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2012 Thorell Frank Vignola Studio Custom

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SN# 12-104

Body size at lower bout: 15 " Scale length: 25 1/2" Nut: 1 3/4" Neck depth: .90/.90, 1st/10th frets

Materials: Solid bookmatched handcarved one-piece Lutz spruce top; solid handcarved figured mahogany back, sides, and neck; solid ebony fingerboard; solid curly maple binding; solid bone nut.

Hardware: Hardware includes hand carved ebony tailpiece, finger rest, and compensated adjustable ebony bridge; Schertler black anodized 18X1 tuners, custom Thorell handmade single coil pickup with aged ebony cover, thumbwheel volume and tone controls, endpin jack.

Notes: In an era of sampling, sequencing and synthesis, New York guitarist Frank Vignola has remained a enthusiastic champion of the acoustic archtop guitar. One of the most versatile performers on the scene today, Vignola has toured worldwide with legends ranging from Les Paul and Bucky Pizzarelli to Tommy Emmanuel and Mark O'Connor. Having collaborated with a number of the most prominent archtop builders for some decades now, Frank is lavish in his praise for Utah luthier Ryan Thorell, who he compares to the likes of Benedetto, Monteleone, and D'Angelico himself. No small praise indeed, from no small a player.

Thorell's Frank Vignola Studio is built to optimize tone, volume and player comfort. The compact 15" body is gently tapered from 3 1/8" on the treble side to just 2 3/4" under the arm, for a superior ergonomic fit. And at barely 5lb. 6oz, the guitar is also phenomenally lightweight and well balanced. A fusion of traditional and contemporary design, the body is parallel braced in the classic style to maximize projection, with a sound port under the player's ear, as an acoustic monitor. The sides are supported with very light braces, adding rigidity to the body as well.

This custom example features classic touches in the design. The soundboard has traditional f-type soundholes, and the instrument has a matte nitro finish, whose vintage look is complemented with an aged ebony pickup cover. (Thorell's own handwound single coil pickup is gauged to emulate the incomparable tone of the classic DeArmond Rhythm Chief.) The vintage style nitro lacquer is shot at a mere 3 mills in depth, for maximum acoustic resonance, and has a vintage style matte finish throughout.

With body and neck of lightweight figured mahogany, the instrument looks every bit as dramatic as it sounds. The soundboard is carved and tap tuned from British Columbia Lutz spruce, a rare hybrid of Sitka and White spruce that is highly responsive, with a wide dynamic range, much like the Adirondack varieties. Custom touches abound, the sort of labor-intensive appointments unseen on factory guitars. The body is bound in highly figured curly maple, and all wooden hardware is carved of lustrous Macassar ebony. The slotted headstock reduces neck weight, making the guitar exceptionally well balanced, and the 18:1 Schertler tuners are marvelously smooth and precise.

The neck profile is a gentle D, comfy and even along its length, with smooth low action over a fresh high-precision setup. The voice is clear and supple, with excellent articulation, and pronounced natural reverb in the upper register, all faithfully captured by the transparency of the pickup. This remarkable instrument is free of pick, buckle, thumb or fingerboard wear, and apart from a few random lacquer nicks, appears all but unplayed. A special plus: the instrument is supplied with the builder's lifetime warranty, which remains valid for the purchaser.

Thorell's stunning instruments are rarely seen on the vintage market. Here's an opportunity to jump the wait list, and bag a great value in the process. One only: call now.

Setup: This instrument is strung with medium gauge nickel roundwound strings. The guitar will accommodate lighter or heavier gauge strings, according to preference. String action is set at 5/64" to 6/64" at the 12th fret, with moderate relief for acoustic playing with medium strings. The action may be lowered or raised to your requirements with the adjustable bridge.

Case: Original deluxe arched Hiscox plush lined hardshell case.






















































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