Friday, September 10, 2010

Thorell Guitars Newsletter - Sept. 2010 - Thorell "Grand Custom" Archtop

Thorell Fine Guitars
I  hope this newsletter finds you all well! I wanted to  share a guitar with you that I built for the Montreal Guitar Show this year, the guitar is currently available through Cliff at  I recently aquired these unbelievable 1" thick archtop back sets of figured Maccassar Ebony, this is the first guitar that I have built with the wood and it turned out gorgeous! Pictures really don't do it justice, there is so much depth and variation to the chocolate tones swirling through the rich black.  The sound is remarkably true blue vintage archtop with a rich and vibrant acoustic tone at the heart. I was lucky enough to have the great guitarist Paul Asbell play the guitar at the Guitar Show. He played brilliantly, and really found the guitars home base. I wrote him after the show (to ask for permission to use the killer vide clips I link to down below) and this is what he told me about the guitar:


"It's funny, but what I preliminarily said about the archtop sounding "authentic" to older blues styles like the Broonzy tune is really borne out by that recording. I really LOVE the way that guitar sounds! I hope i get another opportunity to play it someday..." Paul Asbell

Watch Paul Asbell play this guitar live from the  Montreal Guitar Show!  


The Thorell Grand Custom Arch is a totally custom one of a kind guitar built for the Montreal Guitar Show.   This is a one of a kind guitar that I won't offer as a standard model, built to do the most with woods I will never be able to get again.. The soundboard is carved from a single piece of gorgeous Lutz spruce (a newly discovered hybrid between Sitka and Engelmann some of which has measured out to have the best strength to weight ratio of any spruce). The billet was three inches thick at one end! This afforded a wonderful opportunity  to use that extra material to carve in a cascading armrest on the bass side, which also increased the lower bouts' foot print. It is a fairly drastic curve that makes the otherwise deep guitar very comfortable. The back is carved from a gorgeous full inch and a quarter thick book matched piece of figured Maccassar Ebony. The back was carved down very thin to reduce weight and then braced with  thin lateral braces similar to a flat top, yet it still retains an arched back's  graduation. The effect is a back that kind of hybridizes flat back and arch back designs. The neck is Birds-Eye Maple. It is cut from a veneer grade log that
was hand split for high end pool cues and Thorell guitars. The sound is large, full and dynamic. Ergonomically the guitar is extremely comfortable with easy action.

- Lower bout 16 1/2"
- Body depth 3 3/8" with lower bout contour bringing the bass side depth to 2 3/8"
- Scale 25 1/2"
- Nut Width 1 11/16"
- String Spacing at bridge 2 1/8"
- Soundboard: One piece Lutz Spruce
- Back and Sides: Maccassar Ebony
- Neck: Birds Eye Maple
- Appointments: Maccassar Ebony
- Custom Cedar Creek black hardshell case

Price: $10,000 - (435) 713-9507

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