The appointments come at an opportune time for Fender, which is poised for continued growth. Thorn brings decades of expertise in guitar luthiery; namely inlay work, to the Fender Custom Shop. His relationship with Fender stems from his wildly successful inlay business, Thorn Inlay, which has been the sole inlay provider for the Fender Custom Shop since the mids. McMillin brings fifteen years of musical instrument experience to the Custom Shop.
Thorn Guitars Review
Light honey on the body with a nitrocellulose lacquer finish, TruOil on the neck Inlays: Rune inlays in Mastodon Ivory and matching headstock logo Pickups: Gotoh floyd rose and Gotoh tuners in gold Weight: Luminlay side dots and roasted birdseye maple pickup bobbins Setup: When I was discussing options with Ron, one of the things he mentioned was to not let his options list hold me back.
When I received pictures of the final photo shoot from Ron I really was not prepared for what I was in store for. When I opened up the case for the first time my eyes were quickly drawn to the unreal chatoyancy of the redwood and birdseye maple. When you look at the top from different angles it looks like hills rolling through the top. To be quite honest, it is a bit distracting to play until you get used to it.
The inlay material I chose was mastodon ivory. Just so I could say it has mastodon ivory in it! I also felt like it would provide a nice contrast to the chocolaty neck while still looking warm and not too bright. The side dots are Luminlays. There is a tiny black outer border, with an inner ring of what looks like the mastodon ivory with the centre being the Luminlay material. Extremely nice attention to detail going on! Combine that with the hidden fret tangs and pristine fret work, you have a neck that looks like a work of art.
Another aesthetic feature I requested was to have the pickup bobbins in matching roasted birdseye maple like the neck to bring some more cohesiveness between the neck and body.
They look stunning! The pickups appear to be extremely well made as well which helps maintain that high level of consistency throughout the entire instrument. The finish work is beautiful. I asked for the mahogany body to match the redwood top and they did a wonderful job making it look stunning!
The body was finished in nitrocellulose. After about a week or having the guitar the lacquer started to settle beautifully into the pores of the wood. When you pick up this instrument and start playing it for the first time, something becomes pretty apparent right away.
These guitars are a culmination of many decades of combined experience. When you pick up the guitar for the first time you can feel how well balanced it is. I like a guitar that weighs between 7 and 8 lbs as well. The Thorn Rune comes in at 7. The neck is really a work of art. Aside from the obviously gorgeous wood used.
There are some great features you will find on Thorns that not only add to the beautiful aesthetic of the instrument but also add to the playability. The fretboard has rolled edges, and the frets are slotted so that the fret ends are hidden. This gives you an incredibly smooth feel when you run up and down the neck. It is carved very nicely and provides great comfort when reaching the upper register. There is a dove-tail lap joint that interlocks the body and neck and stainless steel machine screws are used to couple the neck to the body.
There are stainless steel inserts installed under the fretboard and in the body for the screws to thread through and create a perfect marriage of the neck to body. This attention to detail during construction leads to an instrument that resonates and sustains beautifully! The frets are dressed to perfection.
This being my second Thorn,I can tell you that the consistency between the two guitars in the fret work department is just unreal. These guitars are an example of what a fret job should be done like. No matter where you are on the neck, there is beautiful sustain. Every bend is clear, rings out true and never chokes out.
The pickups are wound by Alonzo Guitars. They are the VHT5 in the neck which has a resistance of 8k and the bridge is a which has a resistance of The 5-way is set up really well as follows: I always find a split bridge humbucker to sound pretty meh. So, having the option of going between both pickups together either split or humbucking is way better for me. Position 2 has a great tele-vibe happening as a result. The Gotoh floyd rose is a wonderful unit.
The floyd rose is no exception here. I have a guitar equipped with a Schaller and an RG with an original edge in fantastic condition to compare with. They all function extremely well. The thing I like about the Gotoh is that it is just a bit more comfortable if you happen to want to anchor your palm onto the bridge. The guitar is extremely stable.
The guitar has had plenty of time to get acclimated and I have had zero issues with the neck moving on me. The setup from the factory is extremely well done.
The guitar was perfectly in tune when I pulled it out of the case. It is worth noting that the guitar was shipped to me from sunny California to Ontario, Canada, where it is quite cold. When Ron and I were discussing the specs of the guitar over the phone I was still undecided as to what I wanted to do in terms of pickups. He had mentioned that he was going to be designing a set for the Rune so that actually peaked my interest. I am really glad that I did.
The Alonzo Guitars set really compliments this instrument extremely well. This allows me to clean up my signal pretty nicely when I roll off the volume and pick lighter when I want to move into a calmer section. Dynamics are a big part of creating emotion in music I find so my approach is to always be able to retain some level of control over my tone.
I really like how the neck pickup is voiced as well. It has a very nice and warm sound while retaining a very even tone. Sometimes a neck pickup sounds too much like a neck pickup I find. But, the fantastic thing about how the 5-way is wired up is when you pop the guitar into position 2, you get that blues-like tone. Roll off the tone knob a bit to let the mids shine through more and you start to hit country territory!
Although, if really want that blues-like neck tone, position 4 with the VHT5 split nails it. The bridge pickup is a real winner in this guitar. I find it to be really responsive when playing lead.
They are really clear and defined. A problem that I find when you get a really hot bridge pickup is that they have a tendency to sound thin for rhythm playing.
They respond really great for lead work and make it easier to hit your pinch harmonics but it comes with that trade off. It lets you dial in some low-end back in that is typically cut out with a tubescreamer and lets you get those crushing, chest pounding palm mutes with these pickups.
When you feel the instrument resonate against your body, the speakers vibrating every molecule in your body, hair flowing from the sheer force of the sound waves passing by you enter another realm. All your worries disappear and you know that you have made one of the best decisions in your life, despite what your neighbours might think.
It is hard not to recommend buying a guitar from Thorn Custom Guitars. When you consider all the factors: It really becomes a no-brainer that this shop should be high on your list of considerations.
There is a lot of passion being put into these guitars that oozes through your pores and into your inner being when you play one of these fine instruments.
This guitar is a keeper for me. I think everyone who ordered one of the guitars from the Thorn Guitars Wired Guitarist run is going to be extremely impressed with what they get. I know I am! Build Quality:
Followers, Following, Posts – See Instagram photos and videos from Ron Thorn (@thornguitars). After 18 years, I am retiring Thorn Guitars to pursue a new chapter in my life: I have accepted the newly created position of Principal Master. Support Thorn Guitars Forum by making a donation. Remove Ads and unlock more features by upgrading your membership to VIP+. No Ads on all Tapatalk Groups, plus other advanced features.
NAMM Fender Custom Shop Ron Thorn guitars
A A A local go-to repair guy since his teens, Thorn Custom Guitars owner Ron Thorn has been offering custom inlay and other guitar design and builder services to numerous companies since In he began putting the Thorn name on the headstocks of some of the many guitars he was building. They feature black limba and white limba korina bodies and necks and quartersawn Honduran Rosewood fretboards. Custom wiring and control configurations are optional. Two bridges are offered on the SoCals.
Thorn Guitars’s tracks
Light honey on the body with a nitrocellulose lacquer finish, TruOil on the neck Inlays: Rune inlays in Mastodon Ivory and matching headstock logo Pickups:
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Followers, Following, Posts – See Instagram photos and videos from Ron Thorn (@thornguitars). A survey of various sold Thorn Guitars. Raised in a family of carpenters, Ron Thorn had access to a home wood shop for as long as he can remember. Repairing. In a brand new regular for G&B, Dave Hunter checks out boutique exotica from across the pond before it reaches UK shores. First up is the Thorn Artisan Limited .
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