About Thorn Guitars
In 1982, at the age of 13, Ron Thorn was given a "Prestige" branded guitar neck from a friend. No body, no parts, no clue. Being raised in a family of carpenters and having a wood-shop at his disposal, turning this into a functioning electric guitar didn't require a second thought. With Fair Warning cranking on the stereo, he and his father built and painted a custom shaped body. Junior-high "Metals" class is where a pickguard and bridge were hand-made, and a single Seymour Duncan pickup, purchased at a local music store, provided the heat. Ron was off and running as a guitar player, but more importantly a guitar builder. In 1993, Thorn Custom Inlay was officially born and by the mid '90s he and his father became the sole inlay artists for the Fender Custom Shop, a position he is still proud to retain today.
Late 2000, after a few years of ghost-building necks and bodies for numerous boutique builders, Thorn Custom Guitars was launched with the Artisan series. Exotic woods, intense inlays, and ultra-custom features resulted in every Artisan being a one-of-a-kind show piece, with a delivery time that matched. With over 100 Artisans back-logged, Ron decided to stop taking orders for them in 2005. In 2006, teaming up with John Gaudesi and Martin Bravo, a standardized model was offered with less options and a quick delivery. Based on the wood and pickup combination of Artisan #010, the Junior Ninety model was a huge success and was built thru 2008 when they too were discontinued to make way for the SoCal series.
After 10 years of operating out of the cozy 1500 sq. ft. "cave" under the bridge in Glendale, Thorn moved into their new 5000 sq. ft. shop in San Fernando in mid-2012 - corresponding with the introduction of the DeLuxe 90 & DeLuxe 58 model. The DeLuxes are based on a hybrid of the Artisans and the Junior Ninety models, with a vintage flavor and a taste of exquisite details. On July 1st, 2014, after 9 months of R&D/tooling/prototyping, the Grantura was introduced. The most challenging and labor intensive model to date featuring a full laminated construction body - a technique very few builders can accomplish due to the specialized tooling and skills required. The Grantura has once again set Thorn apart from all the rest.
Corporate Life: April 30th, 2018, Ron ceases production of Thorn Custom Guitars and becomes the first Principal Master Builder at the Fender Custom Shop. 2 years later he is appointed Director of Master Builder Operations. During his 5-year stint Ron is responsible for such creations as the Game of Thrones Collection, the El Mocambo sets, the Hawaiian Dream Resonator, the Stratocaster 1, the first Coronado build in the USA since the 70's, The Trees Acoustasonic, the Minions Modular Bass, the Lexus Stratocaster model design, the Tele Magico model design, and many other examples of pushing the creative envelope and challenging his own abilities. While at Fender, Ron built instruments for Adrian Belew, Johnny A., Josh 2 of Devo, MonoNeon, Neal Schon, Keith Urban, Jason Momoa, Bubbles and contributed his skills on many other Master Builders' guitars, in addition to building close to 1000 guitars and basses for customers and dealers.
2024 - Thorn Custom Guitars returns! Ron is back doing what he loves to do, building heirloom quality guitars, truly master built.