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Thorn SoCaL “Classic” Mary Kaye

Thorn SoCaL “Classic” Mary Kaye

Price: $--SOLD

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hardshell case included

In addition to his other instruments, Ron also makes a very modern S-style guitar. He makes them with his own shape, pickups, and from-his-own-shop hardware. Stellar workmanship, nitro finishes, fret work, you know… the highest quality master built workmanship throughout the instrument.

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I am delighted to present to you, two new Thorn SoCal guitars that I custom ordered from Ron Thorn, one of the masters of modern guitar makers.

A little side tour before I get to the guitars themselves: You may know Ron’s work for the wonderful guitars I have (and have had) in the shop. Simply fantastic, gorgeous, great-to-play, and splendid-sounding gems. (If you haven’t yet, check them out.)

Ron also makes a very modern S-style guitar. He makes them with his own shape, pickups, and from-his-own-shop hardware. Stellar workmanship, nitro finishes, fret work, you know… the highest quality master built workmanship throughout the instrument. Importantly, he has the most efficient and solid bolt on system available.

Players love them! I love his modern Strats, too. But I also have a deep love for my ’56 Strat. I’m just addicted to that shape and vibe. Ron and I talked, and he graciously agreed to create these just for CR Guitars.

What I had Ron do for us here at CR Guitars was to transform his aesthetic so that the guitar looks and sounds like the Strats I love, but keeps his remarkable bolt on mechanism intact. The ones I have from him look more “Fendery" when you look at the guitar straight on. I also requested that he use more traditional hardware, but he and I agreed, it had to be the best of the best. And so it is. Ron used a Callaham bridge. He had Jason Lollar make a special version of his Custom Blackface pickups. (Ron then added Thorn custom made covers.) We chose traditional, thinly applied nitro finish colors. The neck shapes are based on some of my favorite vintage guitars. And the wood, only the best would do for these special guitars. Basically Ron made a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Vintage vibe meets superhero builder skills.

The “Mary Kaye”  SoCal has the full-on '50s era esthetic. It features a stunning swamp ash body with a killer soft V maple neck and fingerboard. Its sound is very strat-ty but retains a sweetness - it’s not brittle or overly quacky. This one calls to mind the classic Hendrix kind of tone. The fret work is so great as to bear additional mention. Thorn fretwork is unlike anyone else’s because Ron doesn’t just add frets to the fretboard. He actually seats the fret directly into the top of the fingerboard so there are no tangs hanging over the fretboard edge. Is it a lot of work? Yes. Is the result worth it? Absolutely. The neck has a light nitro gloss that is then waxed to a silky perfection.

With a Ron Thorn guitar, nothing is overlooked. Every detail is beyond perfect. Check out the tortoise dots and inlay on the fingerboard …insane. BTW… Ron has done inlay work for the Fender Custom Shop for the last 20 years so Ron knows what these guitars should be like.

The next SoCal is more of a '60s era creation. Same bridge and pickups as the “Mary Kaye,” but with a slightly different flavor. It has an incredible one-piece Alder body. Astonishing. And almost impossible to find nowadays.

The inlay is the same as the “Mary Kaye” but uses Mastodon Ivory instead of Tortoise. It’s finished with a classic nitro vintage burst and has an inviting, come-play-me Madagascar rosewood slab board over a Med/Fat C (860/960) neck profile. It’s profile is similar to a ’63 Strat. The sound is what you’d expect from a great S style. Slightly warmer (it’s alder, after all) than the Mary Kaye but just as impressive.

Two remarkable guitars, matching Ron’s impeccable build skills to a Leo Fender suit.

If you'd like to find out more about this item, just call or e-mail me. It would be my pleasure to talk to you about it.

Raised in a family of carpenters, Ron Thorn had access to a home wood shop for as long as he can remember. Repairing, modifying and building guitars since age 13, his specialty became precision inlay work and by the mid '90s he became the sole inlay artist for the Fender Custom Shop, a position he is still proud to retain today. In 2000 Ron began putting the Thorn name on the headstocks of some of the many guitars he was building and today, with his father and the rest of “team Thorn” - John Gaudesi, Nick Viglienzoni, Tony Ramirez, Glenn Matejzel and Martin Bravo, Thorn’s Glendale, CA operation builds approximately 50 custom guitars a year. Those who know, know Ron as one of the most brilliantly talented luthiers and inlay artists of the 21st century. It is a reputation that has earned him a following that is best described as "near fanatical."

Bodyswamp ash
Neckquarter-sawn maple
Fretboardquarter-sawn maple
Carvesoft V to C- .880/.960
Fretwire‘Jr-90”- .047x .095
PickupsThorn/Lollar Custom Blackface
Inlaystortoise shell
Finishnitro- Mary Kaye
CaseGG hardshell
Weight7.3 lbs
Serial #R/S- 062
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