shop and I described it almost the exact same way afterwards. EVERY note had a very equal tonality and bloom no matter where I played. I've never experienced anything like it before. Really quite amazing.
     
  12. jamess

    jamess Silver Supporting Member

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    I too have had the pleasure of hearing Ron's guitar(s). #037 is an amazing instrument. When I read reviews like this, I concur, and am glad that I have my orders in. I sense that Ron's build list is about to grow again, and for very good reason.
     
  13. JDJ

    JDJ Supporting Member

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    [GLOAT]Here's its Big Brother, #74, cut from the same plank:

    [​IMG]

    [/GLOAT]:p

    Really, a joy to play! Even if the guitars sucked (and they don't), Ron is such a great person to deal with that I'd buy another one anyway!
     
  14. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    You guys are killing me with guitar porn. I am gonna have to get in line sometime here sonn and, as we cowboy types say, git me one.

    Dana
     
  15. big mike

    big mike Fixed Bias Moderator Staff Member

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    Hey wes, you was tearing it up on my very closely spec'd to ron's #18.

    Fun FUN stuff. no one better at this style of guitar IMO.
     
  16. mikef1331

    mikef1331 Member

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    Ron is indeed the man. I can't wait to get SC-013, it will probably be done sometime early next year.
     
  17. Ron Thorn

    Ron Thorn Gold Supporting Member

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    Dana...I'm at a loss here. Your words at the breakfast had me on cloud 9 all day, now this thread...you are too kind my friend, too kind.
    I can't thank you enough.
    Many thanks to everyone else too...you guys rock!!!

    :D


    Ron
     
  18. b3l5tele

    b3l5tele Supporting Member

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    I am a huge fan of Dana Olson's playing. So when he talks guitars/amps or plays I am paying attention. I spoke to him Sunday morning before the Thorn event and he was raving about how great Ron's personal guitar played and sounded when he played it at NAMM. I had the privilege of playing it at the Thorn event and I have to agree with Dana's evaluation. Killer guitar.
     
  19. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    "I spoke to him Sunday morning before the Thorn event and he was raving about how great Ron's personal guitar played and sounded when he played it at NAMM. "

    Thanks Cesar & Barry - you'se guys are soooo sweet.

    I've been raving to anyone who'll listen about Ron's guitar - I'm stopping people on the street who I don't know to tell 'em about it!

    There's something about a 2 x P-90 guitar with tremelo. The chords just shimmer, like they do on a Strat ... whereas w/ humbuckers, they just don't. The pitch changes, and it sounds cool, but the chord just doesn't "shimmer" like that.

    Mark R and I were talking about that on the way to NAMM on Sun am when I called you, Cesar.

    I was (and I AM) completely bewitched by Ron's guitar. I don't think I'll ever be the same.

    I gotta get one - all there is to it.

    I haven't wanted something this bad since the girl I had a crush on after high school graduation lost the top of her bikini in the surf at the beach one day. (GRIN)

    Well, I DID spend a lot more time with Ron's guitar in my hands than I did with her, er, upper torso in my hands ..... well, you get what I'm saying (GRIN)

    Dana
     
  20. scottl

    scottl Member

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    Phew.....

    After we hugged, then I read your horny comment, I am sure glad to read the topless chick blurb!

    Fwiw, that Thorn ruled!!!! I did not even want to play in the Fuchs booth once it left!

    Scott
     

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