Thorn Guitars Suspends New Orders

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by clarkram, Oct 2, 2006.

  1. clarkram

    clarkram Member

    Messages:
    2,837
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2002
    Location:
    Woodstock GA
    Most of you probably frequent the Thorn discussion site, if not Ron posted a long post this morning about not taking new orders for awhile.

    Just a heads up. Glad I've got my 2 Thorns already.
     
  2. Quinny

    Quinny Member

    Messages:
    1,307
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Fair play to him. Sounds like a wise decision.... respect!

    Q.
     
  3. AJ Love

    AJ Love Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,372
    Joined:
    May 5, 2005
    Location:
    Madison WI
    From the perspective of someone who doesn't currently own a Thorn Guitar and was considering making an order in the near future:

    I absolutely and completely understand and respect Mr Thorn's point of view and decision! I hope he just does what he needs to do and I hope he enjoys getting back to the full-time fun of working on making guitars instead of spending so much time dealing with prospective orders,

    I have no doubt that, down the line when the time is right, I'll get a chance to make an order. Plus, this'll give me more time to save up $$$
     
  4. John Hurtt

    John Hurtt Supporting Member

    Messages:
    16,765
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Location:
    Northern California
    Ron's post was done last night, and it is very straightforward. He's worried about the backlog, and wants to get orders down to a manageable level. I admire his openness about this, another reason he's earned tons of respect with me. :)
     
  5. GuitarGuy510

    GuitarGuy510 Member

    Messages:
    1,938
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2005
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    Yeah Ron's a cool guy. I'm glad he's also straightforward with stuff like that, other builders might have just kept taking on orders and never said a word to the customers about the backlog getting to be too great. Good on Ron for doing the cool thing. Now I have to find a way to save up like 12K so I can order 3 Artisan Masters when the doors open up for new orders.... hehehehe..... :dude
     
  6. AJ Love

    AJ Love Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,372
    Joined:
    May 5, 2005
    Location:
    Madison WI
    Ron's post was a fascinating look into the decisions that must be made by an extremely successful builder:

    Raise prices to the point where only the very wealthy can afford the guitars...
    OR
    Hire help and roll the dice on quality being the same
    OR
    Suspend taking new orders until the backlog can be filled.

    I think he made a very wise decision
     
  7. Mickey_C

    Mickey_C The Original Racketeer Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,529
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2003
    Location:
    Sedona, AZ
    I think it's super cool that Ron is concerned about actually getting the guitars out that he's currently responsible for at the high-quality people expect from Thorn.

    I know many other manufacturers would just see this as an opportunity to expand, and keep pulling in the cash; we've all seen it happen before.

    Hat's off to Ron Thorn for keeping Thorn guitars a true Artisan luthier shop!

    Mickey C.
     
  8. DWB1960

    DWB1960 Senior Member

    Messages:
    22,006
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2005
    Location:
    SoCal by way of Boston
    Hats off to Ron! :AOK
     
  9. big mike

    big mike Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    25,091
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2003
    Location:
    NorCal
    Another that is really in awe of how true Ron is to his vision of his guitars, and how much respect he has for the people buying them. We've all seen the horror stories when other luthiers have tried to just cope, and backlogs that mount up, and mount up, as well as the backlash and ill will it eventually brings.

    I think while some will feel it's not the best business move from a commodity standpoint, I respect it as one from an artist making sure his quality and customer committment will not suffer. Shows a HUGE amount of integrity.
     
  10. jamess

    jamess Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,338
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    Location:
    Southern California
    Having followed the growth of Thorn Guitars for a few years now, I think Ron's decision to suspend orders to catch up with an ever growing backlog is a smart choice. In the long run I believe everyone will be better off for it, including Ron (he's got to life a live too, you know!), his long-term business, and his customers.
     
  11. AJ Love

    AJ Love Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,372
    Joined:
    May 5, 2005
    Location:
    Madison WI
    A Huge +1!

    Ron's decison shows bigtime class and reflects true dedication to his art.
     
  12. John Bell

    John Bell Member

    Messages:
    2,944
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2003
    Location:
    Maryland
    As always...total respect for the man who builds the worlds best guitar.
     
  13. MattB

    MattB Member

    Messages:
    705
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2004
    Location:
    Waterford, CT
    Great Decision Ron! This will give me time to put some money aside to finally order mine! :)
     
  14. Mike Dresch

    Mike Dresch Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    933
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2003
    Location:
    Sioux Falls, SD
    Kudos to Ron! A very intelligent decision that's good for you and your customers! I wish more small builders would follow in your footsteps.
     
  15. alanbass1

    alanbass1 Member

    Messages:
    1,167
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2006
    Location:
    London - Good old Blighty
    It's a shame others do not follow the same line. I remember the pain waiting for my DeTemple, which was 20 months in the making against a 6 - 8 month waiting list quote. Someone I know was quoted 18 months for delivery and he has waited 3 years now and still waiting!
     
  16. Shreve

    Shreve Katzenjammer Kid Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,348
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    St. Michaels, MD. Town that fooled the British
    That action speaks volumes...:AOK
     
  17. sleepingtiger

    sleepingtiger Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,180
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2005
    Location:
    Northwest Illinois
    Honesty....it's a wonderful & refreshing concept!
     
  18. joel

    joel Member

    Messages:
    1,041
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2002
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, Surf's up!
    Wow, I'm glad Ron's business and reputation are doing so well. He surely deserves the success. It brings back memories of when he first announced he'd be making guitars on this forum. I'd only ever heard of his inlay work, but he was offering the design I wanted at an unbelievable price. So I took a chance and became the delighted owner of #006. I have to laugh now, because Ron apologized profusely when it took 7 months to deliver. I'd meant to put in an order for #66 as well, but the dot.bomb happened and I missed my chance due to 'having been made redundant'. Ah, well, #006 continues to delight. Maybe I'll have enough pennies saved up for another one when he starts taking orders again. I'm thinking flamey redwood on limba, h/s/h.
     
  19. Diablo

    Diablo Member

    Messages:
    1,438
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2002
    Location:
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Congratulations Ron on making the wise choice to control quality and be able to get guitars done the way you want them done!

    Ron and I talked last week, as we are in very similar situations, and we found that we both have the same problems. I haven’t taken a new order in the last two and a half months. I don’t see how either of us can. I was thinking that I would not be taking new orders for at least 6 months or until I was at least half way through my backlog. I found Ron was in the same boat. Lots of phone calls, tons of email coming in needing attention and many other things. It gets to where it is almost impossible to get anything done. I’d been thinking of options too and decided the same thing. I wanted to outsource and hire people, but we had the same concerns. So, thus far, I have decided to outsource the metal in the next few months but have not hired any help yet. It is really hard to hire someone to do the stuff that has taken years to get good at. You can’t just hire anyone to do this stuff when it’s your name on the guitar. So, for now, I’m concentrating on finishing the ones that people have been patiently waiting for. I found that if I don’t worry about the metal stuff, I can get 4 guitars done in the time it takes to do one metal setup

    It has been a really good thing. For example, even with a broken arm, I was able to get another 22 guitars almost ready to spray. That will be 31 guitars that are almost ready to dye and spray. If my arm can allow me to buff, which I think that I can now, I have 10 guitars sitting here with their final coats and ready to buff. I called my truss rod guy last Friday, and he is supposed to bring me 100 truss rods and 100 screws today. That means that those 22 can get done. I hope to be able to focus all of my attention on making the best guitar that I can. I have never raised prices this entire decade, since I want people who actually play to be able to get them, and that might be one of the reasons that I am backordered well over 100 guitars. I have guitars going all over the world. I hope to be able to just concentrate on getting these done now and making those people who have waited happy in a much more timely fashion. It seems to be working better for me so, Ron, I hope that it allows you to get your orders filled too. I’m going to fly out and deliver 4 guitars to California and bring you some koa and BRW for Paul’s guitars while I’m out there.
     
  20. dwes

    dwes Member

    Messages:
    1,218
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2003
    Location:
    Blair, Muhrlind. Hon
    Ron's a classy gent!
    Good move.
    Dave
     

Share This Page